Friday, September 16, 2011

Not Your Normal Chocolate Cake

Some things were just meant to go together. PB & J, cookies and milk, chocolate and mayo.

I know what you're thinking. Did she really just write chocolate and mayo? Has she lost her mind? Nick thought the same thing when I mentioned to him that apparently chocolate and mayo had this little fling that I had never heard of. I pride myself on thinking that chocolate and I have a close relationship. We go way back. But yet, I didn't know anything about chocolate hooking up with mayo.

I stumbled upon this recipe by accident one day. I was browsing Bon Appetit's website looking for inspiration for our weekly menu when I saw the tab for cake recipes. The cakes made me click on the link, it was beyond my control. While perusing the scrumptious looking photos, the title Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake caught my eye. I did a double take. The picture looked so good, how could there be mayo in there? I clicked on the recipe. After reading through the ingredients I went on to read the reviews. Almost every single person was raving about how moist and delicious this odd combination of flavors was. I knew immediately that I would have to try this myself. Not because I wanted to, but for the sake of science. Or humanity. Or something else that was entirely out of my control.

The plan: Make this chocolate wonder for an upcoming get together we were having at our house.
The deception: Tell no one what was in it until after they had eaten it.

I served the plates to my guests and anxiously waited to hear what they would have to say. A few bites in and one of our friends asked what kind of chocolate cake I had made. Do you like it? I asked. His response? Yes, it just has a different flavor.

At this point I spilled the beans...or more fitting, the mayo. They were definitely surprised, but everyone agreed it was indeed a very moist chocolate cake.

My overall review: This was a good chocolate cake. Not great, but good. I think more than anything it was the frosting that I wasn't thrilled with. It was almost too rich. While this wasn't my favorite dessert I've ever prepared, I'm glad I tried it. If for no other reason than to say that yes, I have mixed mayo and chocolate...and lived to tell the story.

Notes from the chef (Me): As you'll see below, the recipe calls for 3, 8" pans. Since I didn't have 3 pans, I used 2, 9" pans instead. My bake time was a little longer because of that, probably closer to 40 minutes. But just be sure to keep a close eye after you hit the 30 minute mark so as not to over bake them.

Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake
from Bon Appetit



  • 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate (do not exceed 61% cacao), chopped
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 3/4 cups boiling water
  • 2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
  • 1 1/3 cups mayonnaise (do not use reduced-fat or fat-free)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • 10 ounces bittersweet chocolate (do not exceed 61% cacao), chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

special equipment

  • Three 8-inch-diameter cake pans with 1 1/2-inch-high sides


  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour three 8-inch-diameter cake pans with 1 1/2-inch-high sides. Combine chopped chocolate and cocoa powder in medium metal bowl. Add 13/4 cups boiling water and whisk until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.
  • Sift flour, baking soda, and baking powder into another medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat both sugars and mayonnaise in large bowl until well blended, 2 to 3 minutes. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating until well blended after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Add flour mixture in 4 additions alternately with chocolate mixture in 3 additions, beating until blended after each addition and occasionally scraping down sides of bowl. Divide batter among prepared cake pans (about 2 1/3 cups for each).
  • Bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, 30 to 32 minutes. Cool cakes in pans on racks 20 minutes.
  • Run small knife around sides of cakes to loosen. Carefully invert cakes onto racks and let cool completely.


  • Place chopped chocolate in medium metal bowl; set bowl over saucepan of simmering water and stir until chocolate is melted and smooth. Carefully remove bowl from over water; let melted chocolate cool until lukewarm, stirring occasionally.
  • Using electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl until smooth and creamy. Sift powdered sugar over butter and beat until well blended, about 2 minutes. Beat in vanilla. Add melted chocolate and beat until well blended and smooth, occasionally scraping down sides of bowl.
  • Place 1 cake layer on platter. Spread 3/4 cup frosting over top of cake layer to edges. Top with second cake layer; spread 3/4 cup frosting over. Top with third cake layer. Spread remaining frosting decoratively over top and sides of cake. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover with cake dome and let stand at room temperature.
  • Cut cake into wedges and serve.
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  1. I think the mayo is a great idea. It would definitely keep the cake moist.

  2. Interesting. I never would have considered using mayo.

    Thanks for stopping bySweet Tooth Friday,


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