Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake is a decadent and tender cake that is so simple to make it’s sure to become your favorite go-to cake recipe!
Rich and chocolaty, this Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake is made with basic pantry staples, including mayonnaise, which replaces the oil and eggs traditionally used in cake recipes! Flour, sugar, baking powder, mayo, cocoa powder, and water are all you need for this amazing cake, and when topped with a homemade chocolate buttercream frosting, you get a show stopping dessert!
Sure, it might sound pretty weird to use mayo in a cake recipe, but when you stop and think about it, it suddenly seems pretty genius! Replacing the eggs, oil, and milk with mayo can be a time saver, and the easier it is to make a cake, the more often I’ll do it! The mayo also makes this cake so ridiculously tender and moist. This surprising cake quickly became a family favorite, and now we make it for any occasion!
When it comes to old-school recipes, nothing beats Iced Lunch Lady Brownies or Classic Peanut Butter Delights– they both take you right back to childhood!
Other Recipes to Serve with Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake
- When it’s chilly outside and you’re enjoying a big slice of this cake, a mug of Homemade Hot Chocolate would be the perfect drink to go with it!
- Try a more pop-able chocolate treat with Mint Balls– they’re a great way to indulge your chocolate cravings!
TO MAKE THE CAKE
Pantry Items: For this cake, you will need all-purpose flour, baking powder, granulated sugar, and cocoa powder.
Mayonnaise: The secret but star ingredient because you can’t even taste it! Full fat mayo works best for this recipe.
Water: You will also need water for this recipe.
TO MAKE THE FROSTING
Refrigerated Items: Set out butter to soften and you will also need to grab some heavy whipping cream to thin the frosting, but milk or half and half can also be used.
Pantry Items: Keep the cocoa powder out and be sure to grab the powdered sugar.
How to Make Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake
STEP ONE: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and grease a 9×13 cake pan. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder.
STEP TWO: In a large bowl, mix the mayo, water, and granulated sugar- it’s ok if there are some lumps. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until smooth.
STEP THREE: Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake the cake for 30 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Let the cake cool completely before frosting.
STEP FOUR: To make the frosting, whip the butter in a mixer, or with beaters, until fluffy. Add half of the cocoa powder and powdered sugar, beat until smooth and then add the rest of the cocoa and sugar. The frosting will be very thick so add the heavy whipping cream a little at a time until you reach the consistency you like.
STEP FIVE: Once the cake has cooled completely, frost it, cut it into slices, and enjoy!
Tips for Success
- Full fat mayo gives this cake the best texture and tenderness. You can use low fat or light mayo if that is what you have on hand, but the texture will be chewier.
- The buttercream frosting in this recipe is sooo good, but if you’re short on time, you really can use any frosting, even store bought frosting! You can add to this cake by drizzling caramel sauce, melted chocolate, or crushed nuts over the top of the cake, whatever you like!
- If you only have unsalted butter on hand, add a pinch of salt when whipping the butter. This will help cut the sweetness of the sugar.
What does adding mayonnaise to the cake mix do?
Mayonnaise is a creamy condiment made with eggs and oil, which can be added to homemade cake recipes or even prepared cake mixes to add moisture and richness. Adding mayo also simplifies making cakes because rather than measuring out eggs and oil, you can replace them with mayo… which is even better when eggs are expensive! Even if you accidentally overmix your cake, the mayo will keep it tender and moist, making baking cakes almost fool-proof.
Where did Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake come from?
Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake is traditionally thought of as a creation from the Great Depression when fresh ingredients were harder to come by. Still, the cake became popular in the 1940s, during World War II, when food items like milk and sugar were rationed. Hellman’s published their recipe for the cake in the late 30s as a way to boost mayo sales, and other mayo brands followed suit. This tried and actual recipe has withstood the test of time, and for a good reason- it’s easy to make and a treat to eat!
More decadent cakes to love
- Texas Sheet Cake
- Better Than Sex Cake
- Moist Chocolate Layer Cake
- Flourless Chocolate Cake with Homemade Caramel Sauce
- Easy Chocolate Lava Cake
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup salted butter softened
- 4 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup heavy cream plus more as needed
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Grease the inside of a 9-inch x 13-inch baking pan and set it aside.
- In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the flour, cocoa powder, and baking powder. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, stir together the sugar, mayonnaise, and water. (If you use a spoon instead of a mixer, some lumps of mayo will remain, but they will incorporate into the final batter.) Add the flour mixture to the mayo mixture and mix until smooth.
- Pour the cake batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and let the cake to cool to room temperature on a wire rack.
- Once the cake has cooled, make the frosting. Beat the butter on high speed until light and fluffy, about 1 minute.
- Add half the powdered sugar and all the cocoa powder to the butter and beat until smooth. Add remaining sugar and beat until combined. (The frosting will be very thick.)
- Add the heavy cream a little at a time, mixing as you go, until your desired frosting consistency is reached.
- Frost the top of the cooled cake and cut it into 12 slices.
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