Earthquake Cake

Earthquake Cake

4.9 from 28 reviews

A fun and easy chocolate cake recipe with the flavors of pecans, coconut and pockets of sweetened cream cheese. This family friendly sweet treat has craters and crevices that give it that unique name.  For an over the top treat serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. 


  • 1 1/2 cups chopped pecan
  • 1 1/2 cups sweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 box chocolate cake mix
  • Eggs, oil and water according to cake mix package
  • 1 1/4 cups chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon flour
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese softened to room temperature
  • 3 cups powdered sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a deep 9×13-inch pan with nonstick baking spray. Evenly sprinkle pecans and coconut in the bottom of the pan.
  2. Mix the cake according to box instructions with egg, vegetable oil, and water. In a small bowl, mix 3/4 cup chocolate chips with canola oil. Sprinkle with flour and stir to combine. Stir the chocolate chips into the cake mix and spoon it in the baking dish over the pecans and coconut.
  3. Melt the butter in the microwave and let it cool slightly. Using a mixer beat cream cheese until sooth and lump free.  Slowly add the melted butter and beat until smooth.   Add the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time and mix until smooth. Drop the cream cheese mixture by rounded tablespoons randomly over the top of the cake.  Sprinkle the remaining chocolate chips over the top.
  4. Bake for 40 minutes or just until the chocolate cake portion is just set.


  • Preheat the oven and load the cake on the middle rack in the center of the oven.
  • Use a deep 13×9 inch baking dish so that there is no overflow.  The pan I use is 2 1/2 inches deep.
  • This fun cake ends up looking like a hot mess which is part of its charm.  Do not worry too much about perfection with this cake.
  • Feel free to substitute walnuts or almonds for the pecans. 
  • You can use any chocolate cake mix.  This time I used Devil’s Food cake mix, but you can use Chocolate Fudge or German Chocolate Cake Mix.
  • The cake is done when the chocolate cake batter in the center appears to be set and springs back a little bit when it is touched.  This is usually right around 40 minutes. The toothpick test will not work on this cake because of the gooey cream cheese sections.
  • This cake is absolutely over the top, served warm with or without vanilla ice cream, so plan accordingly if at all possible.
  • As this cake contains cream cheese, err on the side of caution and refrigerate leftovers.

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