The Best Chocolate Mud Cake | Most Popular

You only need one chocolate mud cake recipe… and this is it! It really is the best chocolate mud cake recipe ever! Dense, rich and oh-so-delicious!

A slice of rich mud cake with chocolate frosting and blueberries on a white plate.

This classic mud cake is exactly what you want in a cakerich, dense and smothered in the sweetest and creamiest frosting.

The perfect cake for birthdays, kids parties, dessert and celebrations… it’s loved by EVERYONE!

A round chocolate cake on a cake stand decorated with chocolate frosting and blueberries.

Why You’re Going To LOVE This Recipe

This mud cake is by far my most requested cake recipe. Everyone absolutely LOVES it.

And what’s not to love about a rich chocolate mud cake with the best creamiest frosting.

Here’s why you’re going to love my mud cake recipe:

  • incredibly rich and moist – there’s a very good reason that they call it a ‘mud cake’, this chocolate cake is so dense and moist (… check out the photos below to see just how rich this cake is!)
  • chocoholics dream – this cake has a beautiful chocolate flavour that is enough to satisfy even the biggest of chocolate lovers
  • drool-worthy frosting – you’ll be licking the frosting from the bowl (I promise!)… it’s that good. Sweet, creamy and chocolatey.
  • the perfect celebration cake – this is my go-to cake for birthdays, parties and any celebration.
  • feeds a crowd – this rich chocolate mud cake is very filling so you only need a small(ish!) piece – making it perfect for feeding a large group of people.
  • freezer-friendly – the cake can be made ahead of time, wrapped in plastic wrap and then a layer of foil and frozen for up to 3 months.

Drooling yet?

A double layer chocolate mud cake with chocolate frosting and blueberries with a slice being removed.

5 Star Ratings

This was one of the very first recipes on Bake Play Smile (way back around 2013) and it’s been by far one of the most popular recipes ever since!

My readers give this recipe 5 stars… and this is what a few of them have to say about this epic cake:

“This cake was delicious. I recently made it for my birthday. So light but really chocolately, and got better the next day” – Sharon

“Used this many times it’s the best and have passed your link onto many friends who also love it!” – Sarah

“This is the best mud cake recipe, my go to always and so economical to make, cannot fault – It freezer so well and it’s such a hit.. Thank you for this recipe” – Gayle

“Omg!! This is the Best chocolate mud cake recipe I have ever made” – Marie

“Thank you so much for sharing such a delicious recipe. First time baking this one and it was such a hit with everyone on my son’s birthday that I was asked to share the recipe twice (which I have done). BEST ever choc mud cake hands down!” – Nicole

A slice of rich mud layered cake with chocolate frosting and blueberries on a white plate with a gold fork.

The Best Birthday Cake Recipe

If you’re in need of the perfect birthday cake… this is IT! I know that’s a big statement, but I stand by it 100%.

I make this for ALL the birthdays in our family! It’s been made into a digger cake for a 4th birthday, decorated with berries for a special friends big day, made into a number 3 cake… just to name a few!

This cake can be made in any type of cake tin – so you can whip up a butterfly cake, number cake, letter cake or whatever you like!

I like to make this as a double layer cake as it’s dense enough to easily hold the top layer. However, you can make it as a single layer cake if you prefer!

Super versatile, amazingly delicious, loved by everyone – the perfect birthday cake doesn’t get any better than that!

An overhead shot of a chocolate mud cake with blueberries on top of the frosting and a slice removed to show the two layers inside.

What You Need

Forget about making an extra trip to the supermarket – this cake is made from pantry and fridge staples:

Note: scroll to the recipe card for the ingredient quantities and method.

  • plain flour – also known as all-purpose flour
  • caster sugar – also known as superfine sugar.
  • cocoa powder
  • baking powder and bi-carbonate soda (also known as baking soda)
  • salt – the salt perfectly balances the sweetness of the cake and brings out the delicious chocolate flavour
  • buttermilk – this is the key to a deliciously moist and dense chocolate mud cake! If you don’t have buttermilk, you can make your own by adding 1 tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice to regular milk and stirring through.
  • vegetable oil – if you want a moist cake, vegetable oil is your best friend!
  • eggs
  • vanilla extract
  • coffee* – see my notes on using coffee in mud cakes and also some substitutes below
All the ingredients needed for a chocolate mud cake in individual bowls on a bench

How To Prepare A Mud Cake

This is the easiest 3 step recipe!

Step 1 – Prepare The Dry Ingredients

Sift the dry ingredients into a bowl and set aside.

Sugar, cocoa and flour being mixed in a bowl.

Step 2 – Beat The Wet Ingredients

Beat the buttermilk, oil, eggs and vanilla into a bowl.

Two steps showing beaters mixing a bowl filled with creamy liquid.

Step 3 – Beat Together

Alternate adding the dry ingredients and the coffee to the wet mixture, beating between each addition.

Pour into the prepared tins and bake.

A collage showing four steps in the process of mixing a mud cake.

Serving, Storing & Freezing

Serving

This cake is best served at room temperature. If you live in a cooler climate, you can store this cake at room temperature.

If you’re in a hot climate, you can store the cake in the fridge but ensure you remove it and allow it to come to room temperature before serving (the fridge dries cakes out so room temperature is best).

This chocolate mud cake is delicious on it’s own, or you can serve it with whipped cream, ice-cream, custard or berries.

Storing

My chocolate mud cake recipe can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.

Alternatively it can be stored in the fridge for 6 days (bring to room temperature before serving – see above).

Freezing

Freezing Unfrosted Mud Cake

This recipe is perfect for making ahead of time and freezing until needed.

You can freeze the cooled and unfrosted cake/s for up to 3 months. Wrap in plastic wrap and then foil.

Allow to defrost in the fridge overnight before frosting and serving.

Freezing Leftover Frosted Mud Cake

Alternatively, you can freeze leftover frosted cake in an airtight container for up to 3 months (best eaten within 1 month).

Bring to room temperature before serving.

A chocolate frosted cake on a cake stand decorated with blueberries.

Recipe Tips & FAQ

Can this cake be made as a larger single layer cake?

Yes, absolutely! If you’re going to make my chocolate mud cake in 1 large tin, then you’ll need to reduce the cooking temperature slightly and also cook the cake a little longer.

Can you taste the coffee?

No, not at all!! Have a read through the hundreds of comments on this recipe and all of them say that you absolutely cannot taste the coffee at all!

What type of coffee should I use?

You can either make a cup of strong coffee by adding 3 tsp of coffee granules to boiling water, or you can use a coffee machine to make a cup of espresso coffee (this takes me around 4 espresso shots).

What can I use instead of coffee?

You can substitute the coffee with Milo (malted milk powder) or hot chocolate powder mixed with 1 cup of boiling water.

Varying the amount of frosting

The recipe below will make the perfect amount of frosting for icing a double layered mud cake (made as per the recipe below).
If you make the cake as one large single layer cake, then you’ll have some frosting leftover. You can store this in the fridge or freezer (or just eat it straight from the mixing bowl!!)

Help! My mixture is SO runny! What do I do?

Your mixture should be incredibly thin and runny before pouring it into the baking tins. This is completely normal and is what is going to give you the ultimate, rich and dense cake.

Cooking Times

All ovens are slightly different so you may need to increase your cooking time slightly. The cakes are ready when a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean or with a thick smudge on it (not liquid).

Can I make this in my Thermomix?

Absolutely! My chocolate mud cake can be made using beaters, a stand-mixer or a Thermomix. You’ll find instructions for both methods in the printable recipe card below.

Single Layer Vs Double Layer Cake

My favourite way to make this cake is as a double layer cake. Not only do you get the added benefit of extra frosting between the layers, it’s also easier to ensure the cakes cook evenly and stay perfectly dense.
If you bake the cake as one large single cake, it may dry out slightly around the edges as it will take longer to cook. However, it is still absolutely delicious as a single layer cake and perfect if you only have 1 large baking tin.

A half eaten piece of double layer chocolate mud cake on a plate with chocolate frosting and blueberries

More Delicious Mud Cake Recipes

If you love mud cakes (and lets face it.. who doesn’t!) then have a browse through these yummy variations:

 

A slice of rich mud cake with chocolate frosting and blueberries on a white plate.

The BEST Chocolate Mud Cake

You only need one chocolate mud cake recipe… and this is it! It really is the best chocolate mud cake recipe ever! Dense, rich and oh-so-delicious!
5 from 45 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Cakes
Cuisine: American, western
Keyword: chocolate mud cake
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 16 serves
Calories: 632kcal

Ingredients

For the mud cake

  • 1 3/4 cup (220g) plain flour
  • 1 3/4 cup (350g) caster sugar
  • 3/4 cup (65g) cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsps bi-carb soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup (250ml) buttermilk see tips
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs at room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (250ml) coffee hot and strong

For the milk chocolate frosting

  • 290 g unsalted butter softened to room temperature
  • 3-4 cups (360-480g) icing sugar
  • 3/4 cup (65g) cocoa powder
  • 3-5 tbs (45-75ml) milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt optional

Instructions

Conventional Method

  • Preheat oven to 170 degrees celsius.
  • Grease two 9 inch round cake pans and line with baking paper.
  • Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, bi-carb soda and salt into a bowl and set aside.
    Sugar, cocoa and flour in a bowl.
  • Using beaters or a stand mixer, mix the buttermilk, oil, eggs and vanilla in a large bowl until well combined.
    A collage showing beaters mixing a bowl filled with creamy liquid.
  • Slowly add all of the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients with the mixer on low.
    A collage showing the process of mixing a mud cake.
  • Pour in the coffee and mix.
  • Divide the batter equally between the baking pans and bake for approximately 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (don't overcook the cake – you want it to be nice and fudge-like!)
  • Allow to cool completely.
  • To make the frosting beat the butter on high speed until smooth and creamy (this will take a couple of minutes).
  • Reduce the speed to low and slowly add in 3 1/2 cups of icing sugar as well as the cocoa powder.
  • Beat until the icing sugar and cocoa have been completely mixed into the butter (again this will take a couple of minutes).
  • Turn the mixer up to medium speed and add in the vanilla and the milk.
  • Beat on high speed for 1 minute.
  • If your frosting isn’t thick enough, feel free to add in the remaining 1/2 cup of icing sugar.
  • Add a tiny bit of salt to taste (optional).
  • Spread a little frosting onto a serving cake plate (this will hold the cake in place).
  • Carefully place one of the cakes on top of the icing (make sure the flat side is facing up).
  • Using a spatula or flat knife, spread the top of the cake with frosting.
  • Place the second cake on top (this time with the rounded side up) and spread the frosting evenly onto the top and the sides of the cake.
  • Decorate with fresh strawberries or any preferred toppings.
  • Store in an airtight container at room temperature for 3-4 days or in the fridge for 5-6 days. Please note that keeping the cake at room temperature will result in a beautiful, moist texture.

Thermomix Method

  • Preheat oven to 170 degrees celsius (fan-forced). Grease two 9 inch round cake pans and line with baking paper.
  • Measure the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, bi-carb soda and salt into the TM bowl and sift for 5 seconds, Speed 8. Set aside in a separate bowl.
  • Place the the buttermilk, oil, eggs and vanilla in the Thermomix bowl and mix on Speed 3 until well combined.
  • With the blades on speed 2, slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until combined.
  • Pour in the coffee and mix on Speed 2 until combined.
  • Divide the batter equally between the baking pans and bake for approximately 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (don't overcook the cake – you want it to be nice and fudge-like!). Allow to cool completely.
  • To make the frosting add the icing sugar to the Thermomix bowl and mix for 10 seconds, Speed 9, then add all of the remaining ingredients and mix for 30 seconds, Speed 4, or until light and fluffy.
  • Spread a little frosting onto a serving cake plate (this will hold the cake in place). Carefully place one of the cakes on top of the icing (make sure the flat side is facing up).
  • Using a spatula or flat knife, spread the top of the cake with frosting. Place the second cake on top (this time with the rounded side up) and spread the frosting evenly onto the top and the sides of the cake.
  • Decorate with fresh strawberries or any preferred toppings.
  • Store in an airtight container at room temperature for 3-4 days, or in the fridge for 5-6 days.

Notes

RECIPE TIPS & NOTES
Ingredients Info: 
  • buttermilk – this is the key to a deliciously moist and dense chocolate mud cake! If you don’t have buttermilk, you can make your own by adding 1 tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice to regular milk and stirring through.
  • vegetable oil – if you want a moist cake, vegetable oil is your best friend!
  • coffee – or substitute with hot chocolate or Milo (malted milk powder)
More Recipe Tips
Serving – This can is best served at room temperature. 
Storing – Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days. Alternatively it can be stored in the fridge for 5- 6 days – bring to room temperature before serving.
Freezing – You can freeze the cooled and unfrosted cake/s for up to 3 months. Wrap in plastic wrap and then foil. Alternatively, you can freeze leftover frosted cake in an airtight container for up to 3 months (best eaten within 1 month).
Making the cake as a single layer – if you choose to make the cake as 1 large cake, reduce the cooking temperature slightly and also cook the cake a little longer.
Coffee – you cannot taste the coffee in this cake at all! You can either make a cup of strong coffee by adding 3 tsp of coffee granules to boiling water, or you can use a coffee machine to make a cup of espresso coffee (this takes me around 4 espresso shots).
Runny mixture – Your mixture should be very thin and runny before pouring it into the baking tins. This is completely normal and is what is going to give you the ultimate, rich and dense cake.
Cooking time – All ovens are slightly different so you may need to increase your cooking time slightly. The cakes are ready when a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean or with a thick smudge on it (not liquid).

Nutrition

Calories: 632kcal | Carbohydrates: 104g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 18g | Cholesterol: 61mg | Sodium: 388mg | Potassium: 440mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 71g | Vitamin A: 510IU | Calcium: 73mg | Iron: 4.4mg
Did you try this recipe?Mention @BakePlaySmileBlog or tag #BakePlaySmile!

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307 Comments
  1. Lucy says:

    5 stars
    I made this cake for my birthday and it was more than yummy. It really is the BEST! As I was making it I really was doubting how it would cook, and if I had mixed everything right (even after following the recipe). But the results amazed me! Thank you Lucy . I’ll definitely bake this again and again.

    1. Lucy says:

      That is so great to hear! And happy birthday to you!!

  2. Chloe says:

    Hi Lucy,
    Attempting this tonight..! 🙂
    Do I cook each batch of mixture separately for 25 mins?
    Or will the 25 mins work for both cakes cooking at the same time?

    Thank you!

    1. Lucy says:

      Hi Chloe, you can definitely cook them at the same time – just make sure you rotate the cakes when cooking.

  3. Hina says:

    Can you please tell me the type of cocoa powder used? Is this natural or Dutch processed. I ask because I am having difficulty finding Dutch processed in my country 🙁

    1. Lucy says:

      Hi there, natural cocoa powder will be fine.

  4. Telisa Howie says:

    Hi
    I will be attempting this yummy looking cake. I will be baking it in a large rectangle tin. Would I need to double the mixture?

    1. Lucy says:

      Hi Telisa, depending on the size of the tin, you may need to. 🙂

  5. Zoe says:

    I absolutely LOVE this cake! I’m going to try and do cupcakes. Do you think they’ll turn out ok? How long would you think backing time for cupcakes would be roughly?

    1. Lucy says:

      Yes absolutely!!! They’ll obviously be a lot more dense than a usual cupcake though (but still delicious!!). It will depend a lot on your oven and your cupcake size but I would turn the tray after 10 minutes and then start checking from the 15-20 minute mark. x

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