Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake is the easiest, most moist, and flavorful chocolate cake to make! Thanks to depression-era baking creativity, it’s made without the need for fresh eggs, milk, or butter!
Mayonnaise Cake is a moist and delicious chocolate cake, made with mayo (instead of eggs and oil or butter). In fact, all of the ingredients to make this easy chocolate cake are shelf-stable!
I’m often intrigued by old-fashioned baking recipes, particularly those that were created during the great depression. Ingredients like sugar, eggs, butter, and milk were very expensive at that time, or difficult to get, so home cooks got creative with their baking recipes, and came up with some amazing outcomes!
This cake doesn’t taste at all like mayonnaise. Instead, it has an amazingly rich chocolate flavor, with a tender, moist crumb. You can frost your cake with chocolate buttercream, or enjoy it with a simple dusting of powdered sugar.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- One Bowl – Grab a big bowl and a whisk, all of these ingredients are mixed together in one bowl, no mixer needed!
- Traditional Recipe – I haven’t made any changes to this already perfect classic recipe. I’m sharing it as-is, with some tips and tricks to ensure that you make the best cake, and this tradition is carried on.
- Mayo makes an amazing cake! Don’t be afraid of adding mayonnaise to your cake. It adds extra moisture, rich flavor, and helps to create a light and tender crumb.
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 it’s 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!
How To Make Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake
Prepare a 9×13-inch pan by lightly greasing it. You can also dust the pan with cocoa powder to make the cake easy to release. Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C while you mix the mayonnaise cake batter.
- Dissolve the Cocoa Powder by mixing it together with the hot coffee.
- Add Mayo: To the same bowl, add the mayonnaise, sugar, baking soda, salt, and vanilla extract. Whisk until smooth.
- Stir in the Flour: Whisk only until combined.
- Pour the batter into the pan, and spread it out into the corners using a spatula.
- Bake: Bake in the center of a preheated 350°F/180°C oven for 25-30 minutes, or until you insert a toothpick into the center of the cake and it comes out mostly clean.
If you’d rather not use mayo in this recipe, 2 eggs and ½ cup of vegetable oil will give you the same results!
- Avoid Overmixing. Mixing the wet ingredients together well first, then incorporating the flour will give your cake the best texture. Stirring the flour too much will develop more gluten, making the cake tough.
- Measure Correctly. Too much flour can cause this cake to be dry. Be sure that you’re spooning the flour into the measuring cup rather than scooping it down into the container. More measuring tips can be found here!
- Try it in a Bundt Pan. Most cakes designed to be baked in a 9×13-inch pan can also be baked in a standard Bundt Pan! Be sure to grease and dust the bundt so that the cake releases easily, and note that you may need to bake it for a few extra minutes.
- Let the Cake Cool. This cake will be very moist and delicate while it’s warm. Allow it to cool in the pan completely before adding toppings or slicing it.
- Add Frosting. You have options when it comes to finishing this cake. Go super simple, and dust the top with powdered sugar, or add a rich layer of my easy chocolate frosting. If you want to try something different, this white chocolate buttercream would also be delicious!
Store this cake covered at room temperature for up to three days. If you frost it with buttercream, store it in the fridge.
What To Serve With Mayonnaise Cake
This cake makes the perfect dessert. It doesn’t matter what you’re serving for dinner, chocolate cake is going to be the perfect finish!
In this recipe, mayo is used as a replacement for eggs. It adds moisture and delicious texture to chocolate cake.
You can freeze the unfrosted mayo cake for up to 3 months. Make sure to wrap it well before putting it in the freezer.
I do not recommend it. Full-fat mayo will give you the best results. Low-fat or fat-free substitutions will not give you the flavor and texture you’re looking for in a rich chocolate cake.
I haven’t tested it personally just yet, but there are certainly many vintage cake recipes that call for Miracle Whip rather than mayo, and I believe that it should work in this recipe too.
Magic Mayonnaise Cake! This will be your new favorite chocolate cake recipe because it’s so completely simple to make. Be sure to Pin this recipe, and keep these old-fashioned recipes relevant and accessible to everyone.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C, and lightly grease a 9×13 non stick pan. You can also “flour” it with cocoa powder for easy release.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together cocoa powder and hot coffee.
- Add sugar, baking soda, salt, mayonnaise, and vanilla. Whisk together until smooth.
- Add the flour and whisk until just combined.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan (and make sure to spread it to the corners using a spatula), and bake in the center of the oven for 25-30 minutes. The cake is ready when a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake is clean or with just a few moist crumbs, and/or the cake springs back when you lightly press on the center.
- Allow to cool completely, then sprinkle with powdered sugar or frost with chocolate buttercream. Slice into 12 pieces and serve.
- Frosting is optional. This cake is delicious without my chocolate buttercream on top, or you can dust the top with powdered sugar.
- Use regular full-fat mayo for best results.
- In place of mayonnaise, you can use 2 eggs and ½ cup of oil.
- This cake can also be baked in a bundt pan. Be sure to grease the pan well, and dust it with cocoa powder so that the cake is easy to release. It may take a few more minutes for a bundt cake to bake fully as well.
- Avoid overmixing the batter. Stir in the flour after all of the other ingredients have been mixed together, and just until combined.
- To Store: Store this cake covered at room temperature for up to three days. If you frost it with buttercream, store it in the fridge.
- To Freeze: You can freeze the unfrosted mayo cake for up to 3 months. Make sure to wrap it well before putting it in the freezer.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.
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