Mississippi Mud Cake

I have seen Mississippi Mud Pie make its rounds all over the interwebs over the last few years. I’ve seen countless variations, from triple-chocolate layer pies to pies with coffee ice cream. There definitely does not seem to be one standard recipe. Then I saw this… Mississippi Mud Cake. It defied logic that I would be as taken with it as I was. I am traditionally much more of a pie person than a cake person. I love pie crust. And whipped cream. And pie crust. Usually cake has to include an elaborate filling and sky-high frosting for me to choose it over pie. However, this Mississippi Mud Cake spoke to me in ways the Mississippi Mud Pie never did. I’ve had it in the back of my mind since I saw it, and figured a cold, rainy day in April when the weather folks were calling for 8 inches of snow would be the perfect time to whip up this cake.

Much to my dismay, we didn’t get 8 inches of snow. In fact, we didn’t even get one snowflake. Seriously, weather people?! How do you get it that wrong? I got all hyped up for a snow storm, and was severely disappointed when I could, in fact, get to the store.

Back to the cake I made on my snow rain day. I think the tide may be turning in my feelings about cake. Perhaps the key to cake harmony in my life is chocolate cake with non-traditional toppings? I couldn’t believe how much I loved my dad’s favorite birthday cake when I made it a couple of weeks ago. Like this cake, it was also chocolate, made in a 9×13-inch pan, and wasn’t topped with frosting. That cake had a cream cheese center and a sugar-walnut topping. This Mississippi Mud Cake is topped with a layer of gooey marshmallows, then a chocolate glaze, chopped pecans, and coconut. So, basically, it’s amazing.

Slowly, but surely, I’m coming around to cake. I think it’s all about being non-traditional for me. I have quite a few more unique cake recipes to try, and I think I’m going to love them. If you have any you’d like to share, feel free to include links in the comments below!

In the meantime, I think I’ll just eat my way through this pan of chocolate/marshmallow/pecan/coconut awesomeness. Here’s to botched snow days and the wonderful goodies they yield!

One year ago: Hot Cross Buns
Two years ago: Soft and Chewy Sugar Cookies
Four years ago: Cheddar Corn Chowder

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Mississippi Mud Cake

Ingredients:

For the Cake:

1½ cups all-purpose flour

1½ cups granulated sugar

¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1½ teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup whole milk

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 cups miniature marshmallows


For the Chocolate Glaze & Toppings:

1 cup pecan halves

½ cup semisweet chocolate chips

¼ cup light corn syrup

¼ cup heavy cream

½ cup shredded sweetened coconut


Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9x13-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.


2. Make the Cake: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk, butter, eggs, and vanilla extract. Add the milk mixture to the flour mixture and use a rubber spatula to gently fold it together until just combined. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and the cake is firm to the touch.


3. Remove the cake from the oven and evenly scatter the miniature marshmallows over top. Return to the oven for 5 minutes to melt the marshmallows. They will be puffy and lightly browned.


4. Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees F. Spread the pecans on baking sheet in a single layer and bake until fragrant, about 10 minutes. When cool enough to handle, coarsely chop the pecans.


5. Meanwhile, Make the Chocolate Glaze: In a medium saucepan, combine the chocolate chips, corn syrup, and heavy cream. Stir over medium-low heat until the chocolate is melted and the glaze is smooth. Pour the chocolate mixture over the top of the cake. If necessary, use the back of a spoon to gently spread the chocolate over the marshmallow layer so it is evenly covered. Sprinkle with the pecans, and then the coconut. Let cool completely before serving. Store leftovers tightly wrapped (or in an airtight container) at room temperature.


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(Recipe adapted from Pennies on a Platter, originally from Paula Deen's Southern Cooking Bible)


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