Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake

Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake

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The name Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake may sound unappealing, but this cake is decadent, moist, and so delicious. Plus, it’s perfect for when you’re running low on supplies and don’t want to (or can’t) go to the grocery store! 

I must tell you…. I am an avid hater of mayonnaise. Mayonnaise on burgers or pasta salad or sandwiches (with the strange exception of Jimmy Johns) just kind of… gross me out. I’ve always hated mayonnaise, and, I’m pretty sure, I always will. So, when I first heard of mayonnaise cake, I (justifiably) refused to eat it. 

It took a lot of convincing for my friend’s mother to get me to eat a piece, but once I did, I realized…. It was delicious! Though this cake is made with mayonnaise, you can’t taste the mayo in the final product at all. The cake is light and moist and chocolate-y and all the things that you want your chocolate cake to be. It’s just made with mayonnaise!

This is the recipe that my family friend gave to me with permission to share. You’re going to love it!

Single Slice of mayonnaise Cake

Why Mayonnaise? 

Mayonnaise cake is popular because it’s delicious, but it’s also popular because it’s simple. The mayonnaise acts as the fat supplement in the cake, meaning that you can make a perfectly wonderful chocolate cake with just flour, sugar, cocoa, and some mayonnaise. 

The special ingredient eliminates the need for milk, butter, or even eggs! A simple water and mayonnaise will do the trick.

This is helpful for a few reasons. If you don’t have access to or can’t keep normal perishables (such as milk and eggs), mayonnaise is a long-term substitute. For example, during the COVID-19 quarantine of 2020 (aka now), I made my boyfriend this cake for his birthday. It’s beautifully versatile and resilient. 

piece of cake with cake

History of Mayonnaise Cake

So how did mayonnaise cake come to be? Well, similar to how I like this cake because our country (ahem, world) is in a crisis situation, so too did folks during the Great Depression. 


During the Great Depression, a lot of Americans didn’t have access to normal perishable items such as milk and eggs. The beauty of the human spirit, however, is that it does not let the negativity keep it down. There were still birthdays, anniversaries, and even plain-ole-Saturdays to celebrate. But there needed to be an affordable way to do so!

Enter: mayonnaise cake. It seems that one of the first recipes for chocolate mayonnaise cake was invented by Hellman’s Mayonnaise to promote their product during The Great Depression. Other versions of the recipe also involve instant coffee.The idea stuck, and to this day America enjoys a good mayonnaise cake. 

decorated flower cake

What Ingredients Do I Need to Make Mayonnaise Cake?

Flour 
Sugar
Cocoa
Baking Powder
Baking Soda
Mayonnaise
Water
Vanilla 

How do You Make a Mayonnaise Cake from Scratch?

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Butter and flour 2 9” round pans or 1 9×13 pan.

Sift flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, and baking soda together in a large bowl.  

Use an electric hand mixer to mix in mayonnaise. 

Use a wooden spoon or rubber spatula to mix in water by hand. 

Add vanilla and mix by hand again. 

Pour into prepared pan(s). Bake for 25-30 minutes for 9” pan or 40 minutes for 9×13. 

Frost with Chocolate Buttercream frosting. My favorite recipe is linked in the “notes” section at the bottom of the recipe card. 

Enjoy! Leave a comment on this post letting me know what you thought! 

3 pieces of cake and full cake

Does the Finished Cake Need to be Refrigerated? 

Your mayonnaise cake should be fine to stay unrefrigerated, unless you have cream cheese frosting on top (not recommended). Buttercream frosting is okay to stay out of the fridge. You also can refrigerate the cake if you’d like, depending on if you like cold or room temperature cake. 

If you liked this recipe, be sure to leave a comment letting me know! And don’t forget to post a photo of your cake on Facebook or Instagram with the #TheForeignFork and tag @TheForeignFork. 

If you liked this cake recipe, you might also like these recipes I’ve picked out just for you: 

Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake

The name Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake may sound unappealing, but this cake is decadent, moist, and so delicious. Plus, it’s perfect for when you’re running low on supplies and don’t want to (or can’t) go to the grocery store!

Course cake, Dessert
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings 20 servings

Ingredients

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • cup cocoa
  • 2 ¼ tsp baking powder
  • 1 ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 ½ cup water
  • 1 ½ tsp vanilla

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Butter and flour 2 9” round pans or 1 9×13 pan.
  3. Sift flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, and baking soda together in a large bowl.
  4. Use an electric hand mixer to mix in mayonnaise.
  5. Use a wooden spoon or rubber spatula to mix in water by hand.
  6. Add vanilla and mix by hand again.
  7. Pour into prepared pan(s). Bake for 25-30 minutes for 9” pan or 40 minutes for 9×13.
  8. Frost with Chocolate Buttercream frosting. My favorite recipe is linked in the “notes” section at the bottom of the recipe card.
  9. Enjoy! Leave a comment on this post letting me know what you thought!

Recipe Notes

Click here for a delicious recipe for Chocolate Buttercream Frosting by Just a Taste. 

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