Everyone knows that grandmothers make the best desserts, which is why this Grandma’s Mississippi Mud Cake recipe is the BEST! It’s the perfect way to take a step back in time and feel like you’re back baking in the kitchen with grandma because nothing says “Southern” like Mississippi Mud Cake. This classic dessert is rich, fudgy, and loaded with marshmallows and chocolate.
I love this Old Fashioned Mississippi Mud Cake because it’s a stress-free dessert. Not only are the ingredients simple, you likely have them on hand. With simple instructions, whip up the cake, sit back, and wait for it to bake. Does it get any better than that?
While my original Mississippi Mud recipe called for all-purpose flour, I often don’t have it in my pantry, so I started subbing it with self-rising instead. Not only does it cut out extra ingredients like salt and baking powder, but it yields the same results.
Get ready to treat everyone in the house with this ooey gooey Authentic Mississippi Mud Cake with a layer of fudgy, rich chocolate cake, topped with melty marshmallows and decadent chocolate frosting drizzled on top for a mouthwatering dessert.
Why is it called Mississippi Mud Cake?
Don’t let the name be a deterrent. It dates back to the Mississippi River area back to the 1970s when it was thought to have first been baked. Since the cholate resembled the color of the mud around the river banks, Mississippi Mud cake was named. After many years, the recipe has evolved into many different variations. Many refer to it as Mississippi Mud Pie as well.
Ingredients for Mississippi Mud Cake Recipe Easy dessert
- Sugar – You can’t have a cake with sugar.
- Self-rising flour – This will make the cake fluffy and dense.
- Unsweetened Cocoa Powder– Gives the cake the chocolatey flavor we all love!
- Large Eggs – Used as the binding agent for the ingredients.
- Butter – I prefer to use unsalted butter for the cake recipe. Butter helps add light and tender texture to the cake batter.
- Vanilla – Pure real vanilla extract is key! Vanilla intensifies all the flavors.
- Mini marshmallows – You can also use larger marshmallows cut in half. Don’t miss the marshmallow layer; you’ll regret it.
- Nuts – These are optional but add a great crunch.
- Milk – I use whole fat milk, but any other variety, including almond milk, would also work. Milk adds just enough liquid to make the icing nice and smooth.
- Confectioners sugar – Mixed with the cocoa powder, they flavor the frosting with a sweet delicious chocolate flavor.
To make Grandma’s Mississippi Mud cake:
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 10 X 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray or butter.
Step 2: Combine melted butter, cocoa, sugar, eggs, and a teaspoon of vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Using an electric mixer on low/medium, mix the batter thoroughly.
Step 3: Stir the dry ingredients into the mixture, then pour the batter into a prepared pan. ( If you’d like pecans, you can add them to the cake in this step.)
Step 4: Bake in a preheated oven for 30-35 minutes.
Step 5: Remove from the oven and pour a small pkg of marshmallows over the cake. Cover with aluminum foil for 7 min, then frost.
To make the frosting:
Step 1: Melt 1/2 cup butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Add the cocoa, milk, and powdered sugar.
Step 2: Stir with a whisk until the sugar melts and the chocolate frosting is smooth. Be careful not to let the chocolate mixture boil as it can cause it to set up faster. Remove from heat and stir in nuts and vanilla.
Why is my mud cake crumbly?
Make sure that you don’t overbake the cake. If you do, it will become dry and start to have a crumbled appearance and texture.
Should mud cake be kept in the fridge?
Storage of leftover mud cake is important! You can keep it at room temperature with a lid on it for up to 7 days; however, storing the leftovers in the fridge will keep it fresh and moist for longer.
Make sure to have a lid on it or cover it with plastic wrap for freshness!
It can also be frozen to enjoy later. I’ve found the best way is to wrap individual pieces in plastic wrap and place them in a freezer-safe container. You can grab one at a time without defrosting the entire cake.
How do you know when mud cake is cooked?
The key to ensuring the cake is done is using the toothpick method. Just put a clean toothpick into the center of the cake and pull it out. If it comes out clean, the cake is down and ready to take out of the oven.
The top of the baked cake should also have no visible signs of wetness, and the side of the cake will begin to pull away from the pan. This is another way that you can look at the cake and know that it’s done baking.
Variations to this Recipe:
- Save time with a cake mix! – To make this recipe even easier, a chocolate cake mix if you are low on time. I’ve used a devil’s cake mix, which turned out great. While Mississippi Mud Cake always tastes better from scratch, a cake mix is a great alternative.
- Change the frosting – If you don’t want to make the frosting, don’t! There are plenty of alternatives such as buttercream, cream cheese, peanut butter, or another favorite. You could also sprinkle chocolate chips on top and let them sit for a few minutes on top of the hot marshmallows, then spread them out with a butter knife.
- Add whipped cream – There’s always room for a dollop or two of whipped cream.
- Use marshmallow fluff or marshmallow creme – If you don’t have miniature marshmallows, you can always use marshmallow fluff! Or even flavored marshmallows would be a super fun addition to this dish!
- Go Nuts! – You can use any nuts you prefer, such as walnuts, pecans, or almonds.
Other Dessert Recipes:
- Cake Mix Oatmeal Cookies with Chocolate Chips
- S’mores Cups with Graham Cracker Crust
- Southern Buttermilk Pie Recipe
- Easy Chocolate Mound Cake Recipe
- Easy Pumpkin Balls with Spice Cake Mix
- 80 All time Best Southern Living Desserts
Easy Grandma's Mississippi Mud Cake Recipe
For the Cake:
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 ½ cup self rising flour
- 9 TBS cocoa
- 4 eggs
- 2 sticks of butter
- 2 tsp vanilla
- dash salt
- Standard bag of mini marshmallows
- 1 cup nuts optional
For the Frosting :
- 1 stick of butter
- 7 TBS cocoa
- ⅕ - ¼ cup milk
- 1 box of confectioners sugar
- ½ to 1 cup nuts optional
For the Cake:
- Combine melted butter, cocoa, sugar, eggs, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl.
- Using a mixer on low/medium, mix the batter thoroughly.
- Stir in flour, salt, and nuts, then pour into greased 9X13 baking pan.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and pour a small pkg of marshmallows over the cake.
- Cover with aluminum foil for 7 min, then frost.
For the Frosting:
- Melt 1 stick of butter in a medium saucepan over low heat.
- Add cocoa, milk, and confectioners sugar.
- Stir until sugar melts, and the frosting is smooth.
- Remove from heat and stir in nuts and vanilla.