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Vintage Mississippi Mud Cake

Learn to make my vintage recipe for Mississippi Mud Cake, a cross between brownies, cake, and s’mores! It’s a simple, family-friendly dessert that’s delicious, decadent, and suitable for any occasion!

This Mississippi Mud Cake recipe is an old one. Best I can tell, it originated in the 70s. The name apparently comes from its resemblance to Mississippi River mud with the various layers of silt and rock that make up its composition.

Finished cake in a baking pan.

But what is it, you’re asking? Mississippi mud cake is basically a brownie base with melted marshmallows and a chocolate frosting drizzled all over the top. Oh, brother. What could be wrong with that? Sounds like the perfect kind of comfort food recipe to me!

❤️ Why I Love This Recipe


  • Family-friendly. This recipe is a favorite of both young and old. It’s sweet but not too sweet, free of the more bitter dark chocolate flavors, and has the consistency of a brownie.
  • Simple to make. If you’ve made a cake before, this recipe is even easier. No need to deal with baking soda/baking powder, and hoping your cake rises enough!
  • A chocolate lover’s dream. Chocolate in every single bite!

WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING …

I can not tell you how many times I’ve made this over the years but now I realize it’s been a while; it was a mainstay of get togethers with family and friends for many years. Totally decadent and totally divine too!
— Barbara | Creative Culinary

🛒 Ingredient Notes


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  • All-Purpose Flour – In the south, we use White Lily flour for all our baking. It’s made with soft winter wheat and produces tender baked goods.
  • Vanilla Extract – Practically every chocolate recipe contains vanilla extract. Believe it or not, vanilla actually brings out the chocolate flavor.
  • Eggs and Butter – The fat and binder for the brownie layer.
  • Unsweetened Cocoa, Sugar – Make sure the cocoa powder you use is unsweetened. Hershey’s cocoa powder is a familiar, trusted brand. The sugar in the recipe is adequate for sweetening.
  • Chopped Pecans – My home state of Georgia is famous for producing pecans and they’re easy to source here. You might find it easier and more economical to substitute walnuts.
  • Miniature Marshmallows – One of the toppings layered on after the cake is (mostly) done baking.
  • Powdered Sugar, Whole Milk, Butter – These three ingredients, along with more cocoa, make the icing for the top of the finished cake.

The complete ingredient list with detailed measurements is included in the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post.

🥄 How to Make Mississippi Mud Cake


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  1. Add the sugar, butter, cocoa, eggs, vanilla, and salt to a large mixing bowl. Whisk it all together until combined. Stir in the flour and 1 1/2 cups of the toasted pecans.
  1. Pour the batter into a greased and floured 15×10-inch pan.

👉 PRO TIP: For any chocolate cake, if you want to make sure the finished cake doesn’t have white flour on the outside, use cocoa powder to dust your pan.

  1. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean
  2. Remove the cake from the oven and top it evenly with the marshmallows.
  3. Return the pan to the oven and bake for 5 more minutes.

While the cake is baking, make the frosting.

  1. Place all the ingredients in a medium bowl. Beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until combined and smooth.
  2. Remove the cake from the oven and drizzle the chocolate frosting over the top while still warm. Sprinkle with the remaining toasted pecans.
  3. Allow the cake to cool completely before cutting and serving.
A slice of cake with a cup of coffee.

❗My Pro Tips


  • It’s important to allow the cake to cool completely before cutting it. If you let it cool completely, even refrigerate it, before cutting, the cuts will look much nicer.
  • For a shortcut, you can substitute two packages of brownie mix for the layer.
  • Having all the ingredients at room temperature makes for a smoother batter.

🔀 Recipe Variations and Suggestions


  • Experiment with nuts. I often see walnuts used in this recipe, as well as peanuts and sometimes cashews.
  • Experiment with other toppings. Some cooks add more marshmallows to the top and even things like M&M or other small candies.
  • Give your cake a mocha flavor by adding a tablespoon of instant coffee powder to the batter.

🍚 How I Store Leftovers


Wrapped tightly in aluminum foil or plastic, this will stay fresh for up to 5 days at room temperature. It may also be frozen, very tightly wrapped, for up to three months. Allow the frozen cake to defrost completely before serving.

Finished cake in a baking pan.

❓ Questions About Mississippi Mud Cake


Can I use Dutch process cocoa powder in this recipe?

Sorry, but no. You’ll need plain cocoa powder (such as Hershey’s). Dutch process reacts differently with leavening agents and your recipe won’t turn out correctly.

Do I have to include the nuts?

No, of course not. If someone in your household has a nut allergy or you just don’t like nuts, simply leave them out. The recipe will still be utterly delicious!

Lana Stuart.

Questions? I’m happy to help!

If you have more questions about the recipe, or if you’ve made it and would like to leave a comment, scroll down to leave your thoughts, questions, and/or rating!

Thanks so much for stopping by!

📖 Recipe

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Finished cake in a baking pan.

Mississippi Mud Cake

Learn to make vintage Mississippi Mud Cake, a cross between brownies, cake, and s'mores! Delicious, decadent, and suitable for any occasion!
5 from 11 votes
Print It Rate It
Course: Desserts
Cuisine: Southern, Vintage
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 24 servings
Calories: 374kcal
Author: Lana Stuart

Ingredients

For the Cake:

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup butter melted
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 4 eggs beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups chopped pecans toasted
  • 10.5 ounces miniature marshmallows

For the Icing:

  • 1 pound powdered sugar
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • cup unsweetened cocoa
  • ¼ cup butter softened

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Add the sugar, butter, cocoa, eggs, vanilla, and salt to a large mixing bowl. Whisk together until well combined. Stir in the flour and 1 ½ cups chopped pecans.
  • Pour the batter into a greased and floured 15×10-inch pan.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Remove the cake from oven and top evenly with the marshmallows.
  • Return to the oven and bake for 5 more minutes.

While the cake is baking, make the frosting.

  • Place all ingredients in a medium bowl. Beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until combined and smooth.
  • Remove cake from the oven and drizzle chocolate frosting over warm cake. Sprinkle with remaining pecans.
  • Cool completely before cutting.

Notes

  • For a shortcut, you can substitute two packages of brownie mix for the cake layer.
  • Allow to cool completely before cutting.
  • Wrapped tightly in aluminum foil or plastic, this will stay fresh for up to 5 days at room temperature. It may also be frozen, very tightly wrapped, for up to three months. Allow the frozen cake to defrost completely before serving.

Nutrition Information

Serving 1slice | Calories 374kcal | Carbohydrates 55g | Protein 4g | Fat 18g | Saturated Fat 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat 3g | Monounsaturated Fat 7g | Trans Fat 0.4g | Cholesterol 53mg | Sodium 112mg | Potassium 113mg | Fiber 2g | Sugar 43g | Vitamin A 348IU | Vitamin C 0.1mg | Calcium 25mg | Iron 1mg

Nutrition information is calculated by software based on the ingredients in each recipe. It is an estimate only and is provided for informational purposes. You should consult your healthcare provider or a registered dietitian if precise nutrition calculations are needed for health reasons.

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A vintage recipe for Mississippi Mud Cake - a brownie cake base topped with melted marshmallows and drizzled with chocolate frosting. https://www.lanascooking.com/mississippi-mud-cake/

— This post was originally published on September 3, 2013. It has been updated with new photos and additional information.

5 from 11 votes (9 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating




21 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Excellent!!! Family loved it!

  2. 5 stars
    Yummy

    Great recipe!!

  3. Amy Littrell says:

    Can self rising flour be used instead of all purpose?

    1. You will get a lighter texture, more cake-like. With all-purpose you’ll get more of a brownie type of texture.

      1. Amy Littrell says:

        Thank you! Making this today – I remember it from many church dinners on the grounds growing up in north Alabama 😊.

  4. Oh my….. looks like “joy on a plate!” I just wish it was my plate.

    Miss P

    1. Lana Stuart says:

      Make yourself one! It’s such an easy recipe.

  5. Perfect pudding for a family get together. I didn’t have enough icing (powdered) sugar to make the amount given but I made up for it by finely chopping some dark chocolate and sprinkling it over the top with the pecans.

  6. Tommie Pinkard says:

    I got this recipe from a friend, who was from Mississippi, incidentally. The only difference from your recipe was the one for the chocolate frosting. My recipe calls for a cooked, fudge like frosting that I just love.

  7. Barbara | Creative Culinary says:

    I can not tell you how many times I’ve made this over the years but now I realize it’s been a while; it was a mainstay of get togethers with family and friends for many years. Totally decadent and totally divine too! I need to do this again!

    1. Lana Stuart says:

      I can’t think of an occasion where I wouldn’t welcome this cake, Barb! Decadent, yes. And what a treat!

  8. I remember my mom talking about this cake, I just don’t remember ever enjoying it. I love the marshmallow bottom! This recipe looks amazing, hubby would love love it! Hugs, Terra

  9. Oh my, that looks fabulous!

  10. Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabbles says:

    Absolute perfection. I think I’d be pretty happy living with everything that comes out of your kitchen. ;)

  11. I received a Mississippi Mud Cake from a friend from that state back in the sixties. And of course I had to get her recipe. And hers is better, in my opinion, than yours. Mainly because it calls for a cooked fudge frosting, not the usual confectioners sugar one. So, you bake the cake, with pecans in it or on top. Then you put on regular size marshmallows and cover that immediately with the hot– just off the stove–fudge. That melts the mms.

    Try that, and you will never go back to your recipe!

    1. I would love to make a Mississippi Mud Cake – I have never baked one and according to your directions it does seem tasty – would you mind sharing it with me.

      Thanks

      Eunice

  12. I wish the weekend didn’t have to end either! Though if I had this waiting for me, it wouldn’t have been so bad :)

    1. Lana Stuart says:

      Thanks Sues. It does help to have something to look forward to after a lovely long weekend, doesn’t it?

  13. This looks sinfully delicious. Wish I had some right now. I have never put roasted nuts in brownies, but it sounds like it would give it a real boost of flavor. Will try this the next batch I make.

    1. Lana Stuart says:

      It’s so good! All that chocolate and marshmallow…yum! And yes, the toasted pecans make a big difference. I think you’d like them.