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Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake

Mom always made this special chocolate mayonnaise cake for my birthday meal. It is very moist and has a nice light chocolate taste, and the flavorful frosting is the perfect topping. —Deborah Amrine, Grand Haven, Michigan
  • Total Time
    Prep: 15 min. Bake: 30 min. + cooling
  • Makes
    9-12 servings


  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons baking cocoa
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, cubed
  • 2 tablespoons 2% milk
  • 1-3/4 cups confectioners' sugar


  • In a large bowl, combine the water, mayonnaise and vanilla until well blended. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa and baking soda; gradually beat into mayonnaise mixture until blended.
  • Pour into a greased 9-in. square or 11x7-in. baking pan. Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely.
  • For frosting, in a small saucepan, cook and stir the brown sugar in butter until bubbly. Remove from the heat; stir in milk. Gradually add confectioners' sugar; beat until smooth. Frost cake.

Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake Tips

What does mayonnaise do to a cake?

Mayonnaise can be used in place of fat or oil in cake recipes. It adds moisture, richness and flavor. And don't worry, you won't taste the mayo!

Are there any alternatives to brown sugar frosting?

Brown sugar adds depth of flavor due to its molasses profile, however you can try other homemade frosting recipes using confectioners' sugar, like this easy vanilla buttercream. Or simply use prepared frosting as a shortcut!

How do you store chocolate mayo cake?

With any cake, its important to make sure it's covered and airtight, as it helps retain moistness and freshness. A covered cake plate, cake box or plastic wrap does the trick. Some may choose to refrigerate, but it's not necessary. You can also freeze cake for longer periods of time. Unfrosted cake can last for up to two months in the freezer.
Nutrition Facts
1 piece: 416 calories, 19g fat (4g saturated fat), 17mg cholesterol, 354mg sodium, 60g carbohydrate (42g sugars, 1g fiber), 3g protein.


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Average Rating:
  • Sharon
    Jul 15, 2020

    This is a very good recipe very simple. In the summertime and in the heat I want decided to Easter Reese's peanut butter chips into the batter after it is all mixed and ready for the oven and I put it in cupcake papers with the pandemic so everything is individual and can even be put in sandwich bags individually for a picnic where a few people gather who have been Sheltering and safe can enjoy them without cutting from a larger cake. The Reese's peanut butter chips take the place of icing that would melt into the cake if it was left in the heat very long.

  • Carolyn
    May 30, 2020

    This was also my birthday cake every year and the cake my mom always took to a picnic. My moms recipe is basically the same but she adds a pinch of salt and uses 5 Tablespoons of cocoa. I also make a vanilla frosting and sprinkle coconut on top. I’m tearing up now as my mom’s been gone two years, but in every bite it takes me back home. My cake was super moist.

  • Alex
    May 29, 2020

    Was doubtful at first- mayonnaise doesn’t seem like the kind of thing you’d put in a cake. But I gave it a shot and am so glad I did! Made a few different cakes to give to some neighbours, nothing but compliments! I know the recipe says not to, but all I had was 1/2 fat mayonnaise. I just cooked it for a bit longer (an extra 5-10 minutes), and was a bit more generous with the mayonnaise and cocoa. Turned out great though!

  • vmootz88
    May 3, 2020

    Have made it 3 times now and love it. I read the reviews before making it earlier today and one person said they added an extra tablespoon of cocoa. I tried it today and liked it better with the extra cocoa! So glad I decided to see what others had to say even though I’ve made it a couple of times!

  • Karol
    May 2, 2020

    The cake turned out moist and the frosting is delicious, but unfortunately it turned out also so freaking bitter it tastes like eating soap, I think it's because the recipe says too much baking soda, idk if I'm the only one who had such problem, but I was very disappointed, I had to throw this whole cake away :(

  • Beth
    Apr 21, 2020

    Forget the haters! This recipe is just like mom use to make for us! I did use an additional tablespoon of cocoa for flavor and THE KEY is to watch the cake and check it after 15 minutes with a toothpick! As soon as the pick comes out with just a small amount of cake on it, IT’S DONE! It will be more like a brownie, but moist and delicious! I love it without any frosting! Such a treat! Thanks for sharing!

  • Cindy
    Apr 17, 2020

    Obviously those replys that say it's too dry don't put in enough mayonnaise. It is an amazing cake. Very moist.

  • Missy
    Mar 29, 2020

    Can I use olive oil mayonnaise in place of mayonnaise???

  • Marty
    Feb 9, 2020


  • Dee
    Dec 19, 2019

    This is my favorite chocolate cake recipe. I've used it for years. Sometimes I replace the vanilla extract with pure almond extract it's awesome either way. If I could I would give it 10 stars ! ??