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Earthquake Cake

Review Recipe
overhead shot of Earthquake Cake in a baking dish
With toasted coconut, crunchy pecans, and tunnels of creamy filling, this earthquake cake sends a shockwave right to your tastebuds.
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Table of Contents
  1. Earthquake Cake Ingredients
  2. How To Make This Earthquake Cake Recipe
  3. How To Serve
  4. Storage
  5. More Recipes You’ll Love
  6. JUMP TO RECIPE

This earthquake cake is gooey, chocolatey, and full of tasty surprises with every bite. From the big dollops of cream cheese to the crunchy pecans and coconut combined with chocolate cake mix, this fabulous cake takes you by surprise, in a good way!

a close up shot of a piece of Earthquake Cake on a plate

Earthquake Cake Ingredients

Earthquake Cake raw ingredients that are labeled

You’ll need:

  • 1½ cups of flaked sweetened coconut
  • 1 (15.25-ounce) box of chocolate fudge cake mix
  • 1⅛ cups water (1 cup plus 2 tablespoons)
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 (8-ounce) package of cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 2¾ cups of powdered sugar
  • 1½ cups of chopped pecans
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

SUBSTITUTIONS AND ADDITIONS

CAKE MIX: This is where you could play around and have some fun with your earthquake cake. German chocolate flavor, Devil’s food cake, or classic chocolate cake mixes work well, or you could change up flavors to make this into anything you like. I have seen vanilla earthquake cake all the way to pumpkin earthquake cake. The possibilities are truly endless.

CHOCOLATE CHIPS: White chocolate chips would add another tasty element to this delicious cake.

WATER: For an extra twist, try using coffee in place of water.

NUTS: If you have an allergy or don’t like nuts, they can be left out of this recipe without substituting anything else. If you want to replace the nuts with extra chocolate chips, that is also a great option.

How To Make This Earthquake Cake Recipe

STEP ONE: Preheat the oven to 350°F.

STEP TWO: The coconut can be added as is, or you can toast it. If you prefer toasted coconut, toast coconut in a skillet on the stovetop over low heat, stirring often, or broil in the oven, until slightly browned. This should only take 2 to 3 minutes.

STEP THREE: In a large mixing bowl, mix together the cake mix, water, eggs, and oil. Mix on low until well combined. Set aside.

PRO TIP:

Use our measurements for the boxed cake add-ins rather than what is directed on the box.

STEP FOUR: In a medium bowl using a hand mixer, cream together the cream cheese, melted butter, and vanilla. Add the powdered sugar and mix until smooth. Set aside.

PRO TIP:

Make sure your cream cheese is at room temperature to ensure you don’t end up with lumps in your mixture.

cream cheese, butter, and vanilla whisked in a bowl

STEP FIVE: Grease the bottom only of a 9×13-inch baking pan. Evenly spread the coconut, pecans, and chocolate chips on the bottom of the pan.

coconut, pecan, and chocolate chip spread to the bottom of the pan and pour cake mix on top and then cream cheese

STEP SIX: Pour cake mix over the top of the coconut, pecans, and chocolate chips; spread evenly.

STEP SEVEN: Drop dollops of the cream cheese mixture all over the cake, then use a wooden skewer or butter knife to swirl it into the cake mix.

STEP EIGHT: Bake in the preheated oven for 40 to 45 minutes.

PRO TIP

Do not use the toothpick test to check this cake for doneness. If the cake jiggles only slightly in the middle, then it is done. The baking time will vary depending on your oven as well as the type of cake pan you used.

cake baked in a baking pan

STEP NINE: Let the cake cool slightly before cutting. It will be gooey inside.

PRO TIP

Part of the charm of this cake is the way it comes out looking uneven and messy. Don’t aim for perfection for this divine cake.

How To Serve

Any chocolate lover will adore this fun cake. Add a scoop of whipped cream on top and a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side to make this dessert extra decadent.

If you are a lover of all things chocolate, you need to try our delectable desserts, including our chocolate lasagna and this chocolate mayonnaise cake, which is a moist chocolate cake recipe, with a unique ingredient.

Storage

IN THE FRIDGE: This chocolate earthquake cake should be stored in the fridge in between servings and for up to three days. This will keep all of the ingredients, especially the cream cheese clumps, super fresh. Simply pop a piece into the microwave to get the gooey texture back if preferred.

IN THE FREEZER: Store this decadent cake in the freezer for up to a month.

a close up shot of a pieces of Earthquake Cake on a plate

The top of this gooey chocolate earthquake cake cracks open during baking, and tunnels of sweet cream cheese in the middle of the cake give it extra sweetness and rich flavors. This is definitely one earthquake you’ll want to experience over and over again!

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Can I freeze this cake?

You can freeze this cake in an airtight container for up to a month.

What is an earthquake cake?

Earthquake cake is a gooey cake filled with cream cheese pockets that cause the cake to shift and crack open during baking, leaving the top looking uneven with hills and valleys of chocolate and full of cream cheese tunnels; hence the name.

Can I make the cake batter from scratch?

If you would prefer to use your own cake recipe, you certainly can. Just mix it up and then add the rest of the ingredients as listed.

Can I leave the nuts out of this recipe?

If you have an allergy or don’t like nuts, they can be left out of this recipe without substituting anything else. If you want to replace the nuts with extra chocolate chips, that is also a great option.

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overhead shot of Earthquake Cake in a baking dish

Earthquake Cake

5 from 2 votes
With toasted coconut, crunchy pecans, and tunnels of creamy filling, this earthquake cake sends a shockwave right to your tastebuds.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 12

Ingredients
  

  • cups sweetened coconut, flaked
  • 15.25 ounce box chocolate fudge cake mix
  • 1⅛ cups water (or 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons)
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • cups pecans, chopped

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • If desired, toast the coconut in a skillet on the stovetop over low heat, stirring often, or broil in the oven for 2 to 3 minutes.
  • In a large bowl, mix together the cake mix, water, eggs, and oil. Mix on low until well combined. Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, using a mixer, cream together the cream cheese, melted butter, and vanilla. Add powdered sugar and mix until smooth. Set aside.
  • Grease the bottom only of a 9×13-inch baking pan. Evenly spread the coconut, pecans, and chocolate chips on the bottom of the pan.
  • Pour the cake mix over the top; spread evenly.
  • Drop dollops of cream cheese mixture throughout the cake and use a skewer or butter knife to swirl slightly into the cake mix.
  • Bake for 40 to 45 minutes.
  • Let the cake cool slightly before cutting. It will be gooey inside.

Notes

  • Use our measurements for the boxed cake add-ins rather than what is directed on the box.
  • Make sure your cream cheese is at room temperature to ensure you don’t end up with lumps in your mixture.
  • Do not use the toothpick test to check this cake for doneness. If the cake jiggles only slightly in the middle, then it is done. The baking time will vary depending on your oven as well as the type of cake pan you used.
  • Part of the charm of this cake is the way it comes out looking uneven and messy. Don’t aim for perfection for this divine cake.

Nutrition

Calories: 633kcal | Carbohydrates: 70g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 38g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 13g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 81mg | Sodium: 466mg | Potassium: 336mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 51g | Vitamin A: 565IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 101mg | Iron: 3mg
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