Give your cake...and eat it, too!

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Sometime last year, I was on Instagram lamenting the fact that I was baking a cake for an event or a bake sale, and I wouldn't be able to taste-test it.  Oh, about eleventy-billion people chimed in suggesting that next time, I make a cupcake with a portion of the batter.

I am not the sharpest tool in the shed...that thought had never occurred to me.

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{This is one well-used, well-loved muffin tin.}

It's my new rule now.  If I'm dropping a cake off someplace, I make a cupcake, too.  It serves two purposes: 1. to make sure it tastes ok.  2. I get to eat cake.

We'll be using instant espresso powder to make this Mississippi Mud Cake into a MOCHA Mississippi Mud Cake.  Look for it near the Sanka in your coffee aisle...or on Amazon.  It looks like this:
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This Mocha Mississippi Mud Cake was actually heading to a funeral reception.  If you like to bake or cook, check into the funeral food ministry at your local church.  Food equals comfort, and it's such an easy way to give.  I think sometimes we get so wrapped up in trying to "give big" that we forget that the little acts of giving count for something, too.

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Mocha Mississippi Mud Cake

for the cake:
1 & 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon espresso powder
2 sticks salted butter, melted
1/2 cup dutch-process cocoa powder
4 eggs, room temperature
2 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 & 1/2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour

for the topping:
1 (10 oz.) bag mini marshmallows
1/2 stick salted butter
1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon espresso powder
1/2 cup dutch-process cocoa powder
4 cups powdered sugar

Preheat the oven to 350. Lightly grease a 9 x 13" pan. (If making a cupcake, line one muffin tin with a cupcake liner.)  Set aside.

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In a small bowl, stir together the vanilla and espresso powder until combined.  Pour the vanilla/espresso mixture into a large bowl and add the melted butter, cocoa, and eggs.  Stir until well combined.

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Stir in the sugar.  Add in the salt and flour and stir until no lumps remain.

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Pour the batter into the prepared pan (and cupcake liner, if using).  Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  (Start checking the cupcake at about 18-20 minutes.)

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Remove from the oven and place on a wire cooling rack.  Immediately scatter the marshmallows over the warm cake.  Set aside.
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{Sing it with me: "I always feel like somebody's watching meeee...."}

Make the topping: in a medium saucepan, combine the butter, milk and espresso powder over medium heat until the mixture comes to a simmer.  Remove from the heat and whisk in the cocoa powder.  Return the pan to medium heat and whisk constantly until smooth.

Whisk in the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time.  Continue whisking and cooking until the mixture has come to a simmer.  Pour the hot topping evenly over the marshmallows.  Cool completely before serving.

The cake may be kept in the refrigerator for 1 week.

{Recipe adapted from Cake Ladies Mississippi Mud Cake}

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Have (or give) your cake and eat it, too?  You bet! Logo


  1. I never thought of doing that either!

  2. I love that your church has a funeral food ministry, SUCH a great idea! I have not heard of that, just family/friends delivering food when there's a funeral. I'll have to ask about this! Also, your cake looks fantastic :)

  3. I would have never thought of that either, oh my gosh!!! See you aren't the only one :)

  4. Making a cupcake is GENIUS - great idea!

  5. That's a Great idea! Make a Cupcake to taste the cake! It looks delicious!

  6. wow wow wee!!! This looks great! Almost too good to give away! Clever idea making a mini taste of the cake!

  7. I've never thought of making a cupcake either...genius!

  8. Just halved the recipe & made them as cupcakes. Tried one & loved it! Can't wait to share them with my friends tomorrow :)

  9. Great ideas.........the cupcake AND baking for funerals.

  10. Great idea and the cake looks great! Giving in this way is wonderful and the little things do mean a lot...always.

  11. you would think that being a baker we would totally figure out how to do this and be able to to try our creation when we are sending it somewhere, I cannot believe I never thought of that, so funny, but so happening from now on!

  12. Thank you for this gentle reminder of how bakers can give back! I felt that I needed to be doing something more, so thank you! I will be checking in a food ministry ASAP : )

  13. I grew up with my mom bringing food for funeral luncheons, such a wonderful and thoughtful tradition of giving. This cake looks so simple and delicious!

  14. what a fantastic idea!! both the cupcake taster and the funeral food ministry! must try this recipe too!!

  15. Great idea, I always have the same problem!

  16. Okay ... so the cupcake idea? Why have I never thought of that? Perfect. Maybe it would work for small pies too? Totally going to remember that little trick.

    And YUUUUUM on the recipe!

  17. I must be a dull tool in the tool shed too because I would never have thought of this. lol It's a great idea and I love the recipe too!

  18. Duh! What's the matter with us? How on Earth did such veteran bakers not think of making a simple cupcake to taste-test when making cakes for gift-giving? LOL! Recipe looks scrummy! And, Bridge...thanks for pointing out the Funeral Food Ministry and their needs. We all need to be good shepherds.

  19. Another dull tool here - great idea and this looks as yummy as Texas Sheet Cake!

  20. This cake looks so great. And our church has a ministry like this!

  21. very clever idea! The cake looks like it wouldn't last a day in my fridge :) YUMMY!

  22. Nothing wrong with chocolate!

  23. That was always my favorite part of making a cake when I was a kid helping my mom. Many times we would bake cakes for church or to give to someone and she had a mini sized cake pan that we always poured our "tester" cake in to sample. Mom always thought the best time to eat anything was when it was fresh and warm. I have my own small cake pan and do the same.

  24. I wouldn't have thought to do the cupcake thing either - that's brilliant!

  25. I love that you save back a little batter in a cupcake. Sometimes, that's ALL I just that 1 glorious cupcake or a few bites and the rest I can give away. Although, this looks too good to give away!

  26. Hi, congrats, this looks more than great!



  27. What a great idea! Thank you:) The cake looks amazing!

  28. P.s. I bought your book! I love it:)

  29. That is such a smart idea! Why have I never thought of that!

  30. This is such a genius idea! I will absolutely be incorporating it into my cake-baking routine. Thanks for sharing all of your amazing tips!

  31. well alrighty then!
    it's been ages since I've had mud cake!

  32. I never thought of doing an individual cupcake when doing cake! I'd even do it when making a cake that I'm not giving away (you get to eat it earlier!)

    PS: Gotta love the above comment :) Sounds like a harsh lawsuit :)

  33. I never even thought about that either, DUH, lol!

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  36. Looks amazing, Bridget! And I love the cupcake idea - brilliant!! :-)

  37. I love the funeral food ministry AND the extra cupcake idea. And I want that cupcake.


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