Hawaiian Earthquake Cake

A coconut-pineapple confection that’s creamy, dreamy, and just sweet enough.

Earthquake Cake is generally an oeey-gooey chocolate experience where a cream cheese filling rises up through the cracks in the surface of the cake. (So there’s need for frosting!) Well, this variation of Earthquake Cake is just as ooey-gooey, just as easy to make, and still has that delicious eruption of cream cheese filling going on, it just happens that the cake is flavored with pineapple, coconut, and macadamia nuts instead of the chocolate. It’s like a tropical vacation in a cake pan, but you don’t have to get on a plane to enjoy it!

Good news – you get to use boxed cake mix for this cake. It keeps things super easy, but since you’re doctoring it up with some special add-ins, you won’t miss the homemade quality of a totally from-scratch cake. You whisk up some yellow cake mix with the ingredients called for on the box, but also with some coconut cream pudding mix (it keeps things extra moist) and then you pour it over some coconut and macadamia nuts.

And then it’s time for the filling! It’s a quick mixture of cream cheese, butter, pineapple, and powdered sugar, and you swirl it lightly into the top of the cake and top it with white chocolate chips.

As it bakes, the cake rises up around that filling so that in every morsel you get a tender bite of coconut-scented cake but also a velvety pineapple-cream cheese one too. In other words, you don’t need any frosting at all, because it’s more or less incorporated into the actual cake.

I don’t know that there’s anything more heavenly than the combination of pineapple, coconut, and macadamia nuts and this cake sure does that combo justice. It’s just a happy kind of combo, you know? And this cake brings it together in a way that’s light but creamy, just sweet enough, and sure to brighten any day.

Hawaiian Earthquake Cake

Serves 12 Prep 10m  Cook 45m

Ingredients
  • 1 (15 oz) box yellow cake mix, plus ingredients called for on package
  • 1 1/2 sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup macadamia nuts, chopped
  • 1 (3.4 oz) coconut cream instant pudding mix
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon pineapple extract
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 (8 oz) can crushed pineapple, drained well
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • Ice cream, for serving
Preparation
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and grease a 9x13-inch pan with nonstick spray.
  2. Prepare the cake batter according to package instructions. Add coconut cream pudding mix and stir to combine.
  3. Sprinkle 1 cup of the coconut and macadamia nuts in baking pan. Top with cake batter but do not stir.
  4. In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter, and pineapple extract with an electric mixer until smooth. Gradually add powdered sugar and beat until creamy, about 2 minutes. Fold in crushed pineapple.
  5. Drop pineapple cream cheese mixture by the spoonful randomly over cake batter. Use a knife to lightly swirl the two together but don't mix fully. Top with white chocolate chips.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes, then lay a piece of foil lightly over the top. Bake until a toothpick inserted into a cake portion comes out clean, 15-20 minutes.
  7. While the cake bakes, toast the remaining coconut in a small pan over low heat until golden brown, stirring frequently.
  8. Top cake with vanilla ice cream and toasted coconut and enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Melissa's Southern Style Kitchen.