Skip to Content

Pecan Turtles

Sharing is caring!

These Pecan Turtles are quick, easy and elegant. They are the perfect mix of sweet and salty and make a great thank you or neighbor gift! With only 3 ingredients, it’s hard to mess these up!


Pecan Turtles - Main image for recipe


Have you ever wondered where the name turtle came from, when combining pecans, caramels and chocolate?

I sure have.

I’m a huge fan of all things turtle but could never understand the name.

Caramels, pecans and chocolate have nothing to do with a turtle.

Other than the obvious they don’t eat any of them.

So where did the name come from and why did it stick?


Pecan Turtles cookie sheet with a pile of pecans and a pile of caramels on top


In 1918 dipping pecans in chocolate was a common candy.

However it wasn’t until a salesman walked into the dipping room of Johnson’s Candy Company and showed one of the dippers a new creation he had come up with.

It was this unnamed dipper who said that the candy looked like a turtle.

The name stuck!

Sadly, the name of the dipper who coined the term Turtle for all things caramel, pecan and chocolate is not named.


Pecan Turtles - pecans fanned out in star pattern on cookie sheet


And thus their story is unknown.

I for one, think that person deserves a royalty from all the sales of the traditional turtle candy!  

However there is no documentation of that ever happening.

All of this was unknown to me until recently.

It wasn’t until I made these classic Pecan Turtles that it hit me as to why they are called candy Turtles.

I’m sure if I dipped the entire Turtle candy in chocolate, it would resemble a turtle on top.


Pecan Turtles - caramel placed on top of pecans on cookie sheet


However, it was most obvious when I flipped the turtle over and looked at the bottom that the image of a turtle jumped out at me.

However, here’s the kicker. 

I’ve seen a LOT of candy Turtle recipes on social media.

Sadly, most just use three pecans.

I suspect it’s for ease but they look odd to me.

Turtles have two arms, two legs and a head!  


Pecan Turtles - caramels melted on top of pecans


Thus needing five pecans.

So please don’t short change the turtle!  Give him 2 arms, 2 legs and a head!  

Tails are optional and perhaps you can shape one out of caramel or chocolate – IF you have the time!

Now that you know the history of the candy Turtle, I should admit right now that I am addicted to all things “turtle” related.

Not the animal turtle, but the turtle treat.

Chocolate, caramel and pecans all mixed together to form a tasty sweet treat is a weakness of mine!


Pecan Turtles - chocolate smeared on top of caramel


If you don’t believe me, this is the 4th turtle based recipe on this website.

It’s also the most authentic in terms of an actual Pecan Turtle chocolate.

The others are variations of the basic idea of a Pecan Turtle but made completely different.

You should really go check those other recipes out (links to them are under the recipe) as I think you’ll like them as much as I do!

The problem with the Pecan Turtle in my house is that I’m not the only person who likes these.

Normally this isn’t a problem.


Pecan Turtles - full cookie sheet of ready turtles


Typically when I’m the only person who likes something I give away the extras to prevent myself from eating them all and gaining weight.

Not with these though.

These are consumed by others in my house.

Which means that I can’t get rid of them, leading me to CONSTANTLY snack on them because I can’t seem to stop myself.

Which then puts me in the most delicious sugar coma ever.

If I had any viable will power, or ability to resist these Pecan Turtles, keeping them in the house wouldn’t be a problem.


Pecan Turtles - turtle lifted up to show underside layers of pecans, caramel and chocolate


The problem is ME!

This then leads me to tell you that because I have no will power, I don’t make these very often.

These are an easy special occasion treat in my house.

A quick and easy, yet elegant, thank you gift for friends, neighbors or teachers.

They are something I might make over the holidays for a cookie exchange or to have out for when company comes over.

I do not however tend to make these for just me because of my lack of control.


Turtle Pecans


It’s as easy as that.

Now if you are the type of person who when stopping at a candy shop always buys a turtle, then you should try this recipe.

It’s easy make these from home and you’ll save yourself TONS of money.

Plus they really do taste amazing.

It’s everything a Pecan Turtle should be with the sweet meets salty combination that you too will find yourself unable to stop eating them!

Give these quick and easy Pecan Turtles a try and let me know what you think!


Yield: 24 Turtles

Pecan Turtles

Turtle Pecans

These Pecan Turtles are quick, easy and elegant. They are the perfect mix of sweet and salty and make a great thank you or neighbor gift! With only 3 ingredients, it's hard to mess these up!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes


  • Pecans (120 halves)
  • 24 individually wrapped caramels, unwrapped
  • 12 ounces high quality chocolate (we like Ghirardelli brand)


  1. Preheat oven to 300*F.
  2. Line a cookie sheet with a baking mat or non-stick foil.
  3. Lay 5 pecans down on cookie sheet in a star pattern, making sure they touch at the center point.
  4. Place unwrapped caramel in the center of pecans.
  5. You should be able to get 12 turtles on a single cookie sheet.
  6. Bake for 8 - 10 minutes. Caramels should be soft but not melted.
  7. With the back of a spoon, while turtles are still warm, squish caramel down so it smooshes into the pecans.
  8. Gently melt chocolate in a double broiler pan or in a heat proof bowl over a pot of boiling water. Spread a generous amount of chocolate on top of each turtle and allow to cool.
  9. Once cooled to the touch, attempt to not eat the entire pan by yourself!


Nutritional Information is estimated, not exact.

Nutrition Information:



Amount Per Serving: Calories: 144Total Fat: 8.3gSaturated Fat: 3.5gCholesterol: 3mgSodium: 20mgCarbohydrates: 16gFiber: 1gSugar: 11.8gProtein: 1.8g

Sharing is caring!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Barb LaGrow

Sunday 22nd of December 2019

I was looking for a recipe exactly like this. I saw ones where you had to melt the carmels first with condensed milk I thought well I guess I can't do it simple but I can. I bought 5 bags of caramels on sale. Thank you so much you saved me.


Monday 23rd of December 2019

Barb I am so glad you find this recipe to be easy! I certainly do! I love homemade caramels but sometimes I just don't have the time! This quick and easy recipe is delicious and easy enough for kids too! I hope you enjoy them as much as we do! Merry Christmas!


Saturday 27th of October 2018

Can you use a Hershey Kiss instead of the melted chocolate?


Monday 24th of August 2020

Yes, however the Hershey kiss wont melt on it, so it will look like a Kiss.


Wednesday 27th of December 2017

I LOVE this recipe! I will say Werther's soft caramels are ideal for this recipe and the temp/time needs to be adjusted for Werther's caramels. I set the oven to 250 and left them 4-5 minutes watching closely. I made a turtle army for Christmas using this recipe and they were a huge hit!! Thank you for posting!


Tuesday 5th of March 2019

Elecia, thank you for using my recipe! So glad to hear that these were a success for you! These are such a tasty treat around the Christmas season! Thank you for your comment!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Skip to Recipe