Cafe Latte’s Turtle Cake
Cafe Latte created the Turtle Cake in 1985 and are famous for this moist, rich, three layer wonder. The cake layers are dark chocolate frosted with rich fudge and caramel and generous amounts of giant pecans.
Yield: 1 (9-inch, 3 layer) cake
2/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk
2 cups all-purpose flour
1-3/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup good-quality cocoa
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup hot coffee
1/2 cup milk
1 cup sugar
6 tablespoons butter
2 cups good-quality semisweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup caramel
1-1/2 cups pecans, toasted
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 3 (9-inch) cake pans.
Cover the bottom of each pan with parchment paper, cut to size.
In a medium bowl, combine the egg, oil, and buttermilk. In another larger bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Gradually add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients until well mixed. Gradually add the hot coffee, and stir again to combine. Scrape the batter into the prepared pans. Bake the cakes for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the cakes rest in the pans for 10 minutes, and then turn out onto wire racks to cool completely.
Combine the milk and sugar together in a medium saucepan. Add the butter, and then bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. Remove pan from heat. Add chocolate chips to the pan and, using a wire whisk, mix until smooth. (Note: If frosting is too thick, add 1 or 2 tablespoons hot coffee.)
Place 1 cooled cake layer with the top side down on a cake plate. Spread with 1/3 of the frosting, pushing it out slightly from the edges to make a ripple or petal effect. Sprinkle frosting with 1/2 cup toasted pecans and drizzle with 1/4 cup caramel. Add the next layer, again with the top side down. Repeat frosting layers. Place the top layer with the top side up. Repeat frosting layers.