Mississippi Mud Cake Makes Marshmallows the Star

Mississippi Mud Cake Makes Marshmallows the Star
This tender chocolate cake is layered with gooey, melted marshmallows and warm chocolate frosting. (Maria Do/TNS)

We don’t use marshmallows as much as we should. They’re often reserved for cereal bars, like in delicious cookies-and-cream Rice Krispies treats or for cups of hot chocolate. But I’m here to say that we need more marshmallows!

I’ve shared my recipe for Texas sheet cake on TheKitchn.com previously; I make it all the time, because it’s both easy to make and to transport places. Plus, I love the ease of a cake that can be served right out of the baking pan or dish that it’s made in. This Mississippi mud cake fits the bill perfectly and it one-ups my Texas sheet cake with its gooey, melty layer of marshmallows.

If you’re like me and absolutely love a slice of chilled cake, you’ll love this Mississippi mud cake more with each passing day — just make sure it’s tightly covered in the refrigerator! Like chocolate cake, it’s always delicious cold, but the chocolate frosting on this cake gets perfectly crackly on top, which brings me an extreme amount of joy. Enjoy with a cold glass of milk, a scoop of vanilla ice cream, or, honestly, just all by itself! It won’t last long — trust me.

What is Mississippi Mud Cake?

This dessert consists of a tender, chocolaty cake base, a melty topping of marshmallows, and a warm chocolate frosting poured over the whole thing. Just writing this makes me wish that I had a slice on hand right now!

The difference between Mississippi mud Cake and Mississippi mud pie

I would think of Mississippi mud cake and Mississippi mud pie as distant cousins. Both are decadent, layered chocolate desserts that are said to have hailed from the state of Mississippi, and both resemble the color of mud—hence the names! Mississippi mud pie consists of a chocolate cookie pie crust, followed by a brownie layer, topped with a layer of chocolate pudding, and sealed with whipped cream on top. So, while these desserts are alike in some ways, they are mostly very different.

Mississippi Mud Cake

Serves 16


For the Cake

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup whole or 2 percent milk
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, divided
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 (10-ounce) bag mini marshmallows (about 4 cups)

For the Frosting

  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup whole or 2 percent milk
  • 1/4 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar


1. Place 2 large eggs, 1 cup whole or 2% milk, and 1/2 cup sour cream in a medium bowl and let sit until room temperature, 30 to 45 minutes.

2. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 350ºF. Coat a 9x13 baking dish with 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil.

3. Place 2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 cup packed light brown sugar, 1 cup granulated sugar, 1/2 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder, 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder, and 1 teaspoon baking soda in a large bowl and whisk until combined.

4. Add 1 cup vegetable oil, 1 tablespoon vanilla extract, and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt to the egg mixture and whisk until smooth and combined. Pour over the flour mixture and stir with a wooden spoon or flexible spatula until just combined.

5. Transfer into the baking dish. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 30 to 33 minutes.

6. Remove the cake from the oven and evenly scatter 10 ounces mini marshmallows (about 4 packed cups) over the cake. Return to the oven and bake until the marshmallows start to melt, 2 to 3 minutes.

7. Place the baking dish on a wire rack and let the cake cool for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the frosting: melt 1 stick unsalted butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add 1/3 cup whole or 2% milk, 1/4 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt. Whisk until combined. Slowly sift in 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar and whisk until smooth, about 1 minute. Remove the saucepan from the heat and let cool until the cake is ready.

8. Slowly pour the frosting over the warm cake and spread into an even layer. Let sit until the frosting is set, about 30 minutes, before slicing and serving.

Recipe note: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to four days.

Nicole Rufus is the assistant food editor for TheKitchn.com, a nationally known blog for people who love food and home cooking. Submit any comments or questions to editorial@thekitchn.com. Copyright 2021 Apartment Therapy. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
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