Turtle Bars


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Indulge your sweet tooth with the ultimate homemade dessert – Turtle Bars. This mouth-watering treat combines a buttery crust, rich caramel layer, and a chocolatey topping for a decadent experience. Whether you’re a seasoned baker or a novice in the kitchen, this step-by-step guide will help you create irresistible Turtle Bars that are perfect for any occasion.


To make these delectable Turtle Bars, you’ll need the following ingredients, separated into three parts for the crust, caramel layer, and topping.

For the Crust:

  • 1/2 cup of butter
  • 2 cups of flour
  • 1 cup of brown sugar
  • 1 cup of pecan pieces

For the Caramel Layer:

  • 2/3 cup of butter
  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar

For the Topping:

  • 1 cup of milk chocolate chips

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Follow these simple steps to create your Turtle Bars. The process is divided into three main parts: preparing the crust, creating the caramel layer, and adding the chocolate topping.

Step 1: Prepare the Crust

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine 1/2 cup of butter, 2 cups of flour, and 1 cup of brown sugar. Use a pastry blender or a fork to mix the ingredients until you achieve a crumbly texture.
  3. Transfer the mixture into a 9″ x 13″ ungreased pan. Press the mixture firmly to form an even layer.
  4. Sprinkle 1 cup of pecan pieces evenly over the crust.

Step 2: Create the Caramel Layer

  1. In a saucepan, mix together 2/3 cup of butter and 1/2 cup of brown sugar.
  2. Heat the mixture over medium heat, stirring continuously, until it reaches a boiling point. Allow it to boil for 1 minute to thicken slightly.
  3. Carefully pour the caramel layer over the crust, ensuring it covers the surface evenly.

Step 3: Bake

  1. Place the pan in the preheated oven and bake for 20 minutes. The caramel layer should bubble slightly and the edges turn golden brown.

Step 4: Add the Chocolate Topping

  1. Once removed from the oven, immediately sprinkle 1 cup of milk chocolate chips over the hot caramel layer.
  2. Wait for about 5 minutes to let the chocolate chips melt. Then, using a spatula or the back of a spoon, spread the melted chocolate evenly over the top.

Step 5: Cool and Serve

  1. Allow the Turtle Bars to cool completely at room temperature. This will enable the layers to set properly.
  2. Once cooled, cut the bars into your desired portion sizes.

Serving Suggestions:

These Turtle Bars are perfect as a decadent dessert after a meal, a sweet treat for your coffee break, or a special homemade gift for friends and family. They pair wonderfully with a cup of coffee or a glass of cold milk.

Serving and Storage Tips for Turtle Bars

Turtle Bars are a delightful treat that blends the rich flavors of butter, caramel, chocolate, and pecans into a decadent dessert. To ensure that you get the most enjoyment out of these delicious bars, here are some essential tips on how to serve and store them.

Serving Tips:

  1. Serve at Room Temperature: Turtle Bars are best enjoyed at room temperature. This allows the caramel and chocolate layers to soften slightly, enhancing their flavors and textures.
  2. Cutting the Bars: Use a sharp knife to cut the bars. For cleaner slices, you can dip the knife in hot water and wipe it dry between cuts. This technique helps to easily cut through the chocolate layer without cracking it.
  3. Accompaniments: While Turtle Bars are fantastic on their own, you can elevate them by serving with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream. A sprinkle of sea salt on top can also enhance the sweet and savory flavor profile.

Storage Tips:

  1. Cool Completely Before Storing: Ensure the Turtle Bars have cooled to room temperature before storing. Storing them while they are still warm can cause condensation, making the crust soggy.
  2. Refrigeration: For short-term storage, you can keep the Turtle Bars in the refrigerator. Place them in an airtight container or wrap them tightly with plastic wrap. They can last in the fridge for up to a week. Remember to let them come to room temperature before serving for the best texture and flavor.
  3. Freezing for Longer Storage: Turtle Bars freeze well. To freeze, place the cooled bars in a single layer on a baking sheet to freeze individually. Once frozen, transfer them to a freezer-safe bag or container, separating layers with parchment paper. They can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight or at room temperature for a few hours before serving.
  4. Avoiding Stickiness: If you’re stacking the bars for storage, place a sheet of parchment paper or wax paper between each layer to prevent them from sticking together.
  5. Refreshing the Bars: If the Turtle Bars have been stored for a while and you wish to refresh them, you can briefly warm them in a 300°F oven for about 5-10 minutes. This can help to rejuvenate the caramel and chocolate layers, making them taste freshly baked.

By following these serving and storage tips, you can ensure that your Turtle Bars remain delicious and presentable, whether you’re enjoying them immediately after baking or savoring them over time.


1. Can I use different types of nuts in the Turtle Bars recipe?

Yes, you can easily customize Turtle Bars by using different types of nuts. While pecans are traditional and offer a classic flavor, you can substitute them with walnuts, almonds, or even a mix of your favorite nuts for a unique twist. The key is to ensure that the nuts are roughly chopped to provide the right texture and evenly distributed throughout the bars.

2. How do I prevent the chocolate layer from cracking when cutting the Turtle Bars?

To prevent the chocolate layer from cracking, make sure to cut the bars when they are at room temperature. A helpful tip is to use a sharp knife that has been heated by dipping it in hot water and then wiping it dry. The warmth of the knife helps to smoothly cut through the chocolate layer. Repeat the dipping and wiping process as necessary while cutting the bars.

3. Can Turtle Bars be made gluten-free?

Yes, Turtle Bars can be adapted to a gluten-free version by substituting the regular flour with a gluten-free flour blend. Look for a blend that’s designed to be a 1:1 replacement for all-purpose flour. Additionally, ensure that all other ingredients, such as chocolate chips and pecans, are certified gluten-free to avoid cross-contamination.

4. Why did my caramel layer turn out hard or chewy?

The texture of the caramel layer can vary based on cooking time and temperature. If the caramel is cooked for too long or at too high a temperature, it can become hard or too chewy. To achieve a smooth and gooey caramel layer, carefully monitor the caramel as it cooks and make sure it only boils for about 1 minute, as the recipe suggests. Also, using a candy thermometer can help you keep a more accurate check on the temperature, aiming for the soft ball stage (235°F to 240°F) for perfect caramel consistency.


Creating Turtle Bars at home is a straightforward process that results in a deliciously layered dessert. With a crumbly pecan crust, gooey caramel middle, and a smooth chocolate topping, these bars are sure to satisfy any sweet craving. Follow this recipe to bake a batch of Turtle Bars that will be remembered and requested time and time again. Happy baking!

📖 Recipe

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Turtle Bars

  • Author: Isabella
  • Total Time: 35 minutes, plus cooling
  • Yield: 24 bars
  • Diet: Vegetarian


Indulge in the ultimate sweet treat with our Turtle Bars recipe, a perfect blend of crunchy pecans, gooey caramel, and rich chocolate. This easy-to-follow recipe promises a decadent dessert that’s sure to impress at any gathering. Whether you’re a baking novice or a seasoned pro, these Turtle Bars will become your go-to for a deliciously satisfying snack.


For the Crust:

1/2 cup butter

2 cups flour

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup pecan pieces

For the Caramel Layer:

2/3 cup butter

1/2 cup brown sugar

For the Topping:

1 cup milk chocolate chips


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Mix butter, flour, and brown sugar to a crumbly texture and press into a 9×13 inch pan. Sprinkle pecans on top.
  3. For caramel, combine butter and brown sugar in a saucepan; boil for 1 minute. Pour over crust.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven, sprinkle chocolate chips, let melt, then spread.
  5. Cool, slice, and serve.


For a gluten-free version, substitute all-purpose flour with a gluten-free blend.

The bars can be stored in an airtight container for up to a week or frozen for longer storage.

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Turtle Bars recipe, caramel and chocolate dessert, pecan turtle bars, easy baking recipe, decadent dessert bars, vegetarian dessert, American cuisine

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