Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake
This moist, scrumptious Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake was popular when I was growing up. It’s tender and out of this world! It’s seriously one amazing Homemade Chocolate Cake!
It could be the Best Chocolate Cake Recipe you’ll ever taste, making it perfect for all the chocoholics in your life. The unusual ingredient can be our little secret!
Hands down the most delicious chocolate cake! I made it for someone’s birthday, everyone there agreed it was the best.
Why You Should Make this Chocolate Cake
My mom wasn’t one for fancy desserts unless it was for a special occasion. When she baked this homemade chocolate mayonnaise cake, it was in a 9 x 13-inch pan. Simple, yet decadent and irresistible! It was an instant favorite.
The magic “mayo” helps add the moisture that many chocolate cakes are lacking. When I pulled my cake out of the oven after 30 minutes, I was certain it was over baked and would be dry. I usually check the cake before the timer goes off, but apparently, I was distracted.
Rest assured, it was declared terrific by the whole family and the neighborhood chocoholic who relayed that it was the best chocolate cake recipe he had ever had (via his wife who left me a glowing review via voice mail). Not a single soul thought it was dry, despite that it could have come out of the oven at the 28-minute mark.
A Few Tips for Baking a Mayo Cake:
- Read through the recipe first to see if you have all the ingredients needed before starting.
- PRO-Tip: Get your eggs out of the refrigerator to take the chill off. Room temperature eggs incorporate better than cold ones.
- PRO-Tip: Measure properly. Using dry measuring cups for flour and sugar, and liquid measuring cups for the coffee help with accuracy. One of my friends did not know there was a difference, so it’s worth mentioning.
- Scoop up the flour from your bin, bag or container with your measuring cup, then use a flat spatula to cleanly scrape off the excess from the top. The scoop and swipe method is used universally by bakers for consistency.
- Though measuring by weight is definitely the most accurate method, many home cooks do not own kitchen scales.
- The mayonnaise can be measured in a dry cup.
Frequently Asked Questions
You must remember that mayonnaise is made of oil, vinegar, and egg. Each of these components offers its own benefits to the texture of a cake. No wonder this chocolate mayonnaise cake recipe is so incredible!!
The oil makes a cake moist and tender. Check. We want that! The vinegar helps accentuate the chocolate flavor. Check. Who wouldn’t want that in a chocolate cake??? And, finally, the egg helps the batter retain moisture. Yes, no dry cakes wanted!
PRO-Tip: Plus, all of the above (moisture, tenderness, and intensified chocolate flavor!) can be obtained with just a measuring cup full of mayo. Please use a good name brand, like Hellmann’s, for the best results when making this homemade chocolate cake! Do not use reduced-fat mayonnaise as the results will not be the same.
Well, if you’ve read this far, you know the answer is yes. Though I have never tried it, I’ve read that you can substitute 3 tablespoons of mayonnaise for every egg in a cake recipe. A great tip if you’re out of eggs and desperately need to bake a cake!
Though real mayonnaise contains eggs, the eggs and mayonnaise are cooked in this cake. Therefore, there is no need to refrigerate this cake. If you live in a hot climate or make this cake in the middle of the summer, the frosting will do better if it is kept cool. Just make sure to cover well as there’s less moisture/humidity in your fridge, which will dry out your cake faster, then bring the cake to room temperature before serving.
Yes, this cake freezes well. Cool and wrap the unfrosted layers in plastic wrap, then foil, and freeze for up to 3 months. If you’d like to freeze the frosted cake, first freeze the cake uncovered to allow the frosting to firm up. Then wrap well in plastic wrap. Remove the plastic while the cake is frozen and let the cake defrost overnight in the refrigerator.
This cake recipe came about during the Great Depression. With the shortage of many items, using mayonnaise instead of eggs and oil for cake became popular. In fact, the recipe started appearing on mayonnaise jars!
No. You’d never guess there was mayonnaise in this cake recipe unless someone tells you!
Tips for Cutting the Perfect Slice of Cake
I’m frequently asked how to cut a perfect slice of cake. Today, I’ll reveal all my secrets for cutting this chocolate cake recipe!
- I popped this layer cake into the refrigerator for a few hours to help firm up the frosting. When I was ready to cut a wedge, I grabbed a wide serrated knife and ran it under very hot water. PRO-Tip: Cut chilled, serve at room temperature.
- Next, I wiped the knife dry with a clean cloth or paper towel and cut the cake with a sawing motion. I reheated and dried the knife for the second cut, making sure both cuts met at the center.
- I used a metal spatula (affiliate link) to remove the slice. Voila! Note that the cake will taste better served at room temperature, but slices better cold.
- Flour – all-purpose is fine
- Cocoa powder – I use Ghirardelli brand
- Baking Soda and Baking Powder – check expiration dates as baking powder often expires before you can put a dent in it!
- Granulated sugar
- Real vanilla extract – Never use imitation vanilla. The taste of real vanilla is so much better.
- Full fat Hellmann’s Mayonnaise – (or Best Foods), do not use a salad dressing, like Miracle Whip
- Eggs – I always use large eggs unless otherwise specified
- Brewed coffee – Coffee helps accentuate the chocolate flavor without adding a coffee taste, so don’t worry about adding this ingredient if you don’t like coffee. You will not taste it.
- Semisweet chocolate – I prefer Ghirardelli bars over chocolate chips for better quality
- Butter – I use salted butter in most of my recipes
- Powdered sugar – Sift whenever using for frosting so there won’t be lumps
More Chocolate Recipes You’ll Love:
- Salted Caramel Chocolate Cheesecake Cake from Aimee at Shugary Sweets
- Flourless Double Chocolate Cake
- La Bete Noire
- Chocolate Mousse Recipe
- Chocolate Bundt Cake Recipe
- Flourless Chocolate Cake with Marshmallow Frosting
- Frozen Chocolate Mousse Cake
- Fudgy Kahlua Brownies
- Chocolate Meringue Cookies
- More Chocolate Desserts
- More Best Cake Recipes
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This recipe was first shared in February 2017. Text was updated in 2021.
- 2 cups flour
- 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1-1/4 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 3 eggs
- 1 2/3 cups sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 cup mayonnaise (I recommend using Hellmann's or Best Foods and not Miracle Whip)
- 1-1/3 cups cold coffee
- 10 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
- 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter, room temperature
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- Preheat oven to 350°. Grease two 9-inch cake pans, line with rounds of parchment and grease the parchment; set aside.
- In medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking soda and baking powder; set aside.
- In large bowl or mixer, beat eggs, sugar and vanilla on high for 3 minutes or until light and fluffy. Beat in mayonnaise at low speed until blended. Alternately beat in flour mixture with coffee, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Divide evenly between prepared pans. Bake for 26-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean.
- Let cakes cool about 20 minutes, then remove to cooling racks (remove parchment if it's stuck to the cakes) to cool completely.
- Place chopped chocolate into a microwave safe bowl. Microwave, stopping to stir frequently, until chocolate is melted and smooth. Let the chocolate cool until lukewarm, stirring occasionally.
- Beat butter in large bowl until smooth and creamy (I used my stand mixer with the paddle attachment). Sift powdered sugar over butter and beat until well blended, about 2 minutes. Beat in vanilla. Add melted chocolate and beat until well blended, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.
- Frost as desired.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 571Total Fat: 23gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 54mgSodium: 569mgCarbohydrates: 89gFiber: 3gSugar: 68gProtein: 6g