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1601 East Lohman Avenue
Las Cruces, NM, 88001
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Quilting Fuel: Upside Down


Tips, Ideas, Patterns, and more by the crew at Bernina Sewing & Design


Quilting Fuel: Upside Down

Marsha Cowan

The weather here in Southern NM has been rainy and cloudy for a change, and it’s starting to feel like fall.  Fall makes us think of lots of things, like turning leaves, cooler weather, and how many foods and drinks can they make in pumpkin spice flavor? But it also makes us think of birthdays-several Bernina Babes celebrate theirs in the fall. And if we took a poll, you’d find  that our all-time favorite birthday cake is German Chocolate. Moist chocolate cake, yummy pecans and coconut in a thick and delicious frosting that’s good enough to eat by itself—what’s not to love? Well, the time it takes to make one. (No comments on the calories, please.)

Our Quilting Fuel recipes tend to be on the easy side, so we’ve got a German Chocolate cake recipe that lets you have your cake and eat it, too, time-wise. You might be familiar with this recipe, but if not, you’re in for a lovely treat. It also goes by the name of Earthquake Cake. It’s not the prettiest cake you’ll ever make, but who cares, as long as it tastes good? We’re saving the pretty for our sewing.

This version (and the mouthwatering photo) comes to us from Diana Rattray on the Southern Food section of You can see the original here.

Upside Down German Chocolate Cake


  • 1 cup flaked sweetened coconut
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 package (18.25 ounces) German chocolate cake mix
  • eggs, water, and oil as directed on package
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine, room temperature
  • 2 cups confectioner’s sugar



Grease and flour a 9x13x2-inch baking pan. Heat oven to 350° F (180° C/Gas Mark 4) .

Sprinkle coconut and pecans evenly over the bottom of the prepared pan. Prepare cake mix with water, oil, and eggs, following the package directions. Pour the cake batter over the coconut and pecans.

Combine the cream cheese, butter, and confectioner’s sugar in a mixing bowl. Beat  until well blended. Drop by spoonfuls over the top of cake batter.

Put the cake in the oven with a large baking sheet under it, just in case the mixture spills over a bit. Bake for about 45 to 50 minutes. A toothpick should come out clean when inserted into the center of the cake portion.

Cool the cake in the pan on a rack. To serve, cut into individual serving-size pieces and, using a spatula or cake server, remove from the pan and turn upside-down on dessert plates.


Enjoy the cake and the fall weather, and if it’s your birthday, have a Happy one!

Happy Stitching!