Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake

Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake

Last weekend when I made Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes I used my favourite Chocolate Frosting recipe. What I’ve always loved about it was that it was made from melted bittersweet chocolate. I know the differences between types of chocolates, cocoas, etc, and how using cocoa vs. using melted chocolate will be just as creamy in a frosting as long as you have the right amount of butter and sugar. So maybe it’s a mental thing, but a frosting made of melted bittersweet chocolate tastes so much creamier, so much more chocolately to me than any other chocolate frosting I have made.

Melting Chocolate

Maybe I’m just doing the cocoa type wrong.

Either way, I love that frosting. I discovered it in Bon Appetit Magazine as part of their Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake Recipe. Yup, chocolate mayonnaise.

I remember the face Trevor made the first time he heard of such a thing. Trevor hates mayonnaise. He hates the thought of mayonnaise. He describes it as “Ew. Oily. Gross.” He was thoroughly disturbed and asked me to make sure I never made him eat it. I told him I would make sure I did. Due to an endearing amount of trust he has for me and the baked goods I produce, he was cautiously accepting of this fate. Luckily for both of us, I did not fail him.

Now, I won’t lie, the mayonnaise part is scary, even for someone like me who likes mayonnaise. It will seem strange. Foreign. Just freaking weird.


When you cream mayo and the sugar, it only gets stranger. It will smell wrong, a weird combination of sweet sugar and sharp vinegar. But trust me, it will all be okay. The cake does not smell like this. It smells like chocolate.


It tastes like chocolate. Rich, deep chocolate. Mmm…

Baked Cakes

The cake tastes nothing like mayonnaise, but the sneaky condiment inclusion makes for a delicious, soft, moist and flavourful chocolate cake. Probably my favourite chocolate layer cake I’ve made to date.


I make baked goods for my co-workers every friday, and last friday, after all the turnovers were all gone (apparently they weren’t as disappointed in them pre-sauced as I was, they disappeared in less than 2 hours!) I asked them what they’d like to see next and one of them started talking about chocolate cake. The Bon Appetit recipe fresh in my mind I mentioned the chocolate mayonnaise cake. Most of the reactions I got were similar to Trevor’s.

Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake

So I had to make it. Hopefully they’ll like it as much as Trevor and I do.

Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake

Recipe from April 2010 issue of Bon Appetit Magazine


  • 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate (do not exceed 61% cacao), chopped
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 3/4 cups boiling water
  • 2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
  • 1 1/3 cups mayonnaise (do not use reduced-fat or fat-free)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • 10 ounces bittersweet chocolate (do not exceed 61% cacao), chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract


  1. Cake: Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour three 8-inch-diameter cake pans with 1 1/2-inch-high sides. Combine chopped chocolate and cocoa powder in medium metal bowl. Add 13/4 cups boiling water and whisk until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.
  2. Sift flour, baking soda, and baking powder into another medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat both sugars and mayonnaise in large bowl until well blended, 2 to 3 minutes. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating until well blended after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Add flour mixture in 4 additions alternately with chocolate mixture in 3 additions, beating until blended after each addition and occasionally scraping down sides of bowl. Divide batter among prepared cake pans (about 2 1/3 cups for each).
  3. Bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, 30 to 32 minutes. Cool cakes in pans on racks 20 minutes.
  4. Run small knife around sides of cakes to loosen. Carefully invert cakes onto racks and let cool completely.
  5. Frosting: Place chopped chocolate in medium metal bowl; set bowl over saucepan of simmering water and stir until chocolate is melted and smooth. Carefully remove bowl from over water; let melted chocolate cool until lukewarm, stirring occasionally.
  6. Using electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl until smooth and creamy. Sift powdered sugar over butter and beat until well blended, about 2 minutes. Beat in vanilla. Add melted chocolate and beat until well blended and smooth, occasionally scraping down sides of bowl.
  7. Place 1 cake layer on platter. Spread 3/4 cup frosting over top of cake layer to edges. Top with second cake layer; spread 3/4 cup frosting over. Top with third cake layer. Spread remaining frosting decoratively over top and sides of cake.

DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover with cake dome and let stand at room temperature.


8 thoughts on “Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake « Amandeleine --

  2. I’m back reading some of your posts, and I have to say I get the same reaction when I tell people that ketchup cake is amazing! It’s like a very sweet carrot or sprice cake. Seriously… but I have to lie to people to get them to try it.

  3. I too was a bit disturbed about putting mayonnaise in a cake, but everyone including me who has tasted the cake admits that it it most likely the best chocolate cake they have ever eaten. I would definitely recommend that anyone who wants to bake a chocolate cake will not be disappointed in this one. It is very moist and has a deep chocolate flavor. You can’t beat it.

    Susan Claiborne, Jackson Tn Foodie

  4. I made a regular cake with mayonnasie, not chocolate, and didn’t use any eggs as the recipe only called for 1 egg anyway…but when cooked, the cake smelled very mayonnaisey…if thats a word.

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