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.

Previous Post Next Post

You Might Also Like


Leave a Reply

  • Reply Jacqueline February 7, 2013 at 9:14 pm

    OK so my husband is a miracle-whip addict..not sure why…to me it tastes like a ton of sugar was added to mayo and wah-lah!! Anyways I just made this cake for his birthday and used MW instead of mayo and it turned out FAB!! Even I’m picking at the corner-which I will cover with icing and deny!! Was out of powdered sugar so decided to cover and layer with ganache. I used a 9×13 and cut in half and stacked and it turned out great!!

    • Reply Adrianna February 8, 2013 at 8:28 am

      So happy! I love this cake recipe.

  • Reply Kacey January 8, 2013 at 4:48 am

    I made this cake for my husband who was away for a month. He loved it!!!

    • Reply Adrianna January 8, 2013 at 8:20 am

      Oh that’s great. I forget how much I love this cake!

  • Reply Donna December 19, 2012 at 5:58 am

    How long should I bake the cake if I use a 13×9 pan ?

    • Reply Adrianna December 19, 2012 at 9:03 am

      Hmm…I’m not sure since I’ve never baked this cake in a 13×9 pan; my wild guess is that it’ll be done around the 45 minute mark. I’d recommend baking it for the recommended 30 minutes. At that point you can check on it every 5-7 minutes, testing it with a skewer as you go until it comes out clean.

    • Reply Jacqueline February 7, 2013 at 9:15 pm

      I used a 9×13 and it took roughly 45-50

  • Reply Marie June 28, 2012 at 8:38 am

    Why can we not use reduced fat, will it change the consistency of the cake?

  • Reply Sarah rose February 13, 2012 at 6:01 am

    Thankyou, that does help 🙂 looking forward to making this cake for the man tomorrow

  • Reply Sarah rose February 11, 2012 at 6:52 pm

    I have made a mayo-chocolate cake before and it was fantastic but I’ve lost the recepie, I’ve been trying to convert ‘cups’ to ounces (I’m from the uk I struggle with cups) and it seems to work out as 8oz of sugar and 8 oz of dark sugar, is this right? Or do you have a conversion I could use?

    • Reply Adrianna February 12, 2012 at 10:50 pm

      I would go with grams. So for the all-purpose flour: 1 cup of AP flour = 125 grams.

      Sugar is a different conversion, unfortunately.

      White granulated sugar: 1 cup = 200 grams. Brown sugar is: 1 cup = 220 grams.

      I’m sorry it’s so annoying. I have dreams of creating them in both.

  • Reply Erin February 7, 2012 at 7:19 am

    Hi there — This cake looks heavenly! I actually have a question about the icing recipe though as it looks so smooth and creamy. Did you follow the recipe as stated, i.e. one full tablespoon of vanilla and 3 sticks of butter? Just checking as I like to make my own buttercream all the time and would be interested to try if it looks and tastes as good as the pics! Thanks for posting…. can’t wait to try it out. Oh yea, what type of chocolate did you use ?

    • Reply Adrianna February 7, 2012 at 10:18 am

      Yep. I did. I followed it to the T. I used valrhona; a little indulgent but so worth it.

  • Reply Jhully November 22, 2011 at 2:39 am

    Hello, i love your blog, i was looking for a chocolate cake recipe for my sister’s birthday and i’m going to try this delicious cake tomorrow wish me luck

    • Reply Adrianna November 22, 2011 at 3:12 am

      Good luck!! 🙂

  • Reply Heidi May 26, 2011 at 7:29 pm

    I live in Chicago and one of the restaurants we’re famous for is Portillo’s, a hot dog joint. One of their main attractions is their chocolate cake. For years I’ve heard that the reason it’s so good is because they use mayonnaise. I myself won’t touch the stuff with a ten foot pole, but yet I DO put it in my pancake batter!!! I can’t wait to make this cake for my hubby, he’s a chocolate cake FANATIC!

  • Reply Lizzy June 10, 2010 at 5:23 am

    Oh, I love mayonnaise! Especially on french fries! So when you said it was good in cake, I believed you! I used this recipe to make cupcakes and they were fantastic. Just as moist and light as you promised and the chocolate flavor was perfect. They were yummy plain, but I also spread some with Nutella and they were amazing! By the way, these did freeze well in case anyone is curious. Next up are your corny dogs 🙂

  • Reply Adrianna June 1, 2010 at 11:43 am

    Erin–I wouldn’t recommend low-fat or fat free mayo since the recipe specifically says to not use that. But if you tried it, I won’t tell on you. I’m guessing it won’t be as moist. I mean, this cake is in no way something you wanna eat on a diet (even with using a fat free mayo) so I say go all the way and take a run later. 😉

  • Reply Erin R June 1, 2010 at 5:21 am

    What would happen if I were to try this recipe with low-fat or fat free mayo? Would it not rise and be super dense, just plain gross? any ideas?

  • Reply Emma @ Poires au Chocolat May 25, 2010 at 1:34 am

    Wow, how unusual – I’ve never heard of mayonnaise in cakes. Though, as you say, it does make sense. I’ll have to give this a try – it looks divine!

  • Reply Stacyinga May 20, 2010 at 6:15 pm

    I will be baking this cake this weekend for my husband. YUMMY!!

    I laughed out loud at the poster that said she was going to have a slice for breakfast! 🙂

  • Reply Adrianna May 17, 2010 at 10:56 am

    Jordan–Smart move on the coffee! I bet it really brought out the chocolate flavor–way to go!

  • 1 2 3