Earthquake Cake

Earthquake Cake. 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. There isn’t really much not to love about this 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 (heh) I got rid of those suckers.


Anyhow, there’s gooey chocolate, a sweet cream cheese layer 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 sow you how to do it!

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 cake mix today. Understand and embrace this.

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

earthquakecake building

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

This ain’t no health food show people.


Pour that mess all over top…

Making an Earthquake Cake is super simple!

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

It’s the best.

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

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


Earthquake Cake

  • Author: Cookies & Cups


  • 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!