Chocolate Earthquake Cake Recipe

Chocolate Earthquake Cake

An enticing recipe for a light and fudgy cake that comes out of the oven with a cracked top. Hence, it looks like it has been in an earthquake. It’s scrumptious.

Yield: 6-8 servings

Time: 40 minutes



  • 3/4 lbs (340 g) semi-sweet chocolate, with at least 70% cocoa content
  • 1/2 cup (115 g) unsalted butter
  • 4 eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 cups (230 g) confectioners sugar
  • 1/4 cup (30 g) all purpose flour
  • 1 cup (115 g) walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 2 Tbsp grated orange peel
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) heavy cream
  • 1/2 lb (225 g) semi-sweet chocolate at least 70% cocoa content, broken into small pieces
  • 1 tsp brandy or vanilla extract

… rugged and irresistible!


Cut a round piece of parchment to fit an 8-inch (20 cm) round cake pan with a removable bottom. Butter and flour pan and parchment paper generously. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 350° F/175° C.

Place chocolate pieces and the butter in a glass bowl and microwave it until melted. Beat eggs with an electric mixer at high speed until eggs have thickened up and the color is light and creamy about 5 minutes. Pour the chocolate mixture into the egg mix. Add sugar and flour one third at a time stirring gently until well combined. Add walnuts, orange peel, and vanilla. Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake it for 30 minutes. Let it cool before removing it from the pan. The cake will have a cracked top and a light texture, like a very fudgy brownie. When cool enough to handle, remove some of the loose cracklings from the top for garnish, they are going to be the “stones”. Set aside until you prepare the ganache.

Place chocolate pieces in a bowl and set aside. Bring heavy cream to just a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Immediately pour cream over chocolate. Stir until well combined and smooth. Add brandy or vanilla and stir again. Let it cool a bit to firm up. Spread ganache over the top of the cake and garnish with the cracklings. Any left-over ganache can be left covered in the fridge for about a week.

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