Pumpkin Earthquake Cake

This Pumpkin Earthquake Cake is hands down one of the best pumpkin cake recipes ever! It’s soft and moist with a crackly top, swirled with buttery cream cheese and coconut!

If you like this recipe, make sure to check out my Pumpkin Dump Cake recipe too!!

Image of a Pumpkin Earthquake Cake

Pumpkin Earthquake Cake

I am not sure what took me so long to create a pumpkin version of my Earthquake Cake. That cake recipe, just begs to be adapted with all sorts of flavors…I’m thinking Red Velvet Earthquake Cake, Mint Chocolate Earthquake Cake…I could go on and on…

But I got busy doing the obvious today, and couldn’t wait another second to share this AMAZING Pumpkin Cake recipe with you guys! I thought my Pumpkin Dump Cake couldn’t be topped, but this Pumpkin Earthquake Cake might cause a tie in the race for best pumpkin dessert recipe. Yep, I said it.

My Pumpkin Earthquake Cake recipe is a soft easy pumpkin cake.

How to Make a Pumpkin Earthquake Cake

This is one of the easiest, and most delicious pumpkin recipes around, if I do say so myself. I am quite sure you will agree. Not only does it have a place in my Best Pumpkin Cake rolodex, it’s a crazy easy pumpkin cake recipe.

  • It starts with a yellow box cake mix. While you could certainly go to the trouble of trying to create a scratch cake version of this, I don’t think it’s necessary. I am all about taking a shortcut when it works, and this is a fantastic doctored up cake mix recipe.
  • This Pumpkin Earthquake Cake recipe calls for coconut. I know a lot of you have strong feelings about coconut and would prefer to leave it out. Well, you can. AND not only that you don’t have to worry about subbing in anything for it!
  • I use white chocolate chips in my cake recipe. If you don’t prefer white chocolate, you could use milk, or semi-sweet chocolate chips instead. OR you could use butterscotch, which would be fantastic! You could even add in some nuts if that’s something you would like.
  • If you wanted to get creative you could use a Spice Cake Mix for this Pumpkin Earthquake Cake instead of yellow! If you choose to do this, I would leave out the pumpkin pie spice the recipe calls for.
  • This Pumpkin Earthquake Cake recipe is very forgiving, so feel free to get creative with anything you would like to add in!

Making Pumpkin Earthquake Cake

  • Just sprinkle some sweetened flaked coconut on the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish.
  • Mix up your cake mix according to my recipe and spread that on the coconut.
  • Melt together butter and cream cheese, and mix in some powdered sugar. Sprinkle with some white chocolate ships and swirl that into the cake batter!

The crackly top is the signature of my pumpkin earthquake cake!

The Pumpkin Earthquake Cake will be set on the outside while, slightly loose on the inside. It’s a pumpkin cake that is AMAZING served warm, but just as good at room temperature!

Easy Pumpkin Cake is always a favorite and this Pumpkin Earthquake Cake is THE BEST!

I can’t get enough of that crackly swirled top on this earthquake cake! It’s just so so pretty!

Now, this Pumpkin Cake is AMAZING on it’s own…it’s a soft, gooey, cream filled cake…

Pumpkin Earthquake Cake will be an instant family favorite pumpkin cake recipe.

But topped with ice cream and caramel sauce…OMG!!

Pumpkin Dump Cake is deliciously sweet easy pumpkin cake recipe swirled with cream cheese and coconut.

If you bring this pumpkin cake to a party, make SURE you have the recipe to give out to your friends! AND if you make this Pumpkin Earthquake Cake make sure to post it on Instagram and use the hashtag #cookiesandcups so I can see all your creations!

Love Pumpkin? Here Are A Few More Recipes You Might Love:


Pumpkin Earthquake Cake

  • Author: Shelly
  • Prep Time Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield Yield: 10 servings 1x
  • Category Category: Cake
  • Method Method: Baking
  • Cuisine Cuisine: Dessert


This Pumpkin Earthquake Cake is hands down one of the best pumpkin cake recipes ever! It’s soft and moist with a crackly top, swirled with buttery cream cheese and coconut!


  • 1 cup shredded sweetened coconut
  • 1 box yellow cake
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, cubed
  • 1/2 cup butter, cubed
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2  cup white chocolate chips


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Coat a 9×13 pan with nonstick spray and sprinkle coconut in the bottom of the pan. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment mix the cake mix, milk, oil, eggs, pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice on low for 30 seconds. Increase the mixer speed to medium and mix for 2 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  4. Pour the cake batter on top of the coconut mixture.
  5. Place the cream cheese and butter in a medium saucepan over medium- low heat. Stirring constantly, melt the mixture together. Remove from the heat immediately and whisk in the powdered sugar until the mixture is smooth.
  6. Drizzle this evenly on top of the cake batter. Sprinkle the white chips evenly on top. Using a knife, lightly swirl the cream cheese mixture into the batter.
  7. Bake the cake for 45 minutes. The edges will be set and the center will be slightly loose.
  8. 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 at room temperature for up to 3 days. I know this cake has cream cheese in it, so if you prefer to store in the refrigerator, allow it to come up to room temperature, or warm before serving.

You can omit the coconut if you prefer, and you can also use chocolate chips or nuts in place of the white chips.

Keywords:: pumpkin cake, pumpkin cake recipe, pumpkin pie cake, earthquake cake, earthquake cake recipe, coconut cake recipe, cream cheese cake

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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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Suann Wall
December 13, 2020 10:15 pm

I made this last night. Everyone acted like it was the best thing they put in there mouth. Very much the consistency of a cinnamon roll. yummy. Thanks.

November 11, 2020 7:39 am

Could this be made with Spice Cake mix (and omit the pumpkin pie spice) instead of yellow cake?

November 3, 2020 9:08 am

I want to make this for thanksgiving dessert, but not sure how to time it right with all the other things that go in the oven. If I make this first thing in the morning is it okay to reheat it later in the day in the oven or would that overcook it? If you can reheat it, what temperature? Or is it best served warm straight away?

November 6, 2020 10:31 am
Reply to  Shelly

Thanks Shelly! Would it still work if I only cooked it 3/4 of the way in the morning then just before serving cook it through the rest of the way?

Le Ann Helm
September 19, 2020 9:21 pm

Made this for for work today- It was killer!!!! Everybody loved it!!!

October 20, 2020 6:51 pm
Reply to  Le Ann Helm

What did you make ??

December 24, 2019 7:47 am

can i make the cake the day before and cook it the next day? Thanks!

Patty Davis
November 25, 2019 10:01 am

I’m about to make this cake and wondered if you can use non-dairy milk and cream cheese in this recipe?

Terry Mastrianni
November 16, 2019 1:31 pm

I don’t like cream cheese. Any ideas on what to substitute it with? I also dislike sour cream if that is what you were going to suggest. Thanks!

Paula Johnson
October 4, 2020 1:10 pm
Reply to  Shelly


Emma zamora
November 9, 2019 4:21 pm

My Name is Emma Am. going to try it with my daughter and her Family to went l go to texas in Nov for Thankgiving it look really good Am going to make for other Daughter and her Family to .Love All of your Recipes

November 9, 2019 10:45 am

Trying out this recipe to bring to a family dinner this evening! ? Should I use salted, or unsalted butter? Thanks!

Tessa Foust
October 10, 2019 8:20 pm

Made this cake today and just finished a slice. It’s so good and came together easily.
4c of powdered sugar scared me and so I used 2 cups. Let me tell you it was still sweet and turned out wonderfully. Sooooo if you can’t see yourself adding 4c of sugar to an already sweetened cake mix, cut back, it will turn out delicious!!! A winning cake!!

September 29, 2019 11:14 pm

Wow!! We love this cake! Thanks for sharing!

September 22, 2019 3:48 pm

Hello 🙂

This is probably going to sound very dumb, but my boyfriends birthday is in two days and I’m planning on making this for him (pumpkin is his favorite)
But I am a little confused, i was wondering if all the ingredients listed counts for everything? Or do I include the ingridents on the cake box along with the ones given?
Again I probably sound dumb, I just really don’t want to mess this up.

Thank you in advance!

December 23, 2018 6:18 pm

The pumpkin earthquake was such a hit at Thanksgiving, I am making it again for Christmas. My whole family loved it!

Megan Welch
November 25, 2018 5:39 pm

This Cake was amazing! Loved it warm out of the oven and also straight from the fridge with a fork!

November 19, 2018 8:00 am

Totally want to make this cake, but can’t use
coconut- any ideas or to just omit it?

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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