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Mississippi Mud Cake: Who Knew Mud Tasted So Good?

Mississippi Mud Cake is a chocolatey dessert I have enjoyed on numerous occasions. The delightful cake combines rich chocolate, crunchy walnuts, gooey marshmallows and a layer of chocolate frosting. While savoring each bite, I have often wondered about the origin of the cake’s name.

When I came across this Mississippi Mud Cake recipe, I knew I wanted to make the cake and also do a little digging on how the name came about. I discovered that the marbled or muddied effect of the chocolate frosting and melted marshmallow combination in the cake mimics the appearance of mud along the banks of the Mississippi River. Very clever!

Living in the beautiful state of Minnesota, I am well aware of a special claim to fame. The Mississippi River originates in Lake Itasca, a small glacial lake in Minnesota. The mighty Mississippi is the 4th longest river in the world. It travels over 2500 miles through 10 states before it reaches the sea in the Gulf of Mexico, near New Orleans. The Mississippi River is very impressive indeed. The cake recipe is pretty special too! So,enough of our geography lesson. Let’s learn more about the cake.

Mississippi Mud Cake uses baking ingredients that you likely already have in your pantry. The cake consists of sugar, butter, eggs, vanilla, flour, cocoa, baking powder and walnuts. Miniature marshmallows are added at the end of the baking time. The flavorful frosting is made of butter, powdered sugar, unsweetened cocoa, half & half and vanilla.

To start, heat the oven to 350° F. Now comes a step that you will appreciate later, as it eases the cutting process and makes clean up a breeze. Line a 13 by 9-inch baking pan with aluminum foil. Wrap the foil over the edges and spray the foil with no-stick cooking spray.

Next, combine the butter and sugar in a large bowl. Beat the two ingredients at medium speed until they are well mixed.

Add the eggs and vanilla and continue beating until everything is well mixed.

Now, reduce the speed to low and add the flour, cocoa and baking powder. Beat until all the ingredients are well mixed.

Stir in the walnuts by hand. They add a great crunchy texture to the cake.

After the batter is completely mixed, spread it into the prepared pan. Bake the cake for 35 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Sprinkle miniature marshmallows over the top of the cake. Bake for an additional 2 to 3 minutes until the marshmallows begin to "puff." There is something magical about marshmallows puffing up.

Quickly combine the frosting ingredients in a medium bowl until they are well mixed. If the frosting is really thick, it can be thinned with an additional tablespoon or two of half & half.

Immediately spread the frosting over the warm marshmallows. This will create a "muddied" or marbled effect, thus the Mississippi mud connection.

I made the cake on a very hot day, so I ended up cooling it in the refrigerator. This step is not listed in the recipe, but assisted with firming up the frosting to make it easier to cut.

Mississippi Mud Cake is moist and delicious. The individual pieces of cake are fun because they reveal the layers with the nuts near the bottom, the marshmallows and the swirled frosting. At a family gathering, they were devoured as swiftly as a river’s current. This is a recipe I will continue to "bank" on for future gatherings.

If you’re looking for a cake recipe that will be a hit at your next get together, look no further. Try Mississippi Mud Cake for yourself, and then come back and rate and review the recipe.

Check back in a few days when Amanda will share a flatbread recipe perfect for a quick weeknight meal.

Tami is paid to write for the Land O’Lakes Recipe Buzz® Blog.

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