The ultimate mashup, this turtle pie recipe is inspired by both pecan pie and turtle pie for one unbelievably tasty dessert. Made with zero refined sugars, plenty of sweetness, and a little added crunch, it bakes in 35 minutes or less for a quick recipe everyone will love. Serve it with a scoop of ice cream and a drizzle of caramel sauce for a truly decadent treat!
Who doesn’t love a good pecan pie? Especially around the holidays! Sweet, gooey, and full of crunchy pecans, they’re irresistibly delicious and one of my favorite desserts. However, this year I decided to switch things up and elevate this classic recipe even further.
So, without further ado, let me introduce you to my turtle pecan pie recipe! Not quite your typical pecan pie and definitely not a standard turtle pie, this recipe is made without cream cheese, refined sugars, or corn syrup. Instead, I took the best of both recipes and combined them into one simple treat.
The result is a super satisfying pie that’s absolutely loaded with pecans, chocolate, and decadent caramel! Seriously, recipes don’t get better than this. Whip it up a day in advance and serve it with a drizzle of caramel sauce. Just be prepared for your guests to ask for seconds!
What is Turtle Pie?
Based on the old fashion candy, turtle pie contains all the necessary flavors of chocolate, caramel, and pecans. Typically, the dessert is made with a chocolate Oreo crust and a cream cheese filling.
However, I decided to switch things up a bit and turn a standard pecan pie into a fun turtle pie with a few twists! Instead of corn syrup, we use a homemade maple caramel sauce that helps to “glue” the chocolate and pecans together in a nice flaky pie shell. Yep, it’s as good as it sounds and even better with a dollop of whipped cream or ice cream scoop on top.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Maple syrup - Used to create the caramel sauce and add sweetness to the turtle pie without corn syrup or refined sugars.
- Sweetened condensed coconut milk - Adds a rich, creamy texture and rich taste while keeping the recipe dairy free. If preferred, regular sweetened condensed milk works just as well.
- Vanilla extract - Necessary in all baked goods for the best flavor!
- Sea salt - Enhances the natural sweetness of the rest of the ingredients.
- Eggs - Help provide a rich taste as well as structure so your filling doesn’t fall apart. I haven’t tried this turtle pie recipe with a flax or chia egg but would love to know how it goes if you give it a shot!
- Chocolate chips
- Pecans - I use semi-sweet chocolate chips, but dark chocolate or dairy free varieties would taste great, too.
- Pie crust - Create your own homemade pie crust, or keep things simple with your favorite store-bought option.
How to Make a Turtle Pecan Pie without Corn Syrup
This is one of the easiest homemade pies you’ll ever make. If making the crust yourself, you will need a food processor or mixer for the dough, a rolling pin, and a 9-inch pie pan. Then, for the filling all you’ll need are a saucepan and a large mixing bowl.
Step 1: Create the maple caramel sauce. Warm the maple syrup and sweetened condensed milk in a saucepan over medium heat until the mixture begins to simmer, stirring consistently. After two minutes, reduce the heat to low, and continue to cook until the mixture is thick and golden brown.
Once thick, stir in the vanilla and sea salt and set the mixture aside to cool for at least 10 minutes.
Step 2: Prepare the turtle pie filling. Reserve 3 tablespoons of the caramel sauce, and pour the rest into a large mixing bowl. Beat the eggs into the caramel until they are well incorporated. Then, fold in the chocolate chips and pecans.
Step 3: Bake the pie. Pour the filling into a pie crust, and bake until the center is slightly jiggly but not soupy. Once baked, let the pie freest for at least 6 hours or up to overnight to set.
Step 4: Serve. Drizzle the reserved caramel sauce on top of the turtle pecan pie, slice, and serve with a dollop of whipped cream or ice cream on top!
- Watch the caramel sauce closely while it’s heating up. The maple syrup can easily create bubbles when it’s warmed up, and if you step away for too long it could boil over. It only needs to simmer for about 2 minutes. Then, you can reduce the heat to low and let it be for a bit.
- Let the caramel cool down before you whisk in the eggs. The caramel should be cool enough that you can stick a finger in it and it’s just slightly warm. Even better if it’s completely cool! You just don’t want it to be super hot, or you risk cooking the eggs when you mix them in.
- Let the pie set. It needs at least 6 hours, preferably overnight, to set and firm up. When the pie comes out of the oven it will be slightly wiggly but after it sets, the middle shouldn’t move when you nudge it.
This turtle pie stores really well! Simply cover the top with aluminum foil or plastic wrap. It will keep for up to 5 days out on the counter or for up to one week in the fridge.
Frequently Asked Questions
It’s based on the classic candy and contains chocolate, caramel, and pecans.
Yes! Use a gluten free pie crust, store-bought or homemade, to make this turtle pecan pie without corn syrup gluten free.
If you use dairy free chocolate chips this is a completely dairy free pie.
Looking for more delicious pies? Check out these easy recipes:
PS : If you make this recipe, be sure to leave a star review and comment below! Also be sure to follow along with me on Instagram and Pinterest to stay up to date on all tasty recipes here at The Fit Peach!
- ¾ cup maple syrup
- 7 oz sweetened condensed coconut milk - or sweetened condensed milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 3 eggs
- ⅔ cup chocolate chips
- 1 ½ cup pecans
- 9 inch pie crust - store bought or homemade
- In a saucepan, heat the maple syrup and sweetened condensed coconut milk over medium heat until it begins to simmer. Watch the pot carefully as once it starts to warm up, bubbles will form on top and you need to stir it consistently to prevent it from boiling over. Allow the mixture to simmer for 2 minutes and then reduce the heat to low and cook for another 5 - 7 minutes until thick and golden brown. You can step away for a bit once it’s on low heat.
- After the caramel has thickened up, stir in the vanilla and sea salt and set aside to cool down for at least 10 minutes. You don’t want the caramel to be too warm or it may cook the eggs and melt the chocolate. Preheat oven to 350 F during this time.
- Once the caramel has cooled down enough that you can touch it with your finger, reserve about 3 tablespoon in a separate jar and pour the rest into a large mixing bowl. Add the eggs and beat well to incorporate. Then fold in the chocolate chips and pecans.
- Pour the mixture into a pie crust and bake in the oven for 30 - 35 minutes. Gently nudge the pie in the oven to check if it’s done. It should be a little jiggly in the middle but not super soupy. Let the pie rest for at least 6 hours to set before enjoying. I personally prefer to have the pie set overnight.
- When ready to serve, drizzle the reserved caramel sauce over top and use a sharp knife to cut the pie into slices.