Mississippi mud cake pairs a rich chocolate cake layer with toasted marshmallows, crunchy pecans, and warm chocolate frosting. You won’t believe how easy it is to make this decadent dessert!
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Raise your hand if you can’t get enough dessert recipes made with boxed cake mix! It’s hard to resist desserts that are delicious and easy, like my Boston Cream Pie, Lemon Pound Cake, and this Mississippi mud cake.
This Mississippi mud cake recipe uses a boxed cake mix to help make the recipe come together lickety-split. Just add a few simple ingredients to the cake mix to make the dense cake taste homemade and extra chocolatey. This cake is all about the chocolate!
Easy Mississippi Mud Cake Recipe
You can’t go wrong with a moist chocolate cake, but it’s all the mouthwatering toppings that really make Mississippi cake special. Toasted pecans add a nutty taste and a nice crunch to the cake, then mini marshmallows cover the whole cake, making it gooey and sweet. Then comes the homemade chocolate frosting, which is velvety and truly indulgent.
Mississippi mud cake really does have it all. It’s one of the most decadent cakes you will ever taste and the fact that you can put the cake together in under 20 minutes is a culinary miracle. Make this recipe just once and I guarantee you will make it again and again. It’s a true chocolate lovers’ cake!
Ingredients for Mississippi Mud Cake
See recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.
- Devil’s food cake boxed cake mix – Any brand will work. Just make sure it’s devil’s food cake which has more chocolate flavor than a standard chocolate cake mix.
- Flour – All-purpose flour is best.
- Sour cream – Sour cream helps keep the boxed cake mix moist.
- Vanilla extract – Vanilla is used in both the cake and the frosting portion of this recipe. Vanilla actually enhances the chocolate flavor of the cake!
- Hot water – Boiling water is best.
- Vegetable oil – You can also use canola oil in place of vegetable oil if needed.
- Miniature marshmallows – Mini marshmallows are better than big marshmallows, as they melt faster and coat the top of the cake better.
- Butter – Use unsalted butter since the topping already has the perfect amount of salt added in.
- Whole milk
- Cocoa powder – Use unsweetened cocoa powder since there is plenty of sugar added to this recipe.
- Powdered sugar
- Chopped pecans – Pecans are optional for Mississippi mud cake, but they’re a traditional topping.
Here are a few recipe tweaks and variations you may want to try.
- I like to doctor the Devil’s food cake mix to make the cake even more decadent. However, you can save time (and a few ingredients) by just following the directions on the back of the box and making a standard 9×13 chocolate cake. It will still taste good and be a little quicker to make
- Replace the sour cream with plain Greek yogurt.
- Use chopped peanuts in place of pecans for a different twist on the Mississippi mud cake.
How to Make Mississippi Mud Cake
- Prepare: Preheat your oven to 350ºF and grease a 9×13 pan with butter or cooking spray.
- Make the cake: Add all the dry ingredients to a medium bowl and whisk to combine. Stir in the sour cream, vanilla, eggs, water, and vegetable oil. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes.
- Add the marshmallows: Sprinkle the marshmallows over the top of the cake and then put the cake back in the oven for 3 minutes to toast the marshmallows. Let the cake cool to room temperature.
- Make the frosting: Melt butter in a small pot over medium heat, then whisk in the milk and cocoa powder. Pour the butter mixture into a large bowl then add the powdered sugar, vanilla, and salt. Beat with an electric mixer on high speed until the frosting is smooth and thick.
- Ice the cake: Spread the chocolate frosting over the top of the cake, then sprinkle with the pecans.
- Enjoy: Slice the cake and serve warm!
Make sure you add the mini marshmallows to the top of the cake while it’s still warm. The marshmallows will instantly start to melt and adhere to the cake when added right when the cake comes out of the oven.
How to Store Mississippi Mud Cake
If you have leftover Mississippi mud cake, wrap the pan in plastic wrap and store it in the fridge for 4 to 5 days. Reheat a slice of cake in the microwave for about 20-30 seconds. This will make it gooey and warm again!
Mississippi mud cake was first created after World War II. Home chefs began experimenting with new packaged ingredients like marshmallows, marshmallow fluff, and cake mixes. The Mississippi mud cake was one of the first popular creations using the “new” ingredients available. It happened to look like the muddy banks of the Mississippi River which is how it got its name!
Mississippi mud cake is a chocolate cake with melted marshmallows and chocolate frosting over the whole cake. It typically has pecans sprinkled on top as well, but this is optional.
You can use a homemade chocolate cake recipe to make Mississippi mud cake! My recipe uses a boxed cake mix to make it a little quicker without sacrificing flavor.
Mississippi Mud Cake
- 1 box Devils food cake mix
- 1 cup flour
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup hot water
- ½ cup olive oil or vegetable oil
- 1 package (10 ounces) mini marshmallows
- 8 tablespoons butter
- 6 tablespoons whole milk
- ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup chopped pecans, toasted (optional)
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and grease a 9×13 cake pan.
- Start by making the cake batter. Add the cake mix, flour, and sugar to a bowl and whisk together.1 box Devils food cake mix, 1 cup flour, ½ cup sugar
- Stir in the sour cream, vanilla, eggs, water and vegetable oil. Whisk until the batter is thick and smooth. Pour the batter into the greased pan and spread the batter so it is even inside the pan.1 cup sour cream, 1 tablespoon vanilla extract, 3 eggs, 1 cup hot water, ½ cup olive oil or vegetable oil
- Bake the cake for 30 minutes. A toothpick inserted into the center of the cake should come out cleanly.
- Sprinkle the marshmallows over the top of the hot cake, making an even layer. Place the cake back in the oven for 3 minutes to melt the marshmallows slightly.1 package (10 ounces) mini marshmallows
- While the cake cools, make the frosting. Add the butter to a small pot and melt over medium heat.8 tablespoons butter
- Whisk the milk and cocoa powder into the melted butter then bring the mix to a simmer. Simmer for one minute while whisking.6 tablespoons whole milk, ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- Pour the chocolate butter mixture into a medium-sized bowl then add the powdered sugar, vanilla, and salt. Use an electric mixer to beat the frosting until it is smooth and thick.3 cups powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, ¼ teaspoon salt
- Spread the chocolate frosting over the top of the cake, coating the marshmallow completely.
- Sprinkle the pecans onto the cake, if using, then slice and enjoy!1 cup chopped pecans, toasted (optional)