Appears in
Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

By Darra Goldstein

Published 2015

  • About

mud pie, also called Mississippi Mud Pie, is a style of twentieth-century American rich chocolate desserts variously composed of pudding (custard), cake, biscuits, ice cream, whipped cream, marshmallows, and liqueur presented in a cookie crust. Hot fudge or chocolate syrup completes the presentation. The dessert’s name playfully recalls the color and consistency of the warm, gooey, mud pies of childhood.

The concept of mud pie descends from European culinary traditions of combining creamy custards with cake or biscuits. Elizabethan-era trifle, nineteenth-century Viennese chocolate tortes, 1900s fudgy brownies, 1920s black bottom pie, 1950s ice cream novelties, and 1960s southern-style Glorified Brownies paved the culinary trail.