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Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake

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This moist, scrumptious Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake was popular when I was growing up. We got past the ewwww factor of the mayo once we took our first bite! It’s seriously one amazing Homemade Chocolate Cake!

Your friends and family will proclaim that this is the Best Chocolate Cake Recipe ever!!! It is perfect for all the chocoholics in your life. The unusual ingredient can be our little secret!

Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake slice on a square white plate

Reader testimonial: Hands down the most delicious chocolate cake!  I made it for someone’s birthday, everyone there agreed it was the best. 

Chocolate Mayonnaise 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!

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.
Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake with a slice removed on a white serving plate

Why Add Mayonnaise to a Cake Recipe?

  • You must remember that mayonnaise is made of oil, vinegar and egg. Each of these components offer their 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 a reduced fat mayonnaise as the results will not be the same.

Can You Bake with Mayonnaise?

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!

Do You Need to Refrigerate a Mayonnaise 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.

Can You Freeze a Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake?

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.

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 best 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 to remove the slice. Voila! Note that the cake will taste better served at room temperature, but slices better cold.

More Chocolate Recipes You’ll Love:

Chocolate Mayonnaise Pinterest collage

Add to Your Shopping List:

  • Flour, all-purpose
  • Cocoa powder
  • 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
  • Full fat Hellmann’s Mayonnaise (or Best Foods), do not use a salad dressing, like Miracle Whip
  • Eggs
  • Brewed coffee 
  • Semisweet chocolate
  • Butter
  • Powdered sugar

Supplies You Might Need to Make this Homemade Chocolate Cake:

Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake

Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake

A retro chocolate layer cake that has stood the test of time!

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Yield 12 servings



  • 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


  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Grease two 9-inch cake pans, line with rounds of parchment and grease the parchment; set aside.
  2. In medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking soda and baking powder; set aside.
  3. 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.
  4. Let cakes cool about 20 minutes, then remove to cooling racks (remove parchment if it's stuck to the cakes) to cool completely.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Frost as desired.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 571Total Fat: 23gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 54mgSodium: 569mgCarbohydrates: 89gFiber: 3gSugar: 68gProtein: 6g


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58 comments on “Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake”

  1. OMG what a brilliant cake with mayo!!
    Thanks for sharing

  2. Yep, another perfect slice! The cake sounds amazing, I don’t think anyone needs to know about the mayo:@)

  3. That looks incredible! And what a perfect slice!

  4. Last night, I was craving chocolate cake. I rarely crave cake. (I know, I know.) And then, I wake to this. IT’S A SIGN.

  5. I have never seen a slice this perfect! Great job Liz Berg!

  6. I need this cake in my life! Yum, it looks absolutely amazing.

  7. Your cake looks amazing! I have a very old, yellowed and splattered, mayonnaise chocolate cake recipe that is similar. It’s time to make this again using your recipe (I like that it has coffee as an ingredient). Your slice is perfect as always – thanks for the tips.

  8. Yum, yum!
    Looks so delicious!!
    Gotta try it next time!!

  9. You read my mind; I was staring at the perfect slice wondering how to do it! We are in birthday season at our house so you’ve given me hope for something sort of as perfect as yours! This cake sounds so delicious Liz!

  10. This chocolate cake looks so delicious! This combination of chocolate and mayonnaise sounds very challenging, can’t wait to taste it, Liz!

  11. I have use mayonnaise to bake cake, but years and years ago…thanks for the reminder…your cake is sure perfect…texture and all..
    Have a great week ahead Liz 🙂

  12. It looks delicious, Liz! I forgot all about mayonnaise cakes but remember how good they were. Thanks for the great tip for slicing and wish I’d known it when we were trying to slice our grandson’s birthday cake Sunday! Have a great rest of the week!

  13. Gorgeous Liz! I’ve never tried it with mayo, so I’ll have to try it!

  14. Wow this is just the perfect slice! It looks amazing.

  15. That is one GORGEOUS chocolate cake!

  16. Liz, I love hearing the technique for cutting a cake–super helpful!

  17. Mayonnaise in a chocolate cake? I have never had chocolate mayonnaise cake, Liz. But I am sure I would love this beautiful and delicious cake.

  18. I’m OBSESSED with this! Every wedding cake baker I know uses mayo in their cakes! It’s a long-standing Southern tradition! I mean, mayo is just eggs and oil…we put those in our cakes anyway, you know! I bet this is the BEST CAKE. I’m pinning for my husband’s birthday <3

  19. Get technique for cutting the perfect slice of cake! I read a food stylist book a couple of years ago, and the stylist said she always cut the cake into wedges (for the slice), then applied the icing – – in essence building each cake “slice”! Your way is much more practical. 🙂 Anyway, this looks luscious — thanks.

  20. Wow! That dish looks so tasty! delicious. Thanks for sharing.

  21. This cake!! Want now!!

  22. I saw that slice on instagram, looks phenomeal slice and photo. Oh I made a cake with mayo years ago, was very good so sure this is wonderful. Great tips to cut a slice of cake!

  23. OMG it is awesome.. What a perfection!! Love it!!

  24. Mayo!?!? Mind blown! Can’t wait to try!

  25. That is a perfect slice Liz, I must try your tips next time. I alway make a mess of slicing cakes. I must try a mayo cake, it definetly intrigues me.

  26. This cake looks amazing!! I’m a big fan of mayo in cakes, and that slice looks divine!

  27. You and I both know a good chocolate cake Liz, and this one looks EXCELLENT!!! I’d love to share a slice with you. (Translation: we would both get our own slice.) Thanks for the great cutting tips, I’m always wondering how to get the perfect slices I see here. It was kind of you to share this cake with your neighbors too!!!! I might be a little selfish with this cake. XO

  28. This cake is a chocolate lover’s dream and your slice is truly perfect!

  29. So much chocolaty temptation, thanks for the shout out ~ pinning and sharing!

  30. Awesome sharing, dear! Happy weekend! xoxo

  31. I adore chocolate cake and I remember this one! What a winner. And so is that slicing technique!

  32. What a gorgeous cake!!! I also liked your instructions on how to get a good looking slice of cake.

  33. This is one of those heirloom recipes that has stood the test of time!

  34. Your method of slicing cakes and bars make for the most beautiful presentations! I’ve come across several mayo cake recipes but this is the one I’d most like to try.

  35. Seriously chocolate. You don’t have to be the neighborhood chocoholic to enjoy this cake! P.s. Not surprised about the mayo, apparently mayo also makes super-duper Japanese pancakes extra yummy =)

  36. We have never-ever tried adding mayo in any dessert. But thinking this over, there’s no reason not to. Of course we trust your taste and your baking expertise and we’ll give it a try!
    Thank you for the yummy chocolate idea Liz! xoxo

  37. reminds me of my mom,, she made many cakes growing up like this one. Yours really put a smile on my face with awesome memories.. Happy Sunday!

  38. Reminds me of my mom, hers wasnt anywhere near as pretty would she make this mayo cake and is on the top 2 of my all time favorites this is picture perfect!

  39. I have never heard of mayo in a cake before but I am definitely curious about it. I imagine it knocks the moisture of this cake out of the park!

  40. That is one gorgeous looking chocolate cake!

  41. This cake is so moist and delicious! My kids request this all the time!

  42. Mayonnaise cake is a retro dessert worth preserving. SO chocolaty and delicious!

  43. This cake was really amazing! I made it for my son’s birthday and everyone loved it!

  44. All I can say is. YUM!!

  45. This is everything you want in a chocolate cake!

  46. It’s amazing how well the mayo works in this cake! Yum!

  47. I would love to try it! How long would you bake for cupcakes?

    • Hi, Jessica,

      I have not tested this recipe with cupcakes, but usually they take approximately 20 minutes. You can always bake just one cupcake as a test to see how long it takes, and how full to fill the cupcake liner. Let me know how it goes!

  48. I am not going to lie, I was skeptical at first. But this cake is so delicious! It’s unbelievably moist, thanks to mayonnaise!

  49. Hands down the most delicious chocolate cake!  I made it for someone’s birthday, everyone there agreed it was the best. I am planning on making another this week just for us! Great job Liz as always  xoxo

  50. I made this while in Belgium for my in-laws and family. Using Belgian chocolate! It was a hit! The best chocolate cake I’ve ever made or eaten.

  51. My grandma would make a chocolate mayonnaise cake. When I was younger I thought it was strange but now it brings back some pretty special memories.

  52. such a sensationally recipe for me, really appriciate some great stuff i tried this so many times and its the best recipe because i can add stuff from my thoughts too 🙂 happy women’s day btw

  53. This is such an elegant implementation of this traditional recipe! Looks delicious!

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