Food & Drink

Mom’s Mississippi Mud Cake

Pastry chef Kelly Fields shares their take on a childhood favorite—marshmallows and all

Photo: Oriana Koren

“This is the cake my mom made all the time when I was growing up because it’s super easy. I’d slice little slivers of it all day long, often on the same schedule as my brother and sister, until it was gone. It’s one of my favorite cakes, but because it’s rich and dense, it’s almost like a brownie. I really enjoy it warmed until the frosting and marshmallows become soft again and then topped with vanilla ice cream.” —Kelly Fields


  • Mississippi Mud Cake (Makes one 9-by-13-inch cake)

  • Double-Chocolate Cake

    • 1 cup unsalted butter

    • ½ cup unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa powder, sifted

    • 2 cups granulated sugar

    • 4 eggs, at room temperature and lightly beaten

    • 1½ cups all-purpose flour

    • Pinch of kosher salt

    • 1½ cups pecans, chopped

    • 1 cup chocolate chips (use whatever kind you like)

    • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

  • Frosting

    • 2½ cups powdered sugar

    • ⅓ cup unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa powder

    • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature

    • ½ cup whole milk, at room temperature

    • About 3 cups mini marshmallows


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly coat with cooking spray or butter a 9-by-13-inch baking pan. In a large saucepot over medium-low heat, melt the butter. Whisk in the cocoa. Remove from the heat and stir in the sugar and eggs, mixing well. Add the flour, salt, pecans, chocolate chips, and vanilla and mix well.

  2. Using a rubber spatula, scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake in the center of the oven for 35 to 45 minutes, rotating the pan after 15 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean when inserted into the center of the cake.

  3. While the cake is baking, make the frosting. Sift the powdered sugar and cocoa together into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or into a medium bowl and use a handheld mixer. Add the butter and beat on medium-high speed until no visible clumps remain. Stop the mixer occasionally and scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula to ensure the mixture is as smooth as possible. Return the mixer to medium-high speed and stream in the milk. Mix until well incorporated.

  4. Sprinkle the marshmallows on top of the warm cake and pour the frosting over the top while still warm. (You’re just covering the warm cake with marshmallows so they both kind of melt into each other. It’s nasty-good.) Serve warm or at room temperature. This cake keeps at room temperature for up to 4 days.

Reprinted with permission from The Good Book of Southern Baking by Kelly Fields with Kate Heddings, copyright (c) 2020. Published by Lorena Jones Books, a division of Penguin Random House, LLC. Photographs copyright © Oriana Koren