Mississippi Mud Cake Frosting and the Chocolate Dilemma

by N. Monti
(Bradenton, FL)

N. writes Chocolate Questions to say...

A dear friend makes a Mississippi Mud cake that has a cooked frosting poured over the top. The recipe calls for Cocoa and Oleo and I believe a little milk and sugar - just bringing it to a boil and pouring over the cake. She changed it to dark cocoa and butter. The issue is the frosting did not re-solidify after it cooled on the cake ( it stayed soupy).

My question is: Do you think it was the change to the dark cocoa or due to the use of butter? We would like to hear your expert opinion on this matter so we can try again, and eat cake!

First, let me apologize for taking so long to answer your question. I was away for a few days and had no internet connection!

Your question is an interesting one. The icing recipe you describe sounds a lot like one I make frequently.

I don't think the problem you described was caused by the change to dark cocoa or the use of butter.

Most cocoa powder used for home baking contains about 10% fat. So unless your friend used a special cocoa with a considerably higher fat content, the change in cocoa shouldn't be a problem.

Butter and margarine are very similar in composition. Substituting one for the other usually only affects the taste of what your making.

I too have experienced a similar problem upon occasion. What usually causes my icing to remain
runny is too much milk. Sometimes I get in a hurry and take shortcuts.

I don't properly measure the milk. Instead, I hold the spoon over the pan and pour the milk from the bottle occasionally over filling the spoon and adding too much.

The result is a runny batch of icing!

Could this be the problem? Just a little extra milk can ruin it.

Did your friend keep the proportions the same, substituting measure for measure?

Based on my personal experience, too much milk or
too little of one of the other ingredients is the most likely cause.

In this case, careful measurement can make all the difference to your success.

If your icing looks thin, before you pour it onto the cake, try adding a little more cocoa to thicken it.

If it's runny (like water) while in the sauce pan, it won't set. You want it to be thickish but pourable.

I hope this helps you. Good luck with your baking
and thanks for the question!

Remember: Practice makes perfect. Keep trying you'll get it.

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