This recipe was originally published on February 2, 2018 and was updated on February 6, 2021. Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake is a time-tested family favorite recipe. It’s moist, chocolatey, and supremely easy to make! Mayo in cake might sound weird to you, but just try it once and you’ll be hooked!
I grew up eating this cake. I never knew it was a weird concept until I was older and people would look at me aghast, “Mayonnaise in cake?!” Yes! And, preferably, a cake that’s covered in cream cheese frosting.
At its heart, this is a chocolate cake. It has a deep and rich flavor and a supremely moist crumb. It’s very easy to whip up, as evidenced by the fact that it was one of the first things I learned to make as a kid.
Here’s what you’ll need to make your own!
Ingredients for this recipe:
- Mayonnaise (Duke’s or death, I will always say it!)
- Vanilla Extract
- Cocoa Powder
- Baking Soda
- Baking Powder
- Espresso Powder
- Whole Milk
Why do you put mayonnaise in cake?
What do you put in cake to make it moist? Eggs and oil! What is mayonnaise made out of? Eggs and oil! And that is why you put mayo in cake!
Necessity is the mother of invention. During the Great Depression, there was a necessity for eggs and oil to make cakes, but a lack of availability of the fresh stuff. God bless the housewife who figured out that mixing mayonnaise into a cake was a very real, and very delicious, option!
And since then, it’s been a common ingredient in baked goods. At least in my family! This recipe was handed down to me from my mother, who learned it from my grandmother. I’ve made a few changes over the years, in the hopes of creating a perfect mayo cake that still boasts old-fashioned flavor.
And by gosh, I have done it! And now you can too!
How to make mayonnaise cake:
- Sift the dry ingredients. And then whisk them to combine. This ensures there are no lumps in the dry ingredients.
- Mix the sugar and mayonnaise. Then add the eggs and vanilla extract. There’s no whipping until light and fluffy, just a quick mix!
- Add the dry ingredients. Alternating with the whole milk. Standard cake batter procedure.
- Bake the cake. In a pan lined with parchment paper and lightly coated with baking spray.
- Cool and frost the cake. With cream cheese frosting! Obviously.
Does the cake taste like mayonnaise?
No! Not at all! This recipe produces a deeply rich and chocolatey cake. There is a certain tang to it, similar to if you use sour cream in cakes. But this is a sweet dessert recipe and it definitely tastes like one!
You may also enjoy:
- Chocolate Pistachio Bundt Cake
- Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Chocolate Covered Strawberry Tart
Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake
- 9x13 baking pan
- 2 ¼ cups flour
- ½ cup cocoa powder
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- ½ tsp. baking soda
- ½ tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. espresso powder
- 1 ¼ cup sugar
- 1 cup mayonnaise at room temperature
- 2 large eggs at room temperature
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 cup whole milk at room temperature
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13 cake pan with baking spray and set aside. If desired, line the pan with parchment paper before spraying with baking spray for even more easy release.
- In a large bowl sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and espresso powder. Then whisk to combine and set aside.
- In a separate bowl, mix together the sugar and mayonnaise until thick. Stir in the eggs and vanilla extract.
- Add 1/3 of the dry ingredient mixture to the wet ingredients and stir to combine. Then add ½ of the whole milk. Repeat the process of stirring in the dry ingredients, followed by milk, and then ending with dry. Scrape the bottom of the bowl to be sure ingredients are fully combined.
- Pour batter into prepared pan and bake in preheated oven for 25 – 28 minutes, or until edges begin to pull away from the side of the pan and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool completely on wire rack.
- When cake has cooled, cover with prepared cream cheese frosting.
- For even more chocolate, add 1/2 cup of cocoa powder to the regular cream cheese frosting recipe!