Turtle Cups, a delicious dessert with Magnum ice cream bars, homemade caramel, cream cheese whipped cream, and toasted pecans. Simple and elegant!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Magnum ice cream. The opinions and text are all mine.
So happy to be working with Magnum ice cream to bring you these fun Turtle Cups! The Magnum Mini Double Caramel ice cream bars are the perfect addition for dipping in the rich and decadent homemade caramel sauce and easy cream cheese whipped cream for a simple yet gourmet treat!
How could you not love a simple gourmet dessert that involves dipping? A perfect fun treat for kids, but also a gourmet dessert for adults. These mini desserts are perfect for parties any time of the year.
If you are not familiar with Magnum ice cream, they’ve been making the most amazing ice cream treats since 1989. They are one of the world’s leading ice cream brands and sell more than one billion units every year worldwide. Amazing! They brought their Belgian chocolate expertise to the United States in 2011 and are celebrating their 10th anniversary this year. As some of you probably know by now, my family loves ice cream so they have been a favorite of ours for years.
Magnum ice cream has a wide range of indulgent ice cream products from bite-sized Minis to non-dairy to regular sized ice cream bars and tubs of ice cream. Something for everyone including 28 flavors that include the highest quality ingredients, including Belgian chocolate, 33 to 68% cacao, and decadent velvety ice cream.
Their products are the perfect indulgence for a quick gourmet snack or dessert. With only 170 calories, a Magnum Mini Double Caramel ice cream bar is a great choice to satisfy a sweet tooth. These ultimate ice cream pops are made from velvety vanilla ice cream, dipped in a chocolatey coating, covered in a delicious caramel sauce, then dipped again in a 44% cacao made from Belgian chocolate, milk chocolate crackling shell.
Magnum Mini Double Caramel ice cream bars are delicious all on their own, but for a special treat I decided to pair them with my homemade caramel sauce, cream cheese whipped cream, and toasted pecans. The ice cream bars are delicious dipped in these “turtle” inspired toppings.
You don’t really need any fancy equipment to make these Turtle Cups but a few suggestions to help you…
Equipment You May Need
- Medium Saucepan – Use a good quality heavy medium saucepan for the caramel sauce. It’s also nice to use a light-colored pan such as stainless steel rather than a dark-colored pan so you can see the color changes in the caramel.
- Candy Thermometer – A candy thermometer is great to use if you are not very experienced making caramel sauce so you can test the temperature of your sugar rather than relying just on the color change.
- Electric Mixer – An electric hand mixer or a stand mixer will help get any lumps out of the cream cheese and help whip up the whipped cream in no time.
- Dessert Cups – Cute little dessert cups are perfect for these Turtle Cups. I like to use glass so you can see the layers of caramel and whipped cream.
(Full printable recipe card is at bottom of post.)
Turtle Cups Ingredients
- Magnum Mini Double Caramel Ice Cream Bars – Keep in the freezer until ready to serve the dessert cups. Or you can substitute your favorite flavor of Magnum Mini ice cream bars.
- Granulated Sugar – For the homemade caramel sauce you’ll need regular granulated sugar. Do not substitute powdered sugar or sugar substitutes.
- Water – To make homemade caramel, I like to use the “wet” method by adding a little water to the sugar before cooking.
- Butter – Try to use unsalted so you can add more or less salt to the caramel, but if you only have salted butter, reduce the amount of salt added.
- Heavy Cream – Heavy whipping cream is needed for both the caramel and whipped cream. Do not try substituting lower fat alternatives such as milk or light cream.
- Vanilla Extract – A little vanilla in both the caramel and whipped cream helps enhance the flavor but you can use your favorite extract or flavoring if you’d like. Almond extract would be a delicious addition.
- Salt – A small amount of salt in both the caramel and whipped cream makes all the difference.
- Cream Cheese – Be sure to soften the cream cheese to room temperature to prevent any lumps in the whipped cream.
- Powdered Sugar – You can add more or less powdered sugar to the whipped cream to your personal preference of sweetness.
- Pecans – Toast the pecans before using for best results. You can use your favorite nut such as walnuts or omit the nuts completely if you have a nut allergy.
How to Make Turtle Cups
Step One: Be sure to keep the ice cream bars in the freezer while you prepare the caramel sauce and whipped cream.
Step Two: Cook the sugar and water in a medium saucepan until the mixture reaches 350 degrees F and turns a medium brown or amber color. Be careful, the mixture is very hot.
Step Three: Turn off the heat and stir in the butter. Stir in the cream. Be careful, the mixture may bubble up. Stir in the vanilla and salt. The mixture may harden which is normal.
Step Four: Place the pan over low heat and stir until smooth. Turn off the heat and set aside to cool. The caramel will thicken as it cools.
Step Five: While caramel is cooling, make the cream cheese whipped cream. Beat together the cream cheese and powdered sugar until smooth. Beat in the vanilla and salt.
Step Six: In another bowl, beat heavy cream until soft peaks. Add cream cheese mixture and beat for another few minutes until stiff peaks form.
Step Seven: Assemble the dessert cups. Spoon some caramel into the bottom of small bowls. Top with some whipped cream and pecans. Place a Magnum Mini Double Caramel ice cream bar on top of each. Serve the extra caramel and whipped cream on the side. Serve immediately.
(Full printable recipe card with full details is at bottom of post.)
- You can layer the caramel, whipped cream, and nuts any way you’d like in the bowls before adding the Magnum ice cream bars.
- Serve the Turtle Cups in mini bowls or dessert cups. Glass dessert bowls or cups work great so you can see the layers of caramel, whipped cream, and nuts. Ramekins or small mason jars are also great options.
- Be sure to serve the dessert cups right away after placing the ice cream bars in so they don’t melt.
Quick Tips for Best Results
- For the caramel, watch the sugar closely. It will go from undercooked to burnt in seconds. The caramel will also thicken as it cools. Be sure to let it cool before adding to the dessert cups so that the ice cream bars don’t melt too quickly.
- For the cream cheese whipped cream, place the bowls and beaters in the freezer for about 10 minutes before if you can. It will help the heavy cream whip up quickly.
- Keep the Magnum ice cream bars in the freezer until right before ready to serve. Be sure the caramel is not too hot so that the ice cream bars do not melt right away.
Turtle Cups FAQ
How should I store everything?
Any leftover caramel sauce and/or whipped cream should be stored covered in the refrigerator. Any leftover ice cream bars should be stored in the freezer.
Can I freeze the caramel or whipped cream?
You can freeze the caramel sauce in an airtight freezer friendly container for about 3 months. The cream cheese whipped cream can also be frozen for a few months.
How long will everything last?
The caramel sauce should last at least a few days or up to about 2 weeks if well stored in the refrigerator. The cream cheese whipped cream will last a few days in the fridge.
Can I make these Turtle Cups ahead of time?
You can make the caramel sauce and cream cheese whipped cream ahead of time and store covered in the refrigerator but assemble the cups right before serving.
Instead of the cream cheese whipped cream, you can substitute premade sweetened whipped cream. Instead of pecans, you can use your favorite nut such as walnuts, or omit if you have a nut allergy.
Can I use low-fat ingredients?
I would not recommend using low fat cream cheese or cream for either the caramel or whipped cream.
What else can I add to this recipe?
Instead of or in addition to the vanilla extract, you can use your favorite extract or flavoring.
Can I make this vegan/vegetarian/low carb/gluten-free?
Here are some suggestions, but I can’t guarantee results. Be sure as always to check particular brands and ingredients if you’re following a specific diet or have diet restrictions or allergies.
Vegan – This would be a tough one to make vegan since there are a lot of dairy products in the caramel and whipped cream, but for vegan treats check out Magnum Non Dairy Frozen Dessert Bars.
Vegetarian – These dessert cups are vegetarian.
Low-Carb – To make these Turtle Cups a little lower in carbs you can serve with less caramel or less of the whipped cream. You can also add less sugar to the whipped cream.
Other Sweet Recipes You May Enjoy
- Cannoli Cream – This would be a great substitute for the cream cheese whipped cream in this recipe for an Italian version.
- Peanut Butter Dessert Sauce – If the homemade caramel isn’t quite your thing, this peanut butter sauce would be perfect for ice cream bar dipping!
- Caramel Cheesecake Dip – Another great “dip” option for Magnum ice cream bars.
Hope you enjoy these Turtle Cups with Magnum ice cream. Tell me in the comments how you enjoyed them or how you made the recipe your own.
- 6 Magnum Mini Double Caramel ice cream bars
- Keep the Magnum ice cream bars in the wrappers in the freezer until ready to serve.
- Start by making the caramel. Mix the granulated sugar and water in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook for about 5 minutes or until sugar dissolves. Try not to stir and use a pastry brush dipped in water to remove any sugar crystals that form around edges of the pan. Continue to cook until mixture turns a medium brown or amber color and reaches 350 degrees F on a candy thermometer. Gently swirl pan to stir mixture as needed.
- Turn off the heat from the caramel. Stir in the butter. Then slowly add the 3/4 cup of cream being careful as it may bubble up. Stir in 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract and 1/4 teaspoon of salt.
- Turn heat back on low and simmer the mixture while stirring until smooth, about 1-2 minutes. Turn off heat, and set aside to cool.
- Meanwhile, prepare cream cheese whipped cream. Beat together softened cream cheese and powdered sugar in a cold medium mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth and well combined. Beat in 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract and 1/4 teaspoon of salt.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat 1 cup of heavy cream until soft peaks form. Spoon cream mixture into whipped cream and beat with electric mixer for about 2-3 minutes or until stiff peaks form.
- Assemble dessert cups. Spoon about 2-3 Tablespoons of caramel into the bottom of small bowls. Top with 2-3 Tablespoons of whipped cream. Sprinkle pecans on top. Place a Magnum Mini Double Caramel ice cream bar in each cup. Serve immediately. Serve extra caramel sauce and whipped cream on the side.
- For caramel: Be careful making the caramel as homemade caramel can go from light brown amber color to burnt quickly. The mixture is also very hot so be careful. Store any leftover caramel and whipped cream in the refrigerator.
- For whipped cream: Use a cold mixing bowl and beaters when whipping the heavy cream.
- Instead of the cream cheese whipped cream, you can use premade sweetened whipped cream.
- Instead of pecans, you can use your favorite nut such as walnuts or omit if you have a nut allergy.
(Nutrition data is provided when available for informational purposes only and calculated using an online nutritional calculator. For the most accurate information please calculate based on specific ingredients and brands you use as well as any changes you made to the recipe. I am not a certified nutritionist or registered dietician and any nutritional information provided should only be used as a general guideline and estimate.)