The Best Red Velvet Earthquake Cake Recipe


1 Duncan Hines Red Velvet cake mix
1 cup coconut
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
12 oz. pkg. chocolate chips
8 oz. cream cheese
1 stick unsalted butter 1/2 cup
4 cups powdered sugar


  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Grease and flour a 9×13” baking dish.
  • Spread pecans, coconut and then chocolate chips in the bottom of the prepared dish.
  • Mix cake mix according to package directions.
  • Spread over top of chocolate chips.
  • Melt butter and cream cheese over low to medium heat in small saucepan.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Add powdered sugar and whisk to combine.
  • Spread powdered sugar mixture over top of cake batter in baking dish.
  • Smooth the top.
  • Bake for 30 minutes and tent with foil.
  • Bake an additional 30 -45 minutes or until cake tests done.
  • Cool completely before cutting into squares.
  • Store covered tightly.
  • After 2 days, store in refrigerator.


NOTE: My cake mix required 3 eggs, 1/3 cup canola oil and 1 1/4 cups water to make cake according to package directions.

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NOTE: Hannah said the original recipe called for 1 ½ cups coconut but that it totally overwhelmed the cake so she cut it back to ½ cup. I’ve increased the coconut to one cup for a happy medium.

NOTE: My oven took 1 hour and 15 minutes, but the original recipe stated only 45 minutes. Start checking for doneness at 30 minutes.

NOTE: You must grease and flour the baking dish really well to avoid sticking.

NOTE: This is a rather “high-maintenance” cake as you must tent the cake with foil during the baking so the cream cheese doesn’t turn brown. You also have to watch this cake like a hawk to make sure it’s cooked through but not burned on the top or bottom. If you oven tends to run hot, you may want to bake this at a lower temperature for as long as it takes. You may have to tent the cake with foil almost the whole length of cooking time if you have a hot oven.


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Red Velvet Earthquake Cake bakes differently in every oven. I’ve had people say their cakes were overdone at 45 minutes, and others tell me that their cake took as long as mine to bake – almost an hour and a half.

If you want to bake this cake successfully and you don’t want it to scorch on the bottom or the cream cheese to brown too much on top, then follow these tips:

1) Cover with foil after 30 minutes of cooking time especially if you have a hot oven. This will prevent the cream cheese from browning too much.

2) Start checking your cooking time every ten minutes after the cake has baked 30 minutes. Some ovens may bake this cake in less than 45 minutes, but most ovens will take longer. Test with a toothpick. When a toothpick comes out clean then the cake is done.

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3) I used a glass baking dish to bake my cake in. Aluminum pans may cook more quickly. Please adjust your time accordingly.

4) DON’T BAKE THIS CAKE STRICTLY BY TIME! The time is ONLY a guide. It is better to check the cake every 10 minutes if necessary to achieve the right results.