Mississippi mud pie is one of the easiest desserts you can make when you’re having a chocolate craving. With layers of decadent chocolate pudding, a sweetened cream cheese filling and a fluffy whipped topping, what’s not to love? And best of all, this delicious pie is almost a no-bake dessert. The simple press-in crust just needs a few minutes in the oven.
What is Mississippi mud pie?
A mud pie is a chilled, layered chocolate dessert, one of the easiest chocolate recipes to have in your back pocket. As the name suggests, the pie originated in Mississippi and is the state’s signature dessert. The “mud” part of the name refers to the rich chocolate filling that some thought resembled the banks of the Mississippi River.
Mississippi mud pie consists of a simple crust made of graham crackers, chocolate cookies, brownies or shortbread. The crust is filled with creamy layers of pudding, mousse, ice cream, cream cheese, meringue, whipped cream or whipped topping. Mississippi mud pie comes in all shapes and sizes, from a round 9-inch pie version to square cake pans and rectangular baking dishes. Our recipe, like most potluck desserts, is made in a 13×9-inch baking dish and perfect for large gatherings.
Ingredients in Mississippi Mud Pie
- Chocolate pudding mix: A boxed chocolate pudding mix keeps preparation of this layered dessert quick and easy. Of course, you can always make your own homemade chocolate pudding instead.
- Cream cheese: A fluffy cheesecake-like layer sits on top of the crust. Like most cream cheese recipes, using a softened block of creamed cheese is better than using the cream cheese sold in a tub.
- Whipped topping: Your favorite frozen whipped topping does double duty in the cream cheese layer, and, of course, on top! Make sure to let it thaw before using.
- Chopped pecans: Mississippi mud pie has a soft texture, so pecans provide a bit of crunch in the crust. They can also be added as a topping just before serving. Toast them first for even more flavor.
- Chocolate curls: This optional decoration brings even more chocolate flavor, and they look so pretty!
Step 1: Make the crust
Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a large bowl, beat the flour, pecans and softened butter together. Press into the bottom of a 13×9-inch baking dish, and bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Remove the dish to a wire rack, and let the crust cool completely.
Editor’s Tip: Use the bottom of a measuring cup to pat the crust mixture into the bottom of the dish. This will ensure a firm—but not too firm—crust.
Step 2: Make the chocolate pudding
Make the chocolate pudding according to package directions. Set aside, and let it stand for five minutes.
Step 3: Make the cream cheese layer
In a large mixing bowl, beat the softened cream cheese and confectioners’ sugar until smooth. Fold in 1 cup whipped topping.
Editor’s Tip: If your cream cheese still isn’t soft enough after sitting at room temperature, transfer it from the wrapper to a microwave-safe plate, and microwave in five-second increments until it softens.
Step 4: Layer the mud pie
Spread the cream cheese mixture over the cooled crust. Add the pudding, and smooth it out on top of the cream cheese layer. Spread the remaining whipped topping evenly over the pudding to create the final layer. If desired, add chocolate curls and more pecans.
Editor’s Tip: You can refrigerate the mud pie until ready to serve, but it’s not necessary.
- Make a frozen mud pie: Make a frozen mud pie made with ice cream instead of pudding!
- Bake in a round pan: You can prepare your pie crust in a classic pie plate instead of the 13×9. To accommodate the amount of pie fillings, use a 10-inch pie pan or a deep-dish 9-inch pie pan.
- Try a different crust: Make the crumb crust with other ingredients like chocolate sandwich cookies, gingersnaps or Nilla wafers.
- Go even bigger on chocolate: Add unsweetened cocoa powder to the final layer of whipped topping for a double dose of chocolate!
Can you make Mississippi mud pie ahead of time?
Yes, this mud pie dessert can be made ahead of time! Make as directed up to adding the pudding layer, then cover tightly and refrigerate for up to two days. Add the whipped topping, chopped pecans and chocolate curls just before serving.
Can you freeze Mississippi mud pie?
Yes! Mississippi mud pie can be frozen whole in the 13×9-inch baking dish, or you can freeze it in smaller portions. If freezing whole, cover tightly with wrap or aluminum foil. For individual servings, place in small freezer-safe containers. It will keep in the freezer for up to two months. Allow to thaw in the refrigerator before serving.
Mississippi Mud Pie Tips
Can you use a store-bought pie crust for Mississippi mud pie?
The crust for this mud pie recipe is more like a pecan shortbread than a traditional pie crust, so a premade pie crust isn’t an exact substitution, but it will still taste good! If you want to use a store-bought pie crust, cut one (or maybe one and a half) to fit inside a 13×9 baking dish, and layer the ingredients on top. Or simply skip the 13×9 all together, and use a premade 10-inch or deep-dish 9-inch pie crust. Either way, if you use a ready-made crust, you can skip the baking step!
How do you make perfect chocolate curls?
The key to creating chocolate curls is starting with a chocolate bar that is not cold. It should be relatively warm, but not melting, then run a vegetable peeler down the thin side of the bar to make a curl. Chill them in the refrigerator until ready to use.