Earthquake Cake

Earthquake Cake is a crazy delicious and easy chocolate cake recipe.

Earthquake Cake is a delicious and easy chocolate cake recipe. It’s gooey, it’s rich, it’s completely over the top ridiculous…and it’s crazy easy to make.

I’m bringing this beauty of a recipe out of my mom’s recipe box and into the new millennium. Earthquake Cake is a quintessential 80’s recipe that I enjoyed a time or fifteen in my childhood at church potlucks. If you are a fan of my Ridiculous Chocolate Cake you will love this Earthquake Cake recipe too! There isn’t really much not to love about this chocolate cake recipe…I mean unless you don’t like chocolate. Then I am not sure if we’re the soul sisters I thought we were…

And oh yes, there’s coconut here. I know some of you don’t love it. I get it… I am sure you could make it without, though. AND my mom’s recipe had nuts in it as well…but since I don’t like nuts in cake…or ever really…I got rid of those suckers.

Anyhow, there’s gooey chocolate, a sweet cream cheese layer in this Earthquake Cake that oozes out when it’s warm and I mean, why not top it with more hot fudge? Or ice cream? Or whipped cream? DO IT ALL!

And I made a short little video to show you how to make this easy chocolate cake recipe!

Gooey Delicious Earthquake Cake! Chocolaty and rich oozing with chocolate, cream cheese and coconut!

Since the recipe is super 80s-tastic it you will be using a chocolate cake mix today. Understand and embrace this. It’s how it has to be.

The steps are simple…just put a whole mound of coconut and chocolate chips into a 9×13 pan…

Earthquake Cake is a gooey, easy chocolate cake recipe

Prepare your chocolate cake mix according to package directions. I used a Triple Chocolate Cake Mix because I’m crazy like that! You really could use ANY flavor…how about a Funfetti Earthquake Cake Folks? Oh yes, making that next!

Making an Earthquake Cake is super simple!

Pour your chocolate cake mix over top and then melt some cream cheese and butter together.

This ain’t no health food show people.

earthquake cake

Pour that mess all over top…

Making an Earthquake Cake is so easy!

You can try and spread this out, but mine always sinks. My mom’s was always prettier with a layer of cream cheese on top, but I can never get mine to come out that way. Just do your best, it will be fine.

When it’s baked it will look something like this…

Gooey Delicious Earthquake Cake is an easy chocolate cake recipe with cream cheese and coconut!

Make sure the center is still a little jiggly when you take it out of the oven. I bake for 45 minutes and that’s about perfect. The edges will be set, but the center will have a little wiggle.

Now, to eat it warm or wait for it to cool? UGH! THE DECISIONS!!

If you eat it warm it will almost be like a cakey-pudding, which is glorious. But if you wait a little bit until it’s just a little warm you will be able to get slices with still a lot of gooey…

Gooey Delicious Earthquake Chocolate Cake

Earthquake Cake is the best.

Gooey Delicious Earthquake Chocolate Cake Recipe

I hope you make this chocolate cake recipe, and then make it again and again… it’s sure to be an all-time favorite!


Earthquake Cake

  • Author: Cookies & Cups
  • Prep Time Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield Yield: serves 12 1x
  • Category Category: Cake
  • Method Method: Baking
  • Cuisine Cuisine: Dessert


Earthquake Cake is an easy chocolate cake recipe!



  • 1 1/2 cups shredded sweetened coconut
  • 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 box chocolate cake (plus ingredients called for on the box)
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, cubed
  • 1/2 cup butter, cubed
  • 4 cups powdered sugar


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F
  2. Coat a 9×13 pan with nonstick spray.
  3. In a large bowl combine the coconut and chocolate chips. Pour this mixture evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan. Set aside.
  4. In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment prepare the cake mix according to the package directions.
  5. Pour the cake batter on top of the coconut mixture.
  6. Place the cream cheese and butter In a medium saucepan over medium- low heat. Stirring constantly melt mixture together. Remove from the heat immediately and stir in the powdered sugar until the mixture is smooth.
  7. Carefully drizzle this on top of the cake batter. Try and smooth it out so it covers all of it. If it sinks it’s fine.
  8. Bake the cake for 45 minutes. The edges will be set and the center will be slightly loose.
  9. Allow the cake to cool for about 30 minutes and slice and serve for a gooey cake. You can also allow the cake to cool completely before serving.


Store airtight, refrigerated for up to 3 days. I like to warm the cake in the microwave before serving, but you don’t have to!

Nutrition Information:

1 slice
70.1 g
400.3 mg
35 g
87.1 g
6.5 g
90.6 mg

Keywords: chocolate cake, easy cake, earthquake cake, coconut, cake recipe

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Hi! I’m Shelly and I’m an addict. Of the buttercream sort. I started this site a few years ago as a way to justify my sugary, buttery obsession with desserts. It has worked out well for me so far, because as it turns out you guys all love sugary, buttery desserts too! It feels good to know you're not alone, doesn’t it?

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Debra O'Connell
Jun 28, 2021 2:20 pm

Can I add nuts to this recipe? If yes, how much and what kind would you recommend?

Aug 31, 2020 4:14 am

Where does the cream cheese mixture go??? Witchcraft!!!!

Jk it looks sinful and amazing, can’t wait to make it!!! Love your blog<3

Joel S
Aug 30, 2020 1:56 am

I made this recipe. I’m a huge peanut butter fan. I changed the chocolate chips to Reeses peanut butter chips and also added about 1 cup of creamy peanut butter to the cream cheese mixture. Wow!

Jun 30, 2017 2:35 pm

I just reread this post. I made the cake a year and a half ago and it was delicious. I’m going to make it again but as funfetti and maybe put sifted cocoa powder in the cream cheese mixture. I’ll let you know the results. 🙂

Jan 8, 2017 2:46 pm

This is a favorite recipe in my family. Great for pot lucks, or just a cake craving….will pass it down the generations!

Nov 24, 2016 11:15 am

What if I funny have powder sugar. Stayed making and didn’t know I didn’t have any

Jul 26, 2016 6:14 am

Hi. It would be helpful if you out full ingredients as well rather than the cake mixes on your cake recipes. I would like to use the all purpose flour and the like rather than use the cake mix. Any help………..?

Shannon Chin
May 18, 2021 3:20 am
Reply to  monica

If you already have a homemade cake recipe, just prepare it and follow the rest of the recipe. This is meant to be delicious and simple.

Wow! I have never had earthquake cake before, but that needs to change!

Nov 28, 2015 7:12 pm

hi shelly !

i didn’t get my weekly news letter from you this week , which i really love to read ! what happend ?? thanks

Nov 27, 2015 6:51 pm

oh yes, definitely happening for my next potluck. Pinning!

Nov 24, 2015 11:37 am

It’s ridiculous how gorgeous this cake looks. Oh, how gooey it is. My tummy must have this cake.

Nov 24, 2015 10:10 am

Oh my lordy, seriously? Sign me up. This looks outrageously good. And the fact that is uses a boxed mix and so few ingredients… perfect! Cannot wait to give it a try!

Nov 23, 2015 10:27 pm

OMG This looks insane! I’ve never made Earthquake cake but now I need to! Pinning!

Nov 23, 2015 9:03 pm

Hello, this looks so GOOD! What would happen if I substituted buttercream for the cream cheese? Not a fan of cream cheese. Also i might make a scratch cake instead of a mix…..I just cannot wait!!! Thank you so much!!!

Nov 23, 2015 7:06 pm

So yummy and gooey. I have to taste this!

Shelly Hi! I’m Shelly and I’m an addict. Of the buttercream sort. I started this site a few years ago as a way to justify my sugary, buttery obsession with desserts. It has worked out well for me so far, because as it turns out you guys all love sugary, buttery desserts too! It feels good to know you're not alone, doesn’t it?

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