Mississippi mud cake... AKA death by chocolate cake!

Few days ago there was a big celebration at my house. My older Baby Girl's birthday. She's 5 years old now "Mummy, I'm a big girl now!". Yes, she is ;) As she was becoming a big girl, I decided to ask her what kind of cake she wants for her birthday, rather than just make one, one that she might not be happy with. The answer I got - BIG cake, chocolate one, with lots and lots of chocolate. Hmm... at least she knows what she wants - chocolate!

chocolate cake

After having a good look through my numerous cookbooks, the decision was made. Mississippi mud cake it is. Judging by the name, I knew straight away that it will be a proper chocolate cake, very sweet and very chocolaty. After reading a recipe, I also found out that it's a cake very rich with icing - yet another advantage! :)

This is a rich, VERY rich chocolate cake, with a frosting way better than chocolate Philadelphia spread! (A little confession to make - I was left with some frosting, after the cake ended up in the fridge... a frosting, that was transferred into a simple, small food container and hidden inside the fridge... a frosting, that ended up then on a croissants, a dinner roll, my fingers... Hmm, a good frosting indeed!). Mississippi mud cake, or as it's now known in my house: "death by chocolate cake" ;) is a delicious, perfect celebration cake, that will feed a crowd! You really can't eat too much, and preferably, have some strong coffee as you do it...

How to make it...
For the sponge:
- 250 g unsalted butter, softened
- 600 g caster sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 470 g plain flour
- 140 g cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 375 ml buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 375 ml boiling water

For the frosting:
- 800 g icing sugar, sifted
- 120 g cocoa powder, sifted
- 150 g unsalted butter, cubed
- 600 g full-fat cream cheese (such as Philadelphia)

You'll need three 20 cm (8 in) diameter sandwich baking tins.

Preheat the oven to 170 C and line the cake tins with baking parchment. First make the sponge. In a freestanding electric mixer with the paddle attachment or using a hand-held electric whisk, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well and scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. In a medium bowl, sift the flour, cocoa powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt together. Mix the buttermilk and vanilla extract in a jug. Add the dry ingredients to the creamed butter and sugar in three additions, alternating with the buttermilk mixture. Mix well on a medium speed. Slowly add the boiling water, mixing until combined. Divide the batter evenly among the three prepared cake tins. Bake for approximately 35–45 minutes or until the sponge bounces back when lightly touched. Remove from the tins and allow the sponges to cool completely before frosting.

Using the freestanding electric mixer with the paddle attachment or the hand-held electric whisk, gradually mix the icing sugar, cocoa powder and butter together on a low speed until fully combined, sandy in texture and there are no large lumps of butter. Add a little cream cheese to loosen the mixture and beat until smooth, then add the remaining cream cheese and mix on a slow speed until incorporated. Turn the speed to high and beat the frosting until light and fluffy. Once the sponge layers feel cool to the touch you can assemble the cake.

Place the first layer on a plate or cake card and top with 3–4 tablespoons of frosting. Smooth out the frosting using a palette knife, adding a little more if needed. Sandwich the second layer on top, then add more frosting, followed by the third layer of cake. Next frost the sides and top of the cake, covering it completely so that no sponge is showing. Finally, decorate the cake to your liking.


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