This cake is seriously delicious. I messed around with ingredient quantities over and over until I came to the fudgy, moist and rich chocolate cake you see here.

I’ve been wanting to post this chocolate mud cake recipe for a while now. I first created it for my chocolate mousse mud cake recipe but had never turned it into a full size cake – until now. And since then, I’ve also created this caramel mud cake.

A chocolate mud cake on a marble platter. mustard coloured napkin in the background.

What is it?

A mud cake is a dense and rich chocolate cake that is similar to a brownie but with more leavener to give it a lift and crumb more similar to cake.

The best mud cakes are dense and fudgy but still moist inside. They last for days and days, even tasting better after 2-3 days and are not generally filled.

Traditionally they are covered in ganache but I like to use my chocolate fudge frosting on this one. If you prefer a ganache, use the one from this Black Magic Cake.

Top down view of slices of chocolate mud cake.

How to make it – step by step

One of the wonderful things about this recipe is it’s simplicity. Made in a similar fashion to muffins, you just need two bowls – wet ingredients in one and dry in the other, which are then combined.

  1. Start by melting together butter and chocolate and boil the kettle.
  2. Now mix together the dry ingredients really well
  3. To the melted chocolate mixture add the hot water and coffee, give it a quick mix to disperse, then add the milk, vanilla and eggs
  4. Mix the wet into the dry with a spatula and make sure to stir everything up from the bottom so there are no pockets of flour left.
  5. Pour it into the baking tin and bake for 60-70 minutes.

This cake will form a crack around the top but it levels out a lot of cooling.

Slices of chocolate cake on a marble platter.

Tips and tricks

  1. The baking tin: I use an 8 inch springform tin. A springform tin will make it easier to remove the cake but a regular tin will also work. You want the tin to have high sides, or make sure you line it so the paper comes up quite high.
  2. Melting the chocolate: you can do this two ways;
    • Double boiler: place the chocolate and butter in a bowl over a pot of simmering water. Stir it constantly until melted together.
    • Microwave: this is the method I use. It’s important to melt it in only 30 second bursts and stirring really well after each, otherwise you can burn the chocolate and make it bitter.
  3. Dry ingredients: I like to sift the flour, cocoa and baking powder so there are no lumps first. Then add the salt and sugars and whisk it really well, again until there are no lumps.
  4. Wet ingredients: whisking the hot water and coffee into the chocolate mixture first, helps it cool just enough that it won’t start cooking the eggs when you add them.
  5. Baking time: The baking time will always vary from oven to oven so always use it as a guide only. It’s useful to keep an oven thermometer in your oven at all times (they’re very cheap) as thermostats can often be unreliable. If you use a larger tin, it may take a little less time to bake too. Its done when a toothpick comes out with a few sticky crumbs attached but no wet batter. 

DID YOU KNOW…?

Mudcake improves with age. It will get ‘muddier’ as days go and is particularly good at the 2-3 day mark.

How to store and freeze mud cake

This cake keeps really well for up to a week and is best after 2 days once the texture and flavour all settle together. It’s best sliced only as you need it so the slices don’t dry out.

  • Unfrosted: Keep this cake at room temperature in an airtight container. If your home is warm, keep it in the pantry or somewhere dry and cool.
  • Frosted: after frosting, keep it in an airtight container in the fridge
  • Freezing: This cake freezes well, whole or in slices, and already frosted. Wrap it tightly in foil, then in 2-3 layers of plastic wrap. This will keep out freezer odours.
  • Thawing: A whole cake will take much longer to defrost and should be done in the fridge overnight before bringing it to room temperature to serve. Slices will thaw fine at room temperature and can take around 1 hour to be room temperature.

What to serve with mud cake

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A slice of chocolate mud cake on a white plate with a mustard coloured napkin below.

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A chocolate mud cake cut into slices on a marble cake plate

Chocolate Mud Cake

5 from 1 vote
Falling somewhere between a cake and a brownie, Chocolate Mud Cake is dense, fudgy and definitely for the chocolate lover. Often topped with ganache, this mud cake recipe has a layer of fudgy chocolate frosting.

Ingredients

FOR THE CHOCOLATE MUD CAKE

  • 226 g unsalted butter (2 sticks / 1 cup)
  • 150 g dark (50%) chocolate, roughly chopped (5.3oz)
  • 175 g plain (all-purp) flour (1 1/3 cups / 6.2oz)
  • 40 g dutch processed cocoa (1/3 cup), (notes)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 200 g light brown sugar (1 cup / 7oz)
  • 133 g white granulated sugar (2/3 cups / 4.7oz)
  • 1 tablespoon instant coffee
  • ½ cup hot water (125ml)
  • cup milk (80ml)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature

FOR THE FUDGE FROSTING

  • 85 g unsalted butter, softened (3oz / 3/4 stick)
  • ¾ cup icing (powdered) sugar (100g / 3.5oz)
  • 1 ½ tablespoons dutch process cocoa
  • 3 teaspoons cream or whole milk
  • 40 g dark (50%) chocolate, melted & cooled to room temp
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions
 

FOR THE CHOCOLATE MUD CAKE

  • PREP: Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F / 160C fan forced. Grease and line an 8 inch spring form tin with baking paper. Place an oven rack in the middle of the oven.
  • MELT: Place the butter and chocolate into a medium bowl. Melt in the microwave in 30 second bursts, stirring really well between each (notes). Set aside to cool for a few minutes.
  • DRY INGREDIENTS: In a large bowl sift then whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Add both sugars and whisk really well until there are no lumps left.
  • WET INGREDIENTS: Combine the hot water and coffee and stir to dissolve. Add this along with the milk, eggs and vanilla to the melted chocolate mixture. Whisk until combined and there are no clumps of egg white left.
  • MIX THE BATTER: Pour the wet ingredients into the dry then use a silicon spatula to mix them together until all fully incorporated (don't overmix).
  • BAKE: Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake for 60-70 minutes, turning the tin at the halfway point, until a toothpick inserted comes out with just a crumb or two attached. (notes)
  • Let it cool for 1/2 an hour in the tin before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

FOR THE FUDGE FROSTING

  • In a large bowl using an electric beater, whisk together the butter and half the sugar (slowly at first) until pale and fluffy.
  • Add the remaining sugar and cocoa and whisk on low speed until well combined.
  • Add the remaining ingredients, then beat for another minute or two until lightened and creamy. It should be quite soft and light but hold it’s shape.
  • If the mixture is too soft, beat a little longer. If you need to after that, you can add a touch more powdered sugar.

Notes

  1. I use a standard Australian 20ml tablespoon
  2. All ovens vary –  test for doneness 8-12 minutes before the recipe suggests
  3. For best results, you should always weigh ingredients like flour and sugar. Kitchen scales are relatively cheap but if you can’t weigh the ingredients, use the spoon and level method (don’t scoop).
  4. Mudcake improves with age. It will get ‘muddier’ as days go and is particularly good at the 2-3 day mark.
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