Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake – Oh Sweet Basil

I’m going to say it…the “M” word…this chocolate mayonnaise cake is moist, decadent, and so delicious! And it is topped with the most creamy chocolate cream cheese frosting! You’re going to fall in love with it!

What was the “M” word? Mayo or moist? Hahaha…originally I was thinking “moist” because it’s so taboo, but then I realized that some of you might have thought I meant “mayonnaise”. Mayonnaise in a cake? Heck yes!

Ok so this is typical me, but I heard about mayo cake as a kid and swore it off. First of all, I grew up on Miracle Whip. Say whatever you want, it happened. And I loved it on a grilled cheese 😂 Anyway!!!

As an adult everyone was swearing by it and I’ll be honest, mom’s chocolate zucchini cake is more moist and delicious (thank you zucchini!) in my humble opinion, but I have worked out the kinks and practiced and perfected and finally humbly bow to the Southerners that swore I just HAD TO TRY IT. It is moist and delicious and you were all right!

Ingredients for Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake

Something so delicious shouldn’t be so easy! The list of ingredients is brief and just the basics. You might just have everything already in the pantry and fridge. Cha-ching!


  • Flour – just all purpose is great!
  • Cocoa Powder – we like unsweeted Hershey’s but any cocoa powder will work fine.
  • Sugar – just good ol’ white sugar
  • Baking Soda – make sure it’s fresh!
  • Salt – every baked good needs a little salt!
  • Vanilla – flavor, flavor, flavor!
  • Mayonnaise – replaces the oil and eggs, don’t use a light mayo
  • Water – make sure it is HOT, hot water awakens the flavor of the cocoa powder

Chocolate Frosting

  • Cream Cheese – any brand will do and make sure it is room temperature!
  • Butter – unsalted and room temperature
  • Cocoa Powder – same note as above
  • Powdered Sugar – we always go with C&H brand
  • Vanilla – flavor baby!
  • Milk or Chocolate Milk – if you want to go over the top, use chocolate milk!

The measurements for each ingredient can be found in the recipe card below.

A piece of chocolate mayonnaise cake that has a bite taken out of it. It is frosted with chocolate cream cheese frosting. Other servings of cake are in the background.

How to Make Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake

How many times can I say that this cake is easy? Well, I’m going to say it one more time…this cake is so easy to make. Mix everything together, pour in a baking pan, and bake. The frosting is just as simple. Dangerous, I know!

For the Cake

  • Preheat the oven and grease your baking pan.
  • Whisk all the ingredients together in a large bowl.
    • PRO TIP: Stop whisking as soon as the batter comes together. An overmixed cake is a dry cake.
  • Pour the batter into your baking dish.
  • Bake.

For the Frosting

  • Mix all of the ingredients together until it is smooth.
    • PRO TIP: It is crucial that your butter and cream cheese are both room temperature. If you try to add either of them cold, you’ll have lumpy frosting.
  • Wait for the cake to cool completely then spread all over the top.

All the specifics can be found in the recipe card below.

A 9x13 chocolate mayonnaise cake. There is a mound of chocolate frosting in the middle that has not been spread over the cake yet. A frosting spatula is next to the cake.

Do You Have To Refrigerate Mayonnaise Cake?

The unfrosted cake can be stored at room temperature.

Some frostings are ok at room temperature also, but if you use a cream cheese frosting on mayonnaise cake, it needs to be refrigerated.

How Long Will Mayonnaise Cake Keep?

Mayonnaise cake will keep for 3-4 days.

Can You Freeze Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake?

Yes, absolutely! Let it cool completely, then wrap it tightly in plastic wrap followed by a layer of foil. It will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Three white dessert plates each holding a serving of chocolate mayonnaise cake with chocolate cream cheese frosting.

What Does Mayonnaise Do For Cake?

Mayonnaise is made from oil and eggs, and it will boost the moisture level in a cake recipe when added to the batter.

How Can I Substitute Mayonnaise in a Cake Mix?

Substitute the oil and eggs with mayonnaise.

If the mix calls for 1/3 cup oil and 2 eggs, simply leave the eggs and oil out and add 1/3 cup mayonnaise.

Or you can substitute the mayonnaise for oil and keep the eggs.


A piece of chocolate mayonnaise cake with chocolate cream cheese frosting. A fork full has been cut off and the fork with cake on it is next to the plate.

Chocolate mayonnaise cake…don’t knock it ’til you try it (saying to my younger self)! The mayo makes it so moist! Chocolate cake also has never been easier…just mix, bake, devour!

For All Our Chocolate Cake Lovers:


A piece of chocolate mayonnaise cake that has a bite taken out of it. It is frosted with chocolate cream cheese frosting. Other servings of cake are in the background.

Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Servings: 18


  • 2 Cups Flour sifted
  • 1/3 Cup Cocoa Powder sifted
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Baking Soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • 1 Cup Mayonnaise
  • 1 Cup Water hot

Chocolate Frosting

  • 8 oz. Cream Cheese full fat, softened
  • 5 Tablespoons Butter unsalted, softened
  • 1/2 Cup Cocoa sifted
  • 3 Cups Powdered Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • 1 Tablespoon Milk or chocolate milk

For the Cake

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

  • Grease a 9×13” baking pan.

  • In a large bowl, whisk together all ingredients, stopping as soon as it has come together.

  • Pour the batter into the pan and smooth it out to all sides.

  • Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

  • Allow to cool completely and then frost.

can be stored in the refrigerator, covered, for 3-4 days

Nutrition Facts

Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake

Amount Per Serving (1 g)

Calories 338
Calories from Fat 153

% Daily Value*

Fat 17g26%

Saturated Fat 6g38%

Cholesterol 28mg9%

Sodium 304mg13%

Potassium 95mg3%

Carbohydrates 45g15%

Fiber 2g8%

Sugar 31g34%

Protein 3g6%

Vitamin A 274IU5%

Calcium 22mg2%

Iron 1mg6%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


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