The Country Cook: Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake with Brown Sugar Frosting

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake with Brown Sugar Frosting

If you are of a particular generation (cough, cough) this will not sound like an odd recipe at all. But, more recent generations may have never heard of it so I'd love to introduce you to this beauty of a cake. This cake should never, ever be forgotten or lost to recipe history. Basically because it is darn good. Darn good! It requires no eggs and no oil. Say what? Yup. That's where the mayonnaise comes in. I mean, that's what mayonnaise is; eggs and oil. It makes this cake SO incredible moist. If you need a go-to homemade chocolate cake, this is it! It is hands-down THE BEST chocolate cake you will make. 
Also, just so you know, you don't taste the coffee in this. It just accentuates and deepens the chocolate flavor. I learned that little trick from Ina Garten and it really does work. If you don't keep coffee around, no worries, just leave it out. You'll still have a moist and yummy chocolate cake!
For the cake:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
4 tbsp. unsweetened baking cocoa
2 tsp. baking soda
1 cup water
1 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 tbsp. brewed coffee, black

For the frosting:
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup butter
2 tbsp. milk
2 cups (loosely packed) powdered sugar
(frosting ingredients not pictured)

Preheat oven to 350f degrees. Spray a 9x9 square pan with nonstick baking spray. I like the kind of nonstick spray that has flour in it. It makes removal so much easier. 
 In a large bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients (flour, baking cocoa and baking soda).
 In a separate bowl, whisk together water, mayonnaise, vanilla extract and coffee. 
 You just want to use plain, brewed coffee - no additional milk or sugar added. 
If you don't have coffee, just skip this step. 
Now, slowly add the liquid mixture into the dry ingredients.  
 Stir just until combined. It may be a little lumpy but that's okay. 
You don't want to over-stir (it makes the cake tough).
Pour into prepared baking dish. 
Bake for about 30-35 minutes (until a toothpick inserted comes out clean).  
 Once the cake is finished, start preparing the frosting. 
 In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, combine brown sugar and butter and cook until bubbly. Be sure to whisk constantly so it doesn't burn. 
 Take off the heat and stir in the milk. Then gradually add in powdered sugar. 
 Whisk until smooth.
Now, frost the cake! Note: The cake doesn't have to be cooled completely to top with this frosting. Work quickly. The frosting hardens fast as it cools. 
Slice and serve. 
I just added some chocolate and caramel chips to each serving just to make it pretty.


Recipe slightly adapted from Taste of Home


  1. My aunt makes this cake every year for our family reunion! It's amazing(She frosts hers with chocolate frosting, though). When she told my husband the secret ingredient was mayonnaise he liked to have fell out of his chair:)

  2. If you add about 1cup rinsed,well drained sauerkraut it will taste like a chocolate coconut but cake. I am a product of people from the depression era.

  3. Wow! My daughter (14 yrs old) just made this recipe this week for a school competition. It is by far the most moist homemade cake we make. Delicious!

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  5. A wonderful cake...I made this for my children all the years they lived at home.It is so moist & chocolatey & moist,a winner!

  6. well I used the word "moist"twice,so that just points to the fact it is very very moist!

  7. Love it! Yep, moist - very moist. Say it all you want! Haha! I know y'all don't know me from Adam but I mean it when I say - no mayo or coffee taste at all with this. Scout's honor. I love for folks to try it and ask what's in it. They usually will sit there with their mouths gaping for a bit...and then hopefully they go home and make it! :)

  8. I have a recipe for mayo cake very similar to this. My family requests this cake often. I just frosted the one I made today! Thank you, Brandie for posting it!

  9. My recipe is very similar to yours, and I love it! Thank you for sharing this delicious cake recipe!

  10. Thank you for the sweet comments and for vouching for this cake for others!

  11. Can this be made in a bundt pan? And if so what temp and for how long?

  12. My recipe is a little different. It makes a 9x13 size pan. I frost it with chocolate frosting. I just made this for my son's 9th birthday. I had to make two so everyone could get some.

  13. WOW! This recipe makes a very moist cake, my family likes it very much. My mayo cake it more dense, maybe mixing all the liquids before adding to dry makes the difference.

  14. Thanks so much Shelly! Love hearing that!!

  15. My mom made this when rationing was on during world war 2. Her recipe made a 9 by 13 pan.

  16. I have been eating choc. mayo cake for over 40 years. My mother made it when I was a kid, choc. frosting on hers. We love it. Moistest cake. When I make it for people, they are shocked it has mayo in it.

  17. I made this last week. It was so moist and delicious. I love the recipes for smaller families or for those who don't want too much leftover. Thanks!

  18. Thank you so much for taking the time to let me know how it turned out for you! SO, so happy you loved it!

  19. Can you make CUPCAKES with this recipe? I find that not all cake recipes translate well to the cupcake form. Any thoughts here?

  20. I would like to make a layer cake for my moms birthday, she loves this cake! Can I make 2 round 9 or 10inch cake without having to adjust the recipe? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  21. Just made mine and as it cooled it sunk terribly. I live at 4,500 feet and wonder if has to do with my altitude? Any ideas on how to prevent the falling during cooling?

  22. I'd like to make this for a church dinner. For a 10 x 15 dish, do you think I should double or just 1 1/2 the recipe? It looks divine! (Pun intended!)

  23. I have made mayonnaise cake before and loved it. Looking forward to this recipe and the brown sugar frosting.

  24. OMG ! I made this cake this morning and it's to die for ! It melts in your mouth. I did modify it a bit because I only had 1 1/2 cups of mayonnaise ( I doubled recipe ) so I put 1/2 a cup of sour cream , it came out beautifully. Thank you. I certainly will be sharing this with family and friends. :)

  25. At what point do you add the cup of sugar? Does it get mixed in with the dry ingredients?

  26. Hey there, you want to add the sugar in with the dry ingredients.


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