Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake

Cakes, Chocolate, Desserts

I firmly believe that the human population is broken up into two types: people who adore mayonnaise, or those that vehemently despise the stuff. I, on the other hand, am a bit of a hybrid of those two people, like, if they had a kid, you would have me. I love mayonnaise, but only if I don’t have to make it. The minute I throw egg yolks and some oil in a blender and see the emulsification process, my stomach tightens and I’m coughing on my knees, and am physically unable to spread the stuff on a slice of bread. But if it comes pre-made, in a jar, with the label Hellman’s or Duke’s, I’m all about it.

For mayonnaise fans, it has the ability to make things taste exponentially better. It adds awesome flavor and moisture to all sorts of things. Got a Chick-fil-A sandwich that’s a little dry? Add mayo! Need a sweet dipping sauce for French fries? Take a cue from the French, and use some mayo! Wanna make the lightest, most moist chocolate cake ever? Yes, that’s right, add mayo!

The mayonnaise in this cake actually replaces the vegetable oil that’s typically called for. And it sorta makes sense if you think about it, since all mayo really is is egg, a little vinegar and oil. And since this chocolate cake is so unusually light, I didn’t think twice about pairing it with chocolate frosting, which I typically would never do.

So to all you mayo haters, give mayo one more chance and make this cake. I think it deserves it.

{I loved, LOVED this icing.}

{Since I was transporting this cake to a party later on in the evening, I placed pieces of parchment paper in between the cake board and the cake, so when I was done icing the cake I could simply remove the pieces and have a clean cake board.}

{Messy parchment paper…}

{Clean cake board!}

{I show up to dinner parties with partially eaten cakes. Yep, I’m that girl.}

Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake

Recipe from Bon Appétit Magazine

Print this recipe!


2 ounces bittersweet chocolate (do not exceed 61% cacao), chopped

2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 3/4 cups boiling water

2 3/4 cups all purpose flour

1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1 cup sugar

1 cup (packed) dark brown sugar

1 1/3 cups mayonnaise (do not use reduced-fat or fat-free)

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract


10 ounces bittersweet chocolate (do not exceed 61% cacao), chopped

1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

3 cups powdered sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Special equipment: Twi 9-inch-diameter cake pans with 1 1/2-inch-high sides

For cake:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour two 9-inch-diameter cake pans with 1 1/2-inch-high sides. Combine chopped chocolate and cocoa powder in medium metal bowl. Add 1 3/4 cups boiling water and whisk until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.

Sift flour, baking soda, and baking powder into another medium bowl.Using electric mixer, beat both sugars and mayonnaise in large bowl until well blended, 2 to 3 minutes. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating until well blended after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Add flour mixture in 4 additions alternately with chocolate mixture in 3 additions, beating until blended after each addition and occasionally scraping down sides of bowl. Divide batter among prepared cake pans (about 2 1/3 cups for each).

Bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, 30 to 32 minutes. Cool cakes in pans on racks 20 minutes. Run small knife around sides of cakes to loosen. Carefully invert cakes onto racks and let cool completely.

For frosting:
Place chopped chocolate in medium metal bowl; set bowl over saucepan of simmering water and stir until chocolate is melted and smooth. Carefully remove bowl from over water; let melted chocolate cool until lukewarm, stirring occasionally.

Using electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl until smooth and creamy. Sift powdered sugar over butter and beat until well blended, about 2 minutes. Beat in vanilla. Add melted chocolate and beat until well blended and smooth, occasionally scraping down sides of bowl.

Place 1 cake layer on platter. Spread 3/4 cup frosting over top of cake layer to edges. Top with second cake layer; spread 3/4 cup frosting over. Spread remaining frosting decoratively over top and sides of cake. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover with cake dome and let stand at room temperature.

Cut cake into wedges and serve.

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Leave a Reply

  • Reply Jenny November 29, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    I’m not a baker and have never baked a cake from scratch… This was my first one that I baked for my mom for her birthday (who happens to be a fabulous cook, so I was nervous!) but it turned out great and my 86 year old grandmother said it was the best chocolate cake she ever had! The only thing I noticed if I have to bake is for about 40 mins… Not sure if it’s just my oven thought. Thank you for the recipe!

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme November 29, 2013 at 6:30 pm

      Oh yay!!! The mayonnaise in this really does contribute to an amazing cake. I’ll have to make it again soon. Glad it worked out.

  • Reply Joan Van der Slice August 7, 2013 at 12:57 pm

    I was working at Walter Reed Army Hospital in Washington, D. C. in 1952 when a nurse came into the office with mayonnaise chocolate cake and chocolate icing. It was gone by 11 o’clock and I got one piece. I made it at home right after that and it was sooooo good. I have to try it again. My husband makes a chocolate “Wacky Cake” prepared in the pan and baked, but I am all for trying the mayo cake again.

  • Reply Ceph August 6, 2013 at 6:47 pm

    Oh.My.Goodness. This cake came out soooo delicious and moist and fluffy and chocolatey. And I havent even put the icing on it. Yummmm!!! so excited! This was my first chocolate cake!

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme August 6, 2013 at 8:25 pm

      Oh yay! I love this cake. So glad it turned out great.

  • Reply Genelia Santanelli July 27, 2013 at 2:01 pm

    oh my goodness! i love you and I just met you!!… You are “that girl that arrives at dinner parties with partially eaten cake”?!?!… I never have the guts to do that and ALWAYS want to! I will next time thanks to you. 😉

    Btw – I am not stalking you… I am just looking around for a cake recipe that I can try out tomorrow. So far this one is in the lead. 😉

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme July 27, 2013 at 4:28 pm

      HAHA! OMG I kinda forgot about this post (it was 2 years ago!) so yes, I’m definitely the weirdo person who shows up with a slice out of the cake–it’s the only way! It was so lovely meeting you today. Thanks so much for coming. I actually just looked at the picture of Franklin begging for pancakes–it’s awesome! xo

  • Reply Louise Phaneuf July 23, 2013 at 5:49 am

    I have been using mayo in chocolate cake for 20 years. I add 3 eggs (room temperature), I cup mayo, 1 cup coffee and 1 tsp vanilla that is added to Betty Crocker’s chocolate cake mix ( must be Betty Crocker with pudding in the mix). Easy and delicious.

  • Reply Bob H July 22, 2013 at 1:51 pm

    You lost me as soon as you mentioned Chick-fil-a. GAG

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme July 22, 2013 at 1:55 pm

      For the record, this was written a few years ago (before all their political mumbo-jumbo). Since then I haven’t gone back, sadly. I do, however, think their pickle-brined chicken patties are awesome. 🙁

    • Reply KBolton July 23, 2013 at 4:05 am

      Adrianna, I’ll be trying this cake with coffee real soon! It looks great, so glad there was a link to it on the Huffington Post.

      Bob H. Chick-Fil-A is a private company who is run by a man with strict religious beliefs. Just because he supports what he believes in, doesn’t mean that he’s a bad person nor does it mean that those who don’t share in his belief should hate him or his company. By making comments like that, you show your true colors by trying to force your beliefs. I’m a way it makes you the worse. Those who don’t believe in same sex marriage don’t come to your job and boycott you do they. I was mistaken in thinking that in the US, one could voice their beliefs.

  • Reply b00mb00m b0ris July 22, 2013 at 12:15 pm

    Anxious to try this recipe! What recipe alterations would you suggest for high altitude (4500 FT) climates? Thanks.

  • Reply Barbara May 11, 2013 at 4:38 am

    Thank you for your response. I’ll try it today!

  • Reply Barbara May 9, 2013 at 11:03 am

    Your cake is so beautiful. I know this is an old post but maybe you can answer this question…have you ever baked this cake in a 13×9 pan? This is my father-in-law’s favorite cake — with a burnt sugar frosting. He is dying of lung cancer and I want to bring him this cake, but he likes edge pieces so I want to make a sheet instead of round.

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme May 9, 2013 at 11:09 am

      WOW! My thoughts are with your father-in-law. So incredibly sorry to hear this.

      To answer your question, I have never tried it with a sheet pan (13×9) but it should work just fine. For this recipe I used two 9-inch pans. You might have some extra batter left but it’ll definitely work. I’d just watch it carefully and test it at the 20-minute mark just to make sure it doesn’t over bake. Hope this works out!

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