Monday, February 23, 2015

A Muddy Slice of Cake

This month the Cake Slice Bakers had some wonderful choices for the recipe to bake: King Cake for Mardi Gras, Mini Red Velvet cakes or a dramatic chocolate torte for Valentine's Day, or a Mississippi Mud Cake just for fun. You can see what I chose in the photo.

Because February has been waaaay too full of both fun and serious things, including a funeral which included flying to Virginia during one of the many freezes they have had this winter, a tea party, a bladder infection, a birthday bash at a great restaurant, a birthday steak cooked by Sweetie on the actual day, eye surgery, a visit by an old Peace Corps buddy of Charlie's, an Artist's night for Straight Shooter's photo show, and scholarship selection for three P.E.O. State Chapter scholarships which included flying to LA (not in that order) I am late in both making and posting my choice.

I decided to go with the fun Mississippi Mud Cake because I think it will be something that Sweetie enjoys and he has been a rock of support and love during this busy month. Because I don't have any marshmallows and I do have cream cheese, I decided to substitute a cream cheese-brown sugar-bourbon mixture for the marshmallows. It didn't brown up, but I think it goes with the Southern vibe as well as being very good with chocolate and pecans. I also used some espresso powder instead of vanilla because I like a little coffee flavor to up the chocolate flavor in baked goods.

I also made half a recipe and baked it in a square pan. The full recipe is perfect for a crowd, but that isn't going to happen. I'll give the recipe the way I made it. If you visit some of the other Cake Slice Bakers or go online to the Southern Living website you should find the full recipe.

This is one oooey, gooey chocolate marvel of a dessert. It's messy but delicious. Hard to not just go back and have a little more...then a little more. You know, that kind of deliciousness.

Mississippi Mud Cake 
from The Southern Cake Book, by Southern Living Magazine

1/2 cup butter
2 oz. semisweet chocolate (I used Scharfenberger)
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
3/4 cup flour
1/4 cup cocoa
1/4 teaspoon espresso powder or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup pecans, toasted and chopped (I used closer to a cup)
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons bourbon whiskey
Warm Chocolate Frosting (recipe below)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 8 x 8-inch or 9 x 9-inch baking pan. Set aside.

Microwave butter and chocolate in a large microwave safe glass bowl on HIGH for 1 minute, stirring half way through the minute. I cut the butter and chocolate into small pieces before microwaving.

Whisk the sugar into the chocolate mixture. Whisk the eggs into the chocolate mixture until well blended. In a small bowl stir together the flour, cocoa, espresso powder (if using), and salt. Stir into the chocolate mixture until well blended. Add the vanilla if using.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan.  Bake at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes.

While the batter is baking, whip the cream cheese, brown sugar and whiskey together with a stand or hand held mixer until well blended and creamy.

When the batter has baked, leave the oven on. Remove the baking pan to a heat proof work area and dollop the cream cheese mixture over the brownie in the pan. Use the back of a spatula to draw the dollops together. Layer will be bumpy with uneven amounts in the layer. Return pan to oven and bake another 10 minutes. Mixture will not brown.

While cream cheese layer is baking, make the Warm Chocolate Frosting (see below). You should just about be done making it when the cake is ready to be removed from the oven.

After 10 minutes of baking, remove pan from oven and pour Warm Chocolate Frosting over it. Spread with a small spatula if necessary. Top with the toasted pecans. Let cool at least 10 minutes for the icing to harden up a bit. Enjoy!

Warm Chocolate Frosting

Melt 1/4 cup butter in a small saucepan. Whisk in 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa. Whisk in 3 tablespoons milk. Bring mixture to a boil, whisking constantly. Then gradually whisk in 1 cup confectioner's sugar, whisking all the time. Mixture will thicken slightly. Use at once, as soon as the cake comes out of the oven.


  1. ...and on top of that, EYE SURGERY!? Oy.

  2. This has been such a popular cake choice for the Cake Slice Bakers! Will have to try this soon!

  3. With all that you had going on you did a fantastic job. Love your determination!

  4. What a busy month, you certainly deserved this lovely looking cake. I like your adaptation Elle :)

  5. Cream cheese and Bourbon are yummy substitutes for marshmallow. Good thinking! Hope March brings a more restful schedule =)

  6. Hi Elle, the Mississippi mud cake sure was a popular choice and pretty much everyone had good things to say about it. I love how you've adapted the recipe to make your version extra naughty! :)