Grandma’s Mississippi Mud Cake

Grandma’s Mississippi Mud Cake is a Southern classic that’s rich, chocolatey, and gooey, with a moist, fudge-like texture that’s simply irresistible.

Mississippi mud cake in baking pan with top layer flowing over

Mississippi mud cake is named after its appearance, which looks like the layers of silt and rock found in the Mississippi River. It’s been a highly vintage cake since the 70’s!

If you love old-fashioned cakes, then you’ll definitely want to try my other vintage cake recipes. My cinnamon cake, peanut butter and jelly cake, and applesauce cake are all packed with nostalgic flavors and are sure to bring back memories of your favorite homemade treats.

vintage recipe for mud cake in cookbook

This recipe was found in a Southern cookbook. I bought the cookbook in an antique store and my attention was drawn to the recipe mainly because of the name. After making it – I see why it is named the way it is! After cutting into a piece – the frosting pours over the side like Mississippi mud. But don’t worry – it tastes delicious!

Why I Love This Recipe

  • Unbeatable Flavors: The combination of a moist, homemade chocolate cake with melted marshmallows and warm chocolate frosting poured on top is simply unbeatable.
  • Time-Tested: This is a tried and tested recipe that has stood the test of time. It’s a dessert that’s always a hit, no matter the occasion.
  • Unique: When you cut into it, the marshmallow creme and frosting combine to form a fudge-like layer that’s absolutely delicious.
ingredients to make mississippi mud cake

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Key Ingredients

  • Granulated Sugar: This sweetens the cake, giving it a deliciously rich flavor.
  • Vegetable Oil: It makes the cake moist and adds a subtle depth of flavor.
  • Eggs: These help to bind the ingredients together, giving the cake structure.
  • All-Purpose Flour: It’s the main dry ingredient, providing the base for the cake.
  • Powder Cocoa: This is what gives the cake its chocolatey flavor and dark color. It’ll also be used in the frosting to add a rich chocolatey flavor as well.
  • Pecans: They add a lovely crunch and a nutty flavor to the cake.
  • Salt: A pinch of salt enhances the cocoa and balances the sweetness of the other ingredients.
  • Vanilla Extract: This adds a warm, sweet flavor to the cake.
  • Marshmallow Creme: It makes the cake extra moist and gives it a gooey, marshmallowy texture.
  • Butter: It’s the base of the frosting, giving it a rich, creamy flavor.
  • Evaporated Milk: This adds a creamy texture to the frosting without making it too sweet.
  • Powdered Sugar: This sweetens the frosting and also gives it a smooth, creamy texture.
  • Vanilla: It adds a sweet, aromatic flavor to the frosting.

Equipment

  • Electric Mixer – You’ll need this to beat together the oil, sugar, and eggs for the cake. It’s essential for achieving the right consistency in the batter.
  • 9×13-inch Pan – This is the perfect size for baking the cake. Make sure to grease and flour it to prevent the cake from sticking.
  • Medium Stockpot – This is used to melt the ingredients for the chocolate frosting. It’s important to combine butter, canned milk, and cocoa to achieve a smooth, creamy texture.
close up of a slice of mud cake

How to Make Grandma’s Mississippi Mud Cake

Preparation

To start, preheat your oven to 350˚ F and prepare your 9×13 baking pan by greasing and flour.

batter ingredients in bowl
cocoa and nuts added to batter

Step 1 – Mix the Cake

Use your electric mixer to combine the oil, sugar, and eggs. Then, add the flour, cocoa, and salt. Mix in the vanilla and the nuts.

baked cake in 9x13 baking dish

Step 2 – Bake the Cake

Pour your cake batter into the prepared 9×13 baking pan and bake it in the preheated oven for 40 minutes. You’ll know it’s done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

marshmallow creme layer on baked cake

Step 3 – Add the Marshmallow Cream

After baking, let your cake cool for 10 minutes, then spread the marshmallow cream over the top of the cake.

Step 4 – Make the Chocolate Frost

In a medium stockpot, melt together the margarine, canned milk, and vanilla. Just before the mixture comes to a boil, remove it from the heat and stir in the powdered sugar and cocoa.

frosting layer poured onto top of cake

Step 5 – Add the Frost to the Cake

Spread this chocolate mixture on top of the marshmallow cream. Make sure to let the cake cool completely before serving your Grandma’s Mississippi mud cake.

top view of cake

Expert Tip

The marshmallow layer rises through the chocolate frosting.  To make the cake look more presentable, don’t add the pecans to the frosting but instead sprinkle it on top after adding the frosting.

Recipe Variations

  • No Nuts: If you’re not a fan of nuts or have a nut allergy, feel free to leave them out of both the cake and the frosting.
  • Extra Marshmallow: For an even gooier and more decadently sweet dessert, add an extra layer of marshmallow creme. Simply double the amount in the recipe and spread it over the cooled cake as directed.
  • Dark Chocolate: While this recipe uses regular cocoa powder, you can easily swap it out for a dark or even a Dutch-processed cocoa for a richer, more intense chocolate flavor in your cake and frosting.
  • Extra Chocolate: If you’re a chocolate lover, add a cup of chocolate chips to the cake batter. This will add pockets of melted chocolate to the finished cake for an extra decadence.

What to Serve With

  • For a truly decadent dessert, serve Grandma’s Mississippi Mud Cake with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. The creamy, cool ice cream is the perfect contrast to the rich, chocolatey cake.
  • If you’re a fan of classic flavor combinations, pair this cake with a cup of hot coffee. The bitterness of the coffee helps balance out the sweetness of the cake, making for a truly enjoyable treat.
top layer flowing over cake after slice taken out

Recipe FAQs

Can I use a different type of nut instead of pecans?

Yes, you can definitely use a different type of nut if you prefer. Walnuts or almonds would be a good alternative. If you have a nut allergy, you can leave them out altogether.

Can I make the cake in a different pan?

Yes, if you don’t have a 9×13 pan, you can use a different size. Just keep in mind that the baking time may be a little different. If you use a larger, shallower pan, the cake will bake more quickly, and if you use a smaller, deeper pan, it will take longer to bake.

How do I know when the cake is done?

The cake is done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. This indicates that the cake is fully baked. It usually takes about 40 minutes in a preheated 350˚ F oven, but it’s always a good idea to check a few minutes before to make sure you don’t overbake it.

Storing and Reheating

  • Storing: After enjoying this decadently rich Grandma’s Mississippi mud cake, you can store any leftovers in an airtight container. It will keep well at room temperature for up to 3 days.
  • Freezing: If you’d like to save your cake for later, you can easily freeze it. Simply place the completely cooled cake in a freezer-safe container. It can be stored in the freezer for up to three months.
  • Thawing and Reheating: When you’re ready to enjoy your frozen cake, let it thaw in the refrigerator. Once thawed, you can reheat it by placing it in a preheated 350°F oven for about 15-20 minutes. This will help to restore its fresh-from-the-oven flavor and texture.

Serving Size

  • What to Expect: This recipe yields a rich and decadently moist cake, enough to serve 15-20 people.
  • How to Scale: If you’re planning to serve a larger crowd, you can easily double the recipe and follow the instructions as directed. You may need to use a larger mixing bowl to combine the ingredients and a bigger baking pan for the cake. Keep an eye on the baking time as it may be slightly longer due to the increased quantity.
Mississippi mud cake layer flowing over cake layer in baking pan
Created by: Lynette Rice

Mississippi Mud Cake


Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Servings 20 slices
20 slices
Grandma's Mississippi Mud Cake is a Southern classic that's rich, chocolatey, and gooey, with a moist, fudge-like texture that's simply irresistible.

Ingredients
  

Cake

  • 2 Cups granulated sugar
  • 1 Cup vegetable oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 ¼ Cups all purpose flour
  • Cup powdered cocoa
  • 1 Cup pecans chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 7 oz marshmallow creme

Frosting

  • ½ Cup butter
  • 3 ½ Cups powdered sugar sifted
  • 1 Cup pecans
  • ¾ Cup evaporated milk
  • ½ Cup powdered cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Instructions

Cake

  • Preheat oven to 350˚ F. Grease and flour a 9×13 pan.
  • Using an electric mixer, beat together the oil, sugar, and eggs. Mix in the flour, cocoa, and salt. Add the vanilla and the nuts.
  • Pour into the 9×13 baking pan and bake for 40 minutes or until a toothpick entered in the center comes out clean.
  • Let the cake cool for 10 minutes and spread the marshmallow cream over the top of the cake.

Frosting

  • In a medium stockpot, melt together the margarine canned milk, and vanilla. Just before coming to a boil, remove from heat and stir in the powdered sugar and cocoa. Spread on top of the marshmallow creme.
  • Let cool before serving.

Notes

Expert Tip: The marshmallow layer rises through the chocolate frosting.  To make the cake look more presentable, don’t add the pecans to the frosting but instead sprinkle it on top after adding the frosting.
Storing: After enjoying this decadently rich Grandma’s Mississippi mud cake, you can store any leftovers in an airtight container. It will keep well at room temperature for up to 3 days.
Freezing: If you’d like to save your cake for later, you can easily freeze it. Simply place the completely cooled cake in a freezer-safe container. It can be stored in the freezer for up to three months.
Thawing and Reheating: When you’re ready to enjoy your frozen cake, let it thaw in the refrigerator. Once thawed, you can reheat it by placing it in a preheated 350°F oven for about 15-20 minutes. This will help to restore its fresh-from-the-oven flavor and texture.

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 378kcal | Carbohydrates: 61g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 9g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 52mg | Sodium: 91mg | Potassium: 148mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 28g | Vitamin A: 224IU | Vitamin C: 0.3mg | Calcium: 45mg | Iron: 1mg

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