Note: Caramel will thicken as it cools. If your caramel becomes too thick, reheat in the microwave for 5 to 10 seconds, don’t add more liquid. For best results, stir the caramel with a whisk when it first comes out of the microwave to finish melting all of the candies. This will keep the glaze from becoming too thin and will let it cool to a spreading consistency more quickly.
1 package chocolate cake mix (15.25 oz.)
1 bag caramels, unwrapped (11 oz.)
3 tablespoons milk
6 cups confectioner's sugar
1 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened (3 sticks)
1/3 cup milk, plus 1-2 tbsp. if needed, to achieve a spreadable consistency
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 packageFisher® Pecan Halves, divided (6 oz.)
6 chocolate turtles
4 ounces semisweet chocolate bar
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
Cake: Prepare cake in 2 9-inch pans, according to package directions; cool completely.
Caramel Glaze: Combine caramels and milk in a medium microwavable bowl. Microwave on HIGH for 1 to 1½ minutes, stirring every 30 seconds until the caramels are melted and mixture is smooth. Set aside to cool while preparing the frosting.
Frosting: Beat sugar, butter, ⅓ cup milk and vanilla together in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on low speed until the mixture comes together. Increase speed to medium until fluffy, adding addition milk if needed to reach a spreading consistency.
Assembly: Coarsely chop ½ cup of pecan halves that will be used for Garnish, set aside. Place one cake layer, parchment removed, bottom side down on a serving platter. Top with about 1 cup of frosting. Spread ¼ cup caramel glaze on top, leaving a 1-inch border and sprinkle with the chopped pecan halves.
Place the second cake layer, bottom side up, parchment removed, on top of the first layer. Set aside about ¾ cup of frosting for the swirls on top of the cake. Spread a thin coating of frosting around the sides and top of the cake to seal in any crumbs. Freeze for 5 to 10 minutes or until the frosting is set. Coat with the remaining frosting. Smooth the sides and top by taking an icing spatula and dipping it in hot water. Dry the spatula and lightly scrape the frosting. Press pecan halves onto lower edge of the sides of the cake. Refrigerate the cake while preparing the chocolate glaze.
Chocolate Glaze: Combine chocolate, butter, and corn syrup in a 1 cup glass measuring cup. Microwave on HIGH for 30 seconds, stir and return to microwave for an addition 15 seconds. There will still be some unmelted pieces of chocolate, stir to melt them, returning to the microwave for 5 to 10 seconds, if needed to reheat the mixture. Refrigerate for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until the glaze has cooled and thickened but is still thin enough to drip down the sides of the cake.
Remove the cake from the refrigerator and spoon the chocolate towards the sides of the cake to make sure you get a good number of drips. Cover the top of the cake with the chocolate glaze to create a solid layer. Place the cake in the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes to set the chocolate.
Remove the cake from the refrigerator and spread the remaining caramel over the top of the cake, allowing it to drizzle down the sides. The caramel sauce will need to be very cool and thick in order for it to not melt the chocolate. Spread the caramel by carefully tilting the cake to avoid blending it with the chocolate layer.
Meanwhile, place the reserved ¾ cup of frosting into a pastry bag fitted with a star tip. Pipe 6 swirls in a circle onto the top of the cake leaving a 1-inch border with no frosting. Place pecan halves between the swirls and fill the center with the turtle candies. Refrigerate the cake for a few hours to set. Remove from refrigerate 1 hour before serving to soften the caramel.