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Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake

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Rich and moist chocolate mayonnaise cake with simple chocolate frosting in a smaller size. It’s a perfect dessert for a small party or just because!

slice of chocolate cake with remaining cake and coffee cup in the background.

This post is sponsored by Door County Coffee and Taste of Home. As always, all opinions are honest and my own.

It will be love at first bite with this chocolate mayonnaise cake. The batter is easy to whip up and the results are moist and delicious.

Add a smattering of chocolate frosting to seal the deal. It’s the perfect treat to enjoy with a cup of coffee and a friend or two!

Nothing says vintage goodness like a chocolate mayonnaise cake. It just begs you to take a bite.

I have been tempted to make a chocolate mayonnaise cake for quite some time. Mostly because I have been wanting to make a Portillo’s inspired chocolate cake.

bowls of mayo mixture, dry ingredients and coffee for chocolate cake.

However all of the recipes I found use a cake mix version of a mayonnaise cake and a couple of tubs of frosting.

Now I have been known to reach for a cake mix occasionally. I have some great doctored up cake mix recipes on the blog already.

But canned frosting?! That is where I draw the line.

Frosting is so easy to make yourself and so much more delicious when you do! (You can learn a bit more about all kinds of frosting in my Frosting 101 primer!)  So I was delighted to find a chocolate mayonnaise cake recipe on the Taste of Home website.

chocolate mayonnaise cake batter in pan, ready to bake.

A quick read through the recipe and I knew I had a winner. The batter comes together in just a couple of minutes and with ingredients I always have on hand.

This recipe is the perfect amount to make a one layer 9″ cake and enough chocolate frosting to top it. The smaller size helped me to not have to polish off too much leftover cake.

bowl of chocolate frosting with beaters.

Not that I would have minded necessarily, but my wasteline appreciated the forced control!

I did make a couple of small adjustments to the recipe. The first was to replace the water with cooled brewed coffee.

Adding a touch of coffee to chocolate recipes does so much to help the flavor. It doesn’t taste like coffee, it just gives the chocolate a nice boost.

whole frosted chocolate mayo cake with packages of door county coffee.

The second was reducing the baking powder just a smidge. The comments on the recipe suggested the amount called for was a bit much.

With the little extra acidity from the coffee, I was sure what I did add was going to be activated nicely. So I felt confident in using the smaller amount and still getting plenty of spring in the cake.

The frosting recipe gave me a bit of pause at first. Two tablespoons of butter?!

You know I am a more frosting is better kind of girl, so I was really tempted to double the recipe. But in the end logic won me over.

first slice of chocolate cake being lifted out.

I couldn’t crow about the virtuous nature of the smaller size and then double the frosting. The amount as written is plenty to cover the top of the cake.

Which works out well as this is a cake you could easily serve out of the cake pan or an 8″ square casserole dish. Though if you want enough to cover the side and top of the cake, I would recommend going ahead and making the extra.

I sat down to try a slice with a cup of Door County Coffee and definitely found my happy place. They sent me so many delicious flavors, it was hard to pick one to try first!

My husband was really excited about the blueberry cobbler coffee and the blackberry shortcake was calling my name. We’ve tried quite a few now and have enjoyed them all!

first bite of chocolate cake on a fork.

Little Dude enjoyed his without the extra coffee. He did something uncharacteristic for him, and immediately asked for a second piece!

If you have never tried a chocolate mayonnaise cake, this seems like the perfect time to give it a go. If you have, this is your excuse to have it again!

Do you have any vintage dessert recipes you love? Maybe something your grandma used to make… I’d love to hear all about it!

You can always tell me you favorites in the comments or reach out to me on social media. I love to hear from you.

slice of chocolate cake with remaining cake and coffee cup in the background.

Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake

Servings: 12 Servings
Author: Carlee
Rich and moist chocolate mayonnaise cake with simple chocolate frosting in a smaller size. It's a perfect dessert for a small party or just because!
5 from 8 ratings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes


Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake

  • ¾ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • teaspoons baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup brewed coffee or water

Chocolate Frosting

  • 2 Tablespoons butter softened
  • cups powdered sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 2 Tablespoons warm milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch salt
Makes: 9inch round



  • Preheat oven to 350°F and grease a round 9 inch cake pan or a square casserole dish. 
  • In a mixing bowl, beat together mayonnaise, sugar and vanilla until incorporated.
    ¾ cup mayonnaise, 1 cup granulated sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • In another bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt until combined and lump free.
    2 cups all purpose flour, ¼ cup cocoa powder, 1½ teaspoons baking soda, ½ teaspoon salt
  • Mix half of the dry ingredients into the mayonnaise mixture. Then stir in the coffee.  Add the remaining dry ingredients and mix until just incorporated. Pour into prepared baking dish.
    1 cup brewed coffee
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the cake springs back when lightly touched with your finger.
  • Cool in pan for 10 minutes, the turn out onto a wire rack if desired. (This cake is also great cut and served from the baking dish.) 

Small Batch Chocolate Frosting

  • Beat the butter until smooth. 
    2 Tablespoons butter
  • Add the remaining ingredients and beat well. 
    1½ cups powdered sugar, 2 Tablespoons cocoa powder, 2 Tablespoons warm milk, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 pinch salt
  • Spread over cooled cake and decorate with sprinkles if desired. 


Serving: 1ServingCalories: 318kcalCarbohydrates: 48gProtein: 3gFat: 13gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 11mgSodium: 362mgFiber: 1gSugar: 30g

Nutritional Disclaimer

“Cooking With Carlee” is not a dietitian or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

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5 from 8 votes (8 ratings without comment)
Recipe Rating


Wednesday 8th of May 2019

YAY! Thank you so much!

Colleen - Faith, Hope, Love, & Luck

Sunday 5th of May 2019

One of these days I'm going to have to bite the bullet and try making a mayonnaise cake!!!


Wednesday 8th of May 2019

You definitely should!

Kari Wagner Hoban

Tuesday 23rd of April 2019

Two things; I am from the Chicago area and Door County is like our playground. I had no idea Door County Coffee has franchised out, or whatever the word is. So this is huge.

Second, Portillo's (also based in Chicago) chocolate cake has mayo in it and if you just gave me that recipe, I may have to marry you.


Wednesday 8th of May 2019

Ha! You can order Door County coffee from anywhere now, but even better if you can get it straight from the source.... and I love Portillo's! It's a bit of a drive for me, but a friend once shipped me one of those chocolate cakes for my birthday!

Big Rigs 'n Lil' Cookies

Tuesday 23rd of April 2019

OH my goodness, I forgot all about Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake! I'll have to see if I can find my old recipe and see how it compares to yours! I don't think I've made it since 19xx, never mind, I'm aging myself... we'll just say it's be a long long time! This is getting baked this week!

Big Rigs 'n Lil' Cookies

Saturday 27th of April 2019

It is delicious!! Husband gave it his seal of approval also :)

Amy (Savory Moments)

Thursday 18th of April 2019

I love using coffee in my chocolate baked goods. This cake looks insanely moist and yummy! Perfect with a cup of coffee.