Pumpkin Spice Earthquake Cake

This easy pumpkin spice earthquake cake starts with a spice cake mix and has a creamy cheesecake layer swirled in the cake batter. Top with a few chocolate chips for a delicious easy pumpkin dessert.

A close up of a piece of cake on a plate, with Cream cheese

Pumpkin Spice Earthquake Cake Recipe

Who is ready for all things pumpkin? Me!! Pumpkin, cream cheese and chocolate should be legal all year round, but we’re finally nearing the “acceptable” time frame. This desserts covers all of those bases and is easy to make when that first pumpkin craving hits.

What is earthquake cake?

An earthquake cake is an easy cake recipe that starts with a boxed cake mix. Why is it called earthquake? The cake mix bubbles up around the cream cheese layer as it bakes and creates a “lumpy” surface with cracks and crevices and looks all kinds of delicious. With earthquake cakes, the possibilities are endless because there are so many flavors of cake mixes!

cream cheese filling collage

How to Make Earthquake Cake

There are two parts to earthquake cake: the cake batter and the cream cheese layer. You’ll want to mix both up separately. Prepare the cake batter and pour it in a 9×13 pan, then mix up the cream cheese layer. Swirl the two together and sprinkle with a few chocolate chips. It’s really that easy. A 15 minute prep and 35 minute bake time means this cake is ready to go in less than an hour.

Because of the cream cheese layer, it’s best to let this cake set and cool for awhile before slicing. Warm cake is always good, but if you want clean slices, be sure to allow the cake to cool.

how to make pumpkin spice earthquake cake

How to Store Earthquake Cake

Because this cake has a cream cheese layer, it’s best to store it in the refrigerator. Allow the cake to cool completely, cover it and then pop it in the fridge.

easy pumpkin cake in a baking pan

Other Pumpkin Cake Recipes

cream cheese pumpkin cake
cream cheese pumpkin cake

Pumpkin Spice Earthquake Cake

4.01 from 434 votes
This easy pumpkin spice earthquake cake starts with a spice cake mix and has a creamy cheesecake layer swirled in the cake batter. Top with a few chocolate chips for a delicious easy pumpkin dessert.
Servings 15
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes


Cake Batter:

Cream Cheese Filling:


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13 baking pan with non-stick spray.
  • In a large bowl, mix together the cake mix, pumpkin, eggs, water, oil, sugar and pumpkin pie spice. Pour batter into the prepared pan.
  • In another bowl, melt the butter and mix together with the room temperature cream cheese. Stir in the powdered sugar and mix until well combined.
  • Place spoonfuls of the cream cheese mixture all over the top of the cake mixture. Using a knife, gently swirl through the cream cheese. Sprinkle chocolate chips on top and bake for 40-50 minutes or until center is set.
  • Allow the cake to almost completely cool before cutting. If you cut before it cools, the cake will be very soft and won't cut cleanly.
  • Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.



The calories shown are based on the cake being cut into 15  pieces, with 1 serving being 1 slice of cake. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the calories shown are just an estimate. **We are not dietitians and recommend you seek a nutritionist for exact nutritional information.**


Calories: 456kcal | Carbohydrates: 63g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 71mg | Sodium: 320mg | Potassium: 84mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 47g | Vitamin A: 3000IU | Vitamin C: 0.7mg | Calcium: 108mg | Iron: 1.3mg
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Calories 456
Keyword cake recipe, dessert recipe, pumpkin cake, pumpkin dessert

pumpkin earthquake cake title image

About Julie Clark

We are Julie, Maddie, and Kinslee – a mother and daughter team sharing with you the best cakes to satisfy any need or sweet craving that you may have. Welcome to our family’s kitchen!

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Do you think I could substitute raisins for the chocolate chips?

This recipe looks delicious. What size cake mix box? Many older recipes that start with a cake mix call for a size box from years ago (18.25) when today’s mixes are around 15.xx. Thank you,

5 stars
I made this recipe for the first time about a couple months ago, my family fell in love , I have made it 3 times sense then . My family says it is better than pumpkin pie ! They request it for every get together and holiday now 🙂 Thank you for the best recipe , and it is so easy !! Win – Win 😀

I know it defeats the purpose of ease and efficiency, but I couldnot find Betty Crocker spice cake mix in our grocery stores. I tried this cake last week using homemade butternut purée and a Betty Crocker spice cake “equivalent” recipe that I found on the internet. While everyone raved about the cake, I had some baking trouble. I know the quantities I used are not equivalent to this recipe as I’ve gone “rogue”. At the 40-50 min time threshold, it was still jiggly. I left it in the oven a little longer, and subsequently found out why it’s called… Read more »

Could brown sugar be used in place of granulated (white) sugar?

Holy cow that’s a lot of powdered sugar! Any one use less?

I am making this for thanksgiving and I need to travel about 5 hours, so do I need a cooler and ice packs you think? Or will it be ok in the car??

5 stars
One word for this cake::::::::::::: YUM!!!

So, so good. I made it a week ago. Was a bit afraid that I didn’t leave it in the oven long enough, but I did. I think when I make it again, I will not melt the butter, but just used softened butter like I witnessed in the video. This cake is definitely a ‘must have-save in your recipe collection’!!!

I goofed up several times and it still tasted great. Next time I will do better, but was so good this time

Nancy I always freeze nay leftover pumpkin. It’s perfect for other recipes in the future.

Hi!!! This looks delicious … just now baking it smells great !! Hope it turns out and tastes as good as it looks in your picture!!
What do you do with the leftover pumpkin ??thanks …

Do you think I could try this as cupcakes for a bake sale? They’re be so much easier to transport.

Is the cake, when done supposed to be gooey in the middle? I baked mine for 50 minutes, and it’s all gooey in the middle like it’s not done.

Looks delicious! The video shows using room temp butter, but the recipe says use melted butter. Do both work equally well?

Can you add walnuts to the cake mix before adding the cream cheese part?

not a big spice cake person can i use butter or vanilla instead

Can you freeze this cake?