This earthquake cake recipe is the best of the dessert world: it's simple with an elegant touch thanks to our twist of using brown butter. In case you haven't heard of the devastatingly delicious cake recipe, earthquake cake is a German chocolate cake base with a beyond luscious cheesecake swirl that we made with browned butter, giving the whole thing a richer, nuttier taste than the original.
It's also loaded with chocolate chips, shredded coconut, and chopped pecans that get shaken up by the oven while baking and mix themselves in with the cake batter--no stirring required! It's an easy cake that's impressive enough to serve at cookouts and dinner parties alike, so what are you waiting for? Ready, set, bake!
1 box German chocolate cake mix
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 1/3 cups water
3 eggs, whole
2/3 cup sweetened coconut shreds
2/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 stick butter
8 oz cream cheese, softened
3 cups powdered sugar (confectioners' sugar)
1 9-by-13-inch baking pan
1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the dry cake mix with the oil, eggs, and water. Stir until thoroughly combined and most lumps are broken up. (Note: You can also use a standing mixer for this.)
2. Grease a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with Pam or a paper towel moistened with a dime-sized amount of vegetable oil.
3. Pour sweetened coconut shreds, pecan pieces, and chocolate chips into the greased pan. Mix together with a spoon or your hand until thoroughly combined.
4. Pour cake batter over coconut, chocolate chips, and pecan pieces.
5. Add one stick of butter cut into pieces to a small saucepan. Over low heat, allow the butter to turn a golden brown, stirring occasionally--focus on scraping pieces from the bottom of the pan. When it's ready, the butter should have a medium-brown color and smell very nutty.
6. Remove butter from heat and mix with a block of softened cream cheese in a large mixing bowl until combined.
7. Add one cup of the powdered sugar and stir until combined. Repeat one cup at a time with the second and third cups of powdered sugar.
8. When all the powdered sugar is mixed in, transfer to a microwave-safe bowl and heat on 50% power until the cream cheese mixture is a pourable consistency.
9. Pour the cream cheese mixture over the cake batter in the baking pan. Use a spoon to gently swirl the cream cheese with the cake batter, allowing a pattern to remain on the top.
10. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. (Note: Your oven may differ, so watch the cake closely.) Enjoy!
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