Pumpkin Earthquake Cake

This easy Pumpkin Earthquake Cake is perfect for fall!  It's made with a moist, spice cake mix that's been doctored up with canned pumpkin, pumpkin spice and more. There's a cream cheese filling swirled into a  pumpkin spice cake and milk chocolate chips sprinkled on top. I have a chocolate peanut butter earthquake cake recipe for the chocolate peanut butter lovers too.

slice of pumpkin earthquake cake on a white plate with fork

It's getting to be that time of the year that everything pumpkin will be showing up online. I can't help myself and want everything fall to be happening now, so I'm going to get a head start on sharing some recipes. My family doesn't seem to mind, so I'm sure you won't either.

blue pan with pumpkin earthquake cake in it

brownie mix cookies
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Pumpkin Earthquake Cake Ingredients

  • spice cake mix - the perfect shortcut for an earthquake cake.
  • eggs - I used large eggs. They can be mixed in at room temperature or cold.
  • canned pumpkin - don't accidentally get the canned pumpkin pie filling. It has to be 100% pumpkin puree.
  • vegetable oil - either vegetable or canola oil will work for this recipe
  • sugar - a little extra sugar is needed after the pumpkin puree is added. It can be granulated sugar or light brown sugar.
  • pumpkin spice - what would a pumpkin spice earthquake cake be without pumpkin spice?
  • cream cheese - always use full-fat cream cheese that's at room temperature for this recipe.
  • butter - I recommend using unsalted butter, but salted will do in a pinch.
  • powdered sugar - If the powdered sugar is clumpy, I recommend sifting it before adding it to the cream cheese filling.

slice of pumpkin earthquake cake on dessert plate

How to make this Pumpkin Spice Earthquake Cake Recipe

This pumpkin earthquake cake comes together quickly and is so easy to make. It looks like you've put in a ton of work, but didn't.

Ingredients for step one of pumpkin earthquake cake

Start by adding the cake mix, eggs, pumpkin, water, vegetable oil, sugar, and pumpkin spice in a bowl and whisk or use a hand mixer to beat until combined. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and mix in any unmixed ingredients. Set aside.

cream cheese filling in a bowl with utensils

Add the cream cheese, melted butter, and powdered sugar in a bowl. You can either stir together with a spatula or with a hand mixer until the cream cheese filling is smooth.

pumpkin spice batter and cream cheese filling in the prepared pan

Now that all of the batters are mixed, add the pumpkin cake into a greased 9x13 baking pan. Add dollops of the cream cheese filling all over the top of the pumpkin cake batter. Using a skewer or butter knife, run the skewer back and forth until the batter is swirled.

If you're using chocolate chips, sprinkle them in now. Throw the cake in the oven and bake until a toothpick that's been inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.

showing the top of the pumpkin earthquake cake on plate

Does this pumpkin earthquake cake need to be refrigerated? Yes! Whenever there's cream cheese involved, you want to make sure it's covered with plastic wrap and stored in the refrigerator.

Can I substitute the milk chocolate chips? Yes! You can use semi-sweet, butterscotch, white chocolate, etc instead of milk chocolate chips. Personally, I think pumpkin earthquake cake with butterscotch chips sounds amazing.

Need more pumpkin desserts in your life?

Pumpkin cheesecake bars on a white plate with a hint of the Pumpkin Earthquake Cake.

Pumpkin Earthquake Cake

4.70 from 182 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12 slices
Calories 599 kcal



  • 1 box (15.25 ounces) Spice Cake Mix w/ Pudding in the mix
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup canned 100% pure pumpkin
  • ¾ cup water
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

Cream Cheese Filling

  • 8 ounces cream cheese room temperature
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • ½ cup milk chocolate chips optional


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13 baking pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Add the cake mix, pumpkin, eggs, water, oil, sugar, and pumpkin spice in a large mixing bowl. Mix with a hand mixer or whisk until the cake mix is incorporated.
  • Pour the batter in the prepared pan.
  • In a separate microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter in the microwave for 30 seconds.
  • Beat the cream cheese in with the melted butter with a hand mixer.
  • Add in the powdered sugar and beat until well combined.
  • Place spoonfuls of the cream cheese mixture all over the top of the cake mixture. Using a knife or skewer, gently swirl through the cream cheese.
  • Sprinkle chocolate chips on top.
  • Place the pan in the preheated oven and bake for 30-35 minutes or until done. Insert a toothpick in the center of the cake and if it's done it will come out clean.
  • When done, allow the cake to almost completely cool. If you cut before it cools, the cake will be very soft.


Calories: 599kcalCarbohydrates: 75gProtein: 5gFat: 32gSaturated Fat: 19gCholesterol: 83mgSodium: 368mgPotassium: 230mgFiber: 2gSugar: 61gVitamin A: 3744IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 84mgIron: 3mg

(Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietitian for special diet advice.)

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  1. This cake is amazing! Rave reviews when I served it at a recent gathering. I would definitely make it again… I couldn’t find the cake mix with pudding, and it did turn out just fine.5 stars

  2. It turned out great! I served it to a small group. Everyone loved it. I did chocolate chips on just half. With or without chocolate chips it was good. I’m making it again for a Veteran’s day celebration.5 stars

  3. A favorite at my work potluck luncheons! Although it does take much longer to bake than the recipe suggests. Allow extra time for that!5 stars

  4. So good! I followed another reviewer's tip, used 2 cups of powdered sugar and it was plenty. Used 1 cup of Hershey's cinnamon chips on top (more commonly found this time of year) and they were the perfect addition. Took a little over 40 minutes to bake in a metal pan on convection bake.

    My previous comment didn't post - before I tried the recipe I made a comment about all brands of cream cheese not being equal, use a brand that you trust (doesn't have to be a name brand). I love most of Walmart's great value products BUT their cream cheese has failed me many times so I don't recommend it. I used the PICS brand (from Price Chopper/Market 32) and it did just fine. Great recipe!5 stars

  5. I'll be making this soon once I buy a spice cake mix - just wanted to add a comment about cream cheese, all brands definitely aren't created equal. I stocked up on Walmart's store brand of cream cheese and found that it didn't do well in most recipes (too salty, didn't care for the taste nor the texture of it cold/heated). Some store brands are great, just not that one. I'll post a review once I make this, thanks! (Just saw the recipe on your Facebook feed today!)

  6. This sounds great! Before I make it, I was wondering if Canola oil will work as well as Vegetable oil. I only use Canola in any of my other baking & cooking.

4.70 from 182 votes (170 ratings without comment)

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