Fall is approaching and this pumpkin earthquake cake is one dessert you do not want to skip. This is a delicious pumpkin cake that is filled with white chocolate chips, cream cheese, nuts, and more. A must-make pumpkin dessert that will win over a crowd.
Earthquake cakes are essentially a cake that is swirled with cream cheese and sometimes nuts and more. But once it bakes it creates these crevices in the cake and got its name from the looks of an aftermath of an earthquake. While it might be a unique name, you will for sure enjoy the rich and creamy flavors!
Make sure to check out my chocolate peanut butter earthquake cake for another version of this decadent dessert! It is another fantastic version that is great for chocolate lovers.
What is Pumpkin Earthquake Cake?
Ever wondered what happens when you combine the creaminess of cheesecake, the moistness of cake, and the burst of fall spices with a comforting dose of pumpkin? The answer is the Pumpkin Earthquake Cake. This delightful twist on traditional pumpkin desserts layers different textures into one irresistible treat. The cake gets its name from the tantalizing crackled patterns that form on top during baking, resembling an earthquake’s aftermath. Pumpkin Earthquake Cake is best enjoyed slightly warm or at room temperature. You can serve it plain, dusted with powdered sugar for a simple yet elegant presentation. Alternatively, it pairs wonderfully with a dollop of freshly whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream for an extra touch of indulgence.
Reasons You Will Love This Pumpkin Earthquake Cake
- Starts with a box cake mix for easy mixing. The spice cake mix truly compliments the cake tremendously.
- Swirled with rich cream cheese so each bite feels so decadent and rich.
- Easy prep, with a stunning presentation value.
- Versatile in the mix-in ingredients. So essentially you can bake up a cake that fits your preferences.
- Since it is full of warm spices this cake will make your home smell incredible as it bakes- perfect for Fall and Halloween!
Ingredients You Need
Here is a quick preview of the ingredients that you will need for this recipe for the pumpkin earthquake cake. Full measurements for the cake are featured at the bottom of the post.
- Spice Cake – Reach for a box of spice cake. This is going to be the base and trust me the warm spices in this cake mix enhance the flavor tremendously.
- Pumpkin – Make sure to use real pumpkin puree. Don’t confuse pumpkin pie mix for pumpkin puree. As they are two different things.
- Buttermilk – The buttermilk helps to richen the cake up and also keeps the cake nice and moist as it bakes up.
- Eggs – Room temperature eggs incorporate better into the batter.
- Oil – Vegetable or canola oil are both great options as they both have a very mild to no flavor.
- Brown Sugar – The brown sugar offers a nice richness to the cake that really helps throw it over the top.
- Nuts – The nuts are optional. But if you enjoy crunch then try this. Pecans or walnuts are both great options.
- Cream Cheese – Your cream cheese needs to be softened so it can mix with the other ingredients.
- Butter – Make sure to use real butter, not margarine. I did also use salted butter. If you don’t use salted add 1/4 teaspoon of salt to the filling.
- Powdered Sugar – The powdered sugar helps to thicken up the filling and also enhances the sweetness.
- Spices – Cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice are both used to create tons of warm spice flavor in each bite of this cake.
- White Chocolate Chips – For the pumpkin cake I added some white chocolate chips for added sweetness when you bite into the cake.
Variations To Cake Recipe
- Opt for a gluten-free cake mix if you need a gluten-free diet.
- Add in some ground ginger, nutmeg, and cloves to offer a gingerbread flavor to the cake.
- Use milk or dark chocolate chips instead of white chocolate chips for added sweetness to the cake.
- Slice up fresh apples finely and mix them into the cake batter for an apple pumpkin cake flavor. I would do 1-2 medium apples.
- Add 2 teaspoons of instant ground coffee into the cake batter for a small punch of coffee flavor to the cake.
- Add in 1/4 cup of maple syrup into the cream cheese batter to give it a nice maple flavor. Make sure it is real maple syrup.
- Add in some coconut flakes for added sweet and chewy texture.
Tips for Success
- Do not overmix the cake batter or it can cause the cake to become dense.
- Make sure your cream cheese is softened. Otherwise, it will not incorporate the other ingredients.
- Gently stir the cream cheese into the cake batter. You want to keep swirls so you can really taste the different flavors when you bite into the cake.
- Ensure you are working with a greased pan or your cake will stick to the pan.
- Evenly sprinkle the toppings on the cake, this will sink in just a bit but it will help create any dimension to the top of the cake.
- You can serve the cake plain, dollop of whipped cream, or a big scoop of vanilla ice cream.
This cake needs to be placed in a sealed container in the refrigerator. The reason is the cream cheese mixture will spoil if you leave it at room temperature. The cake will store for up to 5-7 days in the fridge.
Go right ahead and freeze any cake you do not plan to eat right away. Place in the freezer and freeze for 2-3 months. Then thaw the cake in a sealed container in the fridge overnight.
What is the taste and texture of this cake?
The taste of this cake is loaded with pumpkin spice flavor but then you almost have a cheesecake-like texture where the cheesecake swirls are. So it is like two desserts in one.
Can I make an earthquake cake without a cake mix?
Go right ahead and make a homemade spice cake for the base if you don’t want to use a boxed cake mix. Then swirl in the cream cheese mixture.
Can I make it into cupcakes?
Go right ahead and fill the cupcake pan with 1/2 full of spice cake. Then add in a few small drops of the cream cheese mixture and swirl a bit. Then bake for less time as it will cook faster.
What are ways to serve this cake?
Dust with powdered sugar, a dollop of whipped cream, or a scoop of ice cream. There is no wrong way to serve up this cake. Honestly, you can eat it plain or pair it with sweet caramel sauce for added sweetness.
Celebrate the flavors and spirit of the Fall season with my Pumpkin Earthquake Cake that will leave your taste buds spellbound. This delightful twist on classic pumpkin desserts combines the creaminess of cheesecake, the moistness of cake, and the captivating flavors of fall spices. With its visually stunning appearance and irresistible taste, this dessert is sure to be a hit at any gathering or family dinner. So, gather your ingredients, preheat your oven, and get ready to enjoy a slice of pumpkin paradise!
More Pumpkin Recipes
Pumpkin Earthquake Cake
- 15 oz box Spice Cake Mix
- 1 can Pumpkin Puree
- 3/4 cup Buttermilk
- 3 large Eggs room temperature
- 1/2 cup vegetable Oil
- 1/2 cup Brown Sugar packed
- Favorite chopped Nuts optional
- 10 oz Cream Cheese room temperature
- 1/2 cup salted Butter melted
- 4 cups Confectioners’ Sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice
- 1 cup White Chocolate Chips or favorite flavors
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease your 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray. Then set to the side.
- In a large mixing bowl add the cake mix, pumpkin puree, buttermilk eggs, oil and brown sugar. Mix well to combine.
- Then fold in the nuts. Then pour the cake batter into the baking dish.
- In a medium bowl you will add the softened cream cheese and mix for a minute or so to whip it till it is velvety.
- Next add the butter, spices, and a bit of the powdered sugar a little at a time. Scrape down the sides to ensure it fully incorporates.
- Then you will add dollops of the cream cheese mixtureover the cake. I used a cookie scoop.
- Use a knife or spatula and swirl the batter so the cream cheese swirls into the cake mix.
- Top with white chocolate chips and then bake for 40-45 minutes or until the cake is fully cooked. You can to stick a toothpick in the center of the cake and it comes out clean of wet batter.
- Once done place on a wire rack and allow the cake to cool for about an hour.
- Refrigerate any cake you do not eat right away.