Recipe: Chocolate Mud Cake

by April@MyFoodTrail on May 5, 2009

in Baking, Cakes, Icing | Frosting, Recipes

I was on the hunt for a delicious chocolate cake recipe. It is an easy task because there are so many out there, but it is a hard job choosing the right delicious one.

I am the first to admit I am a beginner baker. I haven’t baked many times in my life, but I guess that is the purpose of this blog and the food trail journey. Mind you, I am very experienced at eating baked things!

I came across a wonderful site belonging to the Kitchen Wench, Ellie. She takes amazing, mouth watering photos of the food she cooks, but the best bit is that she takes step by step photos too, which is perfect for a beginner.

I found a recipe on her blog for a chocolate mud cake which she describes as “moist, fluffy, rich and instensely chocolately” and “utterly foolproof”. Sounds like a great recipe to me! You can find her original recipe here.


Chocolate Mud Cake


200g butter, chopped
200g good quality dark cooking chocolate, chopped
30g cocoa powder, sifted
1 tbsp instant coffee powder
60ml (1/4) cup water
1 tsp vanilla essence
220g caster sugar
3 eggs (room temperature)
115g self-raising flour, sifted

150g good quality dark cooking chocolate, roughly chopped
125ml (1/2 cup) thin cream
30g caster sugar, sifted


  1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees C, then line a cake tin with baking paper (this cake is fragile and moist so you’ll need the paper to be able to remove it from the tin – greasing the cake tin is not enough).
  2. Combine butter, chocolate, cocoa, coffee powder, water & vanilla essence in a medium saucepan. Whisk over low heat till smooth & well combined. Set aside mixture till it is lukewarm.
  3. Beat sugar & egg together till pale and creamy. Slowly add the lukewarm chocolate mix whilst continually beating with an electric hand whisk, then add the flour and beat till combined and the mixture is light and fluffy.
  4. Pour mix into prepared cake tin and bake for 55 mins, or till a skewer inserted into the middle comes out with a few moist crumbs sticking to it.
  5. Set cake out to cool in tin for 15, then remove from cake tin and turn on a wire rack to cool completely.
  6. To make ganache, combine chocolate and cream in heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (water should not touch bottom of bowl). Stir occasionally, till mixture is melted and smooth. Remove from heat and set aside for around an hour, stirring occasionally till it has cooled and thickened to a spreadable consistency.
  7. Spread ganache over cooled cake. Set aside for 30 mins or till ganache is firm, then serve!

This cake is one that tastes better if slightly aged, so if you are planning ahead then try and make it around 2-3 days before you intend to serve it. You can leave the iced cake in the fridge for up to a week, and just remove it about an hour before you serve it to soften the cake and ganache and bring them to room temperature.


  • I used a 22cm springform tin.
  • I used salt reduced butter.
  • For the dark chocolate, I used Nestle Dark Chocolate Melts, found in the baking section of the supermarket. Before I bought the ingredients, I turned to Google to find out the difference between dark cooking chocolate and normal eating dark chocolate. It seems that cooking chocolate is able to tolerate heat better and doesn’t have as many additives to make it nice to eat. Based on these reasons, I chose to buy cooking chocolate (and it is cheaper).
  • Ellie’s original recipe lists 2 tablespoons of instant coffee but I shall duck and run for cover and say I don’t like coffee so I chose to only put one.
  • I failed to follow step 3 properly and in my haste, mixed the sugar and flour together without beating the eggs and sugar separately first. I ended up beating the flour, sugar and eggs together and then added the chocolate mixture. I don’t know enough about baking to know what this does? Maybe it may explain the denser texture?
  • The cake rose quite high but shrunk down upon cooling.
  • I added 30g of caster sugar to the ganache ingredients to give the bitter dark chocolate a bit more sweetness.
  • The ganache does not harden completely, even after refrigeration so chocolate can, and does, get everywhere!
  • Total cost of ingredients: just under $10

In Ellie’s version, the cake actually looks moist and fluffy, but mine turned out a bit more brownie like and was quite dense and firm. I made the cake late on Sunday night and as a result I didn’t have time to ice it. I put it in the fridge and then iced it on Monday night and immediately tried a piece. It was still cold from the fridge and extremely firm, but it softened slightly after leaving it out at room temperature for an hour.

This cake is really intensely chocolately and rich, but it tastes so good! A small slice is enough to give you a big chocolate hit. I brought some into work today and they all said it tastes better than the one from the cake shop where we order our birthday cakes from. The receptionist even called me the chocolate cake queen!

I would definitely make this cake again. The real plus is that it gets better after a few days, not that a yummy tasting cake like this would last long! Next time I will follow step 3 better and see whether that makes a difference to the texture.

Over & Out, Rilsta xx

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Maria@TheGourmetChallenge May 9, 2009 at 6:31 pm

I love dense chocolate cakes so this one is a winner in my eyes!


Rilsta May 11, 2009 at 9:23 am

This is one of the best dense chocolate cakes I have tasted so you have to give it a go.


Ellie @ Kitchen Wench May 19, 2009 at 4:51 pm

Hi Rilsta! I’m glad that you gave it a try and enjoyed it 🙂 Beating the eggs with the sugar creates a somewhat aerated batter, so if the cake was very dense then that was probably it 🙂 It is still a dense cake but should have a delicate, moist and fluffy crumb (I know that sounds like a silly contradiction but it’s the best way to describe it!)

Thanks for letting me know that you enjoyed the recipe 🙂 I’ll put a link up to your post!


claire April 10, 2017 at 12:29 am

Hello my mum used this recipe and it was amazing a few years ago but we have lost it. Are you able to email me a copy of the original recipe?

Kind Regards


Rilsta May 20, 2009 at 9:17 am

Hi Ellie! Thanks for stopping by my blog and your answer about why mine was so dense! I actually liked it dense, but I will give it another go beating the eggs with the sugar first and see how it turns out.


Kate Martin June 13, 2009 at 2:07 pm

Only one word…yum! Of course I looked through your past blogs and noticed chocolate! Will have to print out and try it…


Rilsta June 13, 2009 at 11:21 pm

Hi Kate: Thanks for commenting on my blog! Isn't chocolate cake on your forbidden list?! 🙂 You missed out the day I brought it in!


Anonymous May 15, 2010 at 4:30 pm

Hey! Do you think that using the same amount of milk chocolate rather than dark chocolate would matter? I'm not really a fan of dark chocolate, so does it taste really strongly of DARK chocolate specifically?


Trissa May 15, 2010 at 4:31 pm

does this cake taste anything like the Cheesecake Shop's boston chocolate mud cake?


April @ My Food Trail May 31, 2010 at 10:43 am

Hi Anonymous: Milk chocolate won't give it the same "dark" colour. I'm not a fan of dark chocolate and I don't find it has an overpowering dark chocolate taste. Maybe you could go half milk chocolate and half dark chocolate but also reduce the sugar slightly because milk chocolate is a lot sweeter than dark.

Hi Trissa: It does taste quite similar. It is a dense mud cake, not a crumbly soft one.


Spencer October 8, 2010 at 8:46 pm

Looks wonderful! My mouth is watering just looking at it!


April @ My Food Trail November 5, 2010 at 10:15 am

Hi Spencer: It's one of my favourite mudcakes and it tastes as wonderful as it looks!


Julia February 22, 2012 at 2:07 pm

Hi Rilsta 🙂

I’m going to attempt to make this cake tonight!! It’s my boyfriend’s birthday tomorrow & his favourite cake just happens to be chocolate mud cake 😛

So i’m just wondering, is it 160 degrees C for a fan-forced oven or should it be a little bit more??

Please specify further.

Julia 🙂


April@MyFoodTrail February 24, 2012 at 1:01 pm

Sorry I didn’t get back to you in time!! 160C fan forced will be fine. I hope you still tried it out and your boyfriend got a yummy mud cake for his birthday!


Peta July 3, 2012 at 9:17 am

What a fantastic cake! Have been searching years for a great dense mudcake and I think this is it! I found this recipe to be a touch too rich for my liking, and next time will try half milk/dark chocolate. I did though make a white chocolate version, and left out the cocoa powder, and it was to die for! I made it for a friends birthday and have already had requests for the recipe! Moist, dense, and flavored perfectly. It’s taking all my courage not to make some more again (for myself of course!).


April@MyFoodTrail July 6, 2012 at 10:09 pm

Thanks for coming back and leaving your feedback 🙂 Glad to hear you enjoyed it!


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