Strawberry Cream Cheese King Cake Earthquake Cake

Strawberry Cream Cheese King Cake Earthquake Cake is such an easy way to enjoy the Mardi Gras favorite! Rich cinnamon cake mix swirled with strawberry and cream cheese, topped with a powdered sugar glaze.

king cake earthquake cake in a baking dish and on a plate

Happy Mardi Gras!

It's king cake season around here! We've enjoyed one or three of these Mardi Gras delicacies so far. They definitely aren't in short supply, but they can be a little pricey and pretty difficult to make at home.

slice of strawberry cream cheese king cake earthquake cake on a plate.

…until now! My kids and I experimented and came up with an awesome, easy substitute. This King Cake Earthquake Cake is a fun twist on an old classic.

Strawberry Cream Cheese King Cake Earthquake Cake has the rich flavors of a traditional king cake without the work. You get the cinnamon cake, the fruit/cream cheese filling, and the sugared glaze in each bite.

It's pretty too – you'll see all of the ingredients in each unique piece of cake. And the best part? It's 10 times easier than trying to make a king cake at home! You're going to want to save this one for your next Mardi Gras party.

What is an Earthquake Cake?

Just like my other earthquake cake recipes, this follows the same general idea: gently swirl yummy fillings into a cake mix and bake in the oven. When you bake the cake, you'll have a pretty and delicious dessert.

Your cake has swirls of ingredients throughout the mix and a wonderful combination of flavors and textures in each bite. This king cake version ended up being one of the prettier ones I've made. Our family absolutely devoured it!

Variations

Just like real king cakes, you could easily change this strawberry cream cheese king cake earthquake cake could to fit your taste. A few variations…

  • Change the fruit filling to your liking. Blueberry, apple, raspberry, or cherry pie fillings would be delicious.
  • Omit the cream cheese if you're not a fan.
  • Change up the type of cake mix. A cinnamon cake base is traditional for a king cake. If you want to mix it up a bit, you could try yellow cake mix, chocolate cake mix, or even a fruit-flavored cake mix to give it a little bit of variety.
  • Add pecans to the top of the cake – I didn't do this, but it would be a great complement to the flavors in the cake. You could also add chocolate chips or raisins to complement the fruit filling.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Let's take a look at the step-by-step process for making King Cake Earthquake Cake.

Ingredients

  • 1 21oz box Cinnamon Swirl Muffin Mix (with both mix and cinnamon topping included)
  • 1 1/4 cups milk, divided
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) butter, melted
  • 8oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 21oz can strawberry pie filling (any fruit will work)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • green, yellow, purple sugar

Step 1: Make the cake base.

cinnamon muffin mix batter in a baking dish.

In a large bowl, mix muffin mix (without topping), 1 cup milk, 2 large eggs, and butter until well-blended. Pour mixture into an 8×8″ baking dish sprayed with cooking spray.

Step 2: Add cream cheese, strawberry filling, and cinnamon.

cream cheese cinnamon mixture spooned over batter.

With a mixer on medium speed, blend the cream cheese, 1/4 cup milk, and 3/4 of the pouch of cinnamon topping together until smooth. Spoon mixture into cake mix and gently fold in.

cream cheese cinnamon mixture swirled into batter.

The two should not be mixed, just swirled together.

strawberry pie filling spooned over batter.
strawberry pie filling swirled into batter.

Spoon strawberry pie filling over the cake batter mixture. Again, gently fold in until there are swirls of pie filling incorporated into the cake.

cinnamon crumble over batter.

Spoon remaining cinnamon topping (from your muffin mix pack) over the cake batter.

Step 3: Bake cake.

baked king cake earthquake cake without frosting.

Bake the swirled cake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes, until cake is not jiggly in the middle. The swirls might still be jiggly, but cake part should not move and should be firm to the touch on top.

Step 4: Add glaze and colored sugar.

While cake is baking, make a quick glaze by stirring together 1 cup of powdered sugar and a splash of milk until smooth.

spoon of powdered sugar frosting drizzling over cake.
king cake earthquake cake topped with glaze.

Once cake is finished baking and cooled for 10-15 minutes, pour powdered sugar mixture over the top.

king cake earthquake cake topped with sprinkles.

Sprinkle colored sugar crystals over icing to decorate the cake.

plate with slice of king cake earthquake cake.

Enjoy! And yes, if you feel so inclined, you can definitely put a plastic baby in the cake after cooking. 🙂

Leftover Storage

Because this cake has cream cheese throughout, I recommend storing this one in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days after baking. Cool and cover before refrigerating.

Your cake can be served cool or warm – I prefer warm! To reheat, microwave a slice of cake for about 30 seconds in the microwave. This is absolutely perfect with a big cup of coffee.

FAQs

King cakes are a heavenly mix of a cinnamon cake with some king of filling. Fillings can be fruit, cream cheese, praline filling – really anything! The cake is covered in a sweet glaze that gives it the right touch of sweetness.

If a king cake has filling, it will typically have a fruit flavor. Blueberry, strawberry, raspberry, cherry, or apple flavors are always popular. It can also have cream cheese mixed in with the fruit filling. There are also praline varieties that are delicious!

Yes! They are tricky to get just right, which is why most of us in the “king cake region” of the US have a personal favorite. (Mine is Paul's, FYI.) That's why I like this King Cake Earthquake Cake – all of the flavors without the all the fuss!

xo, Leslie - signature at the end of blog post.
slice of king cake earthquake cake on a plate.

Strawberry Cream Cheese King Cake Earthquake Cake

Strawberry Cream Cheese King Cake Earthquake Cake is such an indulgent way to enjoy the Mardi Gras favorite! Rich cinnamon cake mix swirled with strawberry and cream cheese, topped with a powdered sugar glaze.
5 from 30 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12
Calories 422 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 21 oz Cinnamon Swirl Muffin Mix with both mix and cinnamon topping included
  • 1 1/4 cups milk divided
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 8 oz cream cheese room temperature
  • 21 oz canned strawberry pie filling any fruit will work
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • green, yellow, purple sugar crystals

Instructions
 

  • In a large bowl, mix muffin mix (without topping), 1 cup milk, 2 eggs, and butter until well-blended. Pour mixture in a 8×8" baking dish sprayed with cooking spray.
  • On medium speed, mix the cream cheese, 1/4 cup milk, and 3/4 of the pouch of cinnamon topping together until smooth. Spoon mixture into cake mix and gently fold in. The two should not be mixed, just swirled together.
  • Spoon pie filling and remaining cinnamon topping over the cake batter mixture. Again, gently fold in until there are swirls of pie filling incorporated into the cake.
  • Bake cake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes, until cake is not jiggly in the middle. The swirls might still be jiggly, but cake part should not move and should be firm to the touch on top.
  • While cake is baking, mix together 1 cup of powdered sugar and a splash of milk.
  • Once cake is finished baking and cooled for 10-15 minutes, pour powdered sugar mixture over the top. Sprinkle colored sugar crystals over cake to decorate.

Notes

  • Any type of pie filling can be used for this recipe. Blueberry, apple, or cherry would be great options as well!
  • Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for 4-5 days after baking. Microwave a slice of cake for 30 seconds to reheat.

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 422kcalCarbohydrates: 70gProtein: 8gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 44mgSodium: 600mgPotassium: 158mgFiber: 4gSugar: 41gVitamin A: 266IUVitamin C: 11mgCalcium: 143mgIron: 2mg
Keyword king cake, mardi gras
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