Classic Mississippi Mud Cake Recipe

Chocolate cake is delicious enough on its own, but when you top it off with marshmallow fluff, frosting, and some crunchy pecans, it becomes truly irresistible. Recipe developer Jessica Morone does exactly that with her classic Mississippi mud cake, which she describes as "rich and decadent." 

If you've never made a cake from scratch, you may find it to be a daunting task — but fear not, as Morone assures us that this mud cake is actually quite easy to make. "Since it is a sheet cake you just bake it in one pan and then add the marshmallow fluff and chocolate frosting on top," she describes. Morone also can't help but rave about how tasty this cake is, explaining that she loves "the flavor of the chocolate cake with the gooey marshmallows, the chocolate frosting, and the crunchy pecans together." It really is an unbeatable combo, but you'll find that out for yourself soon enough once you get busy in the kitchen!

Gather the ingredients for Mississippi mud cake

The ingredient list for this cake is quite hefty, but many items are pantry staples, so be sure to check inventory before heading to the store. All told, you'll need flour, granulated sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, salt, vegetable (or canola) oil, eggs, vanilla extract, whole milk, sour cream, hot coffee, marshmallow fluff, salted butter, powdered sugar, and some chopped pecans for an optional garnish.

"There are two special ingredients in this cake," Morone explains. "The first is the coffee in the cake, which gives the chocolate a deeper richer flavor, but doesn't make the cake taste like coffee, the second is the sour cream, which makes the cake extra moist."

Start by whisking together the dry ingredients

Before diving into the prep work, first get your oven preheating to 350 F, then lightly grease a 9x13-inch baking pan and set it aside.

Now, start with the dry mix: In a large bowl, add the flour, sugar, ½ cup cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk them together, ensuring that all ingredients are evenly combined. Set this bowl aside for a moment.

Mix the wet ingredients, then add the dry mixture

In a separate large bowl, add in the oil, eggs, 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, ½ cup of whole milk, and sour cream. Use an electric mixer to beat the ingredients until combined, then slowly pour in the hot coffee, once again beating until blended.

Now, you can add the dry ingredients into the bowl with the wet ones, and mix until just combined — be wary of overmixing. Morone warns, "that can cause it to end up too tough, you want to just mix it until everything is incorporated."

Bake the cake then add marshmallow fluff

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and pop it into the oven to bake for 28 to 30 minutes. You'll know it's done baking when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Once out of the oven, allow the cake to cool down for 5 minutes. 

After 5 minutes, dollop the marshmallow fluff on top of the cake. Then, let the cake sit for another 5 minutes. If you've ever worked with marshmallow fluff, then you know that it's quite sticky and somewhat stiff fresh out of the jar. So, the heat from the cake will help soften it up. Once softened, go ahead and spread the fluff across the surface of the cake in a uniform layer. Then allow the cake to fully cool.

Make the frosting and finish adorning the cake

As the cake cools, go ahead and start on the frosting. Add the butter to a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat until it melts. Add in the remaining ½ cup of milk and ¼ cup of cocoa powder, then cook until the mixture comes to a simmer — this should take about 2 minutes. 

At this point, remove the pan from the heat and add in 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract and the powdered sugar. Use an electric mixer to beat the ingredients until they form a smooth frosting, then drizzle it right over the cake, spreading it out into a uniform layer. If you want to add the chopped pecans, do so now so that they cling to the frosting.

Refrigerate and serve the cake

Refrigerate the cake for 30 minutes, or just until the frosting has time to set. Then cut yourself a slice and enjoy! And, if you're feeling generous enough, share it with those around you. "This cake is a great option for if you need to bring a dessert to something like a tailgate party or church picnic, you can bake it in a disposable pan and take it anywhere," Morone says. She also highlights that due to its decadence, the cake "is the perfect ending to any meal."

Classic Mississippi Mud Cake Recipe
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This classic Mississippi mud cake is pure chocolate decadence. Layers of cake, marshmallow fluff, frosting, and pecans come together in this sweet treat.
Prep Time
Cook Time
removing slice of cake from pan
Total time: 1 hour, 20 minutes
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder, divided
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
  • 1 cup whole milk, divided
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • ½ cup hot coffee
  • 2 ½ cups marshmallow fluff
  • ½ cup salted butter
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
Optional Ingredients
  • chopped pecans, for garnish
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. Lightly grease a 9x13-inch baking pan and set it aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, ½ cup of cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  4. In another large mixing bowl, combine the oil, eggs, 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, ½ of cup milk, and sour cream.
  5. Beat the ingredients using an electric mixer until just combined.
  6. Slowly add in the hot coffee and beat until combined.
  7. Add the dry ingredients into the bowl with the wet ingredients and mix until fully incorporated.
  8. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake for 28 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
  9. Let the cake cool for 5 minutes, then add the marshmallow fluff to the top.
  10. Let the cake sit for another 5 minutes for the marshmallow fluff to soften, then spread it evenly over the cake.
  11. Once the cake is cool, add the butter to a medium saucepan and melt it over medium heat.
  12. Add the remaining ½ cup of milk and ¼ cup of cocoa powder and cook the mixture for about 2 minutes until it begins to simmer.
  13. Remove the pan from the heat and add in the remaining 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract and powdered sugar.
  14. Beat with an electric mixer until the frosting is smooth, then drizzle it over the cake.
  15. Top with chopped pecans if desired.
  16. Refrigerate the cake for at least 30 minutes until the frosting is set.
  17. Then cut and serve.
Calories per Serving 353
Total Fat 12.0 g
Saturated Fat 4.3 g
Trans Fat 0.2 g
Cholesterol 30.9 mg
Total Carbohydrates 61.3 g
Dietary Fiber 1.5 g
Total Sugars 47.9 g
Sodium 241.0 mg
Protein 3.1 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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