Troy Chocolate Cake is a recipe I found years ago in my mom’s binder full of old recipe clippings. I believe it is from a friend in Troy, New York and that’s how it got its name, but it’s still a mystery!
Update: Thanks to some wonderful people in the comments section, the mystery is solved! The recipe appeared on a utility bill and brochures in Upstate New York, and was submitted by someone from Troy.Jump to Recipe
It is an easy 8 inch square pan one layer chocolate mayonnaise cake with a chocolate and sour cream flavored frosting.
Troy Chocolate Cake Texture
Here’s a picture of the cake’s texture.
Troy Chocolate Cake Ingredients
As mentioned, this is a mayonnaise cake. Mayonnaise stands in for butter and oil, but it does not completely take the place of eggs, as there is one egg in the recipe. The other ingredients are pantry staples. The recipe calls for all-purpose flour rather than cake flour, natural cocoa powder and granulated sugar.
Chocolate Sour Cream Frosting
The recipe includes my favorite type of chocolate frosting, which is one made with sour cream and natural cocoa powder. And this one has a lot of sour cream! If you are not so fond of sour cream, you can use your personal favorite. Or maybe try it with vanilla flavored cornstarch frosting.
- The cake does not require an electric mixer, but the frosting does.
- You can use an 8 inch metal pan or an 8 inch glass dish.
- The amount of salt in the original recipe was 1/2 teaspoon, but lately I’ve been cutting it down to 1/4 teaspoon. The mayonnaise seems to have plenty of salt.
- I make this cake with natural cocoa powder rather than Dutch process.
- For the frosting, the butter should be very soft — almost melted. The sour cream should be brought to room temperature unless you are okay with little brown dots of cocoa.
- The amount of confectioners’ sugar is measured after sifting. It needs to be sifted for proper measuring by volume and to help keep the frosting smooth.
More Recipes With Mayonnaise
Troy Chocolate Cake
- 1 cup granulated sugar (200 grams)
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise (120 grams)
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (160 grams)
- 1/2 cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, scant (you can use as little as 1/4)
- 3/4 cups lukewarm water
Sour Cream Chocolate Icing
- 4 tablespoons butter, unsalted or salted (56 grams)
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder, natural (30 grams)
- 1 ½ cups sifted confectioners sugar (150 grams)
- 1/3 cup sour cream, bring to room temperature (80 grams)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Grease an 8 inch square metal or glass pan (cooking spray is fine).
- Combine first 4 ingredients (sugar, mayonnaise, egg and vanilla) in a mixing bowl. Stir well.
- Sift flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt together, then add to the mayonnaise mixture. Stir in the water and beat with a spoon or scraper until well-blended.
- Transfer mixture to the baking pan and bake at 325 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes. For cupcakes, bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.
- To make the frosting, soften to butter so that it is mushy and almost but not quite melted. Put in in a mixing bowl.
- Sift the cocoa powder with the confectioners' sugar. Add the confectioners' sugar mixture to the butter gradually, alternating with the sour cream. beat with a handheld mixer until fluffy, scraping sides of the bowl. Beat in the vanilla.
- You can use a metal pan or a glass baking dish.
- You can mix the batter with a spoon or scraper. No need to use an electric mixer.
- Since the recipe calls for baking soda and no baking powder, I use natural cocoa, which is more acidic than Dutch process. I still haven’t tried this with Dutch process.
- You can make the frosting without an electric mixer, but it’s easier with one. A handheld should be fine.
Kathy, sorry it was confusing. You start with softened butter in the mixing bowl, then add the sugar and cocoa powder mixture alternately with the sour cream. Make sure to mix or blend on a low speed so that sugar doesn’t fly anywhere.
When reading the instructions for the sour cream icing, it did not say when to add the softened butter?
Thanks so much for sharing the Troy Cake story! I’ll email you so you’ll have my info.
Hi Anna –
I have had this recipe in my recipe box for 45-50 years and have never made it until Today!!!!! I decided to make it because it looked easy and I only need a small cake. Although it doesn’t say what size pan to use, I recalled from all those years ago that it was for a one layer cake. I believe I got the recipe from a person named Sue Bennett but don’t make me swear to it. haha We both lived in Leisureville Apartments at the time – 1968 – 77. Apparently mine came from a ? brochure/ magazine/ newsletter? because I cut it out and taped it to an index card. If I can find an email address for you on your site, I will take a photo for you. It is exactly the same recipe and it has the name of the person who submitted it along with “stays fresh for days”. Maybe this will help solve the mystery!
Celine Edwards – Schenectady, NY
Thanks so much for trying the recipe, and I’m glad you enjoyed it. Happy belated birthday to your husband :).
The cake I baked for my husband’s 69 Birthday was exactly as pictured, and quite rich and moist. We thoroughly enjoyed it. Thank you for sharing this recipe.
I’m baking this cake for my husband’s 69th Birthday today. Dec. 19/15
Maybe they call it Troy because of the mayo being like a trogan horse. It hides inside the deliciousness of the chocolate cake. It’s so sneaky you don’t even know it’s there until it’s too late 😉
Love the story about how you saw it on your utility bill! I wish Austin Energy would put recipes on my utility bill 🙂
I have been baking this cake for over 30 years.
I first saw the recipe on my utility bill. A person from Troy, N.Y. submitted it.
Thus the name Troy Choc. Cake
It is wonderful even without icing, and freezes well.
I made this for Father’s Day. It was easy to make and turned out really good. Very moist, and a little dense in a good way. I made a different frosting to fulfill a request for white frosting. Thanks Anna!
I loved it and your so cute it so good I had a party at school me and my mom made it and every body loved it very much and can I have your phone number please Troy.
Maybe chocolate sour cream icing is a love it/hate it sort of thing? Who knows. Ours turned out really good.
Another thing that can ruin perfectly good icing is using old powdered sugar or sugar that’s absorbed flavors from somewhere else. A hole in the box or partially opened bag can ruin powdered sugar.
I love mayo in cakes…
And I can’t believe anyone wouldn’t love the chocolate sour cream frosting. THat’s my go-to chocolate icing, so good!
Hi Anna, I have never seen mayonnaise used in a cake before, but if Fuzz liked it, it must be good.
I made the cake today and although I liked the easy cake, I did not care for the icing. I think it was the sour cream. I’ll make it again, just not use that icing. I’m sure it will be eaten though–ha. Jancd
Wow! I don’t remember any after school snacks like this!
Well, first off, I went back to the binder and found some more recipes with the same handwriting — Honey Ice Cream and Summer “Creme” Pie. I’m fairly certain the recipes are from my aunt, who lived in New York and would likely have a recipe from Troy. She must have written out multiple cards and wrote names on cards to keep track of which ones were for who.
Jenny, my husband hates mayonnaise too — but not in cake! I’ve made mayonnaise cakes before, but the ones I’ve made used mayonnaise in place of eggs. This one is interesting in that it also includes the egg.
Charley, maybe it appeared in a Troy newspaper? It would be interesting to know just why it’s called “Troy Chocolate Cake”. And I have to admit, I always thought mayonnaise cakes were Southern thing.
Cathering, I must have too much time on my hands today because I have also been trying to figure out what “cat paw, lemon, on the way to church” means.
Michelle, I picked this frosting recipe at random because it seemed easy and I had some sour cream. It was definitely a good pick.
Michelle W. in Calif.
That looks yummy! I always put mayo in my chocolate cakes….and that’s my fave Cake Mix Doctor frosting. Love those books!
(my cookie dough is chillin’…) 🙂
I just love the stories behind the faded recipe cards. My grandmother left such cryptic messages on hers…I’m still trying to figure them out. What do you think “cat paw, lemon, on the way to church” means???
This recipe looks very similar to the chocolate mayonnaise cake that was given to my mother by my old school bus driver. I grew up only 40 minutes from Troy so I’m curious about the origination of the recipe. Thanks for reminding me of this treasure.
This reminds me of the first of a lovely series of plays they had on radio 4 on the bbc which I listened to on the internet. They made a sort of revenge cake with a whole jar of mayonnaise in as the husband hated mayonnaise and it turned out to be wonderful! Certainly looks very moist!