Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake



Author Notes: This Depression-era cake recipe might sound bizarre, but the addition of mayonnaise yields a beautifully moist chocolate cake with a rich flavor and tender crumb. Use your favorite frosting: Here, I did a caramel sauce for the filling and a simple chocolate buttercream, but 7-minute frosting, caramel frosting, or salted peanut butter frosting would all be delicious. Adapted from Hellman's.Posie (Harwood) Brien

Makes: one 9" double layer cake
Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 30 min

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon espresso powder (optional, for enhanced chocolate flavor)
  • 3 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 2/3 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 1/3 cups water
In This Recipe

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour (or grease and line with parchment rounds) two 9" round cake pans.
  2. Whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and espresso powder (if using).
  3. In a large bowl or stand mixer, beat the eggs with the sugar and vanilla on high speed until very light and fluffy (at least 3 minutes).
  4. Reduce the speed to low and add the mayonnaise, beating until well-combined.
  5. Add the flour mixture and the water to the batter in three additions, alternating between the wet and dry. Mix until just combined. Don't overmix!
  6. Divide the batter evenly between the two pans and bake for about 30 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean and the cake just begins to pull away from the sides of the pan.
  7. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes in the pan before turning out onto a wire rack to cool.
  8. Fill and frost with your favorite recipes: Any buttercream works well. In the photos, I filled the cake with a simple caramel sauce and frosted it in a basic chocolate buttercream.

More Great Recipes:
Cake|American|Chocolate|Mayonnaise|Dessert

Reviews (32) Questions (0)

32 Reviews

Laurie September 24, 2018
This makes a great bundt cake. I added a cup of chocolate chips to the batter, reduced the sugar to 1 1/4 cup and poured a bittersweet chocolate glaze over the top. This is a new favorite
 
Rebecca M. August 15, 2018
This has quickly become my new go to chocolate cake recipe. We have a family of 5 and I make a chocolate cake for every birthday. I pair it with Ina Garten's chocolate buttercream frosting and it makes a beautiful cake. It is easy, simple and delicious. It's incredibly moist and holds together well.
 
Allison C. August 6, 2018
This cake is not moist enough for me. It needs butter instead of oil.
 
Allison C. August 6, 2018
I mean mayonnaise.
 
Risottogirl September 2, 2018
I have often found it to be overly moist...maybe you are baking it too long...
 
Kelly September 18, 2017
Yum - Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake! This beauty was the star of every birthday in our home growing up. It took many shapes throughout the years, too--cupcakes, sheet cakes, and the beloved layer cake. We always new what it was and our guests did too, eating it with delight and served with a big glass of milk (today its served with coffee). This tried and true family delight is still one of my favorites!! I like to weigh and sift all the dry ingredients and mix them into the liquids 1/3 at a time. I get a fluffy, airy, gorgeous result every time.
 
Bmoore August 21, 2017
use a small package of frozen raspberries, cooked down & thicken up with cornstarch. Once the raspberry filling cools, That becomes my filling for the center layer of cake. Then ice entire cake with the dark chocolate ganache. It's incredible!
 
Patricia N. August 20, 2017
I am thinking of baking the cake in a loaf pan. Should I half the recipe or just use the whole recipe? Thank you.
 
Author Comment
Posie (. August 22, 2017
Definitely would halve the recipe, unless you want extra batter to use for cupcakes!
 
Rprp August 2, 2017
Make in advance...yes. very moist cake<br /> You could even freeze it overnight<br /><br />
 
Christina August 2, 2017
this is an old post i know but anyone have an idea of how far in advance i could make this cake? would it last overnight unfrosted and saran wrapped? thanks!
 
Tim April 24, 2017
A link to the buttercream frosting mentioned would have been nice.
 
DK B. April 13, 2017
If a cake or cookie recipe only calls for baking soda, it likely uses acidic natural cocoa. If it only uses baking powder, it'll probably ask for Dutch process cocoa instead. If a recipe calls for both baking powder and baking soda, you'll need to follow the recipe to get the proper balance of acid and alkaline. Recipes that use baking powder will likely rise regardless of tweaking, but not as well; it's best to stick to the cocoa that a recipe calls for. So, I guess you probably could use Dutch process with that reasoning, but I used regular unsweetened natural cocoa powder.
 
milly April 13, 2017
can you use dutch process or natural cocoa powder since the recipe has both baking soda and powder? thanks!
 
DK B. March 28, 2017
My daughter is a chocoholic and absolutely loved this cake. She thought it was the best chocolate cake that she's ever had and has requested it for her 15 birthday.
 
Rprp March 23, 2017
I thought i saw a comment a few days ago from someone who said she/he did this recipe without the eggs. Did that comment go away? Or did I see it elsewhere?
 
S. R. March 23, 2017
There are two distinct posts - the article, and the recipe - and two distinct comment streams. The comment you remember is on the article.<br />
 
Jennifer B. March 17, 2017
This sounds like it would make awesome cupcakes as well.... Any idea on cooking time?
 
Lisa March 16, 2017
Before I got to the "mayonnaise" part of this article I had a feeling it was a chocolate mayonnaise cake for its moistness. My mom has an old Chocolate Mayonnaise cake I use all the time.... but I always leave out the part when shared that it's made with mayo! I absolutely love the pictures taken for this recipe/article and the options for different icings and the idea to add a smudge of espresso powder!
 
Nan March 16, 2017
Or a 9x13? Sometimes it's easier for transporting somewhere...<br />Would it even work or too much batter? I'm very anxious to try this!
 
Marti March 13, 2017
Was thinking of making this in a 10-inch bundt pan instead of two round pans. Any suggestions on the baking time for this option? I was planning on drizzling a chocolate ganache glaze all over the top as a yummy finish!
 
Marti March 16, 2017
Does anyone have advice on actual cooking time for this cake if I make it in a 10-inch bundt?<br />
 
St. P. March 13, 2017
Thank you for this quick response! I always like to measure flour by weight. I had a massive cake fail once because I assumed the recipe's author stirred the flour, then gently spooned it into the measuring cup and leveled. Alas, the author was a dip-and-sweep guy.
 
Author Comment
Posie (. March 13, 2017
You're speaking my language!!
 
St. P. March 13, 2017
How many grams per cup of flour in this recipe? Thanks!
 
Author Comment
Posie (. March 13, 2017
120 grams per cup
 
foofaraw March 13, 2017
Can I substitute 1/2 cup mayo with 1/2 cup of applesauce?
 
Author Comment
Posie (. March 13, 2017
Hm. I haven't tried this and I'd worry that it would throw off the sweetness level to be honest.