Chocolate Mocha Turtle Cake

Unsweetened cocoa powder
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 C buttermilk
2/3 C oil
2 C flour
1 3/4 C sugar
1/2 C unsweetened cocoa powder
1 Tbsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 C brewed hot coffee
2 (16 oz.) cans chocolate frosting
1 1/2 C pecan halves, toasted
3/4 C caramel ice cream topping

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease three 9″ pans. Line bottom of pans with parchment paper. Grease paper then dust with cocoa powder. Set pans aside.
2. In a small bowl, stir together egg, buttermilk and oil; set aside. In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, 1/2 C cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Gradually add buttermilk mixture, beating until combined. Gradually beat in hot coffee. Pour batter into prepared pans; spreading evenly. The layers will be shallow.
3. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool cakes on wire racks for 10 minutes. Loosen sides from pans; invert cakes on racks and remove from pans. Peel off paper and cool completely.
4. When cakes are cool, place one layer top side down on serving plate. Frost this layer with 3/4 C frosting, pushing it out slightly at the edges to create a ripple effect. Place 1/3 C pecans on top of frosting; then top with 1/4 C caramel topping. Repeat with other 2 layers. Chill 1-2 hours before serving.

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