The Traveling Pan

Magnolia Tree

This past week our stateside cooking adventure took us to Mississippi. While we were researching recipes it became very clear that two dishes are synonymous with the Magnolia State – catfish and Mississippi Mud Pie. It also happens that I need a dessert to take downstate to a family get together this weekend.

My family has a traveling 9″x13″ pan that always carries my favorite dessert when it makes its way up to this part of the state – my Grandma’s Blackberry Cobbler. Then when we head south, my mom whips up a chocolate dessert to take back in the pan. It just so happened that this time, the pan was at my house, giving us the perfect opportunity to try the Mississippi Mud Cake (similar to the pie, but suitable to this size baking dish).

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I’m not big on baking cakes and especially cakes that involve icing; but there are two things I love about this recipe: 1) It’s easy. 2) It’s supposed to look like mud. I figured that the kids and I could tackle this one. We chose Paula Deen’s recipe because she too is synonymous with the south.

The first step is to create the cake by mixing together the flour, salt and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Next we brought the butter, oil, cocoa and water to a boil in a sauce pan and then added it to the flour mixture. In a separate bowl Mr. N mixed the buttermilk, baking soda, eggs and vanilla together.

The egg mixture was then combined with the flour and chocolate. Once completely blended, we poured the batter into the greased and floured traveling pan.

The cake then bakes at 350F for 30-35 minutes allowing for enough time to make the icing and lick the beaters.

While the cake was baking we prepared icing by heating butter, milk and cocoa over a low flame until melted and boiling. Once boiling we removed the pan from the stove and stirred in the confectioner’s sugar and vanilla. If you would enjoy crushed pecan nuts with this cake you would stir them into the sauce at this point. We left them out for the picky eaters in the family (read: my dad).

At this point the cake was done and we set it aside to cool for about 10 minutes. Then Miss A covered it with marshmallows (or “marbles” as she calls them) by placing a handful on the cake, followed by a handful in her mouth and repeating.

Once the cake is completely covered in marshmallows it’s time to add the icing.

Pour the warm icing over the top of the marshmallows and lightly mix it over the entire surface of the cake. Finally, place the cake in the refrigerator to cool. We didn’t let ours cool too long before sampling. I had two impatient chocolate junkies on my hands at this point.

(Oh and don’t worry, we made two cakes so we’re not taking a half-eaten dish to the get together.) Mr. N and Miss A both loved this cake. Dad even enjoyed it and he’s not a big chocolate eater. As for me, I’m going to skip this one and hold out for the blackberry cobbler at Grandma’s. I can already feel the food coma.

Print this recipe: Mississippi Mud Cake

Warning: This is not a diet food.

7 thoughts on “The Traveling Pan

  1. Laura says:

    I love the traveling pan idea. I hope you make the blackberry cobbler sometime…I love blackberries. This cake looks tempting! Cute pics of your helpers, as always 🙂


    • ChefMom says:

      I like the traveling pan too. 😉 It was my first time with it and I’m already looking forward to its return. My grandma gave me two giant bags of frozen blackberries and Mr. N is already after me to make him a cobbler, so I’m sure we’ll do that one soon. 🙂 It’s his favorite too.


  2. Babygirl says:

    Girl, I was just about to turn off the PC until I saw the cuteness factor. I’m telling you, if you were a door to door saleswoman and had them with you, I’d give a sizeable donation just because their adorable lol. Reminds me of my niece and nephew. But back to this mud pie, you know I love this girl. I’m so making this.


    • ChefMom says:

      Thanks BG! They are darn adorable (especially when they’re not fighting with each other!). 😉 Let me know if you make the cake. It’s been a hit around here so far – talk about one rich dessert!


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