Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake

The other night, we were hungry for cake. Being the cake lover that I am, I got busy and whipped up a chocolate cake.  I have to say it can be difficult to get cakes to rise properly at high altitude. Normally they sink in the center and stay sort of gooey, unless you cook them longer and then the edges get dried out. This cake is by far the BEST chocolate cake recipe EVER. I'm not kidding! It tastes great, really chocolate-y, good texture, moist, and it didn't sink in the middle or cook unevenly.

These pictures are of a slice cut from the absolute center of the cake. See how perfect it is? This is unbelievable!

This is not my first time with a mayo cake. It was pretty common back in Oklahoma. Maybe it's one of those regional food things because my hubby thought I was crazy for using mayonnaise in cake. I asked him if he ever had sour cream chocolate cake. Of course not, but he wasn't grossed out. So I proved that even though it sounds funny at first, it tastes amazing.

One thing to note about mayonnaise, not all mayonnaises are created equal. Some brands flavor their mayo with a little mustard, spices, or dried garlic and onions. Just beware and read the ingredients on the jar. Choose one that only has eggs, oil, vinegar, and lemon juice so it has a neutral flavor. I used Best Foods Mayo. I think of the mayo as a turboboost of protein and oil.

We got creative with our cake. You can use regular frosting, or a thin glaze, or even just dust it with powdered sugar.  We opted for whipped cream and caramel sauce and stacked it like a napoleon

My recipe has a few basic adjustments that can be expected for altitude bakers. For those low-altitude followers, the original recipe came from the Hellman's website..

2 cups unbleached AP flour + 1 tablespoon
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 2/3 cups granulated sugar (measure scant on the last 1/3 cup)
1 cup mayonnaise
1 1/3 cups water

1. Mix the dry ingredients together and set aside.

2. Beat the eggs, vanilla. and sugar until light and fairly fluffy. An electric mixer is obviously a great tool for mixing it to the light and fluffy stage.  Add the mayonnaise and mix until just combined.

3. Add the water and dry ingredients to the egg mixture and beat until moist and smooth.

4. Pour into your cake pan (or pans) that have been sprayed with nonstick spray or lubed up with shortening. I made this in a 9x13 pan, but it's also the right amount for two 8" rounds.

5. Bake in a preheated 350F oven for about 25-30 minutes for 8" rounds, or 30-35 minutes for 9x13.  The cake should pull away from the edges slightly and also pass a toothpick test.

6. Cool the cake in the pan about 10 minutes, then turn it out on a rack to cool completely.

7. You might want to frost it with some super simple and delicious Vanilla Buttercream Frosting or dress it up like mine. Slice unfrosted cake into thin layers, spread/spray/pipe whipped cream on three slices, drizzle caramel on top, and stack the slices.

If you try this out. let me know what you think!


  1. I was looking for high altitude mayonnaise cake recipe and yours was the only
    High altitude one that came up. I use to make this years ago when I didn’t live in high altitude. After my first bake sale at church at this altitude my cakes all sank. I am going to try this one this summer. Your gingerbread cake also looks awesome. Like you said, something different for a change. How would I make gingerbread at high altitude?
    Hope this gets to you. My email is
    Thank you. I won’t post the recipe if you don’t want me to but if I do I will certainly make sure to give you the credit


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