Chocolate May Cake is a moist and rich chocolate cake with mayonnaise as a key ingredient. This unexpected twist on a classic favorite is sure to delight your taste buds. And, this recipe is made with only seven ingredients that you probably already have on hand! If you love cake, be sure to try my Perfect Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Buttercream, too.

Close up of Chocolate Mayo Cake with a Corner Section Removed.
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Why Add Mayonnaise to Chocolate Cake?

The mayonnaise cake originated during the Great Depression when eggs and oil were scarce. Mayonnaise, which is essentially an emulsion of egg yolk, oil, and vinegar, was a convenient substitute for these ingredients. In fact, some mayonnaise brands even included the recipe on the jar. Using mayo in a cake recipe simplifies the process by combining multiple ingredients into one, resulting in a velvety texture that’s difficult to resist. And no, you will not taste the mayonnaise.

Pouring Chocolate Mayo Cake Batter into a White Pan.

Ingredients & Substitutions

Mayonnaise: I do recommend using full-fat mayonnaise* for this recipe. However, you could substitute light or reduced-fat mayonnaise if that is what you have. Or, make your own! Do not substitute miracle whip. Miracle Whip is different than mayonnaise and has a different taste, some would even say seasoned. So, for a sweet baked good like chocolate cake, it is best to stick to traditional mayonnaise.

Cocoa: Look for high-quality cocoa powder to use in this recipe. Dutch-processed cocoa can also be used for an even darker and richer cake.

*You can see there is no added salt in this recipe and that is because there is salt already in the mayonnaise.

Chocolate Brownie Frosting Being Spread Over a Chocolate Mayo Cake.

How to Store Mayonnaise Cake

This cake can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature. It will last up to 3 days. For a little longer shelf-life, you could also store it in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Fork Taking a Bite out of One Piece of Chocolate Mayo Cake.

Can I Freeze Chocolate Mayo Cake?

Yes, you can! It can be treated just like a traditional cake recipe. Make sure that the cake has fully cooled then wrap it tightly in a layer of plastic wrap and then a layer of foil. Place in your freezer for up to 3 months. To thaw cakes, unwrap them and put them on a wire rack at room temperature. They should thaw out in 2-3 hours.

More Chocolate Cakes

Close up of Chocolate Mayo Cake with a Corner Section Removed.
4.74 from 19 votes

Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
This 7 ingredient Chocolate Mayo Cake is moist, simple, and tastes divine!



  • 2 cups (256 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
  • 6 tablespoons (44 g) cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 cup (237 g) water
  • 1 cup (232 g) mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract



  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9×9-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, and baking soda.
  • Add the water, mayonnaise, and vanilla. Mix until evenly combined. 
  • Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out mostly clean.
  • Let the cake cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes before transferring it to a wire rack to cool completely.



For a delicious frosting option, check out my Brownie Frosting to spread over the cake. I tripled the brownie frosting recipe for this Chocolate Mayo Cake.

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Meet Amanda Rettke

Amanda Rettke is the creator of I Am Baker, and the bestselling author of Surprise Inside Cakes: Amazing Cakes for Every Occasion – With a Little Something Extra Inside.Over the course of her 15+ year blogging adventure, she has been featured in and collaborated with the Food Network, New York Times, LA Times, Country Living Magazine, People Magazine, Epicurious, Brides, Romantic Homes, life:beautiful, Publishers Weekly, The Daily Mail, Star Tribune, The Globe and Mail, DailyCandy, YumSugar, The Knot, The Kitchn, and Parade, to name a few.

Reader Comments

  1. I make this for friends often.
    One devil’s food cake mix, with everything else you listed, makes it easier.
    I do add a fudge instant pudding as well to the mix.
    It’s the Portilo’s famous cake too.

  2. This cake was awesome!!
    I used Dutch processed cocoa and Espresso instead of water. Used your brownie icing recipe and it lasted 1 day lol

  3. So many of your recipes are in my repertoire, and this one did not disappoint! I DID substitute coffee with water, because there was leftover coffee in the pot. I also used natural cocoa because the recipe called for baking soda. Question — why would dutch processed cocoa work here? Is the mayo acidic enough to cancel out the 2t of baking soda (my first instinct was that the recipe called for A LOT of baking soda for a 9×9 cake)?? So curious!

  4. I have to say this was really moist!
    I compared various recipes with mayonnaise and they were pretty much the same. Disappointed though that if I close my eyes, I wouldn’t know that it was chocolate.
    I guess I have to increase the Coco and the sugar.
    But definitely a 👍🏼 it was very easy!

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