mud cake

A couple weeks ago, I developed a deep and abiding craving for chocolate. Not candy chocolate, but a homemade chocolate confection. Preferably cake.

I sat with the craving for awhile, mulling it over, pondering the pros and cons of each idea that flitted across my mental dashboard. And then Joe Pastry wrote about a mud cake, and I knew, without a shadow of a doubt, that mud cake was The Answer.

So I made it and it was.

The end.

Mud Cake
Adapted from Joe Pastry’s blog.

1 cup butter
1 cup (8 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup flour
2 teaspoons instant coffee granules (or espresso powder)
½ cup cocoa powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
2 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 eggs, beaten
½ cup sour milk (or buttermilk)

Melt the chocolate and butter together in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds or so. (Do not over heat or the chocolate will scorch.) Stir till smooth and creamy.

In a large mixing bowl, stir together the flour, coffee granules, cocoa, soda, sugar, and salt. Add the eggs and milk and whisk to combine. Stir in the melted chocolate—do not over-mix.

Pour the batter into a 9-inch springform pan that has been greased and lined with parchment and then greased again. Bake the cake at 325 degrees for an hour and twenty minutes, maybe a bit less. My cake puffed up high at first, and then it sank around the hour and ten minute mark. I think I took it out at about 1 1/4 hours since I wanted it to be damp, not dry.

Cool completely before removing from the pan. I ate it plain, mostly, but it’d be fab with coffee ice cream or whipped cream and berries.

This same time, years previous: the quotidian (6.10.13), the books we took, the quotidian (6.11.12), sheet shortcake, white chocolate and dried cherry scones, and stirring the pot (on homeschooling).  


  • Lori

    Hi Jennifer, thanks for sharing this recipe, it's soooo good! Made one yesterday morning for a Father's Day treat, then made another last night for a high school teacher appreciation lunch today (garnished with powdered sugar and raspberries). Oohs and aahs all around!

  • katie

    Jennifer, you should look up Mollie Katzen's Mississippi Mud chocolate cake. I think you'd like it (or at least you'd probably have to compare …). I can't remember what book it is in, I just copied it down from a friend. It has some bourbon in it, unsweetened chocolate. I don't make many cakes, but that one is one of them.

  • Jules

    It looks delicious and just like what I could use for a chocolate/sweets craving, but what can I substitute for the coffee granules? I can't stand the taste of any type of coffee-taste in my food. I wonder how it would turn out if I just left that part out?

    • Jennifer Jo

      I don't think the cake has a coffee taste at all. It's in the recipe to heighten the chocolate flavor. I'm sure you can leave it out—the cake just might not taste as intense.

  • Anonymous

    Yowza. That's around 125-130 teaspoons of sugar for one cake, or 8 teaspoons per 1/16 slice. You sure that wasn't a sugar craving?

    For chocolate craving, I stand by Equal Exchange's Panama Extra Dark (80% cacao) chocolate bar. Rich, deep, creamy, just the right amount of bitter and slightly sweet. I keep a case in my pantry (purchased with my own discretionary money) for the moment that comes around most afternoons where I just NEED some.

    – Kris

  • momma-lana

    That sounds like it has the potential to be made for Father's Day for my resident chocoholic! Any excuse will do!

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