Pumpkin Earthquake Cake with craters of cream cheese filling will become one of your favorite gluten free pumpkin dessert recipes.
Gluten Free Pumpkin Earthquake Cake was originally posted on October 26, 2020 and has been updated with a completely new pumpkin cake recipe, plenty of new tips and information, new pictures, and a new video.
Some of the items linked in this post are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, if you click through and make a purchase, I will earn a small commission.
Oh. My. Goodness, y'all!! If you've ever had the original earthquake cake made with chocolate cake mix (or German chocolate cake mix), this gluten free pumpkin version is gonna blow you away!
What is Earthquake Cake?
If you've never had earthquake cake, you're in for a real treat! Usually earthquake cake is made with a German chocolate cake mix and is loaded with coconut, pecans, and chocolate chips. Then a sweetened cream cheese mixture (basically cream cheese frosting) is dolloped on top and the whole thing is baked.
What happens in the oven is why this cake is called "earthquake." As the cake bakes, the cream cheese bubbles up and down, creating craters and dips of gooeyness. When I first had a piece of earthquake cake, I was instantly hooked. I made it for my family and my mom said it was one of her favorite cakes ever.
what you'll need to make pumpkin earthquake cake
- Kim's all purpose gluten free flour blend--a store bought blend may be substituted, but hasn't been tested.
- Pumpkin puree--make sure to use canned pumpkin and not pumpkin pie filling
- Pumpkin pie spice--make your own (instructions in the recipe card) or use a store bought blend
- Cream cheese--this is what "explodes" in the oven and creates those craters
- Butterscotch chips--make sure they're gluten free. Some brands, such as Nestle, contain barley flavoring so they are NOT gluten free. Hershey's are gluten free, as well as Walmart's Great Value brand and are Aldi's store brand.
how to make this pumpkin Cake
- Make the cream cheese mixture. Beat cream cheese until smooth. Add melted butter and powdered sugar and continue beating until fully combined. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and grease a 9 by 13-inch baking pan.
- Combine the dry ingredients. Whisk dry ingredients in a medium bowl.
- Combine the wet ingredients. Whisk wet ingredients in a large bowl.
- Finish the cake batter. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and whisk until smooth.
- Assemble the cake. Pour the cake batter into the prepared pan and smooth. Dollop the cream cheese mixture by spoonfuls all over the top of the cake batter. Sprinkle butterscotch chips on top.
- Bake the cake. Bake the cake for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into just the cake part comes out clean.
- Use a store bought gluten free cake mix in lieu of making your own cake batter. I would suggest getting a vanilla or yellow cake mix, adding the pumpkin pie spice and pumpkin to it, and baking as per the recipe.
- Add coconut and pecans on the bottom of the pan before pouring the cake batter over the top.
- Substitute coconut oil for the canola or vegetable oil.
- Sprinkle with chocolate chips instead of butterscotch chips.
- For dairy free, try using dairy-free cream cheese, such as Kite Hill or Miyoko's Creamery and a dairy-free butter alternative, such as Miyoko's Creamery or Earth Balance. You will also need to use a dairy-free milk powder, such as Coconut Milk Powderhttps://amzn.to/469GeYA, (affiliate link) in my gluten-free flour blend (or use a store bought flour blend that doesn't contain dairy).
more gluten free pumpkin Dessert recipes
One of my favorite gluten free pumpkin dessert recipes (and one of the most underrated), this Pumpkin Earthquake Cake is sure to become one of your favorites, too!
Gluten Free Pumpkin Earthquake Cake
- 2 cups (280g) Kim's all purpose gluten free flour blend (a store bought flour blend may be substituted, but hasn't been tested)
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1½ cups (300g) granulated sugar
- 1 15-oz (425g) can pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
- 1½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice*
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 cup (240ml) canola oil (any neutral oil can be used)
Cream Cheese Mixture
- 8 ounces (226g) cream cheese, softened
- ½ cup (113g) butter, melted
- 3 cups (375g) powdered sugar
- ½ cup (85g) butterscotch chips (or more to taste)** (Nestle butterscotch chips are now gluten free)
Make the Cream Cheese Mixture
- In a medium bowl, mix the cream cheese until smooth. Add the melted butter, followed slowly by the powdered sugar. Beat until well combined and there are no lumps. Set aside.
Prepare the Cake Batter
- Preheat the oven to 350° F. Grease a 9 by 13-inch baking dish and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour blend, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the canned pumpkin, sugar, eggs, oil, and vanilla until smooth. Add the dry ingredients and whisk or stir to combine fully.
- Pour the cake batter into the prepared baking dish. Dollop the cream cheese mixture all over the top of the cake and sprinkle the butterscotch chips on top.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake part comes out clean.
- Serve warm or at room temperature. Store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.