Earthquake Cake

Welcome to my kitchen, fellow food enthusiasts! Today, I have an extraordinary treat for you that will make your taste buds dance with delight. I present to you the indulgent and gooey masterpiece – Earthquake Cake!

This is not your ordinary cake, it’s a delightful collision of German chocolate flavors, coconut, pecans, and cream cheese that creates a delightful seismic experience in your mouth. The Earthquake Cake got its name due to the way it looks after baking – it’s like the ground has shifted beneath it, creating beautiful, irresistible swirls of flavors.

In this blog post, I’ll walk you through the step-by-step process of creating this delightful dessert. Whether you’re an experienced baker or a novice in the kitchen, fear not! I’ll provide useful tips, variations, and shortcuts to ensure that your Earthquake Cake turns out perfect every time.

For the True Chocolate Lovers

If you’re a chocolate lover, this cake is specifically tailored to satisfy your deepest cravings. Imagine biting into a luscious slice of moist chocolate cake infused with the rich flavors of German chocolate, complemented by the nutty crunch of pecans and the sweet essence of shredded coconut. As you delve into its layers, you’ll encounter a creamy, velvety blend of buttery cream cheese and powdered sugar. The Earthquake Cake isn’t just a dessert; it’s an experience that will leave you craving for more.

Kitchen Equipment You’ll Need

Before we dive into the recipe, let’s ensure you have all the necessary kitchen equipment on hand. Here’s a handy list to double-check:

  1. 9 x 13 inch pan
  2. Mixing bowls
  3. Saucepan
  4. Electric mixer or hand whisk
  5. Knife for swirling the cream cheese mixture
  6. Measuring cups and spoons
  7. Cooling rack (optional but recommended)

Tips, Shortcuts, and Variations

  • For a Gluten-Free Earthquake Cake, use a gluten-free chocolate cake mix.
  • To add a fruity twist, sprinkle some diced strawberries or raspberries on top of the coconut layer before pouring in the cake batter.
  • For a nut-free version, simply omit the chopped pecans or replace them with pumpkin seeds for a unique flavor.
  • If you’re short on time, you can use a store-bought cream cheese frosting instead of making the cream cheese mixture from scratch.

Storing Leftovers

If you manage to have any leftovers (a rare occurrence with this cake!), you’ll want to store them properly to maintain their deliciousness. To do this, cover the Earthquake Cake tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and place it in the refrigerator. It will stay fresh and gooey for up to 3-4 days. Before serving, you can warm the slices in the microwave for a few seconds to restore their luscious texture.

Food Pairings

The Earthquake Cake is a delightful dessert on its own, but if you’re looking to pair it with other treats, here are some wonderful options:

  • Serve it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream to balance the richness of the cake with the cool creaminess of ice cream.
  • A dollop of freshly whipped cream on top of each slice will add a touch of elegance and lightness.
  • Pair it with a piping hot cup of coffee or a soothing mug of hot chocolate for a comforting dessert experience.


1 box German Chocolate Cake Mix (do not prepare as directed on the box, prepare as directed below)
1/3 cup oil
3 eggs
1 and 1/3 cup water
2/3 cup shredded coconut
2/3 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup butter
8 oz cream cheese
1 pound powdered sugar (3 and 3/4 cups)


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) and grease the 9 x 13 inch pan, ensuring even coverage. Sprinkle the shredded coconut, chocolate chips, and chopped pecans evenly on the bottom of the greased pan. This will form the delectable bottom layer of the Earthquake Cake.

In a mixing bowl, combine the German Chocolate Cake Mix with the oil, eggs, and water. Mix well until all the ingredients are incorporated. This will form the cake batter.

Carefully pour the cake batter on top of the coconut, chocolate chip, and pecan layer in the pan. Spread it evenly, covering the entire surface. In a saucepan over low heat, melt the butter and cream cheese together. Once melted, beat in the powdered sugar until you have a smooth and velvety mixture.

Spoon the cream cheese mixture over the uncooked German chocolate cake in the pan, creating beautiful dollops. Use a knife to gently swirl the cream cheese mixture into the cake batter. This will create the signature “earthquake” effect.

Place the pan in the preheated oven and bake for 35-45 minutes. The cake is done when it no longer wobbles in the pan when shaken. Remember, the toothpick test won’t work as the cake should be delightfully gooey in nature.

Once baked to perfection, remove the Earthquake Cake from the oven and let it cool on a cooling rack for about 15-20 minutes before serving.

Earthquake Cake

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