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Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake

Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake with Sour Cream Frosting

A rich, not-too-sweet chocolate cake made with Dutch process cocoa powder and mayonnaise.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 12
Author Cookie Madness



  • 1 1/3 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder
  • 3/4 cup + 1 tablespoon Dutch-process cocoa powder Hershey’s Dark
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup 7 oz granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon 4 oz packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups mayonnaise
  • 2 1/4 cups 10.1 oz all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt plus a little pinch

Sour Cream Frosting

  • 10.5 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into chunks and softened
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 4 cups confectioners’ sugar sifted
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt omit if using salted butter
  • 1/2 cup room temperature sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray two 9x2 inch round metal baking pans with flour-added baking spray (Baker's Joy) and line the bottom with circles of parchment (just to be safe!).
  • In a large saucepan, boil the water. Remove from heat and add the espresso powder and cocoa powder. Stir until smooth and set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the eggs, sugar and brown sugar for a full 7 minutes or until thick and light. Add the mayonnaise and vanilla and beat on medium until combined.
  • In a second bowl, thoroughly mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.. Add to the egg mixture and stir until mixed.
  • Pour in the cocoa mixture and stir well. Batter will be thin.
  • Pour into prepared pans and bake on center rack for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Invert cakes on a cooling rack, peel away the parchment (if you used it), and let cool completely.
  • To make the sour cream frosting, beat the butter and cocoa powder in a large mixing bowl until mixed. Gradually add the confectioners’ sugar (and salt, if using) and sour cream and beat until smooth. Beat in the vanilla.