This easy Mississippi mud cake is an old Southern classic recipe beloved for its easy preparation and rich, chocolatey flavor. Marshmallows melt on the warm cake, followed by the chocolate frosting that’s also poured over the warm cake, creating a fudgy topping that’s insanely good.

A square piece of Mississippi mud cake topped with marshmallow and chocolate frosting on a white plate, with a fork and a bite taken out. A bowl of marshmallows and another slice of cake are in the background.

Did you make mud pies when you were little? I remember playing in the yard with old butter cups, stirring dirt, water, and whatever else would stick together to form perfect mud pies. I also have a small scar on the side of my face as a result of my dog objecting to dining on my tasty mud pies.

Over the years, I’ve learned that actual chocolate, butter, sugar, and flour work better for cooking and for the dog. This easy Mississippi mud cake is one of my favorite iterations of chocolate cake, and it’s a classic Southern favorite

The cake derives its name from the dense, dark brown appearance and crackling on top that supposedly resembles the mud from the banks of the Mississippi River. 

Why you’ll love this recipe

EASY: This recipe is easy! The batter and the frosting mix in one bowl, and they are both super easy to make. The cake bakes in a regular 9×13-inch pan. 

TASTE: Melty, gooey chocolate mixed with melty, gooey marshmallows — what’s not to love? This is one of the tastiest chocolate cakes you’ll ever eat.

MAKE-AHEAD: You can make this easy Mississippi mud cake a day or two before you want to serve it. Store it covered at room temperature for up to four days.

I hope you’ll make old-fashioned Mississippi mud cake. I think you’ll love it!

Lucy

A rectangular dish of Mississippi mud cake is cut into squares. The cake is topped with a smooth chocolate frosting and white marshmallows are peeking from underneath. A spatula and plates sit nearby.

What you’ll need

Cake:

The usual suspects: butter, sugar, flour, eggs, vanilla, and salt.

Add: cocoa, marshmallows, and chopped nuts if you like them.

Frosting:

This is a typical buttercream style frosting which calls for butter, powdered sugar, milk, and cocoa.

A rectangular chocolate cake with frosting in a white baking dish, cut into small squares with a few pieces missing.
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5 from 2 votes

Easy Mississippi Mud Cake

This easy Mississippi mud cake recipe is made the old-fashioned way with marshmallows and a fudgy frosting.
Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Total: 55 minutes
Servings: 12 servings
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Ingredients 

Cake

  • 2 sticks butter, melted
  • ½ cup cocoa
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ cups chopped nuts (optional)
  • teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 10 ounces mini marshmallows (one bag)

Frosting

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • cup cocoa powder
  • 3 ¾ cups powdered sugar
  • ½ cup whole milk

Instructions 

  • Cake
  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Whisk cocoa into melted butter until well blended. Add sugar and eggs, and either whisk or use a hand mixer. Beat in flour, salt, nuts, and vanilla.
  • Scrape batter into lightly greased 13×9-inch dish and bake for about 25 minutes. Remove from oven and immediately top with miniature marshmallows. Top marshmallows with chocolate frosting.
  • Frosting
  • Using hand mixer, blend together 1 stick softened butter, 1/3 cup cocoa and 1 box powdered sugar. Mix in milk until frosting is smooth and creamy.
  • Frosting will be thick, so just drop it over the marshmallows and then smooth out. Allow cake to cool before cutting.

Nutrition

Serving: 12servings, Calories: 424kcal, Carbohydrates: 66g, Protein: 3g, Saturated Fat: 10g, Cholesterol: 105mg, Sodium: 181mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 47g
Course: Cakes
Cuisine: American
Calories: 424
Keyword: mississippi mud cake
Love this recipe?Mention @southernfoodandfun or tag #southernfoodandfun!

Update Notes: This post was originally published January 27, 2011, and on July 10, 2024, was updated with one or more of the following: step-by-step photos, video, updated recipe, new tips.

How to make easy Mississippi mud cake

Step 1. Make batter. Whisk cocoa into melted butter until well blended. Add sugar and eggs, and blend well. Beat in flour, salt, nuts (if using) and vanilla. This makes a thicker batter than a typical cake batter.

Step 2. Bake. Scrape batter into lightly greased 13×9-inch dish and bake for about 25 minutes. 

A white baking dish filled with chocolate batter on a light surface, with a small bowl of marshmallows and a small bowl of a white ingredient nearby.

Step 3. Make frosting. While the cake is baking, make the frosting. Using a hand mixer, cream the butter for a few minutes until smooth, then add the cocoa and mix well. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla. Add the milk a little at a time while mixing, until the frosting is smooth and free of lumps.

A glass bowl filled with smooth cake batter on a light-colored countertop beside a textured blue cloth.

Step 4. Frost the cake. When the cake is done, remove it from the oven and immediately top with the whole bag of miniature marshmallows. The marshmallows will melt a little and turn into the luscious goo that mixes with the chocolate frosting.

A rectangular baking dish filled with numerous small white marshmallows, surrounded by ingredients like butter and flour.

Then immediately spread the frosting on top of the marshmallows. You’ll have to drop it a little at a time over the marshmallows and then gently spread, making sure the frosting covers all the marshmallows. 

A Mississippi mud cake in a white baking dish, with scattered mini marshmallows and a fork nearby.

It’s best to allow the cake to cool before cutting, but I know that’s difficult to do. So go ahead and cut yourself a piece, sit back, and say, “Mmmm.” But please don’t force your dog to eat it.

A rectangular dish of Mississippi mud cake is cut into squares. The cake is topped with a smooth chocolate frosting and white marshmallows are peeking from underneath. A spatula and plates sit nearby.

Questions and tips

What is Mississippi mud cake?

Mississippi mud cake is a moist and rich, old-fashioned, classic Southern chocolate sheet cake. The warm cake is topped with marshmallows and a fudgy frosting. Supposedly, someone decided the cake’s appearance resembled the banks of the Mississippi River, and the name was born.

Can you freeze the easy Mississippi mud cake?

Yes, you can! I like to place the cake uncovered overnight in the freezer. Once it’s frozen, wrap it tightly with plastic wrap and then a layer of tin foil. You can store the cake in the freezer for 3-4 months.

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About the author

Hi, I’m Lucy! I’m a home cook, writer, food and wine fanatic, and recipe developer. I’ve created and tested hundreds of recipes so that I can bring you the best tried and true favorites.

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5 from 2 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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