Homemade Pecan Turtles

Easy homemade Pecan Turtles - You'll be surprised how easy it is to make these delicious treats!

Chocolate, caramel, pecans… each delicious on their own, but even better together!

These Homemade Pecan Turtles are surprisingly easy to make are so perfect to share around the holidays!  Just be sure to keep a few for yourself! =)

This recipe takes a bit of a shortcut by starting with store bought caramels… but that can be our little secret!

The finished turtles are a perfect combination of textures and flavors… crunchy, chewy, sweet… and bit of sea salt rounds everything out.

Your friends and family will love these cute and delicious little treats!

Easy homemade Pecan Turtles - These are SO good!!


Easy homemade Pecan Turtles

Let’s get started!

Gather your ingredients (listed in the recipe below).

Spoon a small amount of chocolate onto a parchment paper lined, or Silpat lined baking sheet (pictured below).

Easy homemade Pecan Turtles

Arrange pecan halves like a flower, or to create the head and four legs of a turtle.

Easy homemade Pecan Turtles

Spoon caramel into the center of the pecans.

Easy homemade Pecan Turtles

Add chocolate on top, spreading with the back of a spoon as needed.  Add a modest sprinkling of sea salt.

Easy homemade Pecan Turtles


Print Recipe

Pecan Turtles

Starting with pre-made caramels helps these delicious Pecan Turtles come together quickly!


2 cups pecan halves
11 oz. bag of wrapped caramels
2 Tablespoons heavy cream (milk or water may be used)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 bag (12 oz) semi-sweet chocolate chips
sea salt (Fleur de sel or similar if available)


1. Spread the pecans in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake at 375*F about 5 minutes, until warm and fragrant. Cool and set aside.

2. Unwrap caramels and place caramels, cream and vanilla in the top of a double boiler and heat until the caramels have melted (this will take a while). Stir as needed.

3. While the caramel melts, heat the chocolate chips in another double boiler, or in the microwave at 50% power in 30 second intervals. Stir between intervals and stop cooking when the chips have almost melted, but not fully. Be careful not to over heat the chocolate, it can easily burn. Stir chips until smooth and fully melted.

4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat liner. Spoon a small amount of chocolate onto the baking sheet, using the back of the spoon to smooth it into a small circle (about 2" diameter). After you've made 3-4 circles, arrange 5 pecan halves on to of chocolate, creating the "turtle" head and four legs (as pictured), or a flower. Continue making circles of chocolate, then adding pecans until the baking sheet is full (I usually fit 6-10 on a baking sheet). Set entire baking sheet in the fridge for a few minutes, until the chocolate has set up a bit.

5. Once the chocolate has set, (remove from fridge) and add about a teaspoon or two of melted caramel onto the center of the pecans (as pictured). The caramel should be just melted enough that it will fall off a spoon, but not so liquid that it just rolls right off the pecans into a puddle. If the caramel is too thin, remove from heat and allow to cool just a bit. Once caramel has been added to each turtle, place baking sheet back into the fridge for a few minutes.

6. When the caramel has set up just a bit, spoon a bit of chocolate on top, covering as much of the caramel as possible. If desired, add a bit of fleur de sel sea salt on top.

7. Place turtles back in the fridge for just a few minutes to set up.

8. When fully cool and set, remove from baking sheet and store in an airtight container at room temperature. See notes below about shelf life.

Notes -
The ingredient measurements listed in the recipe above are just what I used, but really could vary according to how many turtles you want to make. Basically you need nuts, chocolate, caramels and a bit of cream.

Chose good quality caramels, stay away from generic brands for this project. I usually use Brach's or Kraft. I have not tried the unwrapped caramel bits for this project, but I imagine they would work perfectly well.

If you do not temper the chocolate, the finished turtles should be enjoyed within 2-3 days or the chocolate will begin to discolor. If you temper the chocolate before use, the turtles will remain beautiful for much longer (I've never kept them more than a week, but I would imagine they could be kept longer).

Recipe Source - Glorious Treats

For the most professional results, and for the longest shelf life, I recommend tempering the chocolate.  I’ve been intimidated for years by the idea of tempering chocolate, because it is quite a precise process.  I’ve made these pecan turtles many times in years past, but this is the first time I attempted to properly temper the chocolate.  The extra time was well worth it, and I loved the shiny, professional quality of the finished turtles.  If you’re going to try tempering chocolate I highly recommend a precise thermometer, such as a Thermapen.  Additionally, I found the tutorials by David Lebovitz and Handle the Heat very helpful.

Easy homemade Pecan Turtles

Easy Homemade Pecan Turtles - These are SO good!!



  1. I’m pretty sure this post is going to change my life for the better. One of my fave candies!!!

  2. These look amazing. I’m going to make these for a Christmas treat can you give me an idea of how many caramels are in an 11 oz bag?

  3. Glory,
    You are right about tempering the chocolate. It makes the turtles looks so much tastier! I made turtles last week, and made homemade caramel. I toasted the pecans, first. I made the turtles looks so pretty. But when i woke up in the morning, after the chocolate had set overnight (on the counter), the chocolate had spots on it- looked like grease spots. So ugly.

    • I know, that is so disappointing… it has happened to me so many times! In fact, I made this recipe a couple weeks ago, planning to photograph the next day and by the next day the spots showed up! So I knew it was time to bite the bullet and learn how to temper! I was so happy with this second batch (properly tempered)! It does take a bit of extra time, but the results I think are worth it.

  4. These are delicious! I’d eat them all before packaging them for others!
    Love you!

  5. Hi there!
    This comment is not regarding the turtles, but I just had to tell you about your rolled sugar cookie recipe. My daughter and I made them on Christmas Eve, and this is the FIRST TIME EVER that our cookies are PERFECT! They didn’t get all puffy and funny while baking, they held their shape perfectly, they taste great, and the dough was fairly easy to work with. I rolled ours between parchment paper instead of just on a board. Thank you for the great recipe and the tips along with it. So happy to know we can make cut out cookies that turn out well now. My daughter wants to try to start doing the fancy decorating, so I am sure we will be spending much time on your site looking at your beautiful photos. Happy New Year!!!

    • Hi Joanna, Thanks so much for taking the time to leave such a sweet comment! I’m so glad you and your daughter had such great success! Happy baking!

  6. Thanks for sharing!

    Approximately how many turtles does this recipe make?

    • Hi Allison, I’m sorry I forgot to count exactly how many I made (and we ate them pretty quickly!). The recipe as listed does make quite a few, I’d guess 24-30.

  7. How do you temper your chocolate? I would like to try it.

    • Hi Michele, I’ve listed two links in the blog post (above) with detailed descriptions on tempering chocolate. The process is a bit detailed, but the results are well worth it!

  8. OMG… I will be trying this recipe this weekend…. However, I’m looking for the link on how to temper chocolate… Thank you so much for SHARING… I will be back to let you know about my results…

  9. Lol I thought they were for pet turtles .

  10. I’ve made these twice now for my husband.  Once for our anniversary and again for his birthday.  He loves them, never to buy store turtles again.  And they were quite easy to make (I didn’t temper chocolate, just watched it close).  I made a half batch each time to not have too many.  Thanks for the great recipe. 

  11. This is the best recipe and the best procedure I have found on the internet. I have one improvement to recommend : eliminate much of the mess and imprecision by dropping both the caramels and the chocolate morsels separately of course (I used dark chocolate bits) into gallon-sized FREEZER ziplock bags. You can then float each in a saucepot of simmering water. I found that adding the cream/vanilla extract, and the bit of coconut oil was easy. Even tempering the chocolate (I used Epicurious’ method) was simplified. I found that using a ThermoPro by pressing it outside the bag got accurate readings; I tried it both ways and even could wipe the chocolate from inside the bag to clean the probe. Everything worked better using this method.
         It was easy to remove the bag from the simmering water, place it carefully on a pad of folded kitchen towels and gently pat the water off and also gently knead the unmelted bits inside to mix. Then cut a small corner piece off to use as a very good applicator. 
         Because a tear or leak in the bag would have been disastrous, I was very gentle with each bag, but all went amazingly well. I do recommend this method. No messy pots to clean up, no spoon-dribbled mess either. If you have a good large plastic bench scraper (Amazon)  you can scrape  it across the bag and coax the contents toward the snipped corner. Or even use your hands or another kitchen towel to do this. I sealed the bag when floating in the hot water, and opened it maybe an inch when applying the contents to the pecans. Even the small amount left afterward is safely stored inside the freezer bag. Take your time and be gentle and you will be so pleased.  And use freezer bags you trust. Flat, not boxy on the bottom. 

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