This gooey, rich, delicious Earthquake Cake is full of chocolate, pecan, and coconuts and is an explosion of flavor in every bite! Try my Pumpkin Earthquake Cake for a cake with pumpkin and chocolate overload!

Piece of Earthquake Cake on White Plate

Earthquake Cake

I love a cake that’s instructions are: throw in everything but the kitchen sink. This Earthquake Cake is one of those classic cakes and really lives up to its name! It’s similar to a dump cake… but it gets its name from all the cracks, crevices, and valleys on top when it’s done baking. 

It has gooey tunnels of goodness all around it which are filled with a chocolate and cream cheese surprise! From the outside, it looks just like your normal cake, but with each and every bite you have the addition of the cream cheese mixture, melty chocolate chips, coconut, and pecans!

Raw Ingredients for Earthquake Cake

How to Make an Earthquake Cake

This Earthquake Cake is so easy to make, and just like the name implies, it is bursting with flavor! So, preheat the oven to 350°F, prepare a 9×13-inch pan with non-stick spray, and get out the ingredients you need.

  1. First, prepare the cake mix by following the directions on the box.
  2. Next, sprinkle the shredded coconut and pecans on the bottom of the prepared baking dish.
  3. Pour the cake batter on top of the coconut and pecans. Set aside.
  4. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the cream cheese, melted butter, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, and salt. Beat with a mixer until combined.
  5. Spread the cream cheese mixture on top of the cake batter.
  6. Top with chocolate chips and bake for about 50 minutes, or until the center is set. (To know when the cake is set, give the pan a nudge and make sure the center of the cake doesn’t jiggle.)
  7. Top with chocolate ice cream for the icing, I mean ice cream, on the cake!

Overhead Image of Earthquake Cake in a Pan

Can I Make the Chocolate Cake Mix from Scratch?

Yes! I would recommend using my cake recipe from my Perfect Chocolate Cake recipe. Just mix together the ingredients as you would follow on a box mix. But, of course, don’t bake the cake. You will add the batter to the baking pan to bake with the other layers of the recipe.

Earthquake Cake in Pan with Pieces Removed
5 from 20 votes

Earthquake Cake

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Gooey, rich, and delicious! This Earthquake Cake is full of chocolate, pecan, and coconuts and is an explosion of flavor with each bite!


  • 1 box (15.25 ounces) chocolate cake mix, mixed according to package directions
  • 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • ½ cup chopped pecans
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup (1 stick or 113g) butter, melted
  • cups (312.5g) confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • chocolate ice cream, optional


  • Preheat oven to 350° and grease a 9×13-inch pan with cooking spray.
  • Prepare the cake batter according to package directions.
  • Sprinkle your coconut and pecans onto the bottom of the prepared pan.
  • Spread your cake mix over the top. Set aside.
  • Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the cream cheese, butter, confectioners' sugar, vanilla, and salt.
  • Beat with a mixer until combined. Dollop the mixture over the cake, and spread it out.
  • Sprinkle chocolate chips on top and bake for about 50 minutes, or until the center is set.
  • Serve warm with ice cream, if desired.

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Easy Earthquake Cake
Earthquake Cake

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Meet Amanda Rettke

Amanda Rettke is the creator of I Am Baker, and the bestselling author of Surprise Inside Cakes: Amazing Cakes for Every Occasion – With a Little Something Extra Inside.Over the course of her 15+ year blogging adventure, she has been featured in and collaborated with the Food Network, New York Times, LA Times, Country Living Magazine, People Magazine, Epicurious, Brides, Romantic Homes, life:beautiful, Publishers Weekly, The Daily Mail, Star Tribune, The Globe and Mail, DailyCandy, YumSugar, The Knot, The Kitchn, and Parade, to name a few.

Reader Comments

  1. I love everything in this cake! Will be making it a lot with holidays coming up!!
    I made your Caramel Apple Cake for Sunday School Get-together. It was a real hit! I’ll be making it again soon!!
    Thank you for sharing.

  2. I was served a piece of cake that bore this name several years ago while doing some brickwork for a retired teacher. she told me the name of the cake ( Earthquake ) and explained why I got such a small piece. It was fantastic! Can’t wait to make this for myself.

  3. Are the coconut flakes required? Can they be substituted for by something else such as a graham cracker crumble? Or can it just be left out? I ask because I’m allergic to coconut and this seems like an easy recipe without having to mix coconut or coconut oil inside. Thanks.

    1. Hi, Cynthia! I work with iambaker and am happy to help with questions. You can definitely leave out the coconut. Have a great day!

  4. Made this cake for a small get together it was a real hit.. Can this recipe be spit into two pans, bake let cool the place in the freezer? There is only my husband and myself and we throw out so many deserts, they are just to big for the two of us..

  5. Just saw the recipe so I haven’t made it yet, but as you noted it’s like a dump cakes. I love making dump cakes in a slow cooker, do you have you any suggestions for that method for this one.

    1. Hi, Wayne! I work with iambaker and am happy to help with questions. We have not tested this recipe in a slow cooker, so I can’t say how it would turn out. However, we do have quite a few dump cake recipes on the website that can be made in a slow cooker. I hope this helps, and have a great day!

  6. This cake recipe is just ok.
    It taste like a brownie, if I wanted a brownie te I would of made brownies..
    I followed the recipe to a tee and this cake is way to rich for me to enjoy.i will not make this agsin

    1. Thanks for the feedback! I know I love a good “too rich” cake, so I will continue to enjoy it. Sorry you didn’t like it!

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