Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake is a moist chocolate cake in a sheet pan with chocolate buttercream frosting. One of my favorite recipes from Grandma!
But wait until you hear about my mistake…
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Mayonnaise Cake Recipe
Mayonnaise Cake is sometimes touted as “cake without eggs or oil,” which I find to be hilarious. Mayonnaise is made with eggs and oil.
In fact, it only has three ingredients: eggs, oil and salt. I know this because I make my own… This cake is made with eggs, just in a different form.
But wait until you hear about my mistake. While making the video for this amazingly moist chocolate cake, I accidentally added two eggs.
I guess I’m so accustomed to cake needing eggs that I didn’t even think about and in they went! In fact, if you’ve read about my boxed cake mix hacks, you’ll know adding more eggs just makes for a fluffier and richer cake anyhow.
You can totally omit the eggs if you want.
OMG- MAYO Cake?
As a child I hated mayonnaise. Despised it. I would get SO upset if accidentally came on my food. So imagine my surprise when I caught a glimpse of my most beloved cake being made and it contained, gasp, mayonnaise!!!
For whatever reason, it was years until I had it again. Seeing an article on nostalgic recipes jogged my memory, so I requested the recipe from my mother.
Only seven simple ingredients make a splendid basic chocolate cake. A sheet cake made in a 9×13 pan. No messing around with parchment paper, spring form pans and leveling layers.
Just an easy cake made with ingredients you probably already have.
Bump up the Chocolate
One of my biggest tricks (or secret ingredient) is instant espresso powder. Yep- I keep a jar in my pantry at all times.
Did you know that just 1 teaspoon added to any chocolate dessert will amplify the flavor tremendously? Like double!
Make sure you get the caffeine free kind though, otherwise that after dinner slice of cake might keep you up later than intended.
Use whatever frosting you prefer on chocolate cake. My favorite is chocolate on chocolate, just a basic Chocolate Buttercream. Make sure you slather it on thick, the way frosting should be.
My second favorite is cream cheese frosting or… white chocolate cream cheese frosting! My mom made it this way and, shocker, I also hated cream cheese!
But I’m also not gonna lie- sometimes I just use a tub of store bought frosting. No shame in my game, folks.
Do I have to use a 9×13 pan? Nope- you can use whatever pan you choose, however baking times will vary and since there are so many sizes, I can’t really give you a guide.
I will say that if you use two circular pans, reduce cooking time to about 22-25 minutes. Use the toothpick test and make sure it lightly springs back. To make sure both cakes are even, use a kitchen scale and weigh them.
Tips for the BEST Cake Ever!
- Don’t overmix the batter!
- Sift dry ingredients, don’t skip this step.
- Don’t overabake. You laugh, it is the number reason for bad cake.
- Measure flour by spooning into the cup and leveling.
Learn more about my cake tips.
Make Ahead & Storage
Can I freeze chocolate cake? This is a tricky one. You can freeze chocolate cake, but I do not recommend freezing the frosting.
How far in advance can I make cake? I wouldn’t make it longer than 24 hours in advance. Regardless of how you store it, cakes start to lose moisture the moment you take them out of the oven.
Do I need to refrigerate chocolate mayonnaise cake? No, you do not need to keep it chilled. In fact, chilling cakes can dry them out faster. I recommend storing covered at room temperature and then eating them up fast.
9 x 13 Glass Baking Dish– an absolute essential for any kitchen! Use it for baking, marinating or storing. Get one with a lid, you’ll thank me later.
Stand Mixer– I lived for years without one and I can tell you with 100% confidence that life with one is easier and it is worth the investment.
Sifter– Sifting makes all of your baked goods smooth and fluffy. No more lumps! I prefer a hand crank so I can switch directions and get more sifted through faster.
- Naked Chocolate Cake with Raspberry Buttercream
- No Bake Strawberry Chocolate Cake
- Brown Butter Caramel Cake
- Hot Fudge Cake
Grandma’s Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake
- 2 cups flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 5 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1 cup water
- 2 eggs , optional (read above)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Best Chocolate Frosting
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Coat a 9×13 baking pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
- Sift or whisk together flour, baking soda and cocoa powder. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together water, sugar, mayonnaise, eggs (optional) and vanilla.
- Slowly add dry ingredients, mixing well after each addition.
- Mix dry ingredients and wet ingredients in separate bowls. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet, mixing while you add them.
- Pour into prepared 9×13 baking dish.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until it passes the toothpick test. Allow to cool completely.
- Frost with Best Chocolate Frosting.
- If you’ve tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was!
Check out all the delicious recipes from our Grandmas:
- Grandma’s War Time Peanut Drop Cookies from Lovefoodies
- Grandma’s Lemon Custard Pie from Life Currents
- Grandma’s Light-as-a-Feather Doughnut Recipe from Blessed Beyond Crazy
- Granny’s Ooey Gooey Oatmeal Bars from Who Needs A Cape?
- Granny Gertrude’s Blueberry Rice Pudding from Hot Eats and Cool Reads
- Grandma’s Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake from Savory Experiments
Hi there…. If ever I had eaten a moist delicious chocolate cake was this one…Made it for a year end function not a crumb was left….I bragged about omitting eggs milk and oil…They just could not believe the end result…..Thank you soo much for sharing this recipe..This will certainly be my all time favourite…..many, many thanks….Charmaine Emmanuel…
Thanks for letting us know!!!!
Mother always made chocolate mayonnaise cake for birthdays. I love it.
I am looking for a recipe for mayonnaise cake from scratch
Hi Mary Ann,
This recipe is from scratch, you can even click the link and make your own mayo!
I need this cake in my life! Looks so perfect!
Your chocolate mayo cake sounds delicious. Are you willing to email your chocolate buttercream frosting recipe to me? Thank you so much!
Hi Nancy- you can click on “best chocolate frosting” or get it here: https://www.savoryexperiments.com/best-chocolate-frosting/ . Enjoy!
Thanks, Jessica. I found it. Need to make this cake & frosting soon!
Let me know how you like it (or LOVE it!)
I have a hard time passing up homemade chocolate cake, so I’ll take one BIG piece please!
Grandma’s ALWAYS have the best recipes in the whole world!
This cake looks amazingly moist and delicious. I will be making it soon. Thanks for the recipe.
A good chocolate cake recipe is always a winner! I need to make this for my husband ASAP because he loves chocolate!
Hooked ! Glad to find you and this recipe ! Thank you so much !
I haven’t had a cake like this in forever. It definitely brings back memories and the cool nights at the end of summer.
I love recipes that are passed down through generations, there is something so special about them and the memories they evoke. Love the simplicity of this amazingly looking moist cake.
I have heard quite a lot about mayonnaise in cake. Yet to give it a try. Looks like I would soon. Thanks .
I bet the mayonnaise makes these super moist and delicious! Spring is a great time for chocolate cake so the perfect time to try this recipe!
Yummy! Any recipe that is a favorite from grandma is okay by me! I actually have always loved mayonnaise and using it in recipes because it adds such great flavor and texture qualities.