Old Fashioned Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake Recipe

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How To Make This Delicious Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake:

Old Fashioned Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake

Start by dissolving the instant coffee powder in the milk. Set aside.

Place mayonnaise, sugar, and vanilla extract in a medium bowl and whisk together until smooth.

Slowly work the milk into the mayonnaise mixture until fully incorporated, whisking until smooth. You could use an electric mixer for this or a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, but I mixed mine by hand.

Sift your flour before measuring out two cups. Place in a separate bowl. Add salt, baking soda, and cocoa powder.

Whisk together.

Add half of your flour mixture to your wet ingredients, mixing with a wooden spoon, rubber spatula, or electric mixer.

Now add the rest of your flour mixture, folding in until fully incorporated. Be careful not to over-mix!

This is a gooey, thick cake batter. Youll want to eat it by the spoonful. . .but dont!

Pour batter into two prepared 8 inch cake pans .

Bake at 350 degrees for 25 28 minutes or until cake springs back to the touch. Be careful not to over bake or your cake will lose its moist texture. Make sure the center of the cake is baked through.

Variations On This Recipe:

I cant wait to try this mayonnaise cake again and again! Here are some things I plan to do next time:

  • Use this recipe for cupcakes. Because its a dense batter, it will be absolutely perfect for cupcakes!
  • Use this recipe as a base for brownies. Instead of a full cup of milk, only add 1/3 cup, then add 1/2 cup chocolate chips and 1/2 cup chopped pecans. Bake in a 9×13 inch cake pan. Melt chocolate chips on top during the last five minutes of baking.
  • Turn this recipe into a mint chocolate cake by adding a cup of mint chocolate chips to the batter. Coat the chips in flour before stirring into the batter.
  • Serve with my Raspberry Whipped Cream frosting.
  • Serve with peanut butter buttercream.
  • Serve with a traditional cream cheese frosting, but add a bit of cocoa powder to it.

The possibilities are endless!

Ingredients In Mayonnaise Cake

Complete list of ingredients and amounts can be found in the recipe card below.

  • Cocoa Powder: Of course, we need cocoa powder to make a chocolate cake! Use your favorite unsweetened baking cocoa powder for this recipe.
  • Hot Coffee: Coffee elevates the flavor of chocolate, and using hot coffee helps to dissolve the cocoa powder. You can also use hot water or brewed earl gray tea if you prefer. Just be sure that its hot!
  • Sugar: Just one cup of granulated sugar gives this cake the perfect amount of sweetness.
  • Baking Soda: There are no eggs in this cake, so baking soda does the work of helping it to rise.
  • Salt: A bit of salt in sweet recipes makes everything taste better.
  • Vanilla Extract: A must for almost all cake recipes! Some vintage recipes used a teaspoon of bourbon instead, so you can try that if you like.
  • Flour: Regular all-purpose flour brings the cake batter together.
  • Chocolate Buttercream: This is totally optional, but I suggest you try my homemade buttercream to give this cake the perfect finish!

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Can You Bake With Mayonnaise

Yes you can bake with mayo and you should! Made up of eggs and oil, its an easy substitution to make especially in a baking emergency.

I first learned of this trick when vacationing with my husbands family.

My brother in law didnt have eggs to make his wife a birthday cake and he grabbed mayonnaise instead.

I almost threw up but it was key in showing me that mayo could redeem itself.

Heres A List Of The Ingredients You Will Need:

Old Fashioned Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake

How Do I Make This Recipe?

Directions Preheat oven to 350F1. Mix the mayonnaise, sugar and vanilla together in alarge bowl and set aside.2. Sift the flour, cocoa and baking soda together.3. Add the flour mixture alternatively to the mayonnaise mixture, and add the cold water5. Bake at 350F for 35 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean.6. Cool completely and frost with a Dark Chocolate Buttercream Frosting.

And serve with a big scoop of French Vanilla Ice Cream!

Please take a minute and watch the step by step video. You will see that with a few easy steps, you can create this awesome cake. It will feed 9 hungry people with a generous slice or 12 smaller slices.

See the video below to follow for step by step instructions. Its had over 75K views on Facebook!

In the comments below one of my readers turned my chocolate mayonnaise cake recipe completely gluten free and vegan!

She used gluten free flour and Hellmans Vegan Mayonnaise.

Hows that for being creative!

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I Blame Lucille Ball For The Popularity Of The Mayonnaise Cake

Hear me out.

I talked it through with a good friend today and the conversation went something like this:

ME: I think I know why mayonnaise cakes were a thing in the 1950s.

HER: Why is that?

ME: By the 50s most people had moved off of the farm and were living in suburbia. Fresh eggs and butter werent as accessible, but mayonnaise was very popular.

HER: Oooh! I never thought of that!

ME: Remember I Love Lucy? That episode where she made Aunt Marthas Old Fashioned Salad Dressing? She popularized the stuff!

HER: Oooh, thats right!

Okay, so I cant prove Aunt Marthas Old Fashioned Salad Dressing was mayonnaise, exactly, but busy housewives in the 50s and 60s were excited about using ready-made foods like mayonnaise. No doubt those poor gals were exhausted from their hours in the kitchen!

Hey, a shortcut is a shortcut!

And, things arent much different now. Were always looking for ways to speed things up. . Handy is dandy! And, where I live mayonnaise is pretty much a staple! So, every cook has a jar of the stuff in her fridge.

Which is ironic, because I had to go to the store to fetch a jar before making my cake. I dont actually use real mayo. Were Miracle Whip people in my family.

Old Fashioned Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake Recipe

Craving that old fashioned chocolate mayonnaise cake? This is the recipe my grandma used to make. Moist, rich chocolate cake topped with a chocolate whipped cream frosting. Mayonnaise cake is such an incredible homemade chocolate cake recipe.

Dr. Pepper Crockpot Cherry Cake, Reeses Peanut butter Slow Cooker Cake, or even Instant Pot Lava Cake might be another amazing cake to try.

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My Thoughts On This Cake

Yall. This cake is so rich, so decadent, that I felt absolutely sinful eating a slice! Its so good. I finally see what everyone was raving about.

Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake

You guys know that I love doctored cake mixes. I almost always start with a boxed mix. But I might have been converted, now that Ive tried this recipe!

Ingredients For Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake

In the Kitchen: Old Fashioned Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake

The ingredients for old-fashioned Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake are simple and likely already in your pantry! Heres what you need:

For the Cake:

  • Unsweetened Cocoa Powder I like to use a higher quality for the best flavor, like Hershey or Ghirardelli.
  • Mayonnaise Any brand will work. You could even opt for an avocado mayo to make it vegan.
  • All-Purpose Flour, Granulated Sugar, Baking Powder,Baking Soda, Water, and Vanilla Extract

For the Frosting:

  • Butter You can use salted or unsalted and just adjust the salt amount. Make sure to soften to room temperature first.
  • Powdered Sugar I like to sift to remove any lumps for a smoother frosting.
  • Milk or Cream To get the right consistency.
  • Unsweetened Cocoa Powder, Vanilla Extract, Salt

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How To Bake Chocolate Mayo Cake

Get a detailed list of ingredients & instructions in the recipe card below.

Making a chocolate cake from scratch is easier than you think! Set aside that box mix and follow these steps instead:

  • Prep Start by preheating the oven and lightly greasing a 9×13 inch pan or 2 9-inch round cake pans.
  • Mix Batter In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients before stirring in the mayo until well combined. Gradually stir in the water and vanilla and blend until the batter is smooth.
  • Bake Cake Pour the batter into the greased pan and lightly tap the pan a few times on the counter to release any air bubbles. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs. Cool completely before frosting.
  • Frost Cake While the cake cools, mix up the chocolate frosting in a stand mixer. You can adjust the amount of milk or cream added to get the right consistency. Spread the frosting over the cooled cake.
  • Tips For A Perfectly Crumb

    To avoid crumbs in your icing:

  • Use Wilton cake release
  • Brush your crumbs off the cake with a pastry brush before icing it
  • Put it in the freezer for 10 minutes BEFORE you frost but AFTER you do a crumb coat.
  • Use a flat spatula and be sure to use generous amounts of icing when frosting the cake.. * Don’t worry about smoothing it for this cake, it’s meant to have a casual swirled look. You can see how to do that by
  • If you’re looking for more chocolate birthday cake ideas, check out my Genoise Chocolate Sponge Cake!

    This chocolate mayo cake is perfect any time of the year.

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    Video Result For Old Fashioned Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake

    Old Fashioned Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake!! Noreen’s…
    CHOCOLATE MAYO CAKE / OLD Fashioned Chocolate…
    In the Kitchen: Old Fashioned Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake

































    How To Make Mayonnaise Cake

    Old Fashioned Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake Recipe

    Start by preheating the oven to 350F and greasing an 8×8 baking pan.

    In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder and baking soda. Then stir in water, mayonnaise, milk and vanilla extract.

    Spread the cake batter in the baking pan. Bake for 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. The cake will begin to pull away from the sides of the baking pan when its fully cooked.

    Let it cool a bit before cutting into pieces.

    Top with frosting, powdered sugar, ice cream and/or chocolate sauce to serve. So yummy!

    Helpful Kitchen Tools

    Here are some kitchen tools that will help you prepare this recipe.

    This post contains affiliate links.

    Who knew you could use mayonnaise in a cake recipe? I discovered this little trick a few years back and have made this easy old-fashioned mayonnaise cake recipe many times. Its always been a hit in our home and I hope you love it, too.

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    How To Assemble This Cake:

    Let the cake cool on a wire rack in the pan for about 10 minutes, then turn out and let them cool for another 15 20 minutes. Dont attempt to frost while warm or the frosting will melt!

    I used a cake leveler to cut my layers in half. I wanted a total of four layers. If you dont have a leveler, you can achieve this with a large flat bread knife. The purpose of multiple layers is to have a great distribution of chocolate frosting.

    Place a dab of frosting on your cake board to keep the cake from shifting.

    Place one layer of cake on a cake board and add frosting. I added some chocolate syrup on top of mine and then spread it out before adding the next layer of cake.

    Just keep going until you reach the top.

    Frost the entire cake.

    Slice and serve to your guests, pausing only to say, Youre welcome! as they offer amazing compliments in-between bites.

    Where Did This Recipe Come From

    Allie says her Nana and Aunt Linda have been tweaking this particular Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake recipe for years, but cakes with mayonnaise were not all that unusual during the Great Depression when Pixs mother probably first made it.

    Pixs mother, who was also named Lucy , first introduced Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake to the family.

    During the breadline days of the Depression, families where challenged to make the most of ingredients on hand and learned that mayo could be used a substitute in baking when items like eggs, oil and butter were scarce.

    Dont let mayo factor keep you from trying this cake. It actually results in an especially moist and rich cake. One of my favorite parts about Pixs recipebesides the shock value it gets when people find out mayo is an ingredient in the cakeis the decadent Fudge Frosting. Oh my!

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    Cake Frosting For Mayonnaise Cake

    Finding the ideal frosting/icing for a cake is an art in and of itself. It really can make or break a cake. I used my Chocolate Whipped Cream Buttercream Frosting because it’s the lightest, airiest and not-too-sweet homemade frosting you’ll ever taste! And it has no butter, as butter was a luxury and not something that would have been used in cake frosting during that era anyway. But most importantly, chocolate frosting is the perfect pairing for this cake and this one is my personal go-to icing.

    You simply replace a little of the powdered/icing sugar with cocoa and voila! you have the best chocolate frosting ever!

    I also love this Chocolate Frosting as it’s a little quicker and easier to make!

    The very best part of this easy recipe it that it’s simple to make and there’s no fancy decorating required!

    Why Put Mayonnaise In Chocolate Cake


    First things first. Why are we putting a whole cup of mayonnaise in chocolate cake? Mayonnaise is made with eggs and oiltwo things that cake mixes already call for, so this idea isnt as crazy as it sounds.

    Mayonnaise adds richness to the cake, keeps it moist and tender, and creates a light and velvety crumb to the cake.

    And no, you cannot taste the mayonnaise in the cake.

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    S Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake

    Using mayonnaise in a chocolate cake recipe might seem a bit strange to you, but it’s just one of those things you absolutely have to try.This vintage recipe for 1950s Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake is one of those recipes that will take you back in time. Using mayonnaise makes the cake incredibly moist, and the result will be possibly one of the best chocolate cakes you’ve made.Try this old-fashioned recipe once and you’ll make it again and again.

    Cooking Time35 min

    • 1 1/2 cup hot water
    • 3 cups flour, sifted


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

  • Mix first 5 ingredients. In a separate large container, add the baking soda into hot water. Water will rise and fizz so be sure container is large.

  • Slowly fold the soda water into the cake mixture and mix well. Add flour a little at a time while stirring, mix well but do not beat.

  • Pour into a greased and floured 11×15 or 9×13 cake pan and bake about 30-35 minutes. Let cool and enjoy.

  • Thanks for your comment. Don’t forget to share!

    Lynn K

    I had had chocolate avocado cake before but never chocolate MAYONNAISE cake and I am very happy to report that it is mouthwateringly good! Baking soda also always provides a really great texture so I was doubly drawn to this recipe. Well I was not at all disappointed. We topped it with our own tried and trusted chocolate frosting and, thanks to the family and a friend that popped in for coffee, there is not even one crumb left!



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    Resources For Homemade Chocolate Cake

    I use the old-fashioned chocolate cake recipe for everything, seriously, don’t waste your money on those boxed cake mixes, because from scratch is better and so much healthier. The same goes for this exceptional homemade vanilla extract.

    Speaking of from scratch, if you like this recipe and adore vintage and the old-ways of doing things, you’ll want to check out my new book The Made-From-Scratch Life, for more family recipes, tips, and simple living advice

    This recipe will yield a regular cake in either a 9×13, two circle pans, or 24 cupcakes . I actually used my super large muffin tins (these are from our affiliate partner Amazon Baker’s Secret 116466007 Basics Nonstick 6-Cup Texas Muffin Pan, but then I realized I needed more cupcakes for the party and switched to my regular pans. I’m kind of partial to the jumbo tins. I like cake, what can I say.

    Make this into a DIY Mason Jar Chocolate Cake Mix with this FREE printable jar tag and the full recipe card.

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    Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake Ingredients

    You only need SEVEN easy ingredients for this Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake recipe. Plus, one bonus optional ingredient.

    To finish off your cake in a grand and delicious fashion, I recommend generously icing it with my favorite chocolate buttercream frosting recipe. Its a classic chocolate buttercream recipe using cocoa powder for the chocolate addition and evaporated milk.

    You can use regular milk, however if you use evaporated milk the entire cake can be stored at room temperature. I personally think this cake is best served and stored at room temp, so I recommend using evaporated milk over regular milk in the chocolate frosting.

    I dare you to try this easy chocolate cake recipe with a thick layer of my favorite chocolate frosting on top and tell me you arent in love.

    It is absolutely one of my favorite chocolate cakes and it is such an easy dessert to whip together.

    Head on over to Dixie Crystals to get the full recipe I developed for them by clicking the button below:

    This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy.

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