#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.



What is 150 Cakes?!

Welcome to 150 Cakes in a Year. (or so).  What I want to do is complete all of Anne Byrn’s recipe book The Cake Doctor in one year (or so).    I will try to keep the recipes with fruit within that season.  By doing this I can hope to help my readers become familiar with Seasonal Fruit.  And by using whats in season and fresh, this will make your cakes that much more delicious.

If you haven’t heard of The Cake Doctor then you’re in for a suprise.  All, I mean ALL, of her recipes are based on a cake mix!  She has literally “doctored” up these cake mixes and came up with delicious, mouth watering cakes.   These recipes are a snap, even for the beginning baker.

So, I hope you will join me for the next year (or so) as we bake together with The Doctor.

The first recipe will be Earthquake Cake.  A lovely combination of devil’s food and cream cheese!

And remember, “A slice a day keeps the psychologist away.”

Happy baking!

~ Ellen