This homemade Chocolate Turtles recipe is my easy, no-bake take on a classic candy. With crunchy roasted pecans, gooey caramel, and a blanket of melted chocolate, I finish these off with a sprinkle of sea salt flakes. A perfectly sweet & salty treat!
Easy Chocolate Turtles Recipe
If you love the classic turtle candy, you’re in for a treat with my super-easy Chocolate Turtles recipe! This no-bake homemade candy recipe features salty, crunchy pecans topped with sweet, chewy caramel and a blanket of melted chocolate. Just like my famous chocolate peanut butter Ritz cookies, I finish these candies with a sprinkle of sea salt flakes. Absolutely irresistible!
Why You’ll Love These Homemade Chocolate Turtles
- Classic turtles flavors. So many people love the classic turtles flavor combo: pecans, caramel, and chocolate. We’re obviously fans, with recipes for Ritz turtles, turtle pecan cluster cheesecake, and turtle cake!
- Simple to make. Just a little bit of melting and assembling is all you’ll need to make this homemade candy.
- Keeps well. Store your turtles in the fridge for a couple weeks or freeze them for a few months. You can find more details on that lower down.
- A perfect gift. Package up homemade chocolate turtles and give them to family and friends all throughout the holiday season. They make a great hostess gift!
What You’ll Need
Here’s the ingredient list that includes everything you’ll need to make this chocolate turtles recipe.
Scroll down to the printable recipe card at the end of this post for the exact ingredient amounts.
- Pecan halves – Pecans are the classic nut used in turtles, but you could use pretty much any nut you like. Just make sure they are roasted, and preferably salted.
- Baking caramels – Baking caramels melt smoothly and have great flavor and chewy texture.
- Heavy cream – This helps to thin out the melted caramels a bit.
- Chocolate chips – Use good-quality semisweet chocolate chips for the best flavor. I always use Guittard brand.
- Chocolate bark – The combination of chocolate chips and chocolate bark results in a mixture that melts smoothly, tastes amazing, and sets up firmly.
- Sea salt flakes – Flaky sea salt adds a bit of salty crunch, a beautiful contrast to the sweetness of chocolate and caramel. I highly recommend Maldon brand.
How to Make Chocolate Turtles
Here’s my easy method for making homemade chocolate turtles, outlined below.
Scroll down to the printable recipe card at the end of this post for more detailed instructions.
- Start with the pecans. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and arrange the pecans in clusters.
- Melt the caramel. Microwave the caramels and cream until they melt into a smooth mixture.
- Add the caramel. Spoon melted caramel over each pecan cluster to “glue” the pecans together. Let the caramel set completely.
- Melt the chocolate. Microwave the chocolate chips and chocolate bark until they melt into a smooth mixture.
- Add the chocolate. Spoon melted chocolate over the set caramel. Optionally, you can drizzle more melted chocolate over the top, for a pretty effect – just let the spooned chocolate cool for a minute or so before adding the chocolate drizzle.
- Sprinkle with salt. To finish, sprinkle sea salt flakes over the chocolate. Be sure to do this before the chocolate sets completely.
- Let the turtles set. Let the turtles set at room temperature, or speed up the set by placing the turtles in the fridge for 10 minutes.
Tips & Variations
I’ve always liked making homemade candy, such as homemade peanut butter cups, Oreo truffle balls, fantasy fudge, and Ritz cracker toffee. These easy recipes produce wonderful results that are always a hit with a wide variety of people. Here are a few tips plus variation suggestions that will help you make this chocolate turtles recipe:
- Make sure to fully melted. To avoid any chunks or graininess in the finished chocolate turtles, make sure you melt the caramel mixture and the chocolate mixture into a fully melted, completely smooth consistency. And take care to not let them scorch – work in shorter melting intervals if your microwave does not allow you to heat at a reduced level.
- Save some chocolate to drizzle. This is optional, but I think it makes for even prettier chocolate turtles if you add a chocolate drizzle over the tops of the turtles after they are assembled. If you used up all the melted chocolate, just melt a bit more.
- Try different nuts. Pecans are the classic nut in chocolate turtles, but you can use whatever you like – almonds, walnuts, cashew, or peanuts. For the very best flavor and texture with any of the nuts, make sure they are roasted and salted. Do not use raw nuts.
- Use different chocolate. For a sweeter chocolate turtles variation, use milk chocolate chips instead of semisweet chocolate chips. And for all you dark chocolate fans (me!), use dark chocolate chips instead.
To store chocolate turtles, follow these methods:
- Counter – Place the chocolate turtles in an airtight container and store them on the counter for up to 1 week.
- Fridge – Store the turtles in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.
- Freezer – Place the turtles in a freezer-safe container with parchment or wax paper between any layers, or in a freezer-safe sealable bag, in the freezer for up to 3 months. Defrost the candy in the fridge before serving.
More Candy Recipes To Try
- Marshmallow Caramel Rice Krispie Puffs
- Buckeye Fudge
- Rocky Road Fudge
- Pecan Pralines
- Peppermint Bark
- Mom’s Buttercrunch Toffee
- My grandma’s Chocolate Caramels
- My aunt’s Chocolate Covered Cherry Cordials
- 1½ cups roasted salted pecan halves
- 8 ounces about 1¼ cups individually wrapped baking caramels, unwrapped – I use Kraft brand
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream
- 1 cup good quality semisweet chocolate chips – I use Guittard brand
- 4 ounces chocolate bark chopped small
- 1 teaspoon Maldon sea salt flakes
- Arrange the pecan halves in small clusters (about 3 nuts per cluster) on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
- Add the baking caramels and cream to a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on half-power in 1-minute intervals, stirring well after each interval, until the caramels have completely melted, about 3-4 minutes total. Take care to not let the caramel scorch.
- Spoon a heaping teaspoon of caramel onto the center of each pecan cluster, to "glue" the pecans together.
- Allow the caramel to set completely before adding the chocolate, about 10 minutes at room temperature.
- Once the caramel has set, add the chocolate chips and chocolate bark to a microwave-safe bowl. Heat in 30-second intervals, stirring well after each interval, until the chocolates have completely melted, about 2 minutes total. Take care to not let the chocolate scorch.
- Now spoon a heaping teaspoon of melted chocolate over the caramel – I like to leave some caramel showing at the edges.
- If you have extra melted chocolate, transfer it to a ziploc bag to use as a piping bag. Cut off a small tip at one corner of the bag, then drizzle the melty chocolate over the top of the turtles. Let the spooned chocolate set up just a bit before adding the drizzled chocolate.
- Sprinkle sea salt flakes over the chocolate, if desired, before the chocolate sets completely.
- Let sit at room temperature to set the chocolate. Or place the turtles in the fridge for 10 minutes to speed up the set.