The annual Cub Scout parent-son bake sale was coming up and I had to have something that the boys could put together that was easy and somewhat exciting to bake. So, going through my recipe collection, I came across one that I had made few years back for my son’s birthday party which I had altered a little bit. I decided just to follow the recipe for this one because it was so super simple; it’s called Dutch Oven Mississippi Mud Cake.
Now, credit goes to Byron’s dutch-oven site for this is his recipe and if ever you get a chance to visit, you should do that, it’s a great site. The recipe is something that the boys could put together, it looks good, it is very sweet, it is extremely chocolatey and quite tasty. It’s covered with chocolate chips and nuts.
So, what you need is your Dutch oven because that’s how I cooked mine. This time I decided not to put it directly in the dutch oven because it had to be packaged to be sold at the bake sale, so I took a cake pan liner. In this case it was an 8”x8” by about 4” deep aluminum pan which I think was probably for small roast or something like that. It fit perfectly in my 14” dutch oven. When you do this, you really should use a 14” deep dutch oven. I’ll explain the reasoning for that in just a moment.
The recipe calls for the following:
½ cup cocoa
2 cups brown sugar
1 c hot water
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp vanilla
1 ½ cup chocolate chips
¾ cup chopped walnuts
Cake Mix – (I like using yellow super moist cake mix)
1 ¼ cups water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
The direction for the cake mix says to get your blender out and beat the mix to death for 5 minutes. I just don’t think that was necessary so I took a whisk and had the boys dump the mix in there with the water, oil, eggs and we hand mixed it. It was a little lumpy but that was OK.
I took the aluminum pan that was going to go into the dutch oven and we sprayed that with some non stick cook spray. We poured the cake mix into that. Now you need to make your mud. It’s very simple, just mix all your ingredients together, the cocoa, the brown sugar, the cinnamon, the vanilla and hot water and that will make a dark, rich, soupy mix.
You’re now going to take the mud mix and pour it on top of the cake mix. Now, what that will do is settle down into the cake mix. I took a knife and swirled it around just a little bit to get a little better mixture. I find that if you pour all of it in the center, you get one big gooey glump which could be fun and really tasty but it’s not what I wanted to do this time.
It’s getting a little cold out at night so I needed to get the coals going. I also needed to use a little more heat than necessary because the temperature outside was in the low 40s and that would be a fast wick to draw the heat away from the coals and from the Dutch oven.
You need to use a deep Dutch oven. The reason for that is if that lid is too close to the cake, you will get a burnt top. It’s just too much heat too close to that cake so you don’t want a normal Dutch oven, you’d want a deep Dutch oven.
Going with the standard process of 3 up – 3 down on the charcoal selection (which I have explained before in a previous post), I decided to go with a little bit more heat. On the 14” Dutch oven, I put 10 coals on the bottom, (which would be 4 down) and 20 coals (which would be 6 up) on top for a total of 30 coals. My goal is to bake this at 350 degrees for 1 hour and I was able to achieve that with a little few extra coals on the top.
Get your dutch oven pre heated, in other words, when the coals are ready, dump them out, count out your coals, spread them out on the bottom, place them on the top lid, and set it there for about 5 minutes to preheat that oven. Then, take yourself a cake trivet which can be just a little wire frame and set that in the bottom of the dutch oven, setting your cake pan on top of that. That’s going to keep the cake away from the hot bottom of the Dutch oven to eliminate burning.
Place your cake on the trivet, set the lid on the Dutch oven. You will want to rotate your lid a quarter turn every 10 minutes and your base a quarter turn in the opposite direction every 10 minutes to eliminate any hot spots that the coals may create while you’re baking your cake in your Dutch oven. So after 50-55 minutes, you need to put the topping on, that is your chocolate chips and walnuts, and spread them over the top of your cake, put the lid back on. Let that melt for about 5 minutes.
Some variations you can try are adding some Oreo cookie bits or M&Ms. You can add anything you want to the top. I used pecans instead of walnuts because my wife is allergic to walnuts.
I hope this is a great adventure for you and I hope you try this. The kids love this cake, it’s gooey on the inside around the dry cake mix and it’s just quite fun to eat. Thanks!
Sorry, I managed to not take a photo of the finished cake! It went for $20.00 at the auction ………….