Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake

My grandma grew up in the era of the Great Depression, and therefore was always very frugal and loved to save and reuse anything that was worth keeping. She would save pieces of foil to use again, our Sunday dinner leftovers were always send home in old sherbet or Cool-Whip containers, and once she even tried to give me a bunch of old bras that she wasn’t using anymore. Which, when you are 13 years old, is absolutely mortifying to even consider wearing your Grandma’s old bras.

Even though retired brassieres weren’t my thing, I really learned a lot from my grandparents and their simple, waste-not lifestyle. They kept a huge garden in their younger days, and spent a lot of time freezing and canning produce to eat all year round. They always cooked from scratch, including the most amazing loaves of fresh bread. One of my grandma’s favorite things to make was this chocolate mayonnaise cake, and we often had it for dessert at Sunday spaghetti dinners.

I know what you’re thinking.


No really, don’t knock it ’til you try it. I for one, HATE mayo, but this cake it the bomb. It is seriously one of the best chocolate cakes that you’ll ever had. It became popular around the time of the Depression, because it was cheaper to make than buying expensive eggs. It is ridiculously easy to mix together and bakes up quickly. I love this chocolate buttercream recipe on top of it, but a can of store-bought frosting will do just fine.


  • 3 cups flour
  • ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 2¼ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1½ cups white sugar
  • 1½ cups mayonnaise
  • 1½ cups water
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9×13 pan or  cake pans of your choice.

Mix together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and sugar together until well combined. Whisk in the mayonnaise, and then add the water and vanilla extract and whisk until well combined.

Pour into prepared pans. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Frost with your favorite chocolate frosting.

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