Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake has a soft, tender, and velvety smooth crumb and is perfectly accented with chocolate frosting! This cake strikes a delicate balance of being sweet but not overly sweet, and has just the right amount of chocolate flavor.
I know this recipe sounds bizarre, but trust me for a minute and I’ll explain to you why you need this cake in your life!
For starters, Mayonnaise Cake is tender and soft. And by soft, I mean it has a super-soft and light crumb that somehow manages to almost feel velvety at the same time. It’s divine.
And if the texture doesn’t sell you, let’s talk about the flavor. It has nice chocolate flavor without being overly rich or too sweet. It strikes just the right balance.
As a bonus, it’s quick and easy to whip up in one bowl and doesn’t require any special equipment.
But the really cool thing about this cake is its history and origin.
Chocolate Mayo Cake was invented during the Great Depression when things like eggs and oil were hard to come by. What do you do when you don’t have the things you need to make the recipes you love?
You make new recipes with what you have, and create new dishes to pass on.
That’s the spirit behind this heirloom recipe. Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake shows that there’s truly more than one way to get a delicious result – at least in terms of cake!
The Best Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake Recipe
Ingredients in Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake
Chocolate Mayo Cake:
- All-purpose flour
- Unsweetened cocoa powder
- Light brown sugar
- Baking powder
- Baking soda
- Vanilla extract
Mayonnaise Cake Frosting:
- Unsalted butter
- Unsweetened cocoa powder
- Powdered sugar
How to Make an Old Fashioned Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake
- Add the dry ingredients to a bowl.
- Whisk to combine.
- Add the wet ingredients to the bowl with the dry ingredients.
- Whisk again!
- It should be fairly smooth, but don't over-whisk.
- Pour the batter into a 9-inch cake pan that's greased and floured. I also like to line the bottom with a piece of parchment paper that's been trimmed to fit inside.
- Smooth out the batter evenly.
- Bake! Be sure to let the cake cool completely before frosting it.
- For the frosting, beat together the butter, vanilla, salt, cocoa powder, and powdered sugar.
- The mixture will look dry. Add milk a little at a time and continue beating until it turns into frosting.
- It will be lusciously thick and creamy!
Equipment for This Recipe
How to Store Mayonnaise Cake
Wrap this cake well and store it at room temperature for up to 2 days. After that, store it wrapped in the fridge for up to 3 days longer.
Tips for Making Mayo Cake
- Make sure to only use regular (not flavored) mayo in this cake! I can only imagine the horror of accidentally using a garlic (or other savory flavored) mayonnaise to make it. I like to use regular Hellman’s Mayonnaise to make this cake.
- The classic version of Chocolate Mayo Cake uses water. However, for a little richer cake you can use whole milk instead. Personally, I think this cake turns out great with water and doesn’t need the added richness from milk.
- This cake is also delicious with a Cream Cheese Frosting or Mocha Frosting! Feel free to use whatever suits your taste preference.
Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake FAQs
Why Put Mayonnaise in a Cake?!
Lol! I understand the sentiments behind this question. At first glance, it seems like mayo is better placed in a turkey and Swiss cheese sandwich than in a chocolate cake, right?
But let me explain the reasoning behind mayonnaise in cake.
This cake came about during the Great Depression. It was a time when oil and eggs were scarce. Mayo has both eggs and oil, and so it acted as a good replacement for those ingredients in cake.
Additionally, mayonnaise has vinegar in it, and baking a cake with mayo yields an ultra-soft, tender crumb. If I’m being completely honest, the first time I had this cake I was shocked at how soft, moist, and delicious it was.
What Does Mayo Replace in a Cake?
In this cake recipe, mayo replaces eggs, oil, and acid (in the form of vinegar).
Does Mayonnaise Cake Taste Like Mayonnaise?
Nope! I’m happy to report that Chocolate Mayo Cake doesn’t taste like mayonnaise. It has a well-balanced flavor profile, meaning it’s sweet enough without being overly sweet and chocolaty without being overpowering.
Does Mayonnaise Cake Need to be Refrigerated?
No, this cake doesn’t need to be refrigerated unless your house is very hot. Wrap this cake well and store it at room temperature for up to 2 days. After that, store it wrapped in the fridge for up to 3 days longer.
More Decadent Chocolate Desserts to Make
Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake
Chocolate Mayo Cake:
- Butter at room temperature, for the cake pan
- All-purpose flour for the cake pan
For the Chocolate Mayo Cake:
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Butter and flour a 9-inch round cake pan.
- Whisk together the flour, granulated sugar, cocoa powder, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.
- Add the mayo, water, and vanilla extract and stir until combined.
- Transfer the batter to the prepared cake pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 35 to 45 minutes.
- Cool completely before frosting.
For the Chocolate Frosting:
- Once the cake is cooled, make the frosting.
- Use a handheld electric mixer to beat together the butter, vanilla, and salt in a large bowl.
- Beat in the cocoa powder and powdered sugar, and then the milk.
- Continue beating until the frosting is smooth and creamy, adding additional milk 1 teaspoon at a time if needed to achieve the right consistency.
- Turn the cooled cake out onto a cake platter.
- Spread the frosting on the top and sides.
- Storage: Wrap this cake well and store it at room temperature for up to 2 days. After that, store it wrapped in the fridge for up to 3 days longer.