Pumpkin Earthquake Cake is a delightful dessert that combines the flavors of spice cake, pumpkin, cream cheese, and chocolate chips. It’s so easy to throw together and even easier to eat with all sorts of flavors in each bite! With its pumpkin and chocolate overload, this is a must-make. This recipe is based on my original Earthquake Cake, which has been a fan favorite!

Pumpkin Dessert (Earthquake Cake)

What Is An Earthquake Cake?

What exactly is an earthquake cake? It is similar to a dump cake, but it gets its name from all the cracks and crevices on top when it’s done baking. Just like an earthquake causes the earth to shift and cause cracks in the land, this cake has ingredients that may move around as it is being baked. So, you may see cracks and crevices in the top after it’s baked. It might not be the prettiest presentation, but it’s a pretty smart name if you ask me! 🙂

Pumpkin Earthquake Cake Recipe

Ingredients & Substitutions

Cake Mix: Look for a 15.25-ounce box of spice cake mix. Do not make the cake as instructed on the box, but follow the instructions for this dessert as written in this specific recipe.

Pure Pumpkin: In this recipe, use pure pumpkin (also known as pumpkin puree), not pumpkin pie filling. Pure pumpkin is cooked pumpkin that is blended or mashed into a smooth texture. There should be no seasoning, spice, flavoring, or sugar added.

Pumpkin Pie Spice: With everything coming up pumpkin during pumpkin spice season (otherwise known as Fall or Autumn), have plenty of pumpkin pie spice on hand. Make your own for the most flavor!

Cream Cheese Filling: Room temperature cream cheese is mixed with melted butter and confectioners’ sugar. Then, it is swirled into the cake mixture.

Chocolate Chips: Sprinkle semi-sweet chocolate chips over the top of the cake before baking. Or, try the cake with white chocolate chips or dark chocolate chips.

Pumpkin Earthquake Cake

How To Store Pumpkin Earthquake Cake

Once Pumpkin Earthquake Cake has cooled, cover it and store it in the refrigerator. It will last up to 2-3 days. Or, freeze the cake (or portions of the cake) in a freezer-safe container for up to 2-3 months. When ready to enjoy, let the cake thaw in the refrigerator overnight.

4.80 from 5 votes

Pumpkin Earthquake Cake

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Pumpkin Earthquake Cake is a delightful dessert that combines the flavors of spice cake, pumpkin, cream cheese, and chocolate chips. It's so easy to throw together and even easier to eat with all sorts of flavors in each bite! With its pumpkin and chocolate overload, this is a must-make.



  • 1 box (15.25 g) spice cake mix
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup (245 g) pure pumpkin
  • ¾ cup (187.5 g) water
  • ½ cup (109 g) vegetable oil
  • cup (67 g) granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

Cream Cheese Filling


  • ½ cup (61 g) semi-sweet chocolate chips


  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9×13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  • In a large bowl, mix together the spice cake mix, pumpkin, eggs, water, oil, sugar, and pumpkin pie spice. Pour batter into the prepared pan. Set aside.
  • In another bowl, mix the cream cheese until smooth and creamy. Add in the melted butter and confectioners' sugar, mixing until well combined.
  • Dollop the cream cheese mixture on top of the batter in the pan. Using a knife or skewer, gently swirl the dollops of cream cheese into the batter.
  • Sprinkle chocolate chips evenly over the top. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out with a few crumbs, but no wet batter.
  • Once done, remove the dish from the oven and allow it to cool slightly. This dessert is best enjoyed warm.

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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. Found this delicious looking cake while looking for a pumpkin cake recipe for Thanksgiving and was surprised to see “1 box Spice Cake Mix” among the ingredients. (I have never used a mix before!)
    Can it be adapted to make from scratch?

    1. I adapted using a recipe for a spice cake I had. Mine turned out a bit too soggy but was still delicious. To use a from scratch recipe and then try to decide which ingredients from the recipe to leave out because of duplication was a bit tricky.

      Sally A.

  2. I agree on the pumpkin everything 😀 I am like that too. I have tried pumpkin and butternut squash in basically every kind of dish going! Cakes, donuts, soups, pasta.. pumpkin as if it was falling from the sky:)

    Since I have bought some fresh just this morning I definitely have to try your delicious cake. It looks extremely good and that cream cheese filling tops it all up!

  3. Are you supposed to use the entire cream cheese mixture? I had a lot and I wasn’t able to use a of it. Even leaving some out my cake has been cooking for over an hour and its still not done. It seems to be too wet. Since it was a lot of cream cheese I tried to marble it more.

  4. Mine just came out of the oven- the areas where I spread the cream cheese mixture (which was lot of cream cheese!) totally sunk in. Doesn’t look like your picture.
    Guess with enough ice cream on top, no one will notice the sunk in areas …

  5. This was easy to make and delicious to eat. I brought it to a party and everyone loved it!

    Next time I’ll need to use a bigger pan. I used my 9′ x 13′ glass pan and it overflowed in the over before the timer went off at 40 minutes.

    I’ll definitely make this again. Thank you!

  6. I frequently substitute Golden Raisins in pumpkin desserts instead of Chocolate Chips. And a bit of flaked coconut is good also.

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