Archives

Mud Pie for Grandpa

I am a long-time collector of recipes. Cookbooks, magazines, recipe cards – I love them all. For years I copied or clipped recipes from all of the above, and I keep them in a set of binders. More recipes than I’ll ever get around to making. As I was looking through those binders looking for inspiration, I came across an old recipe for Mud Pie. It came out of a children’s cookbook, Alpha Bakery by Gold Medal Flour.

Sometime in roughly the mid-90’s, I made this recipe for a family dinner. I don’t remember the exact occasion, but my grandparents, and maybe others, had come to dinner. Anyway, I made the mud pie and we all thought it was delicious. Several months or maybe even a year later, my grandfather asked about the dessert. He wanted me to make it again. He described it as a brownie or cake with whipped cream on it. Well, neither my mom nor I, or anyone else, could remember such a recipe. (I know – that really makes you want to try a recipe we couldn’t remember a relatively short time later.) He continued to talk about it on occasion, and how much he liked it. But we just could not figure out what that recipe was.

My grandpa passed away in 2006, and I still hadn’t figured out what dessert he was remembering. Fast forward several years, when my parents were moving into their current house and I was helping them to pack up. I was looking through all of my mom’s cookbooks while packing them when I came across the Alpha Bakery cookbook. I flipped through it to see if there were any recipes worth saving, and as soon as I saw the Mud Pie recipe I knew that was recipe Grandpa kept asking about. I copied it then and put it into my binder, to be forgotten again until this past weekend. Since his 95th birthday would have been later this week, I knew it was time to make it again.

The base is a rich brownie with chopped nuts. I used slivered almonds because I had some on hand. But you can of course use the nuts of your choice, or leave them out. Replace them with chocolate chips (any flavor) if you’d like. You top the brownie with hot fudge sauce. I used a homemade sauce, but you can definitely use a jarred sauce – fudge sauce, not chocolate syrup. I also think this would be delicious with a caramel sauce instead. Then top it all with whipped cream. I used a stabilized whipped cream, since I knew we wouldn’t eat it all at once. You could use regular whipped cream if you have enough people to serve that there won’t be leftovers. Or Cool Whip works too. But if you are making your own whipped cream, consider playing around with the flavors. Personally, I think a little almond extract in it would be perfect. But strawberry or cherry extract and a little red or pink food coloring would be delicious. Or peppermint extract and green food color for a grasshopper type of pie. The possibilities are endless.

Happy Birthday Grandpa!

Print Recipe
Mud Pie
A dense, fudgy brownie topped with hot fudge sauce and whipped cream. Lightly adapted from Gold Medal Flour's Alpha Bakery
Course Dessert
Servings
Ingredients
Brownie Base
Whipped Cream
Course Dessert
Servings
Ingredients
Brownie Base
Whipped Cream
Instructions
Brownie Base
  1. Heat oven to 325 degrees F and grease an 8-inch cake pan or pie plate.
  2. Mix butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla, and salt in a medium bowl.
  3. Stir in flour, cocoa powder, and nuts.
  4. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 25-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted halfway between the center and the edge comes out clean. Time will depend partly on the size of your pan.
  5. As soon as the brownie comes out of the oven, poke it all over with a skewer or fork. Spread the fudge sauce over the brownie and let cool completely.
Whipped Cream
  1. For stabilized whipped cream, combine gelatin and water in a small saucepan and let sit until thick.
  2. Melt gelatin over low heat, stirring constantly. Once melted, remove from heat and cool slightly.
  3. While gelatin cools, whip cream and powdered sugar until soft peaks form. Add vanilla. (At this point, for regular whipped cream, whip a little longer until stiff peaks and use immediately.)
  4. Beating slowly, gradually add the cooled gelatin mixture to the whipped cream. It will start to look a little curdled, but beat at low to medium speed just until combine and peaks are stiff.
  5. Spread or pipe onto cooled brownie base.
  6. Serve with shaved chocolate or additional hot fudge sauce.
  7. Store in refrigerator.
Recipe Notes
  • Use any nuts you like, or substitute with any flavor of chocolate chips.
  • Jarred or homemade hot fudge sauce works great. Experiment with flavors. Try caramel sauce, or chocolate-mint fudge sauce instead.
  • Use Cool Whip in place of whipped cream.
  • Or flavor your whipped cream with any extract you like. Enhance with food color if desired. Think mint, strawberry, etc.
Share this Recipe

Mocha Irish Cream Cupcakes for St. Patrick’s Day

It snowed this morning!! We have had almost no snow this year, and actually hit 80 degrees last week, and I was missing winter. But I woke up this morning to big wet snowflakes! That has absolutely nothing to do with these cupcakes, but I was so excited I just had to share. 🙂  

Anyway, on to the cupcakes! Do you guys do anything special for St. Patrick’s Day? Do you attend a parade, or bake anything special? I’ve never really celebrated it much, but a few weeks ago I was in Michaels, mostly just browsing, but with my Cherry Chocolate Chip Rolls in mind. I was supposed to be looking for something Valentine’s Day related while I was walking down the baking aisle, and then I spotted these St. Patrick’s Day sprinkles.

 

I decided I had to have them, but then I had to figure out what to do with them. Cupcakes sounded like a good idea, but what kind? So I started searching Pinterest for St. Patrick’s Day ideas. It seems like Irish cream is pretty popular right now. And since Irish cream has a lot of the same flavors as mocha, I decided to incorporate in into a favorite mocha cake of mine. And make them cupcakes, because cupcakes are just more fun.

I thought it might be easier (and cheaper!) to use an Irish cream coffee creamer. Since I don’t drink coffee, I had never tried the creamer before. Before I started trying to add it to my cake recipe, I tried it straight. Oh my goodness, you guys, it is SWEET. So I knew immediately I would have to reduce the sugar in the recipe. Thankfully, it turned out perfectly on my first attempt, but I sure am glad I tried the creamer first!

To top the cupcakes, I figure I might as well go all the way and make an Irish Cream buttercream. It was a good idea. The cupcakes aren’t overly sweet, so a nice big swirl of buttercream compliments them nicely. And it gives the sprinkles a pretty place to land. 🙂

If you aren’t a fan of Irish cream, or coffee in general, you can make some adjustments to this recipe pretty easily. Try any flavor of creamer that sounds good to you. And if you are using a non-mocha flavoring you can leave the instant coffee out of both the cake and frosting. Amaretto would be fantastic (I LOVE chocolate and almond together!). You can amp up the flavor by adding a little bit of almond extract. Or what about the salted caramel mocha? I might add some salted caramel into the buttercream for that one. A peppermint or peppermint mocha version would be fantastic at Christmas! For now, I’m going to stick with the Irish cream, but I definitely have other ideas brewing! 😉


Print Recipe
Mocha Irish Cream Cupcakes
Adapted from the Mocha Coffee Cake at Health.com. http://www.health.com/health/recipe/0,,50400000112136,00.html
Course Dessert
Servings
cupcakes
Ingredients
Cupcakes
Course Dessert
Servings
cupcakes
Ingredients
Cupcakes
Instructions
Cupcakes
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 24 cupcake cups with liners and spray lightly with non-stick spray.
  2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and cocoa powder in a bowl and set aside.
  3. Dissolve instant coffee granules in the coffee creamer and set aside.
  4. Cream butter and sugar until very well combined, about 2 minutes.
  5. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each.
  6. Add the flour mixture in three batches, alternating with first the sour cream and then the creamer. Mix just until combined after each addition.
  7. Divide batter evenly between the cupcake tins, filling each about 3/4 full.
  8. Bake for 20 to 22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean.
  9. Cool completely before frosting. Keep in an airtight container for up to a week.
Frosting
  1. Combine creamer and instant coffee. Set aside.
  2. Beat butter, shortening, and salt with an electric mixer on medium speed until well combined.
  3. Add half of the powdered sugar and beat until creamy. Add half of the creamer mixture and mix again.
  4. Add the remaining powdered sugar, followed by the remaining creamer mixture. Beat until combined.
  5. Turn mixture on high and beat for 5 minutes until light and fluffy. Add additional powdered sugar 1/4 cup at a time or creamer 1 tablespoon at a time to adjust consistency if necessary.
  6. Pipe or spread onto cooled cupcakes.
Recipe Notes

Buttercream makes enough to generously frost 24 cupcakes. If you prefer a smaller layer of frosting, cut recipe in half.

Substitute any flavor creamer for the Irish cream, eliminating the instant coffee granules if preferred. Enhance with extracts if desired. Almond in Amaretto, peppermint in peppermint mocha, etc.

Share this Recipe