Gaga’s Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake

Post image for Gaga’s Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake

by Amber on May 5, 2009

I know what you’re thinking. Mayonnaise?! In cake? But I promise, it really is fantastic. A couple months back, I asked my Nan to pass me this recipe. It wasn’t hers, it was my grandfather’s. I hadn’t eaten it since before he died, three years ago.

When I first made it after receiving the recipe, I had an epiphany. This is the reason that all other chocolate cakes I’ve tasted fall flat with me. This cake recipe defines chocolate cake for me. Maybe because it was the chocolate cake of my childhood, or maybe because the mayonnaise and coffee marry to bring out the flavor of the chocolate in fantastic and unexpected ways.

All I know is when I’m craving chocolate cake, this is the recipe I will make, forevermore.

P.S. A million thanks, credit, and love go to my dear East Coast Momma, Pam Anderson, for helping me alter the recipe to make a better cupcake.

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Jeanne August 19, 2010 at 12:20 AM

OK, Amber. I am making this cake soon. Seriously. It looks so very good. Wow! Thanks for sharing. I love family recipes!


SanAntonioSteve August 30, 2011 at 6:16 AM

I made this for a special lady’s birthday at Cardell yesterday, and it was delicious. Raves all around. I was a little worried because it didn’t raise up like a box cake mix, but I was assured by an expert that this is the nature of the cake. Thanks for posting.


Amber September 4, 2011 at 10:41 AM

Steve, it means so much that you made this for my mom on her birthday. I’m so glad she has friends around her like you that will make sure she’s treated like the special lady she is on her birthday. I’m glad everyone enjoyed it!


Courtney June 5, 2013 at 11:39 AM

This recipe only makes 12 cupcakes, so I should double it for 24? Also, does it only make a 9×13 size cake? How much would I use for a double 8″ or 9″? Thank you for your help, I’m super excited to make this!


Amber June 5, 2013 at 11:49 AM

Hi Courtney,

You’ll have to forgive some of the lacking info on this recipe. I wrote it out years ago exactly the way that my grandfather had it written down on a note card. You know how these things go.

I used the recipe above to make the same cake you see in the photo, which had two 8″ rounds. I also seem to remember it making 24 cupcakes, or at least 18.. though I know the directions tell you to grease a 12 count muffin pan (I think to use it twice?).

I’m sorry that my memory isn’t working so great this morning – pregnancy brain! I currently don’t have an excuse or place for the cake to go if I were to make the whole recipe, or I would be in the kitchen right now doing that. But I know for sure I didn’t make any changes to the recipe, and the cake in the photos is what resulted. I only have 8″ round cake pans.

I hope that helps!



Courtney June 5, 2013 at 11:52 AM

Thank you so much! I thought 4 cups of flour was a lil excessive!!! And congrats on the lil boy, blessings to you!


Amber June 5, 2013 at 11:54 AM

Thank you, Courtney! I hope you love the cake. It truly is my all time favorite.


Courtney June 5, 2013 at 11:52 AM

Thank you so much! I thought 4 cups of flour was a lil excessive!!! And congrats on the lil boy, blessings to you!


Kolika October 6, 2013 at 6:42 PM

25 min at350 F barely even gets it started. I used the exact measurements! Don’t know what I did wrong. So disappointed :(


Amber October 6, 2013 at 8:52 PM

Hi Kolika,
I’m not really sure what might be happening – I’ve made this cake so many times of the years I can practically do it in my sleep, and these are absolutely the temperature and times I use.
Can you let me know if you’re trying to make cake rounds or cupcakes? Do you happen to have a separate oven thermometer that sits inside of the oven and can double check your oven temperature? For example, my own oven, which is only 3 years old, runs about 10 degrees hotter than what the display says. This can often mess with your baking and you don’t even realize it.
I’ll do what I can to help you troubleshoot, but it can be difficult over email/comments.


Kolika October 6, 2013 at 9:01 PM

I am sure I did something wrong then… just don’t know what. They were done at 40 min, but looked like they were heavy on flour–clunky and doughy :( I’ll have to try again.
I don’t have a thermometer and was doing it in a round fluted pan (same way I always transfer 9X13 recipes to fluted pan recipes). I really need to look into over/underheating maybe that’s a problem, although so far I haven’t had any big mishaps, maybe this is a start. I get so upset when a cake flops…I have to try again in a couple days.
Thanks though Amber!!


Amber October 6, 2013 at 9:15 PM

Kolika, do you mean like a Bundt pan? I’ve never tried to make this cake in a bundt pan, and I’m just not sure how that would work out. I would suggest giving it a shot in a regular pan or cupcakes first, and see if you have the same problem. It may be that the mayonnaise in place of whole eggs is upsetting the chemistry just enough that certain pan types won’t work. I could definitely see that, because the heat flow around a fluted pan would be very different to a 9 x 13, rounds, or cupcakes.


Kolika October 10, 2013 at 8:30 AM

Trying again, new pack of flour and baking soda,,,,different Pan and half the batter. Lets see how it works. Keep your fingers crossed for me :)

Amber October 11, 2013 at 6:06 PM

How did it go, hon?


Kolika October 11, 2013 at 6:35 PM

Was so busy eating, forgot to post. haha sorry! The cake turned out much better. This is the perfect consistency for a cake you’d want to serve with icecream. (My breakfast today was 1 scoop of Hagen Dazs Rocky Road + this cake sans the icing + 1 tbsp of pure maple syrup = heaven!)
I think I’ll tweak some more on my next try, by lightening up on the coffee (my coffee was very strong and bittered the cake too much) and I’d also lower the baking powder a tad. It was very crumbly and I could almost get a very mild aftertaste. Totally unnoticeable with the ice-cream.
And I am not sure if it’s my oven, but this time 25 minutes almost overdid it. I should have shut it off at 22 and then let it bake in the residual heat.
Could also be because I used half the recipe for everything in a smaller 8″ round pan? I am the only cake-eater in this family, so this way, half batter = some portion control ;) and also if it didn’t work out, I’ll feel less bad. But it did and I’m so glad. I think I am going to try this again soon!! Thanks Amber!


Amber October 11, 2013 at 6:39 PM

I definitely think the smaller pan/portion contributed to the bake time, as well as the baking powder and coffee issues. I have a similar issue in my household – my husband is “okay” with this cake, but it’s not his favorite. (Crazy talk)

Have you seen the 4-cupcake version I posted not long ago? It’s this exact recipe, but makes just 4 cupcakes. You can find it here: http://www.bluebonnetsandbrownies.com/2013/06/05/team-green-no-longer/

Happy Birthday to you!


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