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Monday 31 January 2011

Baking for Beginners: Millionaire's Mud Cake

There's plain old shortbread, and then there's millionaire's shortbread. Adding caramel somehow makes it ten times better and worthy of a snazzy title.

I decided to give Mud Cake the same makeover. Not to say Mud Cake isn't decadent, but this one goes one sweet step further. It's a caramel white chocolate mud cake from heaven. Ultra sweet and moist, with a molasses hit from the muscavado sugar. The ganache covering is sticky and golden, and tastes a bit like Caramac (remember Caramac?!).

I took my inspiration from Aussie blogger Almost Bourdain's Caramel Mud Cake, who makes a lovely refined cake simply dusted with icing sugar. I tweaked it, simplified it (who wants to faff around with plain flour AND self raising in the same recipe?) and added lashings of sumptuous white chocolate caramel ganache. And then I went nuts and topped it with white chocolate Maltesers, but this part is optional.

The ganache is very sticky, so if you're clumsy or you're pedantic about crumbs in your icing, I'd recommend you double the frosting recipe so you can do two layers.

Who wants to be a millionaire? Me, if you get cake like this.

You'll need:

For the cake
  • 200g white chocolate
  • 200g dark brown muscavado sugar
  • 200g butter
  • 200ml full fat milk
  • 1tbsp golden syrup
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 300g plain flour
  • 2tsp baking powder
For the ganache frosting
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 200ml double cream
  • 200g white chocolate
Make it!

The cake
  • Preheat the oven to 180c/160c fan/Gas 4.
  • Grease and line a 23cm round or 20cm square tin. Don't skip this step as the mixture is quite sticky and you'll never get it out of the tin.
  • Melt together the chocolate, butter, sugar, milk, syrup and vanilla in a saucepan over a low heat. Keep stirring until it's nice and smooth, then leave it until it's at room temperature.
  • Lightly beat the eggs, then stir into the chocolate mixture. Don't do this too soon, or you'll end up with a horrible scrambled egg & chocolate mess.
  • Sift the flour and baking powder into the mixture and stir in until you have a smooth batter.
  • Bake for 1 hour, or until the cake is fully cooked and a cocktail stick poked into the middle comes out clean.
  • Leave it to cool in the tin for 15 minutes or so, before turning it out on a rack.
The frosting
  • Put the caster sugar into a large, heavy bottomed saucepan over a medium heat. Try to get it in an even layer and let it completely melt and caramelise without stirring. If you need to, you can swirl it around the pan, but DO NOT STIR! It should be a kind of rusty colour.
  • While this is happening, break up the chocolate into a large bowl and bring the cream and salt to the boil in another pan. Keep one eye on the caramel.
  • Once the caramel is ready, pour in the cream. It might spit, so stand back. Give it a stir.
  • Pour the hot caramel mixture over the chocolate and beat it with a wooden spoon until smooth. Leave to cool before frosting the cake.


  1. That is all my favourite things in a cake. The Malteser topping is a brilliant touch.

  2. That just sounds sooooo delicious. I would quite like one right now

  3. Ohh that looks lovely - do you deliver?

  4. That looks faaarrrr too yummy! x

  5. I was in the presence of this cake at the weekend. Yet I had none :-(

  6. There wasn't any left at the end of the party either - I was hoping to have some for breakfast and was very disappointed!

  7. Mmm yum I am defo breaking my new year healthy food rule for this! How much salt in the frosting? (It looks too good to risk messing it up!) x

  8. I'm a bit worried that much white chocolate will be a little sickly (and this is from a huge white chocolate fan). Reckon milk in the ganache would taste good? x

  9. Rhian - I would say just a tiny pinch (1/4 tsp max).

    Lucy - I don't know whether milk would work but you're welcome to try! Ganache is usually cream + chocolate. It is quite sickly, you just have to eat a small slice! Or leave the frosting off entirely and dust it with icing sugar.

  10. Thanks - I think I'm going to try baking this this weekend :)

  11. Hello!
    I made this at the weekend and it tastes yummy but was quite fiddly and mine didn't turn out to be what I had expected - the ganache was more like toffee than ganache! Despite the amount of chocolate in it I couldn't really taste it either.
    What I really wanted to ask though, was about the mention of salt in the second point of the frosting. I couldn't find anything else about salt in the recipe - is there meant to be a pinch of salt? It would make sense as caramel is nice when it's salty, but I left it out just in case.
    Thanks for the recipe - looking forward to making it again! Suze x

  12. I made this cake tonight - it's yummy! Mine didn't need an hour though. After 45 mins it was really ready x

  13. It looks lovely, but does anyone else see the resemblance to a pill packet?


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