Turtleback Cookies

One of our Crust Club followers sent me this recipe and when I saw it, I knew I had to try it! Not only did she send me the recipe, but she sent me the history behind the recipe. These cookies originated in a bakery in Alabama back in the day, and they’ve been a local favorite for many years. Someone decided to make a copycat recipe of these cookies back in the day, and that recipe has been floating around ever since! I made them and they were so yummy that they’ve now become a family favorite!

These cookies are so scrumptious, and so fast and easy to make. They are made with a Spice cake mix and the cookies themselves, are made with only 4 ingredients. Then they are topped with a carmelly-vanilla frosting that puts them over the top!

Here is a link to an article about the bakery that created these cookies and the story behind them. I was told that the recipe in this article isn’t great, stick to the one shown below. But this article is great for reading about the origin of these cookies.

Here is the “original” recipe of the recreation of the recipe from the bakery.

Turtleback Cookies


  • 1 box Spice cake mix
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla



Preheat oven to 350 degrees.


Combine cake mix, eggs, and oil in a mixing bowl. Mix on medium speed for 2 minutes.


Stir in pecans.


Scoop out cookies onto baking sheets. (see notes below)


Bake 10-12 minutes.


While cookies are cooling, make frosting.


In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat.


Whisk in brown sugar.


Bring to a light boil and then simmer over low for 2 minutes.


Remove from heat and stir in powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla.


Whisk until smooth. Let cool.


When frosting and cookies are both cool, stir the frosting until it's smooth again and frost cookies.


I use a 1 5/8 ounce cookie scoop, which is about 3 Tablespoons. I get 12 cookies out of this recipe using that scoop and I bake my cookies for 12 minutes. If you use a smaller size scoop, bake your cookies for about 10 minutes.

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