Mississippi Mud Cake

November 13, 2008

I have a lifelong love-affair with all things South of USA. For me chocolate cake is all about the Mississippi Mud Cake – complete with bourbon and marshmallows! A far cry from the mud cakes from Woolies or Michel’s Patisserie!

I don’t know if it actually originated there but they don’t call it Mississippi Mud Cake for no reason. Named so because the dark batter was meant to resemble the mud of the Mississippi River and the cracks on top of the cake after it was baked was meant to signify the river banks in a dry, hot summer.

This recipe is a traditional one from a southern friend complete with a soaking of bourbon but minus the marshmallows.

Unintentionally there were 2 cake layers. The first cake I stuck with the original recipe and it turned out to quite bourbon-ish and not chocolatey enough. Plus the sides didn’t rise much so it was quite thin. The second cake I added more chocolate in and it turned out richer. Again the sides didn’t rise much. It’s quite dense and heavy so maybe it wasn’t suppose to? The solution was clearly to sandwich the two which gave me a beast of a cake!

I’ve provided both recipes so you can choose to do one or both, whichever you prefer. The method for both remains the same.

Rum can be used instead if you don’t have bourbon though it just wouldn’t have the same southern twang.

Mississippi Mud Cake

Cake 1 – the ‘bourbon’ layer

125g dark chocolate, broken into small pieces
100g butter – room temperature and cut into pieces
3/4 C caster sugar
2/3 C hot water
1/4 C bourbon
3/4 C plain flour
1/2 C self-raising flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
2 eggs

Cake 2

225g dark chocolate, broken into small pieces
100g butter – room temperature and cut into pieces
1/2 C packed brown sugar
1/4 C caster sugar
2/3 C hot water
1/4 C bourbon
3/4 C plain flour
1/2 C self-raising flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
2 eggs


Preheat oven to 160°C and grease a 20cm round cake pan. Line the bottom with baking paper.

In a large metal bowl over a double boiler, melt the butter and chocolate. 

Add the sugar, hot water and bourbon and mix until smooth. Take the bowl off the heat and set aside to cool slightly. 

Sift the flours and cocoa powder into the chocolate mixture and add the eggs. Beat until smooth and thick.

My fave porn shot. Is there anything more seductive?

Pour into tin and bake 30-40 minutes. (I have a small and slightly adequate oven so it took me 55 minutes). It’s ready when the centre of the cake springs back when lightly touched and the skewer comes out clean. Don’t worry if the top of the cake is all cracked. You’re going to be slicing it all off anyway.

Cool in the tin for 10 minutes. Take it out of the tin and cool on a wire rack. Trim off the dome tops of the cake to get a flat surface.

Two perfect discs :) The cake at the back is the more chocolately version.


The icing recipe is for one cake. So if you’re doing 2 layers like I did, just double the icing measurements. This gave me enough to sandwich the 2 cakes and ice the top and sides. I also had to add more icing sugar for a really thick frosting (and a splash of bourbon because I’m wicked).
 120g dark chocolate
60g butter
2 TBL water (you can substitute 1 TBL of water for bourbon if you wish)
1 C icing sugar sifted (more might be needed if you want a stiffer frosting) 

Melt butter, chocolate and water (and bourbon if using) in a pan and slowly stir in sifted icing sugar. Beat until smooth and ice over cold cake (electric beaters are quicker than a hand whisk).

*Personally I thought the icing was a tad buttery so next time I might halve the amount of butter in the recipe*.

Electric beaters will thicken up the frosting quicker than hand whisking (and it’ll save you from getting sore arms!)

This was a monster of a cake. Luckily I’m not on a diet! And I couldn’t stop thinking of Roald Dahl’s Matilda. You know the scene – Bruce Bogtrotter (“Brucey”) and Mrs Trunchbull’s giant chocolate cake that he consumed in its sickening entirety.

I, of course,do not recommend you to do the same as our Brucey!

This cake was my entry to NQN’s Ultimate Chocolate Cake Challenge

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Spencer @ Moo-Lolly-Bar October 18, 2010 at 04:17

Looks lovely! Note to wife. My birthday is soon!


Pei Lin March 17, 2009 at 06:03

This looks like the chocolate cake I will like to indulge in when I don’t mind a sinful slice!


Karen | Citrus and Candy February 12, 2009 at 13:43

Hi Linda – Thanks a lot Linda! I think chocolate makes the best food porn photos!


Linda February 12, 2009 at 13:13

I love that food porn shot too! I enjoyed your post–I love Mississippi Mud Cake, and I’ve not seen one that included bourbon–YUM!


Karen | Citrus and Candy December 12, 2008 at 13:01

Hi Ingrid: Good to see I’m not alone here! But I guess it doesn’t really matter as long as it tastes good!Hi Megan: It was very lusciously moist and dense – the way it should be! And yep nothing beats a chocolate cake…that’s my motto :)


Megan December 12, 2008 at 06:05

that cake looks unbelievably moist. yum-nothing can beat a chocolate cake!


Ingrid December 11, 2008 at 18:12

Looks good! Frosting and decorating cakes are not my forte either!~ingrid


Karen | Citrus and Candy November 27, 2008 at 12:43

Hi Christy: Thanks I entered to give it a whirl though I don’t think this beast is pretty enough to win :)Maxi: Thanks for dropping in :)Lorraine: No probs Lorraine! Oh and thanks for the tag!


Lorraine E November 14, 2008 at 23:35

Thanks for your entry Karen, it looks so deliciously rich!BTW I tagged you-have a look at the site – it’s totally up to you if you want to participate :)


MaxiVelasco November 14, 2008 at 19:16

hello there. visiting your blog from sweden! nice one!hope everything is well with you.maxi of http://www.healthnbeyond.comi surely love chocolate cakes…will surely try this one. makes me hungry already!


Christie @ fig&cherry November 13, 2008 at 23:26

Yum! Looks and sounds delicious. You should enter it into Not Quite Nigella’s choc cake comp :)


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