Homemade Turtle Candy

Chocolate Caramel Pecan Turtles Candy – Baked pecans covered in a delicious homemade caramel and topped with with melted chocolate! These treats make perfect neighbor gifts for the holidays!

If you’re on the hunt for candies and cookies to give out during the holidays, make sure you include these chocolate turtles! For the best of both worlds, you can also make turtle thumbprint cookies which have all the same flavors as these candies.

Chocolate turtles on a white plate

Chocolate Turtles

I absolutely adore the combination of chocolate, caramel, and nuts. I have a recipe for Chocolate Pecan Caramels that I simply love, and I don’t know why I have never tried making turtles before.

Guys, this Turtles Candy is simply amazing! Better than any turtle candies I have ever purchased. The crunchy pecans, the chewy caramel, the chocolate that melts in your mouth. Simply incredible.

Why are they called turtles? If you use your imagination, the pecans covered in caramel and chocolate look like little turtles. 😉

Step by step pictures of making homemade turtles

How to Make turtle candy

Don’t be intimidated about the candy making process, these turtles are really quite simple to make.

PECANS. You want to start by toasting your pecans. It makes a huge difference in the flavor of the finished product, so don’t skip this step. Just place your pecans on a cookie sheet and bake at 350° for about 10 minutes. They will smell amazing!

CARAMEL. Before you start making your caramel, you want to arrange your pecans into little clusters. I line my pans with silicone liners, but parchment paper would work too. I like to use 3-4 pecans, depending on size.

As soon as your caramel is ready, quickly spoon the hot caramel on top of the clusters, making sure each pecan is covered with some caramel. Don’t worry about perfection, just work fast. If the caramel starts to set up, you can pop it back on the stove for a minute or two.

CHOCOLATE. At this point, you can let the caramel set up and add the chocolate later. Or you can add it now. When you are ready, just melt the chocolate and oil in a small glass bowl in the microwave at half power, stirring often. Then spoon a small amount of chocolate on top of each turtle. Use the back of your spoon to make a little swirl in the chocolate as you lift it.

Now all you have to do is wait for the chocolate to set up. Be patient, it can take awhile. Mine weren’t totally set up for a couple of hours. Of course, you don’t have to wait that long to eat one! 🙂

turtle candy Variations and substitutions

I don’t have time to make caramel what do I do? You can use soft store-bought caramels. You just need to melt them in the microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring in between them. If the caramels are a bit tough I would add a little spoonful of water to yield a smoother end result. Just pour this over the pecans to solidify them together.

Ways to mix it up?

  • Have the base be a pretzel, top it with chocolate and then with some caramel and a pecan.
  • Top with sea salt to give more contrast in flavors
  • You can also use melted white chocolate on top instead of milk chocolate

Close up of turtle candy on a white plate

How to Store Turtle Candy?

Regardless of whether you’re making these to give to neighbors, or just keeping a stash handy for yourself, 😉 store these at room temperature in a container so the caramel stays soft and no one breaks their teeth on them! 

The flavor combination of nuts caramel and chocolate is always a winner!

for more holiday goodies, try:

Turtle Candy Recipe

Every bite of these homemade caramel turtles is decadent. A perfect treat for chocolate caramel lovers!
4.77 from 39 votes
Homemade Turtles Candy recipe - Baked pecans covered in a delicious homemade caramel and topped with with melted chocolate! These treats make perfect neighbor gifts for the holidays!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Rest 1 hour
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 36
Calories 6200 kcal
Author Lil' Luna


  • 3 cups whole pecans
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup corn syrup
  • dash salt
  • 7 oz sweetened condensed milk (half of a 14 oz can)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips (I used milk chocolate chips)
  • 1/2 tsp vegetable oil or shortening


  • Place pecans in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake at 350° for about 10 minutes or till lightly browned and fragrant. Let cool. Arrange in clusters of 3-4 on silicone liners or parchment paper.
  • Combine butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, and salt in a 6 quart pot. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Add the sweetened condensed milk and vanilla.
  • Continue cooking and stirring till mixture reaches 235-240 degrees. I like to use the ice water test, it's more accurate. Drop a small spoonful of the hot caramel into a bowl of ice water. When you take it out, you should be able to roll it into a ball. Then it's done.
  • Quickly spoon the caramel over the pecan clusters, making sure caramel is touching each of the pecans. Let sit to harden.
  • Melt the chocolate chips and oil in the microwave at half power, stirring often till smooth. Spoon chocolate on top of each layer of caramel. Let sit for 1-2 hours, or till hardened.

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Recipe inspired by Jamie Cooks It Up!


These would make an awesome addition to a cookie plate if you’re the type that makes plates of treats for the neighbors during the holidays. 🙂

Thanks for sharing this recipe with us Kara! For more amazingly delicious recipes by her, head over to Creations by Kara!!

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About the Author

Kara Cook

Hi! I'm Kara from Creations by Kara, and I'm addicted to creating pretty and yummy things. I love sharing home decor ideas, DIY projects, tasty recipes, and simple tips! I hope that I am inspiring women everywhere to use their creativity to build a better life.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    Delicious! Easy to make and the caramel is soft and delicious. I recommend letting the caramel sit a bit before topping the pecans, or it is a bit too thin. Great recipe.

  2. 5 stars
    I love these suggestions. And can’t wait to make the pecan turtles. I love new receipts. And try an try them all the time

  3. Good day!
    Could you please let me know if the nutritional value is accurate for the turtle recipe?
    Thanks so much!

  4. 5 stars
    Love this I made it for my bunco crew and they said it was the best turtles they ever ate I did not have corn syrup so I substituted with honey and maple syrup so good!🥰🍯

    1. Dude, nutrition? Really? Pretty sure you can figure out that any “nutrition “ comes from the one pecan. Everything else is pure sugar! If you’re worried about that you probably shouldn’t eat it!

  5. 5 stars
    BEST RECIPE!! I have friends and family repeatedly asking me to make these again and again. I always add a pinch of coarse sea salt on top. Super easy and well written recipe!! Thx

  6. 5 stars
    Loved this caramel!! So good and so easy! Thank you for sharing this recipe. It’s definitely a keeper for holiday baking!

    1. I personally have not put them in the freezer, but they should be fine. Just make sure you thaw them ahead of time, so the caramel can get soft 🙂

  7. 5 stars
    This is an excellent recipe and relatively easy to make. Had a small Christmas dinner and everyone raved about them! I am now making two batches and with that said, I discovered that the contents of a 14 oz. sweetened condensed milk is actually 10 oz. of the milk! So if you’re following this recipe as is, it’s actually 5 oz. of SCM. I also added a just a little sea salt to the top of one group. So yummy!

  8. 5 stars
    Absolutely the best recipe ever! I have tried many and almost gave up. Decided I’ll try one more time. This turned out marvelously! My hubby is so happy perfect taste and consistency. Thanks so much!

  9. 5 stars
    These turtles are fantastic! Every Christmas I make turtles for a friend who loves them. She said these were the best she had ever eaten! So did two of my other recipients!! I agree! After reading a couple of reviews regarding the caramel not setting up enough I cooked mine to 240-245 degrees. That was perfect. I also weighed the sweetened condensed milk to be sure I was actually using the required 7 ounces. Thank you so much for this recipe! It will be the only one I use from now on!

  10. 2 stars
    Way too long for the pecans. They burned within 4 minutes. Caramel was at the right temp and balled in ice but still turned out too sticky/didn’t form enough to pick up without becoming a mess (tasty though).

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