Category Archives: Recipes

The Best Mississippi Mud Pie Recipe

Mississippi mud pie on a plate and in the pan

This Mississippi Mud Pie recipe was a family favorite when I was growing up. I’ve mentioned before that we were never fans of traditional birthday cakes, but Crazy Chocolate Cake and Mississippi Mud Pie frequently made an appearance.

We stumbled across this Mississippi Mud Pie recipe on a family vacation one year. We were staying at a ranch and one night this was served for dessert. After my entire family enjoyed it, the cook kindly gave my mom the recipe and it’s been a part of our family ever since.

Nope, it’s not “healthy” but we don’t make it often so I’m okay with that! A fun treat for a birthday celebration or company coming over for dinner.

What exactly is Mississippi Mud Pie? It’s an easy layered dessert that begins with a thin, shortbread crust and is topped with a layer of a cream cheese/whipped cream mixture followed by chocolate pudding and finished with whipped cream.

You may use nuts in the crust or leave them out.

The original recipe uses boxed pudding and Cool Whip. I will give the original recipe amounts, but also share how to do it with homemade whipped cream – my preferred method.

I have also made this with homemade pudding. You will need to use a recipe that call for 4 cups of milk and then decrease the milk to 3 cups. Do note that the homemade pudding won’t set up quite as nicely as the instant pudding but it does taste amazing.

Mississippi Mud Pie Ingredients

  • Flour
  • Granulated sugar
  • Butter, melted
  • Pecans, optional
  • 2 boxes instant chocolate pudding (3.4 ounces each) 
  • Milk
  • Heavy cream, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and cornstarch OR Cool Whip
  • Cream Cheese at room temperature
  • Powdered sugar

Mississippi Mud Pie Recipe Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and stir the melted butter, sugar, and optional pecans in a small bowl. Press into the bottom of a 9×13 inch pan. It will be very thin.

unbaked shortbread crust

Bake for 10-14 minutes, until barely turning golden. Remove from oven to let cool.

Pan with the baked crust

Beat room temperature cream cheese and powdered sugar until smooth and creamy.

mixing bowl with the beaten cream cheese and powdered sugar

In a mixer, using the whisk attachment (or in a bowl with hand beaters) whip 1 cup of heavy cream until soft peaks are formed. Then drop the cream cheese mixture in several spoonsful over the whipped cream. Beat just until blended and spread over the cooled crust.
(If you use Cool Whip, simply combine 2 cups of cool whip with the cream cheese and powdered mixture until smooth)

Cream cheese mixture dropped on top of the whipped creamMixing bowl with the combined whipped cream and cream cheese

Make both boxes of instant pudding using only 3 cups of milk instead of 4. (If making homemade pudding, make sure it cools completely.) Spread over the cream cheese layer.

Chocolate pudding spread in the pan

Place 2 cups of heavy cream in the mixer (I used the same one that I used in the previous whipped cream step) and beat until soft peaks form. Add 2 teaspoons of cornstarch or arrowroot (this will help keep the cream stay set – if you are serving the same day, you can omit this), 2-4 tablespoons powdered sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract. Beat until heavy peaks form and plop spoonsful over the pudding layer and carefully spread. (It should be 4 cups of whipped cream.)
(If using Cool Whip, you can omit this step and simply spread the remainder or the 16 ounce container on top of the pudding layer – approximately 4 cups.)

Finished Mississippi Mud Pie in the pan

You can garnish with chopped nuts or chocolate pieces if desired.

Keep refrigerated until serving.

It is actually a really simple dessert and everyone loves it!

More Dessert Ideas:
Crazy Chocolate Cake
Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
Brownie Brittle

Picture of mississippi mud pie in a glass pan

Mississippi Mud Pie Recipe

Mississippi Mud Pie
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
 
This Mississippi Mud Pie recipe is easy & so good! It has been a family favorite for the last 20 years. It's a delicious layered dessert everyone will love.
Ingredients
  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 cup chopped pecans, optional
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 3 cups heavy cream, divided
  • 2 packages instant chocolate pudding (3.4 ounces each)
  • 3 cups milk
  • 2-4 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch or arrowroot powder, optional
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • (OR substitute the last three ingredients and the heavy cream with a 16 ounce carton of Cool Whip - see recipe notes for instructions)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix melted butter, flour, 1 tablespoon of sugar, & pecans (if using) in a small bowl. Press onto the bottom of a 9x13 inch pan. Bake for 10-14 minutes (until barely turning golden). Let cool.
  3. Beat room temperature cream cheese and 1 cup of powdered sugar until smooth. In another bowl, beat 1 cup of heavy cream until soft peaks form. Drop the cream cheese mixture over the whipped cream and beat just until combined. Spread on cooled crust.
  4. Mix both packages of pudding with 3 cups of milk. Spread over the cream cheese layer.
  5. Use the remaining heavy cream to make whipped cream: Beat 2 cups of heavy cream until soft peaks form. Add powdered sugar, cornstarch, and vanilla. Beat until stiff peaks form. Carefully spread over the pudding layer.
  6. Optionally, garnish with chopped pecans and chocolate pieces.
  7. Refrigerate until serving.
Notes
If using Cool Whip:
In step 2 beat softened cream cheese with powdered sugar until smooth. Stir in 2 cups off cool whip until combined and spread on the crust.
In step 4, simply spread the remainder of the Cool Whip (about 4 cups) over the top of the pudding layer.
See recipe post for more information and details about using homemade pudding.

A piece of Mississippi Mud pie on a glass plate

 

Easy Instant Pot Tomato Soup

a white bowl filled with Instant Pot tomato soup

This Instant Pot tomato soup is easy and delicious! Definitely a recipe you need in your dinner rotation.

I love that it is dairy free and gluten free but still tastes amazing. Of course, if you want to jazz it up, feel free to finish it with a drizzle of cream or go all the way and grate some parmesan cheese over the top and serve with a grilled cheese sandwich.

Everyone in my family enjoys this soup – even my picky 7 year old. They 5 year old might make a mess while she’s eating it but if she actually likes it, that’s fine with me!

I love blended soups as an easy way to get in extra vegetables, so I always include carrots and celery in my tomato soup – extra flavor and nutrients!

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Instant Pot Tomato Soup Ingredients:

Ingredients for the Instant Pot tomato soup

  • 2 cans fire roasted tomatoes (14.5 ounces each)
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes (14.5 ounces each)
  • 1 onion, diced (red or yellow – whatever you have)
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • Dried basil and oregano
  • Salt
  • Broth, chicken or vegetable
  • Oil

Instant Pot Tomato Soup Directions:

Raw vegetables added to the pan

  • Turn your Instant Pot to sauté and let heat a few minutes. Add 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the onions, carrots, and celery and sauté for 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook an additional 1 minute.
    the vegetables after cooking for 5 minutes
  • Add the remaining ingredients to the Instant Pot and set to high pressure for 10 minutes.
    Tomato Soup ingredients in the pot before being pressure cooked
  • When the 10 minutes are up, let natural release for 10-15 minutes and then turn the valve to quick release. (If you are in a hurry, you can skip the natural release and just do quick. You might want to set a wash cloth on top of the valve to catch the steam/liquid that splatters out.)
    Cooked tomato soup before blending
  • Using an immersion blender, puree the soup until smooth. Add more salt, pepper, basil and oregano to taste. If you do not have an immersion blender, you will want to let the soup cool slightly and transfer to a blender in batches to puree. I’ve probably had my immersion blender for just 5 years, and it has been so useful! Mine was a cheap one that isn’t made anymore, but there are tons of affordable options!

For another kid friendly soup recipe, check out Chicken and Veggie Noodle Soup!

Bowl of easy tomato soup

Instant Pot Tomato Soup

Instant Pot Tomato Soup
Author: 
Recipe type: Soup
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8 servings
 
This Instant Pot Tomato Soup is super simple, healthy, and so good! Love having this for an easy supper.
Ingredients
  • 2 cans fire roasted tomatoes (14.5 ounces each)
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes (14.5 ounces each)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cup broth (chicken or vegetable)
  • Oil
Instructions
  1. Set your Instant Pot to sauté and let heat up for a couple minutes. Add 1 or 2 tablespoons of oil to the hot pan and put in the onions, carrots, and celery. Sauté for 5 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic. Sauté an addition 1 minute.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients. (Tomatoes, basil, oregano, broth, and salt.)
  4. Put the lid on the Instant Pot and set to high pressure for 10 minutes.
  5. After 10 minutes, let natural release for 10 minutes and finish with a quick release.
  6. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup until smooth.
  7. Adjust salt to taste. Add more basil or oregano if needed.
Notes
You may also make this on the stove. You will just have to simmer the soup longer, until all the vegetables are tender.
In the summer, I like to use fresh herbs but this still tastes amazing using the dried ones.
Number of servings will be determined by if you are serving something hearty along side the soup.

 

 

The Best Crazy Chocolate Cake Recipe

Graphic of crazy chocolate cake

This crazy chocolate cake recipe is one we’ve been making for years. As in for over 30 years! This is probably the easiest chocolate cake you will ever make and it’s super cheap too.

What exactly is crazy chocolate cake, you ask? Well, it’s a dairy free, egg free cake that you mix right in the pan it’s baked in! Fewer dishes and no special ingredients are always a good thing!

When my siblings and I were little none of us were fans of the traditional frosted birthday cake. One year I begged my mom for one – it was white with blue flowers – and I hated it. Oops, sorry mom.

This exact recipe for crazy chocolate cake was our most common pick for a birthday dessert – it was a cake we actually loved! Angel food cake, Mississippi Mud Pie, and a few other things made an appearance as well.

I think I have only made one other type of chocolate cake in my life and now my non cake loving kids enjoy this too.

Crazy Chocolate Cake Ingredients

  • Flour
  • Sugar
  • Baking soda
  • Salt
  • Cocoa Powder
  • Vanilla extract
  • Oil
  • Vinegar
  • Hot water

Crazy Chocolate Cake Instructions

This cake is so easy! It’s the perfect recipe for your kids to add to their repertoire.

  1. Sift dry ingredients into a greased 9×13 inch pan. I have made this in both glass and metal pans. You can also make this is a 8 inch square pan by simply cutting all of the ingredients in half (and just watch your bake time). If I’m honest, on occasion I’ve even skipped the sifting step. Don’t tell anyone, just make sure you don’t have any clumps of soda or cocoa.
  2. Make three holes in the dry ingredients with a spoon. 2 small holes and one a little larger.
    Dry ingredients for crazy chocolate cake
  3. In one hole put the vanilla in another the vinegar and in the largest hole the oil.
    chocolate cake dry ingredients with oil, vinegar, and vanilla
  4. Pour 2 cups of warm water over the entire mixture! (I use water I heated in the microwave because I don’t like using our tap water. If you bake with tap water, you can use hot water right from the tap.)
    Crazy chocolate cake with hot water over the top5. Use a fork to blend the mixture gently but thoroughly.
    Mixed crazy chocolate cake
    6. Bake for 30-40 minutes at 350 degrees. Start checking at 30 minutes. What kind of pan you use and how your oven cooks will make the length very. A toothpick inserted into the middle should come out clean, but don’t overbake!7. Let cake cool and frost with your favorite frosting or one of the following 2 options.

Crazy Chocolate Cake Frosting:

1/2 cup butter, melted
3 heaping tablespoons cocoa powder
4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Place above ingredients into a bowl and add milk or half and half until smooth.
crazy chocolate cake frosting
Spread on cooled cake.
Frosted Crazy Chocolate Cake
The other frosting option is the one to use if you are dairy free!

Frosting Option 2:

  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • dash of saltStir in water until the desired consistency.

Overhead shot of a slice of crazy chocolate cake

Check out these other desserts:

Crazy Chocolate Cake Recipe

Crazy Chocolate Cake Recipe
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
 
This is the easiest chocolate cake in the world! Not only is it easy, it's my kids' favorite cake recipe. Topped with a rich frosting this is perfection.
Ingredients
Cake
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ⅓ cup cocoa powder (I use ½ cup)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • ¾ cup salad oil (or neutral oil of choice)
  • 2 cups warm water
Frosting Option 1
  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • 3 heaping teaspoons cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Milk (or cream or half and half)
Frosting Option 2
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • ⅓ cup cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • dash salt
  • water
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease a 9x13 inch pan.
  3. Sift the dry ingredients directly into the pan.
  4. Make three holes with a spoon. I one hole put vanilla in another vinegar and in the third the oil.
  5. Pour two cups warm water over the entire mixture and blend gently but thoroughly with a fork.
  6. Bake for 30-40 minutes (until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.)
  7. Let cool and frost.
Frosting 1
  1. Combine all ingredients except the milk. Stir and add milk or cream until frosting is smooth and spreadable.
Frosting 2
  1. Combined powdered sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla and salt in a bowl. Stir in water until desired consistency.

 

Easy Baked Home Fries

Crispy baked home fries on a white plate

Potatoes. They are cheap, kid friendly, and easy to fix! My kids all prefer roasted potatoes over mashed so this recipe for baked home fries is a winner in this house. In fact, my kids eat them like they are candy.

These potatoes are perfect to serve for breakfast along side eggs and bacon. They would also be great to go with hamburgers or baked chicken. Baked home fries are so versatile.

Home fries are basically another name for seasoned, cubed potatoes that you bake in the oven or cook in a skillet until crisp. They can be a substitute for French fries or hash browns. So, yes that means the kids enjoy dipping these in ketchup.

Check out how easy these are to make.

Baked Home Fries Ingredients

  • Potatoes (I typically use russets because they are cheap, but I love Yukon gold potatoes and baby potatoes)
  • Oil (olive oil, refined coconut oil etc)
  • Bell peppers and onions, optional
  • Seasonings: garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, salt. I love adding rosemary too.

Baked home fries on a pan ready to go into the ovenBaked Home Fries Instructions

  1. Dice your potatoes into similar sized pieces. (Peel, wash, dry and then chop them or scrub the peel, dry, and chop.) Cut between 1/2-1 inch chunks – your preference. The smaller size would cook faster.
  2. Put your potatoes into a bowl and toss with olive oil (or oil of choice) and some seasonings (but not the salt).
  3. You can add diced onions and bell peppers if you’d like. I love these, but some of my kids prefer without. They are totally optional. Add these halfway through the baking process.
  4. Bake on a large baking sheet (you don’t want your potato pieces to be touching) at 425 degrees. Once or twice during the baking you will want to flip the potatoes so they get crisp on all the sides.
  5. Remove from oven and salt to taste.

picture of baked home fries on a plate

Baked Home Fries
Author: 
Recipe type: Side
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2 cups cooked potatoes
 
These baked home fries are easy, frugal, and so good! The perfect recipe for breakfast or a side to go with dinner. Kid friendly and flavorful, these will be a favorite.
Ingredients
  • 3-5 Potatoes (you want 4 cups of cubed potatoes)
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon dried rosemary, optional
  • ¼-1/2 cup diced bell pepper, optional
  • ¼-1/2 cup diced onion, optional
  • salt, to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Peel , wash, dry (or leave peels one and simply scrub and dry) the potatoes and cut into ½ inch cubes until you have 4 cups. Place in a bowl.
  3. Place olive oil, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and rosemary (if using) in the bowl with potatoes. Stir to coat evenly.
  4. Spread potatoes onto a baking sheet. You don't want your potatoes to be stacked. A small amount of space between each piece is ideal to help with even cooking.
  5. Bake for 35-45 minutes depending on size. Use a spatula to flip the potatoes after 20 minutes. Add the onions and peppers at this point, if using.
  6. Cook another 10 minutes and check. Keep checking potatoes every 5 minutes. When they are the desired crispness, remove from oven, season with salt and enjoy!

 

Easy & Delicious Brownie Brittle Recipe

Brownie Brittle on a white cloth

Fair warning. This treat is addictive! Chocolate goodness with the perfect crispy texture. This brownie brittle recipe is so good.

Even for those of us that prefer chewy cookies over crispy (that’s me) there is just something about this goodie that keeps pulling you back in.

All 3 kids and my husband also raved about this.

It’s a fast and simple recipe. You can save yourself money by skipping the prepackaged version and making it yourself.

Bonus, make and package it up yourself to use as a gift or part of a gift basket.

Affiliate links are used in these posts. See disclosure page for more details.

Brownie Brittle Recipe Ingredients:

Super simple ingredients. They are all things you most likely already have in your kitchen if you do any type of baking.

  • Egg whites
  • Sugar
  • Butter
  • Vanilla extract
  • Water
  • Flour
  • Salt
  • Baking soda
  • Cocoa powder
  • Chocolate chips

How to Make Brownie Brittle:

This is so easy to put together. I use my Kitchen Aid stand mixer with the whisk attachment. You could also use a  hand mixer. (Mine burnt out over year ago and I haven’t gotten around to replacing them – I just use the stand mixer more often)

Beat 2 egg whites until foamy. Add the sugar and beat some more.

egg whipped in mixing bowl

To the egg mixture you will add melted butter (that has cooled off), vanilla extract, and a little water and mix some more.

Into a small bowl, sift the flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking soda. Fold it into the wet batter.

dry ingredients sifted into a bowl

Next place a silicone baking mat or parchment paper onto a baking sheet. (I used a baking mat.) Spread the batter into a rectangle approximately 9.5 inches by 14 inches. Sprinkle with chocolate chips and then press the chips into the batter.

brownie brittle spread on silicone baking sheet

Last up is baking. You use a lower baking temperature so you can cook this longer to get the great crispy texture without the brownie brittle becoming burnt.

Bake at 300 degrees for 30-40 minutes. (Mine needed the 40 minutes, but every oven is different so start checking at 30 minutes.)

When it’s done, it will not be completely hard, remove from the oven and let cool completely. As it cools the brownie brittle with crisp up perfectly! The kids love to help break it into pieces after it’s hardened up.

baked brownie brittle on a baking mat

Hopefully your family enjoys this recipes as much as mine does.

Are you a brownie brittle fan? Any fun combinations I should try? Or any easy must make treats I need to know about?

Looking for some other chocolate desserts to try?
The Best Homemade Fudge
Dark Chocolate Pretzel Bark
Chocolate Crinkle Peppermint Cookies
Toll House Pie

Easy Brownie Brittle Recipe

Broken pieces of crispy brownie brittle on a white cloth

Easy Brownie Brittle Recipe
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 20 pieces
 
This brownie brittle recipe is spectacular and so simple to make! The great chocolate flavor of a brownie with a perfect crunch. Everyone will love this and it makes a perfect gift.
Ingredients
  • 2 egg whites
  • ⅓ cup white sugar
  • ¼ cup melted butter, cooled
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • ⅔ cup flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ⅓ cup cocoa powder
  • ½ cup chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
  2. Using a stand mixer (with the whisk attachment) or hand mixer beat the 2 egg whites until very foamy.
  3. Add the sugar and beat again.
  4. Make sure the melted butter isn't hot and add butter, vanilla, and water to the the egg mixer and beat until combined.
  5. Sift the flour, cocoa, salt, and baking soda into a separate, small bowl. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet.
  6. Line a pan with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper. Spread the brownie brittle batter into a 9.5 inch x 14 inch rectangle.
  7. Sprinkle with chocolate chips (amount can be up to you) and then press the chips into the batter.
  8. Bake for 30-40 minutes, checking after 30 minutes.
  9. Remove from oven and let cool completely on the baking sheet. It should crisp up completely when cooled.
  10. Break into pieces. Store in an air tight container.