How To Tell If Your Mud Cake Is Done Baking

Mud cake is a chocoholic's dream come true. The First Year Blog notes that this cake is often described as "dense" but "moist" and a mash-up of when cake meets brownie meets fudge meets flourless cake, all wrapped up into one absolutely decadent chocolate cake. Per Dima Sharif, mud cake was born in the United States. Makes sense. According to the Chocolate Store, Americans indulge in 2.8 billion pounds of chocolate on an annual basis. That's 11 pounds of chocolate per person per year. But as incredibly yummy as this cake may be, and as simple as it is to melt and mix ingredients, mud cake can be a real challenge when it comes to figuring out if it is fully baked.

If you don't cook it long enough, your mud cake will be undercooked in the middle. Cook it too long, and your mud cake will be better used as a paperweight. Part of the quandary seems to stem from how long this cake needs to bake. In our research, we've seen a range of times that includes everything from Ree Drummond's Mississippi Mud Cake (via Food Network), that only takes 20 minutes, to one version that takes 70 minutes, and another on YouTube, from Bake LIke a Pro, that calls for two hours of baking time. When you consider that the Spruce Eats shares that the basic pan cake or simple layer cake takes just around 35 minutes to bake, long bake times seem a little extreme.

Wooden skewers can help

How can you tell if your mud cake is done baking?

Part of the hang-up could be based on which version of this cake you are making. The Mississippi Mud Cake claims a topping of marshmallows as its differentiator, while the Boston Mud cake leans toward the fudgier side of the mud cake spectrum. The fudgier version seems to require the longer cook time. Foodie Bake Like a Pro shared via YouTube that while he bakes his mud cake for two hours, it's at a lower heat of just 300 degrees Fahrenheit. He advises that if the temperature was any higher, the mud cake would end up being rock-hard on the outside and a messy puddle in the center. 

Dima Sharif wrote that one of the elements of a mud cake that makes it a mud cake is its "tight crumb," meaning this type of cake is not supposed to leave much behind on the plate. So, how can you tell if your mud cake is done? The general consensus on Cake Central is that you need to use a wooden skewer and insert it into the center of the mud cake. If you pull out the skewer and it is clean, i.e., free of any crumbs, then your mud cake is done. However, any crumbs on the skewer, and that signals you need to let it cook a little longer, with a recommendation of using 10-minute increments. But keep an eye on your cake, because they caution that mud cake can also burn easily.