Home » Cakes & Pies » Hawaiian Earthquake Cake

Hawaiian Earthquake Cake

If you’re looking for a fun, simple and delicious warm weather dessert look no further. This island inspired Hawaiian Earthquake Cake is filled with crushed pineapple, shredded coconut, toasted macadamia nuts and white chocolate chips. The technique of layering ingredients lends a wacky look to earthquake cakes and each one bakes in it’s own unique way. Serve it with a dollop of fresh whipped cream on the side no frosting required.

Hawaiian Earthquake Cake

Easy Hawaiian Earthquake Cake Recipe

I love the earthquake cake concept. These kind of cakes were all the dessert rage in the 80’s and I fully intend to add more variations to my recipe index. My almond joy inspired earthquake cake is a top readers pick and for very good reason. It’s filled with chocolate, coconut and toasted almonds all baked with a luscious coconut cream cheese filling. Earthquake cakes earned their name due to the fun ingredient layering technique that causes the cake to bake with a wonky appearance. The rich cream cheese filling that’s dolloped over the batter is plenty rich enough and you don’t need to frost earthquake cakes at all. A dollop of whipped cream is a must but, if you plan on serving it warm a big scoop of ice cream on top is truly amazing.

Hawaiian Earthquake Cake

How to Make the Best Hawaiian Earthquake Cake Recipe 

These sorts of cakes are the kind the whole family can get involved in making. Using the same concept you may even come up with your own variations.

  • Ingredients you’ll need to make homemade Hawaiian Earthquake Cake: 1 box yellow cake mix, one package instant coconut cream pudding mix, shredded flaked coconut. toasted macadamia nuts, butter, crushed pineapple, pineapple extract (or coconut in a pinch) almond extract, cream cheese, powdered sugar and white chocolate baking chips.
  • Kitchen gadgets you’ll need: a 13 x 9 inch baking dish or non stick pan, a hand mixer or a stand mixer, measuring cups and spoons, a rubber spatula and two medium bowls. You’ll also need a sheet pan for toasting the nuts and coconut.
  • When dolloping the filling over the cake batter, leave a border of about 1 inch around the edge of the pan to prevent it from baking over.
  • Please note: It’s important that you make an effort not to mix the swirl in too much with the cake batter. Think, lightly swirling not vigorous stirring.
  • I’ve had great success with earthquake cakes in NOT baking over the sides of my pan. That said, if you’re concerned, place foil or a pan on the rack under the cake pan to catch drips. It often comes down to how the swirl rises while baking.
  • Store leftover Hawaiian Earthquake Cake chilled in the refrigerator for up to 5 days
  • You can also freeze this cake for up to 2 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight prior to serving.

Hawaiian Earthquake Cake

More Easy Sheet Cake Recipes to Make

Thanks for visiting come back soon!

Disclosure ~ If  a purchase is made using one of the affiliate links on this website we may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you!

Helpful Kitchen Items:

Hawaiian Earthquake Cake Reicpe
Print Recipe Pin Recipe Rate this Recipe
5 from 2 votes

Hawaiian Earthquake Cake

Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time50 minutes
Cooling Time4 hours
Total Time1 hour 10 minutes
Course: Cakes, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: earthquake-cake-recipes, hawaiian-earthquake-cake
Servings: 16 pieces
Calories: 231kcal
Author: Melissa Sperka


  • 1 1/4 cup sweetened flaked coconut divided
  • ½ cup chopped macadamia nuts toasted
  • 1 15.25 oz box Yellow or Butter cake mix plus oil, water and eggs to prepare
  • 1 3.4 oz box instant coconut cream pudding mix
  • 1 8 oz cream cheese softened
  • ½ cup salted butter softened
  • 1 tsp pure pineapple extract
  • ½ tsp pure almond extract
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 8 oz crushed pineapple, well drained
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spread 1/4 cup coconut and 1/2 cup chopped macadamia nuts on a baking sheet. Toast for 6 minutes, stirring occasionally for even browning. Set aside to cool completely.
  • Spray a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with cooking spray. Sprinkle 1 cup remaining coconut on the bottom of the pan followed by the 1/2 cup toasted macadamia nuts. (You may also reserve a few macadamia nuts for garnishing)
  • Prepare the cake mix batter per the instructions on the box using the amounts called for of water, oil and eggs. Add the coconut cream pudding mix to the batter. Whip until combined.
  • Pour the batter evenly over the coconut and macadamia nuts in the pan. Don't stir.
  • In a medium size mixing bowl using an electric mixer cream together the cream cheese, softened butter, pineapple and almond extracts.
  • Gradually add the powdered sugar. Beat until creamy and fully combined about 1-2 minutes. Fold in the crushed pineapple by hand.
  • Drop the creamed mixture using a teaspoon randomly over the batter. Use a knife to lightly swirl through the batter being careful not to fully mix in. Leave a 1 inch border around the edge. Sprinkle the top of the cake batter with white chocolate chips.
  • Bake for 30 minutes, then lay a piece of aluminum foil on top. Bake for an additional 15-20 minutes (45-50 minutes total) or until a toothpick inserted into the cake portion comes back clean. Cool to room temperature on a cooling rack in the pan.
  • Cut into squares, then serve with whipped cream and garnish with reserved toasted coconut and macadamia nuts, if desired.


Serving: 1piece | Calories: 231kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 18mg | Sodium: 81mg | Potassium: 74mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 24g | Vitamin A: 182IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 29mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @melissassk or tag #melissassk!



  1. I have a pineapple cake mix, coconut extract, and cheesecake instant puddling mix. Can these be used instead of yellow cake mix, pineapple extract (can’t find), and coconut cream instant pudding mix (can’t find)?

  2. you mentioned in the beginning of the recipe to toast a quarter cup of the coconut and a quarter cup of the macadamia nuts and then to put aside. Then it says to put the remaining coconut and macadamia nuts but it doesn’t tell you what to do with the toasted ones at the end of the recipe. Please explain. Thanks

  3. Hi Melissa. I would like to make this cake cuz I love coconuts. However, anything with pineapple I can’t put in any muxture cuz I am allergic. Can you suggest another substitute to add or may I leave it out? Plz advice. Thankyou.

  4. The cake looks yummmmmy ! I’m not a huge fan of coconut, unless it’s in my virgin pina colada!! The recipe calls for quite a bit. Is there a substitution?

  5. Is the top supposed to be wobbly or fully cooked? Im now an extra 15 minutes into cooking because the middle top is still wobbly and looks uncooked

      1. Ok i took it out becasue i panicked, its been about an hour or so, and i just cut it, and its still stodgy in the middle. It about fell apart on me 🙁 I porbably should have loet it cook longer, but the edges looked done

      2. No two earthquake cakes are alike. The filling needs to be gently swirled through the cake batter, and not mixed into it too much. In the future, lay a piece of foil on top if it’s baking slow, and let it bake until a tester shows moist crumbs when inserted into the cake portion.

  6. I just finished sampling this cake -OMG – it is fabulous – I put vanilla chips on top and it is beautiful and oh soooooo good! Baked 45 minutes + 5 and tented it the last 5.

  7. I am baking this cake as I type. I used a yellow cake mix and couldn’t find pineapple flavoring at the store. I mixed the cake as you describe with 3 eggs, 1/3 cup canola oil, and 1/2 cup cream/milk. Greased and floured the pan as directed. I put the coconut and mac nuts on the bottom, but not the vanilla chips. I did everything else like the recipe and topped with the vanilla chips. I will check it in a few minutes and tent if necessary. I’ll let you know how it turns out. It is my April 1st Fools Day son’s birthday and we’ll have it later today.

  8. This is a wonderful recipe. I used pecans instead because that’s what I had. I used cake mix with pudding already in it and added a package pineapple jello. I really like how ‘crusty’ the bottom layer of coconut and nuts came out. This is a winner.

  9. Please modify the instructions. The pineapple is mentioned twice. In the beginning, it sounds as if the nuts and coconut should be toasted and mixed together. Other than the gay the cake is cooling on my table right now. It looks and smells delicious! I’ll report back😊

    1. I think you’ve misunderstood. The first mention of pineapple is referring to the extract NOT the crushed pineapple. Also, if it isn’t in the directions of a recipe to mix something together then don’t. 1/4 cup coconut and macadamia nuts are both toasted at the same time but aren’t mixed together.

      1. Yes I did misunderstand! Thank you for clarifying for me. I finally got to taste it and it is fabulous! Will be making again!

  10. This is the second time in two weeks I’m hearing of an Earthqucake cake and I must say this looks amazing and I just love the idea of mixing all these favorite flavors together. YUM! Pinned.

  11. Would eliminating the coconut & replacing the coconut pudding mix with vanilla flavored mix be all right? My family doesn’t like coconut.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating