Turtle Cookies

4.77 from 34 votes

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Turtle cookies are soft, chewy and loaded with chocolate chips, pecans and caramel bites. Gobble these up warm out of the oven with a big glass of ice-cold milk. 

Close up of multiple Turtle Cookies.
Featured with this recipe
  1. Ingredients in Turtle Cookies
  2. What are Turtle Cookies?
  3. Recipe Tips for Turtle Cookies
  4. Baking Suggestions
  5. Frequently Asked Questions About Turtle Cookies
  6. Other Cookie Recipes to Try
  7. How to make Turtle Cookies
  8. Turtle Cookies Recipe

Turtle cookies make a regular appearance in our home as it’s one of our favorite cookie recipe in the entire world. They smell incredible while baking, and will leave your fingers perfectly sticky while eating them thanks to the caramel bits and chocolate chips. Eat them hot off the wire rack or later on at room temperature. Any way you serve them, these chocolate turtle cookies will be a huge hit! If you are looking for a recipe to bring to a holiday party, a new mom, or even just for dessert, give these turtle cookies a try. You might just find it’s your new favorite cookie!

Ingredients in Turtle Cookies

This chocolate cookie dough is so yummy you’ll have little fingers sneaking cookie dough balls right off the baking sheet. Here’s what you need:

  • 1 cup butter – softened to room temperature.
  • Sugar – about ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • Brown sugar – ¾ cup packed brown sugar, either light or dark brown sugar – whatever you have on hand.
  •  Eggs – Combine the whole egg, egg yolk and egg whites together.
  • Vanilla extract – about two teaspoons
  • Unsifted flour – You’ll need about two and a quarter cups for the flour mixture.
  • Baking soda
  • Salt – I like using kosher salt or sea salt in the recipe and to sprinkle a little on the top of the one inch balls of dough.
  • Semi-sweet chocolate chips – I love the Ghirardelli brand, but you can use any of your favorite chocolate morsels.
  • Chopped pecans – or walnuts, if you prefer.
  • Caramel bits – you can buy caramel baking bits online or in the baking aisle of your grocery store.
Ingredients for Turtle Cookies including caramel bits, vanilla, eggs, salt, baking soda, flour, butter, sugars, pecans and chocolate chips.

What are Turtle Cookies?

Turtle Cookies are cookies made with all of the delicious flavors and textures traditionally found in turtle chocolate candy. Namely this means chocolate, caramel, and pecans. I’m a huge fan of turtle chocolate candy and cookie dough, so this is really a marriage of two favorite things.

Recipe Tips for Turtle Cookies

Since I’ve made the recipe for turtle cookies dozens of times (or more), I have learned a few tips and tricks that will help your cookies turn out perfect every time. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Make sure the butter is softened to room temperature. Use a paddle attachment on a stand mixer to mix the ingredients to fluffy.
  • Choose the right chocolate chip. To make these turtle cookies, be sure to use semi-sweet or even dark chocolate chips. We tried milk chocolate chips and it made the cookies way too sweet.
  • Substitute the nuts. Feel free to substitute with chopped almonds if you are not a fan of chopped pecans, or leave them out altogether if you don’t like nuts.
  • Try diced apples. Another REALLY yummy substitute is swapping the pecans out for diced dried apples. This makes the turtle cookies taste more like awesome caramel apple cookies! You can even make the dough then add apples to half and pecans to the other half if you want to try both.
Close up of a bite missing from a Turtle Cookie with a melted chocolate chip.

Baking Suggestions

  • Roll cookie dough into one inch balls, then make a slight indentation with your finger to the top of each one.
  • Grease baking pans or use silicone mats or parchment paper to keep the cookies from sticking to the sheets.
  • Serve piping hot with a tall glass of milk, or out of the freezer for a frozen treat.

Frequently Asked Questions About Turtle Cookies

What are turtle cookies made of?

You’ll find the main three components of turtle candy in these cookies: rich cookie dough filled with pecans, melted caramel and melted chocolate.

How long will homemade cookies stay fresh?

If stored in an airtight container at room temperature, these cookies will stay fresh up to two weeks. Keep them in the freezer for up to two months.

Why are they called turtle cookies?

Turtles candies get their name because the way the caramel and chocolate stacks on top with the pecans sticking out, it looks like a shell of a little turtle. These don’t look like turtles but totally taste like the famous candy.

READ NEXT: 35+ Best Easter Treats and Desserts

How to make Turtle Cookies

Close up of multiple Turtle Cookies.

Turtle Cookies

4.77 from 34 votes
Turtle Cookies combine all of the flavors and textures of a turtle candy into a scrumptious cookie. One bite and you’ll be hooked!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 48 cookies



  • Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.  In a medium size bowl, stir together flour with baking soda and salt, and set aside.
    Bowl of dry ingredients for making Turtle Cookies.
  • In large mixing bowl, beat butter with sugar and brown sugar at medium speed until creamy and lightened in color. 
    Mixing bowl of creamed sugars and butter for Turtle Cookies.
  • Add eggs and vanilla. Mix on low speed until incorporated.
    Mixing bowl of creamed butter, sugars and eggs combined for Turtle Cookies.
  • Gradually blend dry mixture into creamed mixture.
    Mixing bowl with Turtle Cookie batter without the mix ins.
  •  Stir in nuts, chocolate chips, and caramel bits. 
    Mixing bowl with Turtle cookie dough with pecans, chocolate chips and caramel bits on top.
  • Drop by tablespoon onto ungreased cookie sheets. 
    Cookie sheet with Turtle cookie balls, cookie scoop and mixing bowl of cookie dough.
  • Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until lightly browned.
    Baked Turtle Cookies on a wire cooling rack.


  • Roll cookie dough into one inch balls, then make a slight indentation with your finger to the top of each one.
  • Grease baking pans or use silicone mats or parchment paper to keep the cookies from sticking to the sheets.
  • Serve piping hot with a tall glass of milk, or out of the freezer for a frozen treat.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 150kcalCarbohydrates: 18gProtein: 2gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 18mgSodium: 91mgPotassium: 70mgFiber: 1gSugar: 12gVitamin A: 134IUVitamin C: 0.03mgCalcium: 17mgIron: 1mg

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About the author

Emily Walker

Emily lives in Meridian, Idaho, with her husband, Beau, a physician assistant, and her three incredible children: a son and two daughters. Travel is one of her favorite ways to experience new cultures and cuisines, and she has a love for all things Disney.

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  1. 3 stars
    I made these yesterday. They are a bit of a challenge. I would recommend chilling the dough, for starters. Caramel bits melt and give the cookies the appearance of the Scream painting by Munch. The taste is glorious, but the appearance made me examine them closely to choose the best-looking dozen to take to the neighborhood cookie exchange tonight. Perhaps a lower oven temperature. I used a small scoop and I had nice, rounded dough, but they really flattened out. Cool completely before touching them!

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