Mississippi Mud Cake is an ooey gooey chocolate cake with marshmallows, pecans and a fudgy chocolate glaze. It’s a classic Southern Sheet Cake recipe that is just as delicious as it sounds!
Mississippi Mud Cake is a classic recipe that’s been around for decades. The simple homemade cake base has a concentrated chocolate flavor with crunchy pecans mixed in. It’s similar to a Texas Sheet Cake that’s been amped up with the addition of gooey marshmallows and a rich chocolate glaze.
What is Mississippi Mud Cake?
When you cut into this cake, you know it’s something special. It’s got a dense, fudgy, and almost brownie-like texture unlike a traditional sheet cake, chewy marshmallows and a river of chocolate icing on top. We top it with pecans to match the nuts on the inside of the cake, but they are optional and don’t have to be added.
The name comes from “mud pies” you might remember making in the backyard as a kid. The chocolate glaze on top of this Mississippi Mud Cake resembles the cracks in the mud along the banks of the What is Mississippi River, similar to the mud pies or cakes I used to make in my grandma’s backyard with a bucket of water and plenty of dirt!
It’s thought to have been created by a home cook during WWII since it requires mostly pantry staples and easy to find ingredients.
How to Make Mississippi Mud Cake
- Make the cake batter. Beat together butter, sugar and eggs using an electric mixer. Then add flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Finally stir in pecans and vanilla. The batter will be thicker than a regular cake batter, but not quite as thick a brownie batter.
- Bake the cake. Pour the batter into a pan and spread evenly to the sides. Bake for about 16 minutes – it should look just barely set on top but won’t be fully cooked; it’s going to cook a little longer after you sprinkle a bunch of marshmallows on top. The marshmallows should be soft and slightly melted, but still mostly hold their form.
- Chocolate Glaze drizzle. While the cake is baking you’ll make the chocolate glaze. It’s a simple ganache made from powdered sugar, unsweetened cocoa, milk, butter and vanilla. Pour it over the melted marshmallows and sprinkle some pecans on top. As the glaze hardens, it will begin to resemble the Mississippi Mud this cake is named after.
Top Recipe Tips and FAQs
- Can I freeze Mississippi Mud Cake? Yes! It’s best to freeze this cake in individual portions. Let the cake cool completely, then cut into squares. Wrap each square in parchment paper and place into a freezer bag or freezer safe container and freeze for up to 6 months. Thaw at room temperature before enjoying.
- Does Mississippi Mud Cake need to be refrigerated? It’s best to keep this cake refrigerated. Cover tightly and store in the fridge for 3-4 days. Let it come to room temperature before eating, to soften the marshmallows.
- Is Mississippi Mud Cake supposed to be gooey? That’s the best part! The cake will seem slightly under-baked in texture, but it’s supposed to be that way. Plus the soft marshmallows and rich chocolate glaze add to the gooey factor.
Let Them Eat Cake!
We’ve got lots of delicious cake recipes for you to try, and it you’ve looking to add more to your recipe box, try these popular ones:
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Mississippi Mud Cake
- ⅓ cup butter softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup flour
- ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup chopped pecans plus more for topping (optional)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 batch of Chocolate Glaze recipe below
- 3 ¼ cup miniature marshmallows
- 2 cups sifted powdered sugar
- 6 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa
- 1/2 cup milk
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
- In a large mixing bowl and with an electric mixer, beat butter until fluffy, then gradually add sugar, beating at medium speed until well-blended. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- In a separate bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt; stir well. Add to butter mixture, beating at low speed until blended. Stir in pecans and vanilla.
- Pour batter into a 13x9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Bake for 16 minutes or just until set (not until toothpick tests clean or cake will be overbaked.) While cake bakes, prepare Chocolate Glaze; set aside.
- Remove cake from the oven and top with marshmallows. Bake for 6-8 minutes more or until marshmallows are soft. Remove from the oven. Drizzle with Chocolate Glaze and let cool.
- Combine sugar and cocoa in a bowl and stir.
- Combine milk and butter in a 1-cup glass measuring cup. Microwave for 1 minute on high. Add milk mixture and vanilla to sugar mixture; beat at low speed of a mixer until blended. Set aside until ready to use.