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Mayo Cake

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close up shot of a slice of Mayo Cake on a plate
​​This mayo cake is easy to make and uses mayonnaise in place of eggs and butter to create a moist chocolate cake.
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Table of Contents
  1. Mayo Cake Ingredients
  2. How To Make This Mayonnaise Cake Recipe
  3. How To Serve
  4. Storage
  5. More Recipes You’ll Love
  6. JUMP TO RECIPE

Moist and delicious, this mayo cake is the perfect addition to a dessert table or celebration. With a rich chocolate flavor, this Depression-era cake uses the secret ingredient of mayonnaise in place of oil and eggs for a recipe that has stood the test of time.

For two more vintage cake recipes, try our crazy cake and vanilla crazy cake recipes.

close up shot of a slice of Mayo Cake on a plate

Mayo Cake Ingredients

Mayo Cake raw ingredients that are labeled

You’ll need: 

For the Cake

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • 4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 cups mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups water

For the Chocolate Frosting (optional)

  • 1 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5 cups powdered sugar
  • ½ cup milk or more, if needed

SUBSTITUTIONS AND ADDITIONS

COCOA: This recipe works well with any type of cocoa you might have on hand. Dark dutch cocoa or regular cocoa will both create delicious results. 

VANILLA: Omit the cocoa for a vanilla mayonnaise cake or try adding other ingredients such as bananas, brown sugar, or coffee for a different dessert experience.

CHOCOLATE CHIPS: Add one cup of chocolate chips to your batter for a tasty addition to this already amazing cake.

MAYONNAISE: Using full-fat mayonnaise produces the best results in this chocolate cake recipe. Light versions work but it will change the texture of the cake and may make it chewier.

FROSTING: Top this chocolate mayo cake with your frosting of choice. Chocolate or caramel frosting would both be delicious choices. You can use your favorite one from scratch or any can of frosting you have on hand. 

How To Make This Mayonnaise Cake Recipe

STEP ONE: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans.

PRO TIP:

You could also use parchment paper to line your cake pans. You can buy pre-cut parchment paper rounds to make lining the round pans easier.

STEP TWO: In a large bowl add the flour, sugar, cocoa, and baking soda. Take a whisk and whisk the flour mixture to remove any lumps.

Mayo Cake process shot of ingredients whisked together in a bowl

STEP THREE: In a medium bowl, add the mayonnaise, vanilla, and water, and using a whisk mix together until smooth.

Mayo Cake process shot of ingredients whisked together in a measuring cup

STEP FOUR: Slowly add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients and stir just until combined.

PRO TIP:

Don’t overmix the batter. It may appear slightly lumpy but that is ok.

Mayo Cake process shot of wet mixture combined with the dry mixture in a bowl

STEP FIVE: Divide the batter between the two prepared pans.

Mayo Cake process shot of cake batter divided in between two pans

STEP SIX:  Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

Mayo Cake process shot of cakes after being baked

STEP SEVEN: Remove from the oven and cool completely.

PRO TIP:

It’s important to wait until the cakes are completely cool before icing. The icing will melt if spread on warm cakes.

STEP EIGHT: Spread icing over the first cake, smoothing out to the edges.

Mayo Cake process shot of icing spread over the first cake

STEP NINE: Place the second cake on top, with the top side up.

Mayo Cake process shot of second cake placed on top of the first cake

STEP TEN: Ice the sides and top of the cake with chocolate frosting.

Mayo Cake process shot of cake being frosted

For the Frosting

STEP ONE: Place the cocoa powder in a large mixing bowl. Add the melted butter.

STEP TWO: Using a mixer mix until combined and smooth.

STEP THREE: Add the vanilla, powdered sugar, and milk and mix until smooth, beating for 2 to 3 minutes.

How To Serve

A homemade chocolate cake is always a welcome sight on special occasions and this moist and decadent cake will get rave reviews. Serve with a warm hot chocolate and don’t forget a scoop of ice cream on the side.

MORE CAKE RECIPES

Storage

ON THE COUNTER: Store leftovers of this cake covered with plastic wrap or in an airtight container for up to three days.

IN THE FREEZER: You can store the entire cake, unfrosted and wrapped in plastic wrap in the freezer for up to three months.

close up shot of Mayo Cake on a cake stand

This chocolate mayonnaise cake recipe is easy to make and consists of simple ingredients including flour, sugar, and mayo, which combine to create a rich and decadent old-fashioned dessert with a surprising depth of flavor.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Can I make this rich chocolate cake in a 9×13-inch pan?

While we haven’t tried it this way, others have had success with using a rectangular pan. You may need to adjust the cooking time slightly.

Can I keep this cake on the counter?

This cake can be kept on the counter at room temperature for up to three days.

What is mayonnaise cake?

Mayonnaise cake draws its name by using mayo instead of eggs and butter or oil in the cake batter. Since mayonnaise consists mostly of eggs and oil, it works great as a substitute for those ingredients typically found in cake recipes.

It became a popular dessert dish during the Great Depression when families were forced to find more economical ways to recreate their favorite foods when they were unable to afford or find more expensive ingredients like eggs, milk, and butter. It continues to be a popular Southern comfort food today as well as a great choice for families looking for a rich dessert on a budget.

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close up shot of a slice of Mayo Cake on a plate

Mayo Cake

5 from 11 votes
​​This mayo cake is easy to make and uses mayonnaise in place of eggs and butter to create a moist chocolate cake.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 8

Ingredients
  

Cake

  • 4 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • ½ cup cocoa
  • 4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 cups mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 cups water

Frosting (optional)

  • 1 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5 cups powdered sugar
  • ½ cup milk (or more, if needed)

Instructions
 

For the Cake:

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch cake pans.
  • In a large bowl, add the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, and baking soda. Take a whisk and whisk the dry ingredients to remove any lumps.
  • In a medium bowl, add the mayonnaise, vanilla, and water, and using a whisk, mix together until smooth.
  • Slowly add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and stir just until combined. Do not overmix.
  • Divide the batter between the two prepared pans.
  • Bake for 30 minutes or until toothpick or cake tester comes out clean.
  • Remove from oven and cool completely.
  • Spread icing over the first cake, smoothing out to the edges.
  • Place the second cake on top, with the top side up.
  • Ice with chocolate frosting.

For the Frosting (optional)

  • Place the cocoa powder in a large mixing bowl. Add the melted butter.
  • Using a mixer mix until combined and smooth.
  • Add the vanilla, powdered sugar, and milk, and mix until smooth, beating for 2-3 minutes.

Video

Notes

Note: You could also use parchment paper to line your cake pans. You can buy pre-cut parchment paper rounds to make lining the round pans easier.
 
Note: Don’t overmix the batter. It may appear slightly lumpy but that is ok.
 
Note: It’s important to wait until the cakes are completely cool before icing. The icing will melt if spread on warm cakes.

Nutrition

Calories: 1347kcal | Carbohydrates: 183g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 68g | Saturated Fat: 23g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 26g | Monounsaturated Fat: 16g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 86mg | Sodium: 1122mg | Potassium: 355mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 126g | Vitamin A: 770IU | Calcium: 62mg | Iron: 5mg
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  1. hattie says

    5 stars
    This recipe is perfect! The icing is amazing (sorry Mom but this recipe is better than yours). Don’t change a thing. I made this for my husband’s 10th birthday (not a typo). Ten years ago today he died, and thanks to neighbours, and our AED, ten minutes later he got a new kickstart in life! This was the perfect cake to make to celebrate is other birthday. I will definitely make this again and again!

  2. Sharlene Baker says

    Can you make this mayonnaise cake without the cocoa? I’m looking for a yellow layer mayonnaise cake recipe. Would you have to replace the 1/2 c measure with something else.
    Thank you.

  3. Emily says

    5 stars
    Mayonnaise cake has been my husband’s favorite since he was little. He loves it with no frosting. I make every year for his birthday and also thru out the year.

  4. Marian Foss says

    5 stars
    I made this wonderful mayo cake.
    My first bite took me back to when I was a kid eating birthday cake my mom made. This recipe is seriously the cake to make. The ingredients are magical and natural. From now on this is my cake recipe. Love this moist chocolatey fluffy greatness! Thank you so much.

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