Chocolate Caramel Turtle Cake

Time: 20 minutes prep + 45 minutes baking
Yield: 12 servings
Recipe adapted from The Cake Mix Bible

1 Chocolate Cake Mix
1/3 C flour
1 (3.4 ounce) chocolate pudding
4 eggs
1 1/2 C water
1/3 C oil
1/3 C sour cream
1 t vanilla
1 (14 ounce) package of wrapped caramels or 2 1/2 C caramel bits
1/2 C butter
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 C pecans, chopped

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. 
2. Grab a chocolate cake mix and dump it into your stand mixer, or large mixing bowl. Add 1/3 cup flour and 1 small package of instant chocolate pudding. Toss it around a bit to combine. 
3. Add 4 eggs, 1 1/2 cups water, 1/3 cup oil, 1 teaspoon vanilla and 1/3 cup sour cream. Mix on low for 30 seconds. Scrape the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula and mix on medium speed for 2 minutes, or until the batter is nice and glossy. 
4. Spray a 9x13 pan with cooking spray. Pour half...(only HALF) of the batter into the pan. Toss it in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. 
5. While the bottom half of the cake bakes, grab some caramels. You need 1 (14 ounce) bag of wrapped caramels, or 2 1/2 cups of these handy caramel bits. If you are using the Caramel Bits be sure to buy two bags, one is not enough for this recipe. You could make this fabulous Halloween Munch Mix with the leftovers. :) 
6. Toss the caramel into a medium-sized sauce pan. Add 1/2 cup butter and put the pan on the stove. Over medium high heat, stir the caramel and butter together. Don't be worried if it looks kind of yucky like this. Once the caramel gets warm enough it will melt nicely for you.
7. Remove the pan from the heat and add 1 can of sweetened condensed milk. Stir it well to combine. 
8. Take the cake from the oven and pour the caramel over the top. Make sure the whole cake gets covered up. Some of it will seep down the sides of the cake. (That's the best part, in my book). 
9. Pour the remaining cake batter on top of the caramel and carefully smooth it out. 
10. Roughly chop 1 cup of pecans and sprinkle them on top of the cake. 
11. Place the pan back in the oven and bake for 30 more minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the top layer of the cake comes out clean. 
12. Allow the cake to cool for 15 minutes, then you are ready to dig in! 

Enjoy!

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