The Mud Cake

Mud Cake is a dense, moist, almost fudgy cake that seems to be a concentration of chocolate. It is a cake that is somewhat between the Brownie and the Fudge and believed to be a descendant of both. Also believed to have originated in the USA and moved from there. It is therefore a relatively new addition to the global repertoire of the pastry section of cuisine.

Technically speaking, making a mud cake always follow the muffin method. It involves separately mixing dry and wet ingredients, the wet being heated and thoroughly melted and combined before being added to the mixed dry ingredients, after which all is gently mixed together… (read the full article on this link for more information on “Understanding The Mud Cake”)

Mud Cake is also a good base for cake decoration as it is one of the easiest and most reliable cakes for carving. It is also firm enough to hold its shape, therefore, easier to manage especially if you are a beginner in decorations. Most my trainees find it easier to layer, level and fill the almost crumbless mud cakes in comparison to the crumbly and more easily squashed sponges. Both, however, are good bases.

Since this is a seductive velvety rich chocolate concentrated cake, I thought I will post it here for you to try yourself 🙂 If you are more into the flavours than the look and do not wish to decorate with flavour altering material such as sugar paste | Fondant or Marzipan then below is a Ganache recipe for you that will help you achieve the shiny finish like the look in the main picture. You can use Ganache as a filling too. In the filling you can also add chopped fresh fruits for extra tang and a gorgeous layer of contrast in between the cake layers.

As I would always tell you: these are the basics, and there is no limit to what you can do from here…

I have included for you a video of a tutorial on how to stack a tall mud cake. Thought you would like it since you will be baking anyway, why not serve a tall cake!


Serves: 12
  • 675g dark chocolate, chopped
  • 400g unsalted butter, chopped
  • 1 ¾ cups (260g) plain flour, sifted
  • 1 ¼ cups (310ml) water
  • 1 ¼ cups (275g) firmly packed brown sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • ½ cup (75g) self-raising flour, sifted
  • 1 ½ tbsp instant coffee granules (optional)
  • 1/3 cup coffee flavoured liqueur (optional) if not using then use 1/3 cup strong coffee instead (you can do without the coffee if you prefer use vanilla syrup instead).

For Dark Chocolate Ganache

  • 1 cup heavy or whipping cream
  • 360g dark Chocolate, Chopped

Preheat oven to 325°F – or 300°F for convection ovens.

Grease a 9 inch cake pan then line with baking paper and set aside.


In a large saucepan

combine the chocolate, butter, coffee, the water & sugar. Stir over low heat until smooth. Cool mixture for 15 minutes. Whisk in the eggs and liqueur.

Pour the wet ingredients mixture over the the sifted flours and gently mix all together.

Pour mixture in the prepared pans. Bake 2 ½ hours. Cool in the pan completely then turn the cake.

Make dark chocolate Ganache, & spread all over top and sides of cake. Sprinkle top randomly with berries: Raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, and/or cranberries. Nuts are another option for topping…etc.

For Dark Chocolate Ganache

In a medium saucepan, bring whipping cream just to boiling over medium heat. Remove from heat. Add chocolates (do not stir); let stand for 5 minutes. Stir until smooth. Cool for 15 minutes. Spoon this versatile chocolate icing over a single cake layer on a wire rack so the excess can drip off.Transfer the cake to a platter once Ganache sets.

Ganache can be used as filling if thickened, or poured over baked goods as glaze. Ganache is one of those amazing icings that can be poured, piped, spread with an offset spatula and even at times molded.


Storage & Shelf Life

It is worth mentioning here that A mud cake is always best eaten three days after baking. The cake achieves its best structure and flavour infusions 3 days after the baking. This is another reason why this cake is a decorator’s choice, as decorators usually require a cake that stays good and fresh for a few days as they work on the decorations. On the same note, Chocolate Mud Cake is the most suited cake for freezing and can freeze for up to 3 months. It never acquires the frozen taste or texture. It is thawed and good as new. Another very useful fact about this cake for decorating or even for making ahead when needed!

Ganache on the other hand is always best made fresh on the day of serving.

What is your favourite experience with chocolate? Are you the fudge, fondue, ganache, mud or sponge type? Or are you a purist where nothing beats the pure uninterrupted flavour of biting into a plain chocolate Bar?

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