#1: Earthquake Cake

Earthquake Cake (The Cake Doctor, Anne Byrn)

  • 1 cup unsweetened grated coconut (I get mine at Sprouts)
  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans or walnuts (buy them in shell, cheaper)
  • 1 package (18.25 ounces) German chocolate cake mix (cheap brand is fine)
  • 1 1/3 cups of water
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil, such as canola or safflower
  • 3 large eggs
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, melted
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 4 cups confectioners’s sugar



  1. Place a rack in center of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly mist a 9- by 13- inch baking pan with vegetable oil or shortening.  Set pan aside.
  2. Scatter coconut and nuts on bottom of prepared pan.
  3. Combine the cake mix, water, oil, and eggs in a large mixing bowl.  Blend with an electric mixer on low speed for 1 minute, stop the machine, scrape down the side of bowl with rubber spatula.  Continue beating at medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes more.  The batter should be smooth and silky.  Pour the batter over the coconut and nuts in the pan and smooth out with spatula.
  4. In a new large bowl, combine the cream cheese (cut into 6 pieces), the melted butter (45 seconds in microwave), and the 4 cups powdered sugar.  Blend on low speed for 2 minutes until smooth and silky.  With a large spoon, place 12 globs of the topping evenly on to the top of the cake batter.  They will look like little white clouds on a river of chocolate.  Once you have recovered your senses, place the pan in the hot oven.Image
  5. Bake the cake until the center jiggles a little when you shake the pan.  Bake 40 – 45 minutes.
    DON’T overbake!  It’ll set as it cools on a cooling rack, for 30 minutes.
  6. When cool, cut into squares and flip onto a cute plate.  The ooey gooeyness, and the pecans and coconut will now be on top!
  • Notes:  Store cake, covered in aluminum foil, in the refrig for 1 week, or double wrapped in foil in the freezer for up to 6 months.  Thaw out overnight in the refrig before serving.