Chocolate Turtles and Rum Cake.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Twas the night before Christmas Eve and all through the house bared the scent of festive cooking! Today we had a pre-Christmas feast and on the menu was a roast chicken, roasted brussel sprouts, sautéed carrots, and roast pork all thanks to my mom. My sister and I tackled the cheddar jalapeno cornbread muffins, smashed potatoes, golden rum cake and homemade turtles.  A lot of food right? Yep! We were stuffed to the max.  I can’t even imagine preparing more food on Christmas day. The thought of food right now is making me feel ill and that’s quite rare.  Thankfully we have a lot of leftovers for tomorrow so I can take a little break from cooking.

As for the recipes today, I am going to share with you the homemade turtles and golden rum cake.  Both recipes turned out fantastic and were very simple/no-fuss recipes.  The turtles took no more than 5 minutes to make and they are perfect for packing in a cute container and giving to someone as a gift.  A few of the pecans on the bottom of each cluster didn't get enough of the melted caramel to mold together and so there were a few spare pecans that fell off.  Overall the batch turned out really well and the combo of the toasted pecan and sea salt gave them great flavour. The rum cake turned out really moist and not overly strong in rum flavor.  It was so fluffy and light but the top was golden brown with crunchy walnuts. Both excellent recipes for any holiday dinner party!

Homemade Chocolate Turtles

  • 2/3 cup pecans, toasted
  • 16 individually wrapped soft caramel candies
  • 16 bittersweet or milk chocolate disks (1″ to 1 1/2″ disks)
  • A pinch of Fleur de Sel or other sea salt, to garnish each candy


1. Preheat the oven to 325°F.  

2. Divide the pecans into 16 small piles on a parchment paper or a lightly greased cookie   sheet (I placed 5 pecans together to form a little pile)

3. Flatten each caramel with your fingers and place on the pecan pile.

4. Place the tray into the heated oven for 2 to 3 minutes or until the caramel softens and begins to melt.

5. Remove tray from the oven and place a chocolate disk upon each cluster, gently pressing the chocolate down into the softened caramel. If your chocolate is too thick and not melting properly, just toss the sheet back into the oven for 30 seconds so that the chocolate melts a bit more.

6. Top each cluster with a pinch of salt and allow the caramel and chocolate to cool and set before removing candies from the pan.

Golden Rum Cake

  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 (18.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix
  • 1 (3.4 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup dark rum
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark rum


 1.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease and flour a 10 inch Bundt pan and sprinkle chopped nuts evenly over the bottom of the pan.

2.  In a large bowl, combine cake mix and pudding mix. Mix in the eggs, 1/2 cup skim milk, oil and 1/2 cup rum. Blend well.

3.  Pour batter over chopped nuts in the pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Let sit for 10 minutes in the pan, and then turn out onto serving plate.

4.  Poke holes all over the cake using a wooden skewer or toothpick.  Brush glaze over top and sides. Allowing the cake to absorb glaze.

5.  To make the glaze: in a saucepan, combine butter, 1/4 cup water and 1 cup sugar. Bring to a boil over medium heat and continue to boil for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in 1/2 cup rum.

  • There was a lot of glaze in the saucepan and I didn’t want the cake to be overly moist.  I ended up saving half of the glaze and placed it in a dish on the side.  If guests wanted more rum-butter goodness they could drizzle the glaze over their piece of the cake.  It is up to you how much glaze you want to put on the cake.
  • Please use good quality dark rum.  Appleton’s, Captain Morgan’s or Havana Club all work well.

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  1. The smell of the rum bake baking was amazing.

  2. Both look fantastic - perfect for the holidays.

  3. Oh my gosh, those turtles are crying out to me. They look amazing. I can't believe you prepared all that food before Christmas. Ambitious bunch! Enjoy your Christmas Day too! :)

  4. Love the turtles and the rum cake!! Absolutely gorgeous and delicious :)

  5. What a great quick way to make turtles. And rum cake-Invite me any day!

  6. Love how you started off the post

  7. thanks everyone :) more baking goodies to come!

  8. Oooh lala. Love the rum cake ... Merry Christmas Natalie. :)

  9. Two of my favorite desserts. Have a wonderful Christmas.


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