American Mud Cake

Mud Cake, the decadent chocolate gift of the Aussies, has for some reason always given me a world of trouble! (I cannot tell you how many Mud Cakes I have had flop.)  Even when they did turn out, the mega deep chocolate flavor I sought was not there.  Here I have finally made peace with my cakey nemesis and the results will knock your socks off.


Let me explain why Mud Cake gave me such a hard time and let you in on the fixes that finally brought about our peace treaty.

Problem #1:  Lack of internal structure. Mud Cake is essentially like a brownie with lots of water added. There are high concentrations of butter, chocolate and sugar (all structure weakeners) along with much water or coffee (a structure diluter) and very little flour (a structure builder). The flour profile often contains a mix of both all-purpose and self-rising flour.  Self-rising flour contains little protein and further reduces the structural integrity of the cake. The result is a dense moist cake with little rise.

American Mud Cake slice2

While that may sound appealing, it can easily go wrong.  I have had my Mud Cakes separate into odd unsavory layers or crumble out of the pan in a disjointed mess.


Problem #2: Lack of flavor. While Mud Cake has always shown some promise to me. (Or just really ticked my off and challenged my baking skills). I knew it needed a flavor boost.  Mud Cakes often boast large quantities of semisweet or dark chocolate but this cake needed something stronger if it was going to really meet my chocolate standards.


So at last I went head to head with my rival.

The Solutions.

  • Convert to all all-purpose flour and increase the volume by 1/2 cup. This bolsters the protein and starch to improve structure.
  • Add baking soda to neutralize structure undermining acids in the form of coffee, chocolate and cocoa powder.
  • Change the mixing method. Forget the gentle stirring together of dry ingredients and liquids; mix them together in a mixer and beat for a good minute and a half to develop structure proteins.
  • Lose the wimpy semisweet chocolate and use at least 72% cacao dark chocolate for deep and complex flavor.
  • Increase cocoa powder from 1/4 to 1/2 cup for rich, dark flavor.
  • Add 1 tablespoon vanilla to balance and round out the taste.


The Result. This cake is packed with chocolate-yness. It is both intense and nuanced from the combination of dark chocolate and lots of rich cocoa. Be prepared with a tall, cold glass of milk when you sit down with a piece of this cake. The cake also maintains the luscious fudgy texture of a Mud Cake but is less dense and has much greater structure than its counterpart. (I turned these cakes out without sticking or tearing.)

So, goodbye to my arch enemy and hello to tall dark and handsome.  This may no longer be a traditional Australian Mud Cake but I think this American Mud Cake is better than ever.

To compliment to intensity of this cake I frosted it in a dark Sour Cream Chocolate frosting. This icing is not too sweet and beautifully balances with the flavors in this cake.

Give this chocolate powerhouse a try and let me know what you think!

American Mud Cake with Sour Cream Chocolate Frosting


  • 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks, or 8 ounces, or 227 grams) each halved
  • 7 ounces (198 grams) 72% cacao or more dark chocolate, chopped or broken coarsely (I used Ghiradelli Twilight Delight)
  • 2 cups (14 ounces, or 397 grams) granulated sugar
  • ½ cup (2 ounces, or 57 grams) Dutch processed cocoa powder (I recommend Cacao Barry Extra Brute or Pernigotti)
  • 1 ¼ cups (300 ml) strong hot coffee or hot water plus 1 tablespoon espresso powder
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 cups (10 ounces, or 284 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon (5 grams) baking powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons (9 grams) baking soda (sodium bicarbonate)
  • ½ teaspoon (4 grams) salt
  • For the Sour Cream Chocolate Frosting
  • ½ cup (4 ½ ounces, or 128 grams by weight) sour cream
  • ½ cup (3 ½ ounces, or 100 grams) granulated sugar
  • ½ cup (5 ¼ ounces by weight, or 150 grams) corn syrup
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups (12 ounces, or 3 sticks, or 340 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup (3 ½ ounces, or 100 grams) Dutch processed cocoa powder
  • 4 cups (16 ounces, or 454 grams) powdered sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray two 8-inch round cake pans* with Baker’s Joy or grease and flour.
  2. In an 8-cup microwave safe container, melt butter and chocolate. Heat butter and chocolate for 1 minute followed with 30 second intervals, whisking until completely melted.
  3. Whisk in sugar and then cocoa powder until fully incorporated. Slowly add hot coffee in 3 increments whisking until smooth. Add vanilla and then the eggs one at a time.
  4. In a mixer bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and mix with the wire beater until combined, about 30 seconds. With the mixer on low speed, gradually pour in the chocolate mixture. Once it is all added, beat on medium-high speed for 1 minute. Scrape the bottom of the bowl and beat for 30 seconds more until smooth.
  5. Pour into cake pans and bake for 35-40 minutes or until a cake tester just comes out clean. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes and then turn out to a cooling rack to cool completely or wrap in plastic wrap until needed. Frost and fill with Sour Cream Chocolate Frosting or other icing and filling. Enjoy! *This makes 2 thick layers that can be torted but could also be baked in 3 8-inch pans.
  6. For the Frosting
  7. Combine sour cream, granulated sugar and corn syrup in a microwave safe bowl and heat on high power for 30 seconds to aid dissolving of sugar. Stir in vanilla. Set aside
  8. In a mixer bowl beat butter with a paddle attachment until creamy. Mix in cocoa powder on low speed until smooth and creamy. With mixer on low gradually add in sour cream mixture; beat for 30 seconds to incorporate. Add powdered sugar and mix on low speed until smooth and blended. Note: beating the mixture at a higher speed with result in a lighter, fluffier frosting.
  9. Use to frost and fill American Mud Cake or cake or cupcakes of your choice.



449 thoughts on “American Mud Cake”

    1. This frosting firms up quite a bit when chilled but it is not nearly as firm as ganache. It would make a good filling, but for a super firm surface to cover with fondant ganache would work best.

        1. I use Cacao Barry Extra Brute or Pernigotti. The Cacao Barry is darker but they both have a wonderful flavor. Callebaut is also a good choice. 🙂

        1. I would increase the recipe to 1 1/2 times the original. If you want it quite thick you could do 1 2/3 the original. For a chart of size changes see the Sizing Up post. 🙂

  1. Looks fabulous, I have a client who just asked for a cake that was more brownie like than a regular chocolate cake, sounds like this fits the bill perfectly! Thank you.

    Just a quick fact for anyone who doesn’t know, Australian cup sizes and US cup sizes are different. So when following an Aussie recipe be sure to do the necessary conversations first!

        1. holy COW!! i tasted the trimmings and this cake is the BOMB! can’t wait to cut it! i used this recipe to make a sample wedding cake. my facebook page is shawn’s sugar rush. check it out! thanks for the recipe!!

          1. Ok, here’s a dumb question; I have a 30 yr old electric stand mixer with food processor. What is a balloon whisk and can I use the regular beaters instead?

          2. Not a dumb question! The balloon whisk looks similar to a wire hand whisk and is slightly better at smoothing out lumps or incorporating air into a batter than the flat, paddle-style beater. Whatever beaters you have for your mixer should work perfectly well. Best of luck!

      1. This variation is slightly sturdier and a wee bit lighter. It still contains all of the wonderful characteristics of a Mud Cake though. I hope it works out well for you!

  2. Thank you I have tried a few different ones now and they keep flopping the taste is fantastic but they don’t rise so I generally make 2 to make the hight . Grrr will be trying this one today :0)

  3. You are awesome! I always have issues with my choc muds sinking in the middle. Can’t wait to try this 🙂

        1. Hi Pat! Icing sugar is powdered sugar here in the US. The recipe does call for powdered sugar in the frosting. Were you referring to this recipe? I couldn’t find anywhere, at a glance, that I used the term icing sugar. 🙂

    1. You will just need bowl big enough to hold the volume of ingredients during the melting and addition processes. I think it would be about 1.5 to 2 Liters. I hope this helps!

      1. Hi summer, I would like to double the recipe to make the bottom half of a topsy turvy pan what can I do to achieve this I’m happy to cook it at a low heat for a few hours as I have don’t with the white chocolate mud cake that turned out perfect but this on has baking powder and bi carb so not sure if I just stick to recipe and make double batch and cook on low for longer

          1. I make two batches and it’s always been perfect I just cook it for that little bit longer

    2. Basically, you can use a measuring cup or large microwave-safe container that holds at least 8 cups. Some Pyrexes or measuring cups hold 1, 2, 4, 8, or even more, cups of liquid.

    1. I would leave it at room temperature for two days. With all the sugar that is in it the frosting should be fine even with the sour cream in it.

    1. My layers in two tins were quite tall. I split each of the layers in half that are shown in the photo. I think you could bake it in one but you may need to reduce the recipe volume by 2/3 to fit it all in one tall tin.

          1. How high did your cakes rise? I baked in an 8×3 inch round pan and then are about 1.5-2 inches tall. Does this sound a bit right or did I make an error. It is about the same yield as the Hershey Extra Dark Chocolate Cake. Thanks.

          2. Hi Summer! I own a 7×3 inch pan. Do I have to increase the baking time? Every time I use this pan my cake ends up being undercooked or sink in the middle compared to when I use my 8X2″. I never open the oven’s door and preheat for 30 mins. Any idea of what’s going on? 🙁 Also, any suggestions on what to do with an undercooked cake?

          3. Hi Inna, The tall sides on a 3″ pan act a little like a sheild and the smaller pan diameter makes your cake thicker. You can see the post Size Matters for more information on how this affects your cake.

  4. I too have tangled with this very liquid cake and I too have had major headaches with it, but I am determined to have this monster tamed , I live in the UK and despite owning several sets of cup measurements anything I try to make using US cup measurements also never works out, can I ask if you be so kind as to convert your recipe to grams, as I really want to give this monster of a cake another try, thank you, kindest regards , Lynn

    1. I would love to convert it for you. Could you please give me until Monday? My son is turning 7 tomorrow and I am in the thick of party prep and making pies for Pi day 😉

  5. it looks amazing and as i always have trouble with mudcakes I will give it a go. but first questions. Is baking soda bicarbonate of soda? Do you know the uk equivalent or name for all purpose four( guessing its plan as i don’t think self raising would take that amount of additional raising agent ) how long will it keep and lastly will it support fondant? Thanks

    1. Yes, baking soda is aka sodium bicarbonate or bicarbonate of soda. All-purpose flour is plain wheat flour without salt or leavening agents. I used unbleached flour so it should be equivalent to what you have in the uk. It is definitely sturdy enough to cover with fondant and I would guess it would hold at least 5 days at room temperature.

      1. Thank you. One more question prompted by something above. In the uk i would go by weight and have a conversion chart somewhere for cups/ weight. Have you given American or Australian cups?

          1. I use Australian measurements for this beautiful recipe and it turns out perfect every time

    1. I spray with Baker’s Joy, so I think greasing and flouring would be in order if you don’t have a spray mix, but I did not line my pans and had no problem.

  6. This cake looks really delicious 🙂
    Could you be so kind and inform us on the pan size? Have you tried to bake it in 26cm (10inch) pan? Should I bake it in 2 parts? If so, can 1 half stand for the time while other is being baked or should it be prepared separately in 2 halves? Thank you!

    1. I have not tried it in a 10 inch pan but I think it would work fine. It may just be a little thinner with these measurements. Because of the baking soda (single acting leavening) you may get slightly different results from one cake to the next if you bake them sequentially. If you get the second layer in the fridge right away it should be fine since much of the baking soda will have reacted during the mixing process. I would hate for you to have the mix the batter twice! Best of luck and let me know how it goes 🙂

  7. Summer-
    So glad to have stumbled across your blog and hence, this recipe. We have out of town guests coming this weekend and I have promised him a chocoalte Raiders cake, so this is what he’s getting. I’ll whip this bad boy up today and let you know how it went. I haven’t been to BS in a few weeks, busy baking on Thursdays. Let’s grab a coffee soon and talk cake! ~ Renae Heineck, Custom Cakes

  8. Hello, thank-you for a great recipe. I also had the problems you had with the original Australian mud cakes. I thought it was me. Only one question would you be kind enough to convert to gms in this an future recipes. Thank-you so much.

    1. Absolutely! I just wrapped up my son’s birthday party and after a good night’s sleep will be in my best measurement conversion mode 😉 I will also work on adding them in to future recipes! Thanks for the interest

  9. I’m in cake heaven right now! Made the cake and the icing today. I can’t ice the cake because I’m too busy eating the cuttings after torting it!!

  10. Made this cake last night and it’s chocolate perfection! Depth of flavor, texture, and stability are exactley as described. I used Ghiradelli Cocoa Powder in my cake since I did not have access to the one you mentioned. I wonder has anyone made cup cakes with this recipe and would it produce a nice dome?

    1. I am so glad you liked it! I have not tried it as cupcakes but will let you know if I do. I would also like to hear if anyone tries it how it comes out.

      1. Summer-
        Made the cake last Friday, there is about 1/3 of it left. Turned out great, although I baked 2 8″ round pans beside each other in a 350 degree oven, with equal amounts of batter and they both tested done. Cooled in pan for 10 min before turning out on cooling rack. One of the layers sank in the center by about 1.5 inches. No big deal since this cake was for us and not a client. It’s a great recipe and a keeper!

        1. That is strange that only one sunk in. It may help to let these cakes cool for a longer period of time in the pans since they are so rich and fat heavy. Also, be sure and beat the cake batter long enough and bake until fully done. It needs the time for structural development. Glad you enjoyed the taste 🙂

  11. Thanks so much for the conversion to grams. I tried it out last night but my oven could not take in 2 8″ pan so I divided all the ingredients by half and baked one 8″. This was my 2nd time trying out a mud cake. My first time following another recipe was a total flop. 🙁 This time it turned out well and the taste is good. Not too sweet either. I love your recipe. My oven is a strong one so I put the temperature to 150 C and baked for about an hour. However, when I cut the cake two hours later, the cake cracks and broke into pieces (especially the inside). I am not sure what went wrong. Any advise?

    1. Wow, my cake totally held together very well so I can only imagine it was the difference in temperature that caused the problems. I would try baking it at 177C. Temperature changes, especially ones this drastic, can have a huge effect on texture. It affects the timing of sugar and fat melting as well as starch gelation and protein cross-linking. Other than that, I would make sure that you beat your batter for at least the stated amount of time and bake the cake until it is fully set. This cake is so moist that it really needs to be cooked completely to have the necessary structure. Also, make sure you are using a plain flour with enough protein to hold the cake together. If you use self-rising flour I am afraid there will not be enough structure for this very rich cake. I’m sorry for your problems 🙁 I know how frustrating it can be when a cake goes awry. Try the temp fix and let me know if I can help in any other way.

  12. Thank you so much. I console myself with all the compliments I am getting from my family members and colleagues. Even though its crumbs. LOL. They love the taste. Anyway I will try it one more time this weekend. Practice makes perfect. 🙂 Reason I put to 150C is because a couple of weeks ago I baked a chocolate moist cake at 170C for one hour and the cake came out hard and burnt at the surface (like volcano hahaha) but the inside is still soft and uncooked. Yes..I strictly follow your advise and use plain flour. Thks again.

    1. Glad all was not lost ;). You may want to check your oven temperature. Most ovens are off. When I want mine to bake at 350F I have to set it to 365F. Too cold is no fun, but too hot can be a real bummer!

  13. Hi, I would like try your cake as it looks amazing. 🙂 However where I live it is quite hard to get corn syrup. Is that possible not to use it in the frosting? Maybe replace it with sg else? Thank you in advance.

    1. Yes, you can definitely substitute something else. I used corn syrup to add sweetness without any extra grit from icing sugar. You could use honey or maple syrup easily, but if those are too strongly flavored you can just add an extra 1/2 to 1 cup (60 to 120 grams) icing/confectioners sugar. You may need a little extra sour cream or some milk if the frosting seems too thick to spread easily. Best of luck!

  14. thanks for sharing it looks delicious but i am so sorry that it was a complete disaster for me 🙁
    I took to bake over an hour. I’ve just took it out from oven and the middle was completely sank! Big disappointment for me. Because i always use my own recipe and this time i was looking for a nice, firm mudcake saw your recipe and decided to give a try. I dont know what was wrong. My oven, ingredients?
    Actually, 397 grams sugar seems too much. I usually use 100.
    I poured it in a 17 cm cake circle.

    1. For a cake like this the correct size pan is rather critical. While I have made efforts to improve the stability of this cake, it is still inherently weak in structure because of the fact that it is low in flour and starch and high in fat and sugar compared to say a 1-2-3-4 cake. Yes, the 397 g on sugar is correct. A typical butter cake has a butter to sugar ratio of 1:1.75 in weight. This cake is exactly at that. The difference is that the starch/flour is slightly less than common and the liquid is a bit higher. And yes, since the liquid is higher and the butter and chocolate are melted the batter will seem more liquid than normal but should not affect the outcome if baked as prescribed. I am so sorry for your troubles. Give it a go in a larger pan and I am sure you will have success 🙂

  15. Hi! I can’t wait to try this! I have a question though, I’ve always heard with Australian mud cakes that it’s best for them to sit at least 3-5 days before eating for the flavors to develop and it just gets better. Will it be the same for this cake too? Is it best for it to sit out for a few days too? Thank you! 🙂

    1. I ate this cake the day of and found it to be as good as when it had sat for a time. So I don’t think it requires as much lead time with baking but it seems to hold up for a long time because it is so rich and moist. The coffee flavor will mellow over time as it does in all cakes so I guess it depends on how much you would like that flavor to show through. Best of luck!

  16. I’m wishing to bake this as a 6″ cake, and achieve a height of about 4-5″ once filled… you have any recommendations in regard to the recipie quantities to do this? Many thanks

    1. I would think that half of the batter or just over in a tall 6″ pan would reach that height, but I am a little nervous about the stability of the cake since I normally bake my layers thinner. Perhaps you should lower your oven temperature a little. Has anyone else had success baking this cake to that range of height?

      1. For the person baking in a deep 6″ cake pan. Assuming your are baking in a 3″ or higher pan, you will want to use a “heating core” so that the center bakes and you minimize the cake near the edge overbaking. Also, I’d lower the temp to 325 degrees. Hope that helps.

  17. Hi i am trying the second time and the cake is now in the oven. I hope it turns out better this time. However i have a question – the batter is lumpy. My first trial was the same and I thought it was bcos I did not seive the flour so this time I seived it but the result is the same. The batter is still lumpy and not smooth. Any advise? Also the frosting, once it is done can I ganarch the cake immediately or do I hve to put into the fridge for a couple of hours? Thks in advance.

    1. You need to slowly add the chocolate mixture to the flour while the mixer is going and stop about half way while the batter is still thick and let it beat a few seconds to smooth out. Then gradually add the rest of the batter while the mixer is going so that it has time to incorporate. Then beat well after it is all in as indicated. Also, I would probably chill it a couple of hours in the fridge just to be safe. I hope this helps!

  18. I made this cake yesterday as a tester for a big cake I am doing in a few weeks. I baked it in 2 6 inch and a 4 inch. They all baked up beautifully and achieved full height (3inches) I put the 2 six inch in the freezer to use later but frosted and ate the 4 inch. Dense but not too heavy, moist, rich in flavor and perfect. I am so happy to have found this recipe! Thank you and thank Jessicakes for pointing me in this direction.

    1. WooHoo Jessicakes subscriber I am loving this recipe also can’t wait to give it a GO! The commentary here is just lovely as well.

  19. Hi Leyda..your birdcage is very high. I like it. You torte 2 x 8inch cake? It is still a failure for me. My cake came out slightly dry and bitter. Looks like I am really a noob. I followed exactly Summer’s recipe except that I reduce the sugar a bit as my family does not like sweet cakes.

    1. Hi Anndze, Sugar actually plays an important role in the structure and moisture of the cake. Because sugar is hygroscopic it traps and holds moisture. When I wrote an article on how to improve moisture in a cake, increasing sugar was actually one of the best ways make a cake more moist. It is also important to the taste and counter balances the strong chocolate and coffee flavors. This is not an excessively sweet cake so I would not be afraid to use the full volume of sugar. As far as the bitterness is concerned, using the full measure sugar will help with this. It could also be the type of cocoa powder you are using. I did a taste test of several different cocoa powders and the differences are marked. Make sure you are using a high quality cocoa. Pernigotti has the smoothest full chocolate flavor. For a dark chocolate kick I like the Cacoa Barry Extra Brute. I was not pleased with Valrhona so I would avoid that one. I hope that helps. This cake should be very moist and flavorful as written. Best of baking luck!

  20. I made this cake this past weekend for a party of about 50-60 people and everyone could not stop raving it! It was amazing!! This is definitely my go-to chocolate cake recipe now! Thank you so much for sharing! 🙂

  21. This cake is YUM!! Made it for my son’s 3rd birthday, filled with ganache & covered in ganache. It was such a huge hit. Thanks a lot for the recipe!!! A question though: if I want to make just one cake do I half the ingredients & baking time?

  22. Oh my goodness! Thank you so much for this awesome cake!!! Jessica Harris, from Jessicakes, shared the link to your recipe on her Facebook page, and I couldn’t wait to try it! I cannot rave enough about this recipe. I made it into a sheet cake last weekend. I baked the cake in a 12″ x 18″ sheet pan (30 cm x 45 cm for the metric users) at 350 degress for 21 minutes. I made it two layers high, and each layer was approximately 1 inch tall. I am making it again today for my brother-in-laws birthday cake, and I’m hoping to try cupcakes with it next week. The sour cream chocolate frosting is so delicious. I rarely like chocolate buttercream, but this is hands down the best I have ever had! It is so rich and delicious. I just wanted to share my results with you and thank you for your superb recipe! 🙂

    1. I was glad to read your post as I was wondering if this would work in a 13×9 inch pan. Clearly I will have to increases the baking time, but now I am more confidante that it will work out just fine. Thank you.

    2. I love this cake too, but also have to make it this time as a 12×18 sheet cake. Can you tell me if 1 recipe was enough? Thank you.

  23. I love that you explain the science behind your recipe! Empirical measurements would be great for all recipes. Could you please explain 1234 cake ratios

    1. Thank you! Yes, a 1-2-3-4 cake is one where it uses 1 cup butter, 2 cups sugar, 3 cups flour (usually listed as cake flour), and 4 eggs. If you look at most butter cake recipes they are some variation of these standard amounts. It’s nice to keep in mind as you evaluate a recipe to see which way they shift ingredients. It can give you an indication of how a recipe will come out.

  24. Hi Summer. Made the cake on the weekend in 3 6 inch pans….followed your directions but unfortunately 2 of my cakes cracked in the middle. The temperature of my oven is correct since I checked with a thermometer. Wondering whether it was because I used the whisk attachment and incorporated too much air?

    1. I don’t think it would be from incorporation of too much air because of the composition of this cake and the liquid nature of the batter. Cakes act a lot differently in different sizes of pans. In a small 6 inch pan there is so much more push from the side walls. Because this cake is relatively weak structurally from the excess of fat, chocolate and cocoa as the cake pushes up it just can’t hold itself together and splits. You could try using cake strips on your pans to ensure even rising on the outside and in. You could also lower your oven temp by 10 degrees or reduce the baking powder by half to minimize the dramatic “eruption”. I hope these suggestions help! Best of luck 🙂

  25. I finally did this cake this weekend. It was absolutelly amazing.:) Everybody loved it. However I had a problem. The cake had a dome. I had to put away a lot of cakes because of it. 🙁 Could you tell me what could be the problem? I have this problem with another cakes too, and this is really annoying…

  26. Thank you for this recipe…it is definitely a keep. Tried it a few weeks ago (just the cake) and it turned out beautifully. Will be using this recipe for my nephew’s wedding in a couple of weeks. I used Lindt dark chocolate with a hint of chilli and Nestle Plaistowe Dutch Cocoa. I used measuring scales for almost all ingredients except the Aussie cup for measuring the coffee and the Aussie teaspoon. Will see how I go the second time around.

  27. I used the same recipe in 3 8 inch pan and it came out nice!. Thx summer. I made the cake for husband’s bday. Will frost it tonight.

      1. Summer, The cake tasted awesome. but It was little bit dry. I wonder why. I even took it out of the oven earlier than you mentioned as it was all ready done.
        Or should it be little dry side? This is my 1st time making mud cake.

  28. Hi Summer, I love your blog…just wondering if you could make this as a white chocolate cake, can I just substitute white chocolate for the dark chocolate and what would I replace the cocoa powder with, cornflour?
    Thanks Linda

    1. Thanks Linda! I think it is definitely worth a go. I have enjoyed white chocolate variations of mud cake a great deal. I would reduce the sugar by at least a couple of tablespoons since the white chocolate is so much sweeter. You will also be losing a bit of starch present in the chocolate but I don’t think this will affect the cake greatly. Cornflour or potato starch would be reasonable substitutes. Let me know if you try it how it goes!

  29. Hi Summer, I just wondered if the coffee can be left out of this? And, if so, what can it be substituted for? Also I bake in deep tins, is this cake sturdy enough to split? Thanks x

  30. I made this for my stepson’s birthday cake this weekend and it was a huge hit! The cake had so much chocolate flavor and it held up well under the fondant and all the decorations. Everyone loved it! I will definitely be making it again. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  31. Summer, I used all the ingredients as you said but my cake was not moist :(. why?I looked perfect but was little bit dry.

    1. Because this cake is so inherently moist I can only imagine that it was a difference in ingredients, the major culprits being butter, chocolate or cocoa powder. Butter can vary in fat content so try to use one that is of high quality that you trust and have consistent results with. You also want a chocolate that is high quality with a good amount of cocoa butter. Lastly, make sure you are using a cocoa powder that contains a good amount of fat. High quality cocoa powders remove less fat than inexpensive ones and act less starchy ounce for ounce. The one I use is 24% fat, which makes a big difference verses one that is fat free. If you don’t feel like it was any of your ingredients, check your oven temperature to make sure it is accurate and you can always add 2 tablespoons more butter and an ounce or two of sugar to increase the moisture level. Good luck!

  32. Hi, this recipe sounds so good. I have been looking for such a recipe for a 6inch top tier can you please help with the instructions for this size of pan and how many 6 inch pans this recipe would make. Thank you.

      1. glad I found this answer. I tried doing 6″ cake. I only have 2 pans. I thought a half batch would be able right, since you said it would make a possible 3 layer 8″ pan.

        By the time I level the cakes, the cake will be too small. I think that now I’ll bake another layer/half batch and make mini loaves with the rest of the batter. I think I have an excuse to buy another 6″ pan, LOL (and a Michaels coupon!)

  33. Does this freeze well? I really am searching for another cake recipe for summertime because the recipe I use is way too soft for summer down here in South Texas. Our humidity is awful. I did make this yesterday and it came out beautiful and got rave reviews! I actually cut the recipe in half and made two 6 inch pans that I torted. Although, just want to know if you have tried freezing maybe for up to two weeks. Would it still be just as good? Thank you so much! I love your site!

  34. Hi Summer, I tried the sour cream frosting but it was too sweet that no one want to touch my cake after a bite. 🙁 With 100 grams granulated sugar and 454 grams powdered sugar, will it be too sweet? I do not know where I hve gone wrong but the buttercream was just like pure sugar. Any advise?

    1. You don’t have to put all of the sugar in. Leave out the granulated sugar and the corn syrup. Cut the powdered sugar to as little as you feel necessary. You may need to cut back on the sour cream if it is too soft or just choose another recipe that is suited to your taste profile.

  35. Hiya, i found you through jessicakes blog an i am loving all your wonderful work ! I have a question….. how long this cake with icing stay at room temperature?….. i am making as a priest ordination cake for a saturday, cani bake it wednesday and leave at room temp in air tight containe then icing thursday? Many thanks sasha (london,uk)

    1. Two days should be fine for the icing. And yes the cake will hold up well at room temperature well sealed for several days. Good luck!

  36. I trialled your delicious recipe for the bottom tier of a wedding cake. I’ll need to scale up to a 14″ cake tin. Do you have advice on increasing multiple? Also, the cake is 4 tier and will be dowel led to hold tiers. Do you think it would be stable/dense enough to support?

    1. If it is doweled it will definitely be sturdy enough. You may want to decrease the baking powder a small bit. Big cakes are definitely a different beast. A 14″ cake is 1 3/4 times the size of an 8″ so you should be able to multiply by that factor. I would use a heat core for support. This cake can be on the structurally weak side even with my adjustments. Make sure it gets fully baked. Good luck!

      1. Thanks for your reply Summer – had a trial of one layer today and due to impatience on my part it broke when I was wrapping it for freezing – my work colleagues will be delighted. I will try your suggestions and maybe this will improve stability. Best chocolate cake ever!

  37. Hi Summer! I absolutely love everything about your blog! I had a question about your cake. I’ve made it several times now and it tastes amazing every time, however every time I bake it, the center of the cake forms a shell like crust and it makes it hard for the center to get fully done. I worry about over baking the edges while trying to get the middle done. Is this normal! The edges are nice and fluffy so I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong. I’ve baked it in 10″, 6″ and 9×13 with same results every time. I followed the recipe exactly except my chocolate wasn’t quite as dark, I didn’t have that on hand. Could that be it? Thanks in advance for your help! And thanks for sharing all of your great ideas.

    1. Hi Nicole, My cakes do the same thing when I bake them. This cake sort of rolls in from the outer edges as it bakes leaving a center circle. I have not had any issues with it. There is so much liquid in this cake that there should not be a problem with the edges drying. You can trim the circle to remove it. The other option would be to use Even Bake strips which will keep the outer and inside of the cake at a similar temperature as it bakes and prevent the edges from rolling. Good luck!

      1. I tried it with the bake even strips and the result was the same. I think I even baked it a little too long (because I thought the center wasn’t done) but it was still supermoist and yummy! I’ll make it again for my best friend’s birthday on Friday! 🙂
        The frosting was too sweet for me though. I read your answer to Anndze so I’ll try that next time. I’d also like to try your other frosting recipes. Are they as sweet as this one? (I know Americans like their frostings to be SWEET!) 😉
        Right now your golden buttermilk cake cools in my kitchen so I’d like to try the lemon buttercream frosting next. Should I leave the corn syrup away?
        Thank you for your great blog, Summer!

        1. Rats! You can try baking the cake at a lower temperature, but it may affect the texture of the cake.
          The other frostings are not as sweet as this one, but you can still cut back on the sugar if they are too sweet for you, or you can just toss in some extra butter. Yes, leave out the corn syrup to start and then give it a taste. You can always add it or a portion of it back if you want it a tad more sweet 🙂

  38. Hi,

    The package on my AP flour says 1 (US) cup flour = 120g. Should I use 240g or 284g as you suggested? Sometimes I found this kind of conversion very confusing… Thanks for clarification.

    1. I think it depends on whether they are talking sifted or unsifted flour which can skew weights. I always stick with 5 ounces/142 grams per cup so I would go with the 284g on this recipe since that is what I used when I made it. Yes, this type of thing can be very confusing!

  39. I’ve made this cake successfully with 8″ pans and my family LOVED it. I tried again today with 9″ pans and a 3″ and a 6″ (I doubled the recipe). I also used the multi-rack convection feature of my oven and threw all 4 pans in it. Unfortunately, they didn’t come out right… The middle never finished while the edges basically burned (I tried to keep baking but eventually gave up). I’m sure a lot was user error! Do you have advice on convection ovens as well as bigger pans? Should I use a flower nail as a heating core? Should I just use the normal oven and not bother with the convection feature (it automatically does the temperature conversion)? And instead of doubling the recipe, just do 1 batch at a time? Thanks soooo much! This cake still tasted awesome!!!! 🙂

    1. I think you can double this recipe alright but it may not like to bake well in multiple layers without switching pans around half way through baking. You could always double the batter and chill half while you bake the other half too. I have not baked these cakes in a convection setting so I am not sure of the differences. My oven does convection but it likes to adjust temperatures too and maybe I like be in control too much for that 😉 Have you checked the oven temp when you are in convection mode? Oven temperature has such a big effect on cake texture outcome. You might be better off in regular mode. I don’t think you should need a flower nail or heat core for a 9″ pan as long as your oven temp is accurate. Any larger than that though you may need something to conduct heat. If you would like to make 9″ pans again try using 1 1/2 times the recipe as a single 9″ pan is about 25% larger than an 8″. Having a similar batter depth might help too. Best of luck!

      1. Thank you so very much for the quick response and advice. I tried again tonight with wayyyyyy better success! I did 1.5x the batter, and I don’t trust my oven (oven thermometer was ordered today so I’ll know for sure!), so I also used a flower nail in each pan. I think I took the pans out a little early because they sank over time, but when I said that I was lazy yesterday, I should have added that I’m also impatient! I am not worried though – it’ll still taste excellent this weekend. Thank you again sooooo much for your response.
        I have a quick question for cake baking in general. I read your post about moistness and removing the top layer before freezing. Very interesting! Do you typically level and torte before freezing, or do you just level before freezing? Do I need to wait until the cake is completely cooled before doing anything? Is it ok to cool in the fridge overnight before torting and freezing? (And is it ok to wrap with plastic wrap while still a little warm and then put it in the fridge to finish cooling?) sorry for the bazillion (and probably elementary) questions. I work full time and have two little ones, so baking has to wait til they’re in bed, so that adds to my impatience, and I fear skipping any key steps (like a full cooling?) may ruin my cakes! 😉 thank you!!!

          1. Wow! That is a big difference. Mine is off by 15 degrees so I always have to adjust. I was pretty shocked when I baked cakes across a gamut of temperatures what a difference it made in the final product. It mostly affects texture and height. You may be baking totally difference cakes now; hopefully in a good way 😉

  40. (I doubled the recipe because I wanted 2 9″, and then threw the rest in the 6″ and 4″ And tried my luck by trying to cool all at same time using convection feature! Some days I’m lazy!)

  41. if i would like to reduce the amount of sugar used in the cale recipe is there a guideline? i am baking for a diabetic friend. i understand that the sugar helps wirh the moisute of cake… so any advise on the minimun amount of sugar to usr without affecting the structure of cake?

    thanks Summer. i love reading your blog. it is very informative! you are so knowledgeable.

    1. I would say you could probably cut half the sugar and not do terrible damage to the cake. You may want to add a couple tablespoons more butter to compensate for the loss of moisture and structural issues. You could also try adding some fructose (depending on how your friend feels about it :). Fructose holds moisture better than sucrose and will actually lower the glycemic response of foods it is eaten with. It has gotten some bad press, but I have read a good deal of the science on it and when used in moderation with a healthy diet it can be a good option to replace some sugar.

        1. I don’t believe that it will be enough to be significant. You will lose some batter volume but by the time the sugar is melted out it is not a huge amount. These layers are quite full in an 8×2″ pan so you should still have a nice thickness. You may gain some baked height too since you are reducing a structure weakener.

  42. Dear Summer, i have few question regarding this recipe, i have a to make a lamborghini car cake , so :
    1) is this recipe good enough for carving, i mean is it sturdy enough
    2 ) and if its good enough for carving, how many recipes do i need to bake for 3 sheet pans, size 11*15 inches
    3) and does it freeze well, cause i have to bake it few days in adavance

    regards, Tala

    1. Hi Tala! Yes, this cake freezes and carves very well because of its bording on brownie-like texture. You will need 1 1/2 recipes for each 11×15 sheet pan. Send me a pic of the cake when it is done!

      1. thank you so much , you are a sweetheart .and will send u the picture once i get it , its going to be my first time ever carving car….God help me

  43. I did this cake as 2x 8 inch and also as cupcakes.

    Half the batter makes 12 good sized cupcakes. Works best as cupcakes as it remains moist and full of flavour. Best choc cupcakes EVER and I have tried over 15 different recipes! The sour cream icing is very tasty but not good for cupcakes as it doesn’t hold it’s shape and got very messy, maybe good to fill inside the cupcake.

    The 8 inch cakes comes out to a great size 4 layers, BUT after icing the cake it broke in half and fell apart … We didn’t mind as the taste was awesome! Light almost fluffy and the chocolate flavour deep and rich,14 people tried it and said it’s the best they have tasted. HOWEVER this is definitely not a stacking/carving cake! Maybe the icing made the cake crumble as the sour cream frosting is very runny at room temperature.

    NOTE re icing : I live in the UK so I substituted the corn syrup for golden syrup and left out the granulated sugar… Perfect amount of sweetness, this is my go to choc filling!

    1. Hi Sasha, So glad you like the cake! I think if this cake was chilled it could be carved reasonably and if it were covered in ganache you could add fondant. Yes, this icing is not super firm at room temp but I think it would be a nice filling. Thanks for passing on your icing changes for those that like it less sweet. I bet the golden syrup is delicious!

  44. Hi, I just wanted to ask about the consistency of this cake. I recently made it, froze it straight away, then used it about a week later. I found it to be quite heavy and dense, the flavour was great, but I’m just checking if the consistency I got is correct or if I have done something wrong…ie not cooked it long enough.
    I would like to say how much I enjoy your blog and have learnt a lot. I am in the UK with some of the recipes I reduced the sugar content as I think we Brits prefer the frostings etc less sweet than our American friends

    1. Hi Julie, This cake is on the dense side. It is a tad lighter than some mud cakes but still leans toward a brownie-like texture. If it seems dense like fudge it may have been a bit undercooked. It should have some air in the crumb. I will have some lighter texture chocolate cakes coming out soon. Smiles!

    1. Hi Veronica, I think it would work fine. You may want to cut back on the volume of oil just a bit, maybe 10% because of differences in fat. The texture may be a bit different but I think it would still make a nice cake 🙂

  45. Hi Summer,
    i baked the mud cake , now im guessing the cake came out baked , but the weirdest thing happend, when the cake came out from the oven the cake in the middle it was different color from the outer part, i cant find the proper words to explain it, and i cant post a picture , if i can u will definitely understand what im trying to explain but cant find the words to explain, i cant attach a picture

    1. Hi Tala, Yes, this cake tends to roll in from the edges sort of pushing in the partially baked top causing it to pucker a bit. It is normal and won’t affect the overall cake but it looks weird. I believe it is because it is such a liquidy rich batter that the edges start to cook and rise before the middle does much setting and rising. As a result the edges rise up and then roll in until the middle can catch up and compensate.

  46. Hi summer,
    so just like u said the cake froze beautifully and defrosted nicely, and it was amazing while carving,didnt have any problems, i even tasted, the cake that came out from carving, it twas moist, the cake is so yummmy…love it…once its all done ,i will post the picture on facebook and tagg u…..thank u so much

  47. I was trying to look for a corn syrup here in our town, but can’t find any. Can it be substituted by anything?

    1. You can use glucose syrup, golden syrup, or sweetened condensed milk if you can get those products. If not, just skip it, it is not critical 🙂 If you want the added sweetness you can add more granulated or powdered sugar.

  48. Is there any chance you know how many cups of batter this recipe makes? I’m going to need to multiply the recipe for a large grooms cake.

    1. I believe it is about 9 cups total. It fills two 8-inch (7 cups volume each) pans about 2/3 of the way full. Good luck!

  49. Hi Summer , I wanna bake my daughter bday cake in a 12x3inch pan can you advise if I should double the recipe, im gonna cook each half separately and I will put the other half in the fridge so that I can cook it after the first is done, plz advise.

    1. Hi Lubna, You are going to want to make one recipe of batter for each of your 12 inch cakes, or double the batter to have enough for both rounds of baking. You may want to reduce your oven temperature by 25 F for that large of a pan so that it has time to bake evenly. Good luck!

  50. Thank you Summer I have made a trial yesterday and baked one recipe of batter in my 12″pan, the cake was perfect taste and shape, i will make 2 cakes for z bday on Saturday and add the frosting, im gonna cover it wz ganache cream and then with fondant, thanks a lot xx

  51. Hello Summer =D! I was about on the net inquiring about choco cake tenderness in comparison to vanilla cake. Albeit, nothing I read was giving me an answer. But what I did find is your website and boy am I happy!! I stumbled upon the variations of your vanilla cakes and I could tell it was from a science perspective and not hogwash. Nonetheless to my point. I was looking for a video tutorial about how you ice your cakes (they are lovely). Low and behold what did I find, nothing to do with icing but the answer I sot from the beginning of my internet query. Chocolate is a “structure weakener.” As I thought but never add an answer or explanation. I have a request if you don’t mind. How do you ice such lovely cakes? Many thanks and my apologies for the LONG post.

    1. Thank you! I don’t feel like I do anything particularly amazing in my everyday icing but here are the steps I usually go through. 1. Add a generous amount of buttercream to the top of your cake and spread it as evenly as possible to the edges and just slightly beyond. 2. Working in sections add a thick layer of buttercream to the side of the cake with a small offset spatula wiggling your wrist back and forth to adhere and even the icing. Repeat until you have worked your way all around the cake (use a turn table to get your icing smooth and even). 3. Use your spatula or bench scraper to smooth the icing evenly around the cake sides. 4. Feather in any ragged icing at the top border of the cake onto the top. 5. Chill the cake until the icing is firm and scrape the sides and top of the cake (cleaning your spatula frequently) to remove any minor imperfections. I hope that makes sense. I have it in mind to get a post up on smooth icing cakes by different methods, but for now I hope this helps a little. 🙂

  52. Hello Summer, love love your blog. I love all your recipes so much and want to try this too but with white chocolate, could you pls advice? Thanks in advance and stay blessed.

    1. I have not made this in its white chocolate form but have had success with other white chocolate mud cakes. I would convert the volume of cocoa to flour. Then I would cut the sugar by 4 tablespoons to compensate for the extra sweetness in the white chocolate; and I would add an egg for a little bit more structure. You will probably want to scale back on the baking soda since you are losing some acidity. You could convert the espresso to buttermilk that is warmed if you want to maintain the previous acidity (in that case keep the soda the same). You also may want to bake this in three 8-inch pans as well. They will still be nice thick layers but the cake will be more stable if baked less deep. Good luck!

        1. I am hoping you still monitor the replies but I wondered how the white chocolate version went? Was is successful or have you since written a white Choc version summer? I made the above version and tested it on my family before I use it with my customers (hope you don’t mind) and even my very critical mother said it was the best cake she had ever tasted and wanted a copy of the recipe. I would however love a white Choc conversion to put in between layers of the dark. Hope you or the original poster can reply. Thank you also for the explanations along the way, I love the science behind the recipe.

  53. Hi summer,
    In the cake instead of using dark/white chocolate can I replace them with greek yogurt?? I want the texture of this cake but as red velvet cake.

    1. Hi, Sorry it has taken me a couple of days to get back to you. My daughter’s birthday party was this weekend so there was baking and party planning madness going on in my house. 🙂
      I don’t think the solution is quite as simple as a one ingredient swap. Chocolate and cocoa have a complex structure that adds a great deal to the texture of this cake. You could try some swaps in the cake but I don’t think the texture will ever be exactly the same. You need to add structure (probably from more flour and eggs), and you would need a touch more fat from something like butter or sour cream and a bit of sugar. It may take extensive trial and error to get to the type of cake your are trying to achieve. I wish I could give a definitive solution, but cake is convoluted if nothing else. Best of luck!

  54. Hi Summer,

    I made this cake and the icing (so yum) and it is by far the BEST Chocolate Cake I have ever tasted!!! Its even better than mud cake with Ganache!
    I had it iced and refrigerated for a week before eating and it was still delicious and moist. Such a fantastic recipe and if you ever publish a recipe book I will definitely buy it, because your recipes are phenomenal and so is your knowledge of baking. And you publish all this for free, its so wonderful!! Please don’t stop the photos in your posts, I love em, makes me salivate!! 🙂

    1. Thank you Jaime! My goal from the get-go has been to provide the best of what I know for free. So glad you enjoy the cake!

  55. This cake looks wonderful. I’ve never made a mudcake but I do love a good chocolate cake. I love the fact that you use 8 inch pans because that is what I have. And I’m going to try to make this cake although I’m not well-versed in difficult baking.

    I’m an American but I live in Japan. And I’m used to having to convert from American cups to British cups to Japanese metric or grams or what ever. I didn’t know the Australian cup was different. I wonder what the Australian cup is in milliliters?

    Could I make a tiny little suggestion about your notation for grams and milliliters? Please don’t take this the wrong way as I appreciate so much the fact that your recipe has all the different conversions listed. So many don’t and your recipe is very easy to follow because it is there. I make this suggestion only to help us users of grams and milliliters.

    In Japan, we use a scale which measures out the number grams. And then we have cups that measure out the number of CCs or milliliters. I think you have done all of your conversions via mathematical tables and they are indeed correct. But from a baking point of view, 198 g is virtually meaningless. Many digital scales only weigh out in 5 gram units, some of the best weight out two gram units. That is to say, I could measure out 190 g or I could measure out on the 195 g or I could measure out 200 g but not exactly 198 g. There may indeed be very expensive scales that can weigh in single gram units but most households don’t have that sort of expensive item.

    I think that rounding up all of your amounts would be a lot more understandable to us users of digital grams and milliliters. So 398 g would be 400 g. Or 198 CC would be 200 CC. As far as oven temperatures go, I’ve never seen a digital oven that could measure out 177°C. What I would do is just set my oven at 180°C or 170°C. My oven won’t even do 175°C. One Japanese cup is usually 200 CCs. It would be very very difficult indeed to try to measure 198 CCs!

    Whenever I see a recipe given in mathematically correct grams or milliliters, for example 398 g, if I save the recipe, I always change it by rounding up.

    Please don’t think that I’m complaining as I am not. And as I said before, I appreciate the fact that you have included the different conversions in your recipe making it so much more understandable for me. I love using grams and milliliters. Much easier to weigh out the amount of flour than to try to use that dip and scrape method that they teach in America. I have always hoped that America would move towards digital measurements but it’s not going to happen anytime soon.

    1. Hi Pamela, Thank you for your lovely and well expressed suggestion! On future recipes I will adjust round my oven temps for sure. Having worked in enough science labs I know how ridiculous it is to try and measure out one gram. The scales are so sensitive they have doors so that a breeze won’t affect the weight! Therefore I do understand the impracticality of listing ingredients in grams to units. My concern in doing this has always been accuracy. Because I am working from ounces, when I convert mathematically I want to represent what I have done as accurately as possible and give the baker the leeway to round as they see fit. Having said that, because I am working in ounces my measurements are likely less accurate than those working in grams rounded to the nearest multiple of 5. I will make an effort to convert on my scale so that I can best determine a precise gram measurement or round the way that seems the best for that cake. Best of luck on your Mud Cake! 🙂

  56. Hi Summer,,, love love the look of the cake,,, can’t wait to try,,,have a question though… When u say granulated sugar for the cake,,,I live in India and our regular granulated sugar is quite big,,,can I use castor sugar wil it make a difference or what do u suggest…

    1. Castor sugar is perfect. I would go with the measurements by weight if you can so you do not end up with more sugar than necessary. 🙂

  57. Hi summer,can u tell me do you use unbleached all-purpose flour or bleached all-purpose for all your cakes and can you explaine to me what is different between these two flour thank you somuch!!!!

    1. Hi Rameeza, I use unbleached flour because of the fact that it has less chemical adulteration and is more widely available in other countries. Here is a post on Different Flour Types that outlines the differences and effects in cake. If you have any further questions let me know! 🙂

  58. Hi Summer…..I have a query…..I really do not have access to 72% or higher chocolate…….max available is 45%…….do you think if I reduce the sugar by say 25%….it will work?

  59. Hi Summer
    I’m nervously preparing to bake this cake tonight. Trying to do a dinosaur cake. Was going to cook the dinosaur “back” in a Pyrex bowl to get a nice dome. Would you recommend changing the baking temperature for glass? How many inches of batter would you pour in? Thank you for any advice you might have.

    1. Hi Vick, It is questionable how well this cake will work baked in that fashion. If you choose to do so I would definitely reduce the temp by at least 25 F. I don’t know that I could recommend how deep to bake it inches wise. If it were me I would probably bake layers and carve it but it is possible it could work in the bowl. I just don’t have specific recommendations at this time. Good luck! 🙂

  60. Hi Summer
    Thank you!!
    I went for it. I made a double batch and used two 9″ pans and a Pyrex bowl. The bowl was about 1/3 full or 3″. Reduced the temp by 25 to cook the bowl and it worked! The bowl cake came out almost the same as the pan cakes. It had a slight crust where it touched the glass. This cake is soooo delicious. Used a chocolate buttercream to assemble. It assembled and carved really well. I had it in the fridge overnight before carving. Then a buttercream crumb coat and fondant to cover. Gumpaste for the Stegosaurus plates, tail spikes and eyes.
    Can’t wait to use the recipe again.

    1. Absolutely! It works great. I don’t recommend using the frosting because it does not chill super firm but the cake is perfect for fondant. 🙂

  61. Hi summer,
    Me again, i cant find 72% cacao or more dark chocolate, chopped or broken coarsely (I used Ghiradelli Twilight Delight) or Dutch processed cocoa powder (I recommend Cacao Barry Extra Brute or Pernigotti) i lives in Sri Lanka. what can i use instead please?

    1. You will be fine with regular cocoa powder and just use the darkest chocolate you can get ahold of. Anything will work. Good luck! 🙂

  62. Hello Summer!
    This cake looks amazing, especially the frosting. I’m terrified that the frosting won’t turn out right. You mention to beat at low speed and that may have been my problem in the past. Any chef secrets to help? Also, I ALWAYS have issues with cakes that call for butter so I substitute with oil. Should I give butter another try or stick with what I know? Thanks in advance. I’m a new fan!

    1. Hi Colleen. I think you could have success with both butter or oil in this recipe, but I like the richness that the butter gives to the flavor of the cake. In this cake the butter is melted, so it may give you a different result than in past attempts. This frosting is not too difficult to make. Beating at a low speed will keep it from getting too fluffy. Keep it cool for a nice firm texture. Best of luck!

  63. Hi Summer, i made this American mud cake for my daughters 3rd birthday. everyone had seconds and take homes well. my daughter and husband want me to make that same cake again and again and again , which i did. Thank you Summer for sharing your lovely Recipe.

  64. Would love to ask a stupid question. Is this really better than the best moist, very rich buttery chocolate cake made with buttermilk and lots of butter and lots of 70% lindt? Have to ask? Sorry…. but will try.

    1. This cake is a bit different than a standard chocolate butter cake. It is more brownie-like and dense. But it is the flavor that sets this cake apart. I have never had a cake that has such rich chocolate flavor. So, it is very much a matter of personal preference on the flavor and texture you prefer, but I would for sure say that this cake is worth giving a try. Best of luck!

  65. Would this work under 2 layers of fondant? I have a beautiful cake that calls for fruitcake in the recipe. Blue fondant is covered by white fondant, and then cutouts are done.
    Is this cake sturdy enough?

    1. Definitely! I would choose ganache rather than the given frosting for stability, but the cake is surely firm enough. I bet that will be beautiful! 🙂

      1. Thanks so much. Hubby is drooling! I need a little help about the ganache. Never put that on a cake. So I just make regular cream ganache and put it between layers and all over the cake? Or should I use chocolate frosting?

        BTW, if you want to see a picture of this beautiful cake, check out the Starry Blue and White Cake in “Make, Bake, and Celebrate.” Early holiday gift.

        1. Just got back from the store.

          I could only find 70% Cacao or 100% Cacao, by Ghiradelli. should I use 4 of 70% and 3 oz of the 100%, or all one or the other? Thanks.

        2. I think sour cream ganache would work beautifully in and on this cake. Just add it while it is the consistency of peanut butter and warm as needed as you work.

          I will have to check it out! Thanks!

  66. Hi Summer,
    1 more question . The sour cream frosting sounds delicious. I am making that fondant basket cake. So- do you think I could use it as filling and then should I ganache with chocolate ganache on the outside, all frosting or make sour cream ganache- ( I have no idea how to do that) for inside and out? I’d like a fluffier filling as opposed to all dense with the ganache and density of the cake. I don’t see anywhere to post a picture, so here is the link to the cake I am doing. Thank you!

    1. I would fill with the sour cream frosting and use ganache on the outside. A sour cream ganache would be wonderful! I don’t have a recipe posted here but should be easy to search for. You could also just sub sour cream for the normal volume of whipped cream and should be fine. Yummy!

  67. Hi Summer, I have to cake in the oven but had a big question- looked through all the comments and no one asked this . Does the entire mixture get mixed with the balloon whisk or do I change to a paddle beater after whisking the flour, etc mixture together? I wasn’t sure, so I used the whisk and then the last 30 sec the paddle :). I did not see paddle beater mentioned anywhere, just the whisk. Fingers crossed . I’m making 2 more later this week.

    1. I just use the whisk, but either way is fine. With the whisk you have to scrape down manually to get the sides well incorporated. I hope that helps 🙂

  68. Hi Summer, any possibility you could scale this for a 2 layer 6″ cake? I made half a recipe first time and got 2 skinny layers; most will be lost during leveling. When I made 1 6″ layer, I had enough to make 1 layer plus 4 beautiful cupcakes.

    We have dietary issues, so would prefer smaller cakes while practicing cake making. I would prefer a 2 layer 6″ cake, and not need to bake 8 extra cupcakes. Thank you. Hope you had a wonderful Christmas

    1. I would make 3/4 of the recipe for your 6-inch cakes if half was too little batter. Let me know if you have any questions on that. 🙂

  69. Just made this into two 8″ rounds. Smells amazing. Used a wet towel on them right out of the oven to press and flatten the domes as were a little lopsided – that tip worked!

    For the frosting, I plan to only fill the cake with it – will torte both 8″ rounds. Should I still make a whole batch or just half a batch of the frosting? Made a not-too-sweet ganache for the actual frosting part. Thanks!!

  70. Made this recipe for the first time for a birthday party with a little trepidation as my oven had just been repaired and seemed to be running a little hotter than before. Picture the anxious me with a flashlight looking through the glass at the oven thermometer every 5 minutes. I need not have worried. I made the recipe in 3 8 inch pans. The instructions were fabulous and I followed them to the letter. The batter was lovely and full but not too liquid. The cakes cooked with no dome and beautifully even. I did not have to level the tops. I ended up with a lovely high cake which I filled and crumb coated with the sour cream chocolate and then made rosettes with your vanilla buttercream. The cake cut beautifully and the texture was moist but not too crumbly and accolades from all of the guests for the flavour. They went through your recipes with me and have already decided that my next cake will be the orange cake with passion fruit. When are you publishing a cook book? I will be the first in line.

  71. Thanks for including the metric measurement too. I’ve been baking the Australian Mud Cake for years and always had some problems with it, even though I like the flavour and it makes a great base for sculpted cakes. I’ll try your version this week. 🙂

  72. Hi Summer,

    I have been having some trouble with a recipe and was hoping to pick your incredible baking brain. It’s not your recipe cause yours always work out perfect, but it’s a great cake for fondant and I can’t seem to get it to rise properly or stop it from collapsing. I have converted the recipe to a different size using the CakeOMeter app, and I was thinking that perhaps I need to change the oven temperature as well? Would that make a difference?
    The cake rises beautifully while baking, about an inch above the edge of my pan but then it collapses whilst baking or doesn’t rise in the centre at all. The recent one I did just wouldn’t bake it was still mush after 2.5hours at 140-150C which was how long it’s supposed to bake. The top crust and rose up nicely and I was so happy, but at 2hours I checked it and it was still jiggly so I left it in for another 30mins. And even increased the temp and it was still not baked. This recent one I added a little more baking soda because the one I did the day before didn’t even rise in the centre. And I made sure the temp was perfect. I can send you the recipe if you’d like.
    Sorry about the random question, but Any help would be most appreciated..

    Thanks so much..


    1. Hi Jamie, I would love to help. It sounds like your recipe has too much liquid or not enough structural elements to sustain the infrastructure. I would add a bit more flour and maybe an egg if you are at less than 4 eggs per standard size recipe. You can also divide it into more pans. Baking deep enough that it rises over the pan may mean not enough wall support. You could also have too much leavening which can lead to rise and fall problems. It seems it is rising too fast for the structure to develop. You may want to cut that down too. You can send the recipe to me if you want specific suggestions. 🙂

      1. Hi Summer,

        Oh thank you so much!
        I will send you the recipe. What is the best way to send it to you – its a PDF.

        thank you again

        1. Hi Summer,

          Thank you in advance for looking over this recipe for me.

          8″ square or 9″ round cake
          Baking Time 2hours at 140C

          250g Unsalted Butter
          250g Dark Chocolate
          8 tsp Instant Coffee
          180ml water
          150g Self Raising Flour
          150g Plain Flour
          60g Cocoa Powder
          1/2 tsp Bicarb Soda
          550g Castor Sugar
          5 Eggs lightly beaten
          8 tsp Vege oil
          125ml Buttermilk

          1) Butter & Water in sauce pan until melted, off the heat and add Chocolate until melted add Oil and combine – leave to cool slightly
          2) Sift Flour, Cocoa, Bi Carb, and Self Raising flour together in a bowl
          3) Add Sugar and Salt and make well in centre
          4) Pour Chocolate mix in centre and add Vege oil, Buttermilk and Eggs.
          5) Mix until well combined and place in oven
          6) Bake until skewer comes out clean

          Thanks so much for your genius help!!
          Jaime! 🙂

          Last question I promise;
          When I make your American Mud cake recipe the centre of my cakes seem to bake differently, I call them Cake Brains cause they literally look like brains, the cake is baked and risen beautifully all around the edge, about 3 inches in. Then the centre is a different texture and crusted and for lack of a better word looks like brains and when cutting them in half underneath the crusted brains the centre is sunken. I am doing something wrong cause your recipe worked perfectly the first time, but I just don’t know what because I keep getting the brains. I have a pic of it if that would make more sense.

          Thanks so much!
          Jaime 🙂

  73. Hi Summer,

    Thank you for the lovely recipe! I have double up the recipe and baked 3×8″ pan and 3×6″ pan.
    The flavour is amazing! I have a few questions, how long can I keep the left over sour cream chocolate filling in the refrigerator/freezer? Can I bake this recipe in a 9×13″ pan? If yes, do I bake at the same temperature and time?

    1. I have seen people bake it in a 9 x 13″ pan so you should be fine to do that! I would keep the temperature the same. The filling will keep for about a week in the fridge or a couple of months in the freezer. 🙂 Good luck!

  74. Hi there, I made your cake recipe and for some reason it sunk in the middle during whilst in the oven and then worse when it was cooling ( But it still tastes awesome) could you suggest why this might have happened? Thanks

  75. Do you “thwack” this cake, too? What is your suggested procedure for cooling/thwacking of this cake?

    Thanks! Looking forward to trying it out.

  76. Hi Summer, was so excited to bake this cake however the middle of the the cake sunk in a bit and looked exactly like Jaime described (with a crust…). What did I do wrong? The texture inside was lovely and fixed it with the raspberry filling, but would love for it to be level and perfect…

  77. Do you think this cake would do well with carving for 3D cakes. I need something dense that holds together but moist as well. Thanks

  78. I just finishing making this cake and it is definitely the best tasting chocolate mud cake for sure! My only issue is it crumbles. What causes a cake to crumble? I used 9×2″ tins would this be the cause? Or the fact that I only had cake flour? I’d love to get this cake right as its definitely yummy 🙂 The cake rose beautifully and maintained its height even when cooled. It was just very light and started to break apart after i tried getting it out of the tin after 10 minutes of cooling. I cooked it for 30 minutes and it wasn’t dry.

  79. Hi Summer,

    I too am going to make this in a 9″ x 13″ pan. I’m glad to hear that it should work just fine:) Do you have a white chocolate mud cake recipe?

  80. Hi! Just wondering if I would be able to skip the coffee and substitute with just hot water? I’m making the cake for a little boy, and I don’t think decaf is totally caffeine-free. Thanks! 🙂

  81. Hi Summer. This is my favorite chocolate recipe and my clients love it- you make me look good! This time I need to make a 12×18″ sheet pan. Does this recipe make enough for this size cake or double it? I saw in comments that it can be doubled? If so, do you usually double it at the same time or make the recipe twice. I worry about it sitting while I made recipe #2. I do have a 6 qt kitchen aid. Also assume I should use nails in the cake? Thanks so much.

  82. I followed exact recipe but my cake sinks every time a minute after I take it out of oven. Even though toothpick came out clean. What am I doing wrong?

  83. Made this cake on Saturday for mothers day/test run for base tier of my wedding cake. I baked it in a 14″ pan and checked it every 10 mins to see how long to bake it. Took about 30 mins, but next time I will reduce the temperature and cook a little slower. The cake is beautiful, delicious, rose a little and has a beautiful texture and taste. I loved this method for making a mud cake much better than others because there aren’t any issues with lumps etc. Loved it, great taste and absolutely no complaints. I’ll send you a photo of the final cake, wedding is in 3 months x

  84. Hi Summer, I just finished making this for my chocolate loving husband’s birthday. I didn’t have sour cream for the frosting so I used Goat Cheese Quark, which is sort of like sour cream (this one is anyway) and it is Delish! Beautiful consistency, not too sweet with a slight tang. It will be enjoyed my all at our Memorial Day/Birthday celebration. Thanks again!

  85. Hi Summer,
    I love your blog and recipes, I have tried several of them and they are amazing.
    Your modeling chocolate recipe is the only one that I make.

    My son’s bday party is this weekend and he wants a 3D standing Baymax cake, and he wants a really chocolaty chocolate cake,
    Am thinking in using a 5″ × 4″ cake for the legs, then a 6″×2″ cake, 2 6.5″ × 3″ cakes (to on carve the big belly) then a 6″×2″ cake again and half a ball pan which is a little bit under 6″.
    I think that I would need to triple the recipe so that all the cakes come out to make this huge cake, and will be using your SMBC recipe. Am I right or should make more???

    I would of course use cake boards between every other 3 layers and an internal structure

    Now my question regarding this recipe, will it carve good and hold on with the SMBC and hold its weight under fondant???? Or should I use another cake recipe???
    How much SMBC should I make??? I was thinking that with 1.5 recipe but am not sure.

    Thanks again 🙂

  86. Hi Summer,
    I made this cake many times. it work out great. this time i have left over frosting. should i keep that in the fridge? or freezer? and for how long? thanx Summer. this recipe is our family favourite.

  87. Hi, I’m from Hungary. This recipe looks very good! I”ll make this cake next week. I hope, it”ll be perfect. 😀

  88. Hi Summer! Thanks for sharing these amazing recipes with us!!
    I have to say that I’ve baking for a few years and since then I’m always looking for a good chocolate cake recipe…those I’ve been doing are good but this one is THE ONE! I’m saying that because I dont like chocolate cake but I ate half of this cake in a half hour! Fantastic!!!

  89. I made this cake today and it was perfect the taste is absolutely beautiful chocolaty but not too rich,could I double this recipe for a 10 inch size round cake tin?

    1. It will be slightly thinner than the original if you bake one batch in a 12-inch pan. You could make one and one-half recipe to fill up the pan more.

  90. Hi Summer
    Love your blog. Made your Vanilla cake and it was awesome.I Iive in the UAE where it is really very hot. Was wondering if this frosting would hold up with the heat out here. Do you think I would need to add Crisco instead of butter and reduce the amt of sour cream. If I need to reduce some ingredient please let me know how much. Tx

    1. Hi Maria, Thank you! This frosting softens rather easily so I would opt for a chocolate Swiss meringue buttercream which will hold up better in the heat. 🙂

    1. Yes, most of the ingredients that I adjusted were already present but I did add cocoa powder and switched the type of chocolate used for more chocolate flavor. 🙂

  91. Hi Summer,
    I love this recipe and tried it several times, and was always perfect, so I really thank you for that. Now my question is: My son’s birthday is in one week, I am thinking of baking the cake today or tomorrow so that’s about 6 days before the party. Should I freeze it or the fridge will do for this week? And if left in the fridge, will it still be moist and taste fresh?

    Thanks a lot

    1. Sorry I didn’t get back sooner. I was camping out of cell range. This cake holds up very well so it should be fine in the fridge, but the freezer is always a safe bet if you are concerned. I usually freeze my cakes if I am baking several days ahead, but this is an a particularly resilient cake.

  92. Hi Summer, I love this recipe just beautiful.I am making my daughters wedding cake next year and would like to know how much batter for a 10 inch cake pan,I am doing a 10 inch plus 8 inch pan would that be enough cake for about 45 people?and will this stack well with two layers?.thank you Lorraine.

  93. Oh, My. Gosh. This recipe is going to be added to the chocolate cake repertoire. And you’re right, it’s best eaten starting the second day. It took my husband and I 7 days to finish it off and it was still yummy. Followed the recipe, it turned out great. Thanks for all your experimentation!

  94. I want to make two 8′ and 10′ to make two tiers cake… But I don’t have two pans of each so I am planning to make one 8′ and 10′ cake pan at one go…. Could you suggest will this recipe be enough for one 8′ and 10′ ? …. My cake pans are 2 inch and total tiers will be 4′ tall with buttercream frosting

  95. Hello
    Please can you tell me can I use something else instead of corn syrup? It is hard to find it in my country.Thank you in advance!

    And a huge thank you for the ingredients in European measurements as well!

    1. Are you adding it as an extract? Its difficult to determine without knowing the strength. I would add 1-3 tsp of extract. Start low and add as needed. You could also add 1/4-1/2 cup of liquor in place of some of the liquid.

  96. Dear Summer I have come across your website through Jessica Harris. I am not a professional baker I only bake for my family. I have tried your recipe for the American mud cake for my daughters engagement cake and was a great hit with everyone talking about it that its was the best mud cake they had. Next month is my little granddaughters christening I like to make a white chocolate mud cake .I have tried many recipes from various websites but I have not found the one that I will say it a keeps. I was wondering if you had a good recipe that you like to share. Thank you Maria

    1. Hi Maria, I have made white chocolate mudcake but I have not ever tried to convert this recipe. I believe it is quite possible by swapping the chocolate for white chocolate, reducing the sugar by at least 1/4 cup and using flour in place of the cocoa powder. Other than that I’m sorry to say I don’t have an outside recommendation. I just have not baked enough white chocolate variations to offer a good source. Good luck with your search!

  97. I used this recipe to make the dome part of an R2D2 cake baked in a kitchen mixer bowl. I lost a little bit off the very top due to sticking but it worked so well. It took 2 h at 300 degrees but it was so worth it. Thanks

  98. Hi Summer… I can not wait to try this recipe! Sorry to ask you this (I have read all the comments and I don’t think anyone else has asked) but is your oven fan forced or not… I have messed so many cakes up using fan forced when I shouldn’t and vice versa hahahah thank you So much xxx

    1. Hi Sarah! My oven utilizes a fan during baking. I don’t use the convection setting but the fan is still on to move the air. I have not had problems with this recipe with the fan going. 🙂

  99. Hi Summer!
    My friend just asked me if i could do a two tiered mud cake for her birthday and i decided to use your delicious looking recipe! 😀
    If i’ll use ganache for filling and frosting, will it stay solid?
    And a second question, I wanted to use a 9″ and a 10″ pan, will it be enough to do a 1 1/2 dough?
    and with the remaing dough i’ll do cupcakes?
    what do you say?
    Thank you in advance.

    1. Hi Giulia, This cake will be very solid and sturdy with ganache so that is no worry. Upsizing to 9 or 10 inch pans should be about 1 1/2 times the normal batter so that should work fine. Best of luck with this!

      1. Hi Summer, thank you very much!
        another quick question, do you know of some other kind of butter or other ingredient i can use without lactose? because my friend’s boyfriend is allergic to lactose.
        Thank you very very much!

        1. Hello again! Oil works as a very suitable substitute for butter in most cakes, especially chocolate where you won’t notice butter flavor nuances. Vegetable or canola oil are great but you can also use coconut oil for a little flavor addition. Another option is Earth Balance vegan buttery sticks. They are non-hydrogenated and dairy free. They are a nice option for baking and frostings if you can locate them. Palm oil “shortenings” that are non-hydrogenated work in frosting as well and have a neutral flavor. Just avoid hydrogenated fats, they have a strange mouthfeel and are not good for your body. Let me know if you have any more questions! Smiles

          1. Hi!
            So i’ll replace butter with the same quantity of coconut oil, for example, right?
            Thank you soooo much….really!
            You are too kind!
            😀 🙂

  100. Hi Summer,
    Love this recipe. Any idea how much liquor I can add in to this recipe to infuse the flavour?
    a client of mine wants a JD Mud Cake.
    Please help.
    God bless you.


    1. Hi Mel! You can easily add 1/4 cup but if they really want it boozy you can push it even farther. Just replace some of the water with alcohol. It can have have an effect on structure so you may need to add 1/4 tsp more baking soda to counteract the acidity. Here’s a post I wrote on adding alcohol to cakes for more information.

  101. I wanted to make this cake but into cupcakes instead. Would I still follow the same temperature and time guidelines? This recipe looks great and am looking forward to making it!

    1. I know some people have had success making this into cupcakes. I would recommend adding an additional 1/4 cup of flour to give the cupcakes proper structure. Good luck!

  102. Hi summer. I want a really really small cake and I’m thinking of reducing this recipe by 1/3 (because you’ve mentioned 3 eggs and it’d be easier to make it one egg when reduced by 3). This is a trial cake before I make it on the original day, thus the smaller size. Now my question is, how long should i bake it? Should the time be reduced too? Also, what size of pan should i use?

    1. Hi Rene,
      You can reduce by 1/3 and bake in 6 inch pans of you still want a layered cake. Reduce you baking time for this about 5 minutes. Or you could reduce by 1/3 and just bake one layer of a 9 inch cake. Your bake time will be similar to the original but may take a few minutes longer. For more info on size changes see the Sizing Up post. 🙂

      1. Thanks so much for this comment and reply! I’m actually starting to make smaller cakes, even 4″ due to hand pain. I love this cake and will keep the comments for the next time.

  103. And I’m making a 3D ball cake
    How many cups of batter should I pour in one half pan, and what would be the temperature of oven ?

    1. Just depends on the size of the ball pan but I believe that the Wilton ones take around the same amount as an 8-inch cake pan, around three and a half cups. I would bake a ball cake at 325 degrees. Otherwise the top edges start to get dark in color before the middle is finished baking. Best of luck!

  104. I’m so excited to try your recipe … Do you suggest baking them as cupcakes ? If so, how many does the recipe yield ? How much batter is required to fill each liner (1/2 to 2/3) ?

    1. Hi Nadya! I would suggest adding 1/4 cup flour if you bake them as cupcakes and fill half full. This is a really rich cake and if overfilled I think they may sink. This should make yummy cupcakes though! Baking best 🙂

    1. Hi Nitu, You can use 1/4 cup cream cheese softened with 1/4 cup milk whisked in or just 1/4 cup whipping cream. Hope you enjoy the recipe!

  105. Hi Summer, how long will this cake taste fresh if left wrapped in plastic wrap at room temperature? I baked it today and need to fill and decorate it in two days…should I freeze it overnight? Thanks!

    1. This cake actually improves with a little rest time. Three or four days wrapped well should be no problem. Any longer than that I would refrigerate or freeze it. You should be in good shape to keep it out until you are ready. Best wishes!

  106. Hi Summer, I recently found your blog and I’m in love with the way you explain baking science so clearly! Your recipes seem amazing, I’ve yet to try one out but I’m eyeing this cake. I was hoping you could clarify something about the texture of the cake – you describe it as fudgy but is it “wet”? I tried this very well reviewed chocolate cake on epicurious as well as Ina Garten’s Beatty’s chocolate cake and both times the cake came out “wet”, like the mouthfeel transformed from a light cake to a sticky paste in your mouth. It was kind of gross, although some of my family/neighbours liked the “steamed cake” texture. My idea of moist seems to be different from some people’s – I like my cake to be buttery-moist, not watery/wet-moist. So I was wondering in which category your mud cake falls? Thanks so much and I look forward to your reply 🙂

    1. Hi Myrth!
      This cake has a texture a bit lighter than a brownie but not “wet” as you are describing. I understand what you are saying though. That texture comes from cakes that are made with a lot of liquid and usually melted butter or oil. The liquids and fats saturate the starches and cocoa solids making them almost soggy. This cake has a more solid structure because of the volume of chocolate present and the ratio of ingredients. If you want a cakes that is moist but less sodden than some chocolate cakes can be try one that is made with a creamed butter-sugar mix. The butter doesn’t soak into the starches as much. Quintessential Chocolate Cake is one example. Good luck on your chocolate cake quest!

  107. Hi Summer, I have this recipe in my mind for a while now, i’m planning to use it for my mom’s 70th Birthday. I’m just curious to know if I could bake this in just one 8″ pan instead of two of three? Then after baking cut the cake in layers?

    1. Hi Melanie,
      I don’t have experience baking it that way. I worry that the way it is composed it may not come out quite the same. See Size Matters for some more info on baking deep. This is one recipe that may work because of its dense nature but I would do a trial run if you want to be able bake it this way.

      1. Summer Thanks for that article, very interesting. Maybe a trial run is a smart idea, if baking deep. I would like to ask an other thing, just to be clean, so the cake on the photo in this blog is one time the recipe or two times the recipe. This because there are 4 layers in the photos and two 8-inch pans mentioned in the recipe and it says you’ll have two thick layers, or do you cut the two thick layers in half? Then my next question already rises, how long can the batter sit on the counter? Long enough for the other layers to be baked? I dont have pans the same size, here in Amsterdam they are not so cheap. Thanks so much for you time and effort.

        1. For this cake I baked it in two pans and split the layers in half. They come out thick enough to be easily split. If you are baking one layer at a time you can refrigerate the remaining batter. That will keep the leavening in “stasis”. At room temperature the baking soda and baking powder will slowly continue to react. Refrigeration will minimize this. The batter should be fine for an hour or two of chilled. 🙂

          1. Wonderfull, that is just perfect, then i will bake it one at a time. I’m looking forward to this mud-cake recipe. Thanks again Summer!!

  108. I’m giving someone this recipe again this morning for the umpteenth time….so I thought I would finally leave you a comment!

    I’ve been making this cake for about 3 years in Geneva, Switzerland for my kids’ parties. I’ve used it for cupcakes, decorated cakes, simple gateau snacks and it is always a crowd-pleaser. Imagine, that adults at kids birthday parties come back for seconds, and there are never any left-overs?

    Personally, I opt for a Swiss Meringue buttercream (either chocolate or vanilla) instead of the sour cream icing in your blog, but I can’t say enough about this moist, wonderful cake.

  109. I came across your recipe the other day and plan to make it for my husband today for Valentine’s Day. I’ve never made a cake from scratch before so I’ve just read tons of the comments, and I just want to commend you for your dedication to responding to everyone’s questions, even years after your original recipe! You are amazing and have been more helpful to everyone (even when the question had previously been answered) than I have ever seen on any blog/recipe! —I did stop reading comments about halfway threw so if this is repetitive I’m sorry, but hey, you can’t ever get enough compliments 🙂 🙂 🙂 Happy Valentine’s Days! I’m sure I won’t be the only one making your recipe today!

  110. Hello Summer,
    Thanks for your wonderful recipe. I have always wanted a mud cake, this is the first i made and is exactly what i wanted too.
    I have made this into a birthday cake for my brother and is loved by all friends and family members, i am in asia, we dont generally go for heavy cakes but this is a real crowd pleaser. Thanks so much!!

  111. Just wanted to tell you this is my go to chocolate cake recipe. Works great every time! And I just spent several minutes scrolling through the comments and am amazed at how you so kindly reply to everyone’s questions. You must be just a fabulous person!

  112. Hi! I want to make this cake asap! Sounds amazing! I’m wondering if I can use regular unsweetened dark cocoa powder, rather than the Dutch processed?? If so, what modifications might I need to make?
    Dutch process is just a pain to find without ordering online and cost a fortune. Btw, I’m in the US! Thx!!!

    1. Natural cocoa powder should work fine in this cake. I have used natural and Dutch processed cocoa interchangeably in other cakes and have had good results. Enjoy!

  113. Hello! I would like to use this recipe for my brother in laws wedding cake as the bottom tier (bottom tier = 3 x 12inch cakes stacked).

    A few questions please:
    1. Which are better to use American or Australian cups/spoons?
    2. Would it support fondant and two other tiers on top? (middle tier white choc mud, top tier fruit cake)
    3. For a 12 inch tin – what you need to multiply the recipe by please?

    Thanks so much!!

    1. Hi Anna, I have used American cups in this recipe so that will be most acurate way to go. This cake is sturdy so it will hold up well to other tiers if you place sufficient supports within. You will need between 2 and 2 1/2 times the original recipe. It depends on how thick you want your layers. It may be more safe structure-wise to go wth doubling the recipe. Best of luck!

  114. The outside of the cakes I baked lool so good, but the inside has a hard crust. What did I do wrong? I want to try again before the bday party i am baking this for. Any advise?

    1. Hi, Do you mean in the center top of the cake there is a crusted section? This cake tends to do that because of the way the batter rolls inward as it bakes. You can easily trim this off, but it also softens when it’s wrapped as the moisture distributes. If that’s not what you’re dealing with, let me know and I can try to help you problem solve. 🙂

      1. I find this cake to be super fragile after baking (and usually with a crusty swelling in the middle). I usually cool in the pan, wrap in cling wrap and store in the fridge overnight so that it is completely chilled before I trim or torte for layers. It’s much more dense and sturdy after chilling.

        I use this cake for cupcakes (15 minutes cooking) and for layered and artistic cakes all the time and as long as I chill in the pan overnight before working with it I am never disappointed.

      2. I find this cake to be super fragile after baking (and usually with a crusty swelling in the middle). I usually cool in the pan, wrap in cling wrap and store in the fridge overnight so that it is completely chilled before I trim or torte for layers. It’s much more dense and sturdy after chilling.

  115. Hi, I live in high altitude conditions and I’m wondering if you have any tips for me before starting this recipe. I’m tired of wasting ingredients trying different mud cake recipes that just flop. Thank you in advance!

    1. Hi Camille! Sorry for my late reply.

      I would cut the leavening agents by 1/4 to 1/3 volume. You could also add a couple of tablespoons of flour. I understand your frustration when ingredients are costly and there are no guarantees. I hope you are/were successful in making this cake! 🙂

      1. Hi and thank you for your reply. I haven’t made it yet because I didn’t want to possibly waste product, but I definitely will now! Thanks again

  116. This recipe works great! For a great twist sub the hot water/coffee for red wine (microwaved to heat it up first). I call it my red wine velvet!

  117. Aloha! Just tried this recipe…I halved it and it fit nicely into two 6″ pans…the taste was delicious! But I was pretty surprised at the texture…it was not dense and “brownie” like at all…reminded me of a fluffy chocolate cake…still delicious but not what I was hoping for…do you have any idea what could’ve happened or is this the texture it should have?

    1. Hi Philip, This cake is generally not quite brownie dense but usually not fluffy either. It may be the smaller pan size that made the difference. Sometimes the closer wall proximity in smaller pans can affect the texture of a cake. Ingredient variations can make a difference too. If your cocoa powder doesn’t contain much fat you could try adding a couple of tablespoons of butter to bolster to fudginess. Sorry I can’t give you super specific answers! Smiles

      1. No worries at all…..The cake was still absolutely delicious!!! I’m trying out different chocolate cake recipes for my nieces wedding cake and so far this one was voted the best one flavor wise …I just found your Quintessential Chocolate Cake recipe so I’m gonna give that one a try as well…I’m looking for a “dense” chocolate cake recipe so hopefully that recipe will have more of the texture I’m looking for! I did go out and buy some valrhona cocoa powder today so I’ll use it in my next batch of cakes…I’ll definitely try the mud cake recipe again with the new cocoa powder as well…

  118. Hi Summer,
    I have tried your recipe couple of moths ago and it was great success! I would love a gluten free version of it. Could I use white wings gluten free flour? If so will the measurements be the same? Thank you for your help!

  119. Summer,
    First off I love your cakes! They taste amazing 🙂 I do have a question for you I’m going to be making a semi-naked chocolate cake for the first time, and was wondering if you think this recipe will work? I love this recipe and have made it before but I have always completely covered it in buttercream and/or fondant. With those semi-naked cakes they key is to have those very caramelized outside edges so that it doesn’t tear when the cake is showing through. What recipe or alterations do you suggest I use?

    1. Hi Jessica! I think this cake would work well, but I would recommend skipping the torting and I would make a third layer for extra height and balance. The other chocolate cake that would be a good option is the Quitessential Chocolate Cake. It has nice height and structure for nakedness. 🙂

  120. Hi summer . This recipe looks divine ! I am planning to make it in three 9 inch tins . Would I need to increase the amount of batter ? How about cooking time ? I am hoping to get height of at least 1 inch. Thanks so much summer

    1. Hi Jules! You should double your amount of batter to get three nice sized 9″ layers. The post Sizing Up lays out how to find what to multiply by. First, you multiply your recipe by 1.3 to increase from an 8″ pan to a 9″ pan. Then multiply by 3/2 to go from 2 pans to 3. Overall 1.3 x 3/2= 1.95 (round up to 2). I hope that helps!

  121. Hey hey! Do you have Instagram?
    If I want to make this cake into a big rectangle what do you recommend the cooking time to be? I’ve made it as recommended before it was the most amazing chocolate cake I’ve ever had!

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Jess, Sorry, I’m not currently on Instagram. Terrible, I know! I have not made this as a rectangle but I know others have. I generally add 5-10 min for rectangle shapes of similar depth. I would just keep an eye on it at the written time and every few minutes thereafter. In this post, Sizing Up, it lists pan sizes and baking times for various rectangle sizes at the end. Good luck!

  122. Hi Summer, first thank you for the recipe. I made the cake follow the exact recipe, but mine sinks in the middle. Can you please tell me what did I do wrong? Thank you for your help and time.


    1. Hi Magnolia, It’s tough to tell what is causing the trouble. Sometimes just ingredient variation can make a difference. I would try adding 1/4 cup of flour to the recipe to add structure. That should help hold things up. Please let me know if that works. If not I can offer some other ideas. 🙂

  123. Hello from Greece! I just wanted to give you my congratulations on the recipe!!! I made it two days ago for my wedding anniversary and it was a huge success!!! Divine taste!!! I was looking so long for THE chocolate cake…. Well… My search came to an end… Thank you!!!

  124. What do you mean by “each” halved…
    1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks, or 8 ounces, or 227 grams) each halved

    I live in Australia and work in grams and I’m just checking that you mean 227 grams… then cut that in half? for the microwave melting process.

    1. Hi Rochelle! I just meant to cut each stick of butter in half to make the melting process easier. Whichever form your butter comes in, cut it into cubes so it can melt easily. I hope that clears things up. Best wishes!

  125. Hi, I was thinking about using or not baking strips in a 8″ pan. I always use them on layer cakes, but wasn’t sure about this one.

    1. Hi Sara, Strips would work well with this cake. It doesn’t dome much, but it does “roll” from the edge. Strips will help reduce any differences in texture, during cooking, between the middle and sides that cause the edge to roll over. Enjoy!

  126. Hi Summer,
    Thank you so much for taking time to read my question…
    I made this recipe and used couverture chocolate 70%
    Can couverture 70% make the cake little drier?
    The cake out moist but when cut, it crumbled.
    Pleaae advice…
    Thanks and be blessed.

    1. Hi Mel, I don’t think your chocolate choice would cause dryness, but differences in cocoa may. The cocoa I use retains fat from the cocoa bean, but an entirely defatted cocoa could dry things out. If that’s not the issue, you can always add 1/4 cup more of espresso or water to moisten the cake. Liquid is the best ingredient to “moisturize” your cake. Let me know if I can help in any other way!

    1. Hi Winnie, Two and a half times the original recipe will be enough for a 12-inch cake. Here is a chart for future reference for sizing up cakes. Sizing up


    1. This cake will work for basic carving if it is chilled fully beforehand. I usually bake, wrap and store overnight in the refrigerator before attempting to torte, stack or carve.

    1. Hi Rosie, You should be able to get close to 24 standard cupcakes (made from approximately 1/4 US cup batter each) from this recipe. 🙂

    1. Hi Mel! Without experimenting, I can’t make any guarentees, but if I were going to take a jab at it this is what I would do. Convert the cocoa powder to flour, use white chocolate in place of the dark chocolate, use milk or water instead of coffee and in place of the white sugar use half brown sugar and half caramel (purchased or homemade). If you give it a try, please let me know how it goes!

  127. Hi Summer. I’m wanting to try this cake for my daughters birthday but I will be using spring form pans. Is this batter quite runny? Wondering if it will leak through the bottom of the pan.

    1. Hi Carly! This batter is a little on the thin side, but not so much that you should have problems. You can always wrap the springform pans in a layer of foil and place them on cookie sheets/sheet pans as insurance. Once an outer layer of the cake bakes and sets up, any leaking will cease. Enjoy the recipe!

  128. I absolutely love the frosting (and the cake!), but can you suggest how I could modify the frosting to make it vanilla or even white chocolate?

    1. Hi Debbie!
      There are a couple of options you can try in converting this to a vanilla version. You could replace the cocoa powder with powdered sugar. You may have to play with powdered sugar quantities to get the correct thickness. This option may end up being too sweet. If that’s the case, I would keep the powdered sugar at 4 cups and reduce the amount of corn syrup to get to the correct consistency. For a white chocolate version, you could replace the cocoa powder with 1/2 to 1 cup melted and cooled white chocolate or 1/4 to 1/2 cup melted and cooled cocoa butter. Once again, you may need to reduce the corn syrup or increase the powdered sugar to adjust the consistency of the frosting. Best wishes!

    1. Hello, This cake is my most sturdy chocolate cake. It walks the line between cake and brownie texture, typical of mudcake. I hope you enjoy!

  129. Hi Summer,
    I’m needing to make a single 2″ high cake in a 6″ round tin. I only have one tin and a convection / microwave oven that I can only bake one cake at a time.
    I see your sizing up post says to multiply your recipe by .6 for 2x 6″ cakes. Would this work if I multiplied your recipe by .3 to make a single 6″ cake?

    1. Sorry for the delay! Yes, you could multiply the recipe by .3 to make a single 2-inch layer 6 inch cake. If you wanted to make it easier on yourself, you could multiply it by half and then just have a slightly thicker layer for your 6 inch cake.

    1. Hi Ruth!
      It is relatively easy to make this cake dairy free, but removing eggs can be tricky. You can replace the butter with vegan butter, coconut oil, or half palm fruit shortening and half neutral oil (such as canola or vegetable). Also, you will need to make sure you are using a dairy-free chocolate. Eggs are a major structural component though, so it complicates things. Here is my best guess to relace the eggs in this recipe. Add 1 Tbs. cornstarch (for structure), 1 tsp xanthan gum (for binding), 1/4 tsp baking powder (for leavening), 4 Tbs water (to replace liquid) and 1 Tbs oil (to replace fat). I hope this leads you in the right direction. Let me know if you try the changes, or what you find that works. 🙂

  130. Hey Summer,

    I would love to use this recipe to make a large sculpted cake I have coming up soon. Have you ever baked this batter in a 9×13 pan? I need to cut several pieces to stack and will need the rectangular shape the 9×13 pan provides. Any suggestions on how long to bake? I believe the temperature will be fine but the cake batter will be spread out over a larger area and probably won’t need to bake as long.


    1. Hi Paula, I have not tried it, but you should be fine baking this cake in a 9″ x 13″ pan. I would drop the oven temperature down 325 F so you get a slow rise and avoid the possibility of it sinking in the middle. At the lower temperature, and baking all of the batter together in one pan, you will likely extend your baking time by 10-15 minutes. I would check it at the suggested baking time and gauge from there how much more time will be needed. If it is loose and liquidy in the middle you will need at least 10 minutes more. If it doesn’t wiggle when moved but the toothpick test still shows wet batter, you will probably need to give it around 5 minutes more. I hope it works well for you!

  131. Ever tried to make a caramel mud cake? I would love to see you develop that cake, or a white chocolate coconut mud cake.

  132. Hi Summer! Love love love this recipe! This is my go to cake specially under fondant. I just want to know if it is okay to put chunks of cookie dough inside the batter before baking? If yes, do I need to change the baking time?

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Chelsea! I’m so glad you have enjoyed this cake. It should work just fine to add cookie dough to the mix. You will probably want to roll/dust them in flour so they don’t all sink to the bottom (which honestly they may do anyway because of density differences). You could try adding them in 10 min into the baking process when the batter starts to thicken, but that could possibly effect rise. Another option would be to press cookie dough into the bottom of your greased and parchment lined pan and then pour the batter over it to bake. Then you will have a cookie layer. Baking will probably increase by 5 minutes or so, but I wouldn’t think too much longer. Good luck with this!

  133. G’day, I’ve been looking for a good (proper) mud cake recipe that I can make into cup cakes. The only thing is I’m scared to experiment with this recipe in such a small amount if that makes sense. I’m wanting to use them for a birthday (so no mess with lots of mouths lol). I was presuming 20 mins being smaller but still keeping them dense. And there’s a difference between cupcake sizes compared to muffin sizes. I want smaller. Also if using either sizes, how much in each case? Do they rise too much?
    Sorry for all the question! Your cake looks incredible, I will certainly try it next time I cook mudcake! 🙂

    1. Hi Shell, Sorry if I missed your window of need. This cake should work fine for dense cupcakes since you don’t get a lot of rise out of this cake anyway. I can’t recommend a size since I’m not sure what size your wells are (my cupcakes and muffins are the same size). But, you can generally fill your cupcake well 2/3 full and be in good shape. I hope you enjoy the mudcake recipe either way. Best wishes!

  134. This cake looks so delicious! I have three questions to ask:
    1) The only Ghirardelli Intense Dark Chocolate I can find “Intense Dark Chocolate Squares, 72% Cacao Holiday Chocolate”. Will that work?
    2) Is there a particular brand of coffee you used to get the strong coffee?
    3) Is Wincrest Black Cocoa powder basically the same as the Cacao Barry Extra Brute?
    Thank you.

  135. I love your recipe! It turned out so well and is now my go to for chocolate cake. I really want to make a vanilla mud cake, any suggestions on how to alter this recipe or do you have a seperate recipe for vanilla mud cake?

  136. Does anyone have a good icing recipe that’s white? I’m making a wedding cake and chocolate had been requested but I’d love to do a white icing to decorate.
    This cake sounds like a winner recipe, thanks!!

    1. Hi Kira-lee! This is a wonderful Quick and Easy Buttercream that I use much of the time. Check out Liz’s site–she is a rock star baker and decorator. If you want to elevate this icing to be more like Swiss Meringue Buttercream, remove 4 ounces (1 cup) of the powdered sugar from the recipe. Mix 4 ounces of granulated sugar in your mixing bowl with your egg whites before adding the remaining powdered sugar in the recipe (the 20 ounces). Beat this with your wire whisk beater for 3 minutes or until the sugar is dissolved. You can then add the 20 ounces of powdered sugar and proceed as the recipe indicates. This helps to eliminate some of the gritty feeling you get from powdered sugar and the final product has more smooth texture. This buttercream is quite stable and easy to pipe and decorate with. Best of luck with the wedding cake!

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