Chocolate Banana Earthquake Cake

I am from earthquake country. I grew up in Southern California and we had a lot of earthquakes. Then I moved up to the Bay Area for awhile, where there were even more earthquakes. Literally there are small earthquakes all over California everyday. You only hear about the big ones though. The whole state is one big giant fault line. We are used to everything rockin’ and rollin’ and shakin’ all about.

Earthquakes cakes are very popular too, and not just in California either. There are many different varieties. Earthquake cakes get their name from how they are made. A whole bunch of goodness is thrown together in the mix and as the cake is baking, all the components mix together and explode throughout the cake. Hence the name β€œearthquake cake.” Β The surface actually does look like the aftermath of a quake.

My particular version of earthquake cake is from Ghirardelli Chocolate. When I lived in San Francisco, I worked in a Public Relations firm. Most of our clients were food clients, and Ghirardelli Chocolate was one of our biggest clients. There were all kinds of fun perks that went along with that job. One of them was a fun Ghirardelli cookbook that I have treasured for many years.

Dominic Ghirardelli was one of the few master chocolatiers in America, and even today, Ghirardelli Chocolate is one of the few great American chocolates that is ranked as a world class chocolate. Ghirardelli came to America in 1848, via Rapallo, Italy then Lima, Peru, and from Lima, Peru, he ventured to California. Like many others, Ghirardelli was lured to California by gold. He made his fortune in the gold of a different kind though. His gold was in the form of chocolate. By the 1880’s Ghirardelli Chocolate was one of the largest chocolate produces in the west, producing over 50,000 pounds of chocolate per year. Ghirardelli Chocolate is still producing mother loads of chocolate gold today as well, and is known all over the world.

Earthquake Coffee Cake

I added bananas to my cake since I hate throwing away food, and I had some bananas that were beginning to brown up, which makes them just perfect for baking. Besides, I love the combination of chocolate and bananas.

Preheat the oven to 400*F or 205* C.

Spray cooking spray and dust your cake pan with flour. I used a bundt pan this time, but a 9×13 pan is great too. The recipe actually called for a 9″ cake pan. Whatever pan you use, you want to make sure it is a deep pan though, because your cake will definitely “explode”.

1/3 cup ground chocolate

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 tsp instant coffee

2 cups flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

2 mashed bananas, optional

1 egg

1/2 cup yogurt or sour cream

1/2 cup cream

Mix all the dry ingredients together and set aside.

Combine the egg, sugar, cream and yogurt or sour cream together until creamy.

Alternate the flour mixture and bananas, adding 1/2 at a time and mixing in between each addition.

The Topping

1/3 cup flour

2 TBSP ground chocolate

3 TBSP packed brown sugar

1/2 tsp cinnamon

2 TBSP butter

2-3 TBSP slivered almonds

powdered sugar for dusting, optional

Mix everything together with a pastry cutter until it resembles coarse sand, or in this case, gravel. Add the topping to the cake and run a knife through the cake in a deep swirl to resemble an earthquake.

Bake for about 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

After the cake has completely cooled, slice it up and get ready to RUMBLE!!!!! I dusted my cake with powdered sugar before slicing it up too. Once again, this was a big success. At the end of the day, all the remained was the “rubble” , which for other sweet treats would just be known as crumbs. πŸ™‚

Have a great day and make everyday great. Stay safe and stay well. ‘Til next time.


Author: ajeanneinthekitchen

I have worked in the restaurant and catering industry for over 35 years. I attended 2 culinary schools in Southern California, and have a degree in culinary arts from the Southern California School of Culinary Arts, as well as a few other degrees in other areas. I love to cook and I love to feed people.

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