Who doesn't love a great piece of chocolate cake? Now, add some fudgy frosting, some buttery caramel sauce, and some crunchy toasted pecans and what do you have?
Heaven on a plate Café Latte's Turtle Cake!
Café Latte is a St. Paul restaurant known for its desserts. Wonderful, wonderful desserts. Luckily for me they shared a couple of their recipes with the public, so I didn't have to attempt a copycat recipe. This, my friends, is the real deal.
Several years ago, I found the recipe in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. That version was made in a 9x13-inch cake pan.... it was super easy to make and very tasty. I never in a million years thought that I would attempt the layered version, since it looked complicated. Layers? Yikes! I'm so glad it's really not all that hard. You should try it.
Café Latte's Turtle Cake (from Café Latte)
• 1 Egg.
• 2/3 cup Vegetable oil.
• 1 cup Buttermilk.
• 2 cups Flour.
• 1 3/4 cups Sugar.
• 1/2 cup Good quality cocoa.
• 1 tsp. Salt.
• 1 tbsp. Baking soda.
• 1 cup Hot coffee
• 1/2 cup Milk.
• 1 cup Sugar.
• 6 tbsp. Butter
• 2 cups Good-quality semisweet chocolate chips.
• 3/4 cup Caramel.
• 1 1/2 cups Toasted pecans.
Prepare oven and pans: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 3 (9-inch) cake pans.
Cover each bottom with disk of parchment paper.
To make cake: In bowl, combine egg, oil and buttermilk. In large separate bowl, mix
together flour, sugar, cocoa, salt and baking soda. Gradually add wet ingredients to dry
until well mixed. Gradually add hot coffee. Scrape batter into prepared pans.
To bake cake: Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into center comes
out clean. Let cake rest in pans for 10 minutes. Turn out onto wire racks to cool.
To make frosting: Mix sugar and milk in saucepan. Add butter. Bring to a boil.
Remove from heat. Add chocolate chips to pan. Using wire whisk, mix until smooth. If
frosting is too thick or grainy, add 1 or 2 teaspoons hot coffee.
To assemble cake: Place one cooled cake layer, top-side down, on cake plate. Spread
with one-third of frosting, pushing it out gently from edges to make a petal effect.
Sprinkle with 1/2 cup pecans, Drizzle with 1/4 cup caramel. Add next layer, again
top-side down. Repeat frosting and sprinkle with 1/2 cup pecans and drizzle with 1/4 cup
caramel. And final layer top-side up, frost with petal effect and finish with remaining
pecans and caramel.
I actually used 8-inch cake pans and they worked well.
I also used dark cocoa for the cake...it was like a midnight chocolate cake.
My layer cake fear is real...I've had far too many lopsided catastrophes for it not to be. For years, I chickened out and made this cake in the 9x13 pan. I won't lie--it's good that way, too. Plus, it's much easier to bring to a picnic. The last time I tried to make the layer version, it cracked right down the middle. So ugly, but so tasty. This time it was to be for a birthday, so it had to work.
The beauty of this recipe is how the frosting drips over the sides of the cake. This hides many flaws, trust me. The only issue came when I transferred the cake to the cake stand...oops....a chunk came out of the side. I ended up cutting the parchment paper off around the cake and leaving a bit of it underneath. Then, I took pictures strategically....
The kid's helped with the candles and the cake was a success!
A little ice cream and we're good to go. Happy Birthday, Josh!