Easy Mayonnaise Cake

Old fashioned mayonnaise cake is moist and tender with no added oil or eggs. A from scratch chocolate cake with easy chocolate frosting!

Mayonnaise in cake? Yes. This old fashioned recipe comes from my grandma’s old church cookbook, but it is so appropriate for times when some supplies are running short.

This cake is a classic. Chances are at some point you ate a mayonnaise cake and didn’t even realize it. If you’re new to making homemade cakes, this cake recipe is a great place to start.

piece of chocolate cake on a plate

Here’s what you’ll love about this cake:

  • no eggs needed
  • no oil needed
  • no milk needed
  • makes a small 9×9 cake
  • use canned or homemade frosting
  • moist, tender texture

Why put mayonnaise in a cake?

The mayonnaise added into this chocolate cake replaces the eggs, but it also adds much more than that. Mayo is made up of egg, oil, and vinegar. The oil in the mayo helps to make the cake tender, and the vinegar brings out the chocolate flavor.

Rest easy…the mayonnaise holds a very neutral flavor in baking so your cake will not taste like mayonnaise.

ingredients for a mayonnaise cake

Tips for cake ingredients:

This cake calls for pantry staples, but here are a few key tips on some of the ingredients:

  • Water: You can substitute the water for milk if you would like to. Or if you want to boost the chocolate flavor, use strong hot coffee.
  • Mayonnaise: Use full fat mayonnaise for this. The fat in the mayo is what adds to the moistness of this chocolate cake.
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder: I used a dutch processed cocoa powder for both the cake and the frosting, but you can also use the regular cocoa powder. This recipe will work for either type, just make sure it is unsweetened cocoa powder.
  • Heavy cream: You can substitute milk, half and half or evaporated milk for the heavy cream if needed. Heavy cream makes it the creamiest though.

How do you make mayonnaise cake from scratch?

There are 3 easy steps to making the chocolate cake:

  • Prepare. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 9×9″ square pan with cooking spray.
  • Mix. Whisk together sugar, water, mayonnaise, and vanilla. In a separate bowl stir flour, baking soda, cocoa powder, and salt together. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and stir until just combined. Do not overmix.
  • Bake. Pour batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
chocolate cake batter in a 9x9 baking pan.

What frosting to use on chocolate mayonnaise cake?

There are several options for what frosting to use on this cake. We share the instructions for a simple homemade chocolate frosting below. Remember…with frostings it is easiest to use a stand mixer since you’ll need to whip the frosting for several minutes.

chocolate cake with chocolate frosting spreading on the top

If you’d like something other than chocolate, consider one of these:

chocolate cake slices in a baking pan

Do I need to store my mayonnaise cake in the refrigerator?

Your cake does not need to be stored in the refrigerator and can be stored at room temperature for up to 7 days.

You can freeze the cake too! You can also freeze your mayonnaise cake for up to 3 months.

mayonnaise cake with a bite out of it
mayonnaise cake with a bite out of it

Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake

4 from 1 vote
Old fashioned mayonnaise cake is moist and tender with no added oil or eggs. A from scratch chocolate cake with easy chocolate frosting!
Servings 9
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes

Ingredients
 

For the Cake:

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 ¼ cups flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

For the Frosting:

  • ½ cup butter (softened)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup heavy cream

Instructions
 

Make the cake:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 9×9" square pan with cooking spray.
  • Whisk together sugar, water, mayonnaise, and vanilla. Set aside.
  • In a separate bowl stir flour, baking soda, cocoa powder, and salt together.
  • Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and stir until just combined. Do not overmix.
  • Pour batter into the prepared pan.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  • Allow cake to cool completely before frosting.

Make the frosting:

  • Make frosting by beating together butter, lemon juice, and salt until light and fluffy, about 1 minute.
  • Mix in ¼ cup heavy cream, cocoa powder and 1 cup powdered sugar and combine.
  • Slowly add in the rest of the powdered sugar ½ cup at a time until all 3 cups have been incorporated.
  • Turn your stand mixer on high and beat for the next 5 minutes until light and fluffy.
  • Frost cake and cut into squares.
  • Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Notes

The calories shown are based on the cake being cut into 9 pieces, with 1 serving being 1 slice of frosted cake. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the calories shown are just an estimate. **We are not dietitians and recommend you seek a nutritionist for exact nutritional information.**

Nutrition

Calories: 651kcal | Carbohydrates: 89g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 32g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 47mg | Sodium: 631mg | Potassium: 116mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 62g | Vitamin A: 429IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 20mg | Iron: 2mg
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Calories 651
Keyword chocolate cake, homemade cake
piece of chocolate cake with chocolate frosting and strawberry slices

About Julie Clark

I'm Julie Clark, CEO and recipe developer of Tastes of Lizzy T. With my B.A. in Education and over 30 years of cooking and baking, I want to teach YOU the best of our family recipes.

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