Earthquake Cake

I made this cake for my children at our Mother’s Day dinner (what’s wrong with that picture, huh???).  The cake was a big hit, in spite of the fact that it became a volcano instead of an earthquake.  You have to read below to find out why…

Earthquake Cake

1 box Devil’s Food Cake Mix (I used Pillsbury)
3 Eggs
1 1/4 cups Water
1/2 cup Vegetable Oil
1 cup Coconut
1 cup Pecans, chopped
1/2 cup (1 stick) Butter or Margarine, softened
8 oz. Cream Cheese, softened
4 cups Powdered Sugar
1 tsp. Vanilla
1/2 to 1 cup Chocolate Chips

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9×13 inch cake pan with non-stick cooking spray.

Sprinkle coconut, then pecans, evenly over the bottom of the cake pan and set aside.

Mix together the cake mix, eggs, water and oil in a mixing bowl. Beat for about 2 minutes with electric mixer. Pour over coconut and pecans in pan.

In small mixing bowl, beat together the butter, cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth. Spoon the cream cheese mixture over the cake batter. Don’t try to spread it out; just put it on in dollops.

Bake cake for about 45 to 50 minutes. Test for doneness by inserting a knife or toothpick into the chocolate cake. The toothpick should come out clean.

When done, remove cake from oven and immediately sprinkle on the chocolate chips. Allow cake to cool in the pan.

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Okay, now for my story….

This was a new recipe I had found on the internet, so didn’t know exactly what to expect. I changed the ingredients very slightly . . . the original recipe called for a German Cake Mix, but I used Devil’s Food Cake Mix (because that’s my favorite). I also added the chocolate chips.

I also attempted to spread out the cream cheese mixture on top of the cake, and that was probably my downfall. A few minutes in the oven, and the cake started to raise up. All of a sudden, my daughter exclaimed that the cake was boiling over! I immediately got a sheet of aluminum foil and placed it on the rack beneath the cake to catch the overflow. I looked at my daughter and explained that we had a volcano cake instead of an earthquake!

It was mostly the white part that spilled over, and actually, that part that cooked on the side of the pan was Awesome! Just after removing the cake from the oven when it was done, I scraped off the part that flowed over the edge, and tasted it . . . it was just like chewey, ooey, gooey, warm caramel! Oh yum!

I sprinkled the chocolate chips on the top of the cake and allowed the cake to cool in the pan. It cut very nicely, and there was that coconut/pecan layer on the bottom part. The chocolate part of the cake was so moist, yet held up very well.

When I saw the cake spill over, my first thought was that I would never make this again. But after watching my family devour it, I’ve decided this just might be a tradition recipe. My husband said it was the best cake he had ever eaten.

I really think the secret to keeping it from spilling over is that you have to drop the cream cheese mixture in dollops randomly on top, and not attempt to spread it out. Let me know how it works for you.

Now, I’d better get started on cleaning the oven. Thank goodness for self-cleaning ovens!

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