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
Brownie Base
Whipped Cream
Course Dessert
Brownie Base
Whipped Cream
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.
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