Duke’s Mayonnaise Cake Recipe

| January 31, 2021 | 12 Comments

Mayonnaise Cake Recipe

Follow our easy, complete, step-by-step, photo illustrated recipe to learn how to make this moist and delicious Duke’s Mayonnaise Cake with Chocolate Frosting. Printable recipe included.


Mayonnaise Cake, enjoy.
Duke’s Mayonnaise is used instead of oil and eggs to make this deliciously moist chocolate cake. We’ve even included a chocolate frosting recipe to go along with the cake. It’s a chocolate lovers dream cake.


Mayonnaise Cake, slider.

I feel it’s only natural to think that adding mayonnaise to a cake is a bit, shall we say, “different.”

But, have no fear, I promise you’re going to love it if you will just try it. I certainly did, and I’m a big mayonnaise fan as you may already know. Plus, I’m truly a Duke’s Mayonnaise fan as any Southerner should be. It’s a staple in our kitchens here in the South.

If you could see my kitchen at this very moment, you’d find one opened jar of Duke’s in the refrigerator, and two unopened jars in the cabinets. It’s not possible to have too much on hand at any one time. Smile.

Mayonnaise is made mostly of eggs and oil, so even though we haven’t thought about it, it comes pretty natural to replace the eggs and oil from a cake batter recipe with just mayonnaise. It accomplishes the same thing. Duke’s, in my Southern opinion, is the perfect choice for this.

Duke’s recently published a new cookbook of their own with lots of other uses for their great product that I’ve slowly been trying here in the Taste of Southern kitchen. Things like adding a bit of mayo to my scrambled eggs, or spreading mayo on the outside of a grilled cheese sandwich before grilling it instead of butter. So far, I’ve been well pleased with all of them.

We just learn something new everyday as the old saying goes.

Duke’s recipe calls for water in the cake batter, but I’ve stepped that up by using buttermilk instead. Regular milk will also work, but the buttermilk just adds a greater depth of flavor. You decide.

I do hope you’ll try this cake. It’s really easy to prepare and turns out very moist and delicious. The frosting is sweet, so the cake is rich, and it doesn’t take a large slice to satisfy your cravings for chocolate. In other words, it will go a long way in serving your family and friends.

We’ll walk you through making the cake, the frosting, and assembling your cake in the steps below.

Ready to give it a try? Alright then, let’s head on out to the kitchen and… Let’s Get Cooking!


Mayonnaise Cake, ingredients for the cake.
Mayonnaise Cake – You’ll need these ingredients to make the cake.

Frosting ingredients and instructions are listed further down.

Remember, we’re using mayonnaise instead of eggs and oil to make this one. Smile


Mayonnaise Cake, sift the flour.
Start by placing a bit more than 3 cups of All-Purpose Flour into your sifter. Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl.

Sifting helps aerate the flour. And, if you were back in the 40’s and 50’s, it would help you find any meal bugs that might be enjoying living in your flour. True story. We don’t worry about little bugs so much these days, but it still happens. Just saying.


Mayonnaise Cake, use level measuring cups.
Use a spoon to scoop flour from your bowl into your measuring cup. Take a butter knife and level off the top of the flour in the measuring cup. This is one level cup of flour.

Add 3 level cups of the sifted flour back into your sifter. I normally place my sifter on a plate because some of the flour will fall through the sifter as you pour the flour in. Just helps keep your work surface clean.


Mayonnaise Cake, add the cocoa.
Add 6 level Tablespoons of Unsweetened Powdered Cocoa to the sifter.


Mayonnaise Cake, add baking soda.
Add 1/2 teaspoon of Baking POWDER.


Mayonnaise Cake, add salt.
Add 1/4 teaspoon of Salt.


Mayonnaise Cake, add baking soda.king
Add 1 Tablespoon of Baking SODA.


Mayonnaise Cake, sift together.
Sift these ingredients back into the first bowl you used for the flour.


Mayonnaise Cake, add the sugar.
Add 1-1/2 cups Sugar to the flour ingredients.


Mayonnaise Cake, whisk together.
Whisk all of the dry ingredients together until fully combined. Set aside for the moment.


Mayonnaise Cake, add mayonnaise.
Place 1-1/2 cups Duke’s Mayonnaise in a large mixing bowl.

My niece gave me a nice set of metal bowls with lids for Christmas. I like them, but the mirror like finish on the inside makes the photos of what’s in the bowl look a bit funny. Smile.


Mayonnaise Cake, add the buttermilk.
Add 1-1/2 cups of Buttermilk.

The recipe on the Duke’s Mayonnaise website calls for water in their recipe. You can easily replace it with milk or buttermilk for added flavor to your cake layers. Milk works great, but buttermilk seems to kick it up yet another notch. Just use what you have on hand.


Mayonnaise Cake, add vanilla.
Add 2 teaspoons of Happy Home Vanilla Flavoring.

I like the Happy Home brand of flavorings as much as I like my Duke’s Mayonnaise. I guess it’s just a Southern thing. Mama always used Happy Home Flavorings after we moved to the big city. Back in the country, we had a Watkins man that came around once a week, so that’s what she used back then.


Mayonnaise Cake, mix.
Use a mixer on a lower speed to mix it all together until creamy smooth.


Mayonnaise Cake, add dry mixture.
Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Mix just until incorporated.

Okay, so I forgot to take a photo of that part. Please forgive me. I added about 1/3 of the dry ingredients to the mayo and milk mixture at a time, then mixed it together just until it was all combined. Repeat this step until it’s all mixed together.


Mayonnaise Cake, mix.
Don’t overmix it. Just mix it until the dry ingredients are combined with the wet. Scrape down the bowl as needed. If you’re using buttermilk and it’s a bit dry, add just a bit more of the buttermilk. It seems to use a bit more buttermilk than just regular milk or even water.


Mayonnaise Cake, prepare pans and add the batter.
Prepare two 8inch cake pans.

I lightly sprayed the bottom and inside walls of my pans with a baking spray. You could use butter and flour if you prefer. Then, I added a parchment paper circle to the bottom of each pan and sprayed the paper lightly as well.

Next, divide the batter between the two pans as evenly as you can.

Tap the pans lightly on your counter top to remove any air bubbles.


Mayonnaise Cake, bake.
Pre-heat the oven to 350F degrees.

Place the pans on the middle rack of your hot oven and let them bake for 30 minutes or until they are done. Test them with a toothpick to be sure the centers are fully baked. The edges will also start to pull away from the pan when the layers are done.


Mayonnaise Cake, remove to wire rack to cool for 10 minutes.
When the layers are done, remove them from the oven and place them on wire racks to cool for 10-15 minutes.

I was pleased at how evenly these baked up to the tops of the pans. If you look closely at the bottom right corner, you can see where the thumb of my oven mitt pressed into the cake as I was taking it out of the oven. My layers usually aren’t up so close to the top of the pan. Smile.


Mayonnaise Cake, turn out of pans.
After they cool for about 15 minutes in the pan, you  need to remove them from the pans completely.

I placed another sheet of the parchment paper on top of the layer still in the pan, placed another wire rack on top of that, then squeezed the bottom and top wire racks together enough to where I could flip the entire thing over.

Then, I gently lifted the pan off the layers. As you can see, the top piece of parchment is now on the bottom. This should help keep the top of the cake layer from sticking to the wire rack.

The cakes came right out, and the parchment that had been inside the pan was still inside the pans. Parchment just makes cake baking so much easier. Trust me on this one.

The layers need to cool completely before you frost them. Let’s make some frosting, shall we?


Mayonnaise Cake, frosting ingredients.
Mayonnaise Cake Frosting Recipe – You’ll need these ingredients.

You’ll need to use softened butter, so leave it out on the counter awhile before you actually start making the frosting.


Mayonnaise Cake, add cocoa.
Place 1 cup of Unsweetened Powdered Cocoa in a large mixing bowl.

I didn’t sift mine, but I think you should. It certainly can’t hurt and it would eliminate most of the little lumps like you see above.


Mayonnaise Cake, add the butter.
Add 1 cup of softened Butter to the Cocoa.


Mayonnaise Cake, mix until smooth.
Use the whisk attachment on your stand mixer if you’re using one. I do have one, practically a brand new one, but I decided to do this the hard way I guess. As an old man that now does most of his cooking sitting down, it was just easier for me to do. Getting old is fun. Smile.

Of course, the cocoa is going to try to fly everywhere at first, so start out on the slowest speed until the butter starts working into the cocoa. This could take several minutes because you want to work it together until it’s creamy smooth. Don’t skimp on this part.


Mayonnaise Cake, add vanilla.
Add 1 teaspoon of Vanilla Flavoring.


Mayonnaise Cake, add ugaar and milk.
Add 1 cup of Confectioner’s Sugar and 1 Tablespoon of Milk.

You will be adding a total of 6 cups of Confectioners Sugar and 6 Tablespoons of Milk, maybe a liitle more.  Add 1 cup of the sugar and 1 Tablespoon of the milk at a time and mix it together just until it reaches a smooth and spreadable consistency at the end.


Mayonnaise Cake, smooth.
I ended up just adding the entire 2 pound bag of Confectioners Sugar. I did have to add some more milk to get it to this point. Making adjustments as you go is just part of the process.

I think I should have added some more milk to make it even creamier, but this is where I stopped.

The more you bake, and the more you experiment with frostings, the better you’ll get. I’ve never been much of a baker, but always wanted to learn how to decorate cakes. I just do the best that I can. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, but they usually still taste good. Smile.


Mayonnaise Cake, assemble your cake.
Assemble your cake.

I’m using a turntable for my cake. Makes it easier to spread and work with the frosting.

I’ve placed a cardboard circle on top of the turntable. Then, I place a dab of frosting on the cardboard and place the first layer on top of that. The frosting helps to hold the layer to the board and keep it from sliding around.

I’ve also placed strips of parchment paper under the edge of the layer. As I add frosting, the paper will catch it. When I’m finished, I just ease the parchment out and end up with pretty clean edges of the cake at the bottom.


Mayonnaise Cake, add frosting.
I placed some of the frosting in a piping bag and spread a thick layer of frosting around the outer edge of the layer. Doesn’t have to be perfect, just creating a barrier for the other icing.


Mayonnaise Cake, add more.
Then, add some more frosting to the inside of the first ring. Again, you’re not worried about how it looks. Obviously… right? Smile.


Mayonnaise Cake, smooth it out.
Use a spatula to spread and smooth the frosting, keeping it as even across the top as you can. You want it even so it covers the entire surface of the layer.



Mayonnaise Cake, add the second layer.
Carefully place the second layer on top of the frosting. Place this layer bottom side up. The bottom is always smooth and this gives you a smooth surface for your frosting on the top of your cake.

I put the first layer top side up by the way.


Mayonnaise Cake, frost the side.
Use a spatula to add frosting to the outside of the cake layers. We’re just trying to get frosting on and to stick to the outside at this point. Add it all around the outside, top to bottom.


Mayonnaise Cake, frost the top.
Plop a layer of frosting on top of the cake. You could use the piping bag and do the top the same way we did the bottom, but I think I got a bit lazy at this point and just winged it. Gotta have fun in the process you know.


Mayonnaise Cake, decorate as desired.
Spread the frosting out evenly across the top and around the sides. Just do your thing and decorate it any old way you like it.

My frosting was a bit dry which made it a bit harder to spread. I worked with it until I got it looking this good and called it a night. Smile.

Use your talent and decorate it any way YOU prefer. I know you’ll do much better than me and I’m certainly okay with that.

I’m always afraid I’ll get it too thin and it will be runny I think. I had hoped to do a little piping around the edges, but my frosting wasn’t suited for that. I’m not giving up on it though and I hope you will not either. Like I stated earlier, it will still taste good.


Mayonnaise Cake, enjoy.


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Mayonnaise Cake, printbox.

Duke’s Mayonnaise Cake Recipe

  • Author: Steve Gordon
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: Varies
  • Category: Desserts, Cakes
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American, Southern


A super delicious Chocolate Cake made with Duke’s Mayonnaise. No eggs or oil needed. We’ve also got a great frosting recipe to go along with it.



Ingredients For The Cake:
3 cups All-Purpose Flour
6 Tablespoons Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1 Tablespoon Baking Soda
11/2 cups Sugar
11/2 cups Duke’s Mayonnaise
2 teaspoons Vanilla Flavoring
11/2 cups Buttermilk, regular milk, or water

Frosting Ingredients:
1 cup Unsweetened Powder Cocoa
1 cup Butter, softened
1 teaspoon Vanilla Flavoring
6 cups Confectioner’s Sugar
6 Tablespoons Milk, maybe a little more as needed.


Place a bit more than 3 cups of flour in a sifter.
Sift the flour into a large bowl.
Spoon sifted flour into a one cup measuring cup. Level the top of flour.
Add 3 level cups of sifted flour back into your sifter.
Add the cocoa powder.
Add baking soda.
Add salt.
Add baking powder.
Sift ingredients back into a large bowl.
Add sugar.
Whisk dry ingredients together until fully combined.
In another large mixing bowl, add the mayonnaise.
Add vanilla flavoring.
Add the milk or water.
Mix together on lower speed until smooth.
Gradually add the dry ingredients into the wet until combined.
Do not over beat the mixture.
Prepare 2 8inch sized cake pans with baking spray.
Place a parchment paper circle in the bottom of each pan.
Divide the batter evenly between the two pans.
Bake at 350F degrees for 30 minutes or until done. Test with toothpick for doneness.
Remove from oven. Place on wire racks to cool for 10-15 minutes.
Remove from pans, return to wire racks. Let cool completely before frosting.

Prepare the frosting:
Place powdered cocoa in a large mixing bowl.
Add the softened butter.
Cream together on a lower speed until nice and smooth.
Add the vanilla flavoring.
Add 1 cup of confectioner’s sugar to the bowl.
Add 1 Tablespoon of regular milk to the bowl.
Mix together until combined.
Repeat this process until you’ve added all 6 cups of confectioners sugar and milk as needed.
Mix together until you have a smooth, spreadable consistency.
Spread frosting on cool layers.
Decorate as desired.


You can make this cake batter with water instead of milk or buttermilk. Regular milk just adds more flavor, and buttermilk is even better. Try it and see.

Keywords: mayonnaise, duke's mayonnaise cake, mayonnaise cake, chocolate cake, southern favorite cake, easy, chocolate frosting, Duke's Mayonnaise

Your Comments:  Have you tried our Duke’s Mayonnaise Cake?

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Be Blessed!!!



You might also like these…

Basic Cake Layers Recipe

Golden Butter Cake Layers Recipe

Old Fashioned Pineapple Cake Recipe


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Category: Desserts

About the Author ()

Award Winning Food Preservationist, Fisherman, Author of three cookbooks. "From Mama's Big Oval Table, From Mama's Big Oval Table - BOOK TWO and Carolina Christmas Sweets and Appetizers." Online Contributor to Our State Magazine Newsletter.

Comments (12)

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  1. Jane says:

    I have made Chocolate Mayonnaise Cakes for years. My recipe is the same as yours except I use 1T of baking soda and no baking powder. I bake it in a 9×13 pan. The cake is delicious but I have trouble with the cake falling in the center. Would adding the baking powder help this problem? Thank you

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Jane, The baking powder could help. What type of flour are you using? That could make a difference too, and you need to be sure you’re using fairly fresh flour as well. I hope this helps. Thank you for your visits and I do hope you’ll visit with us often. The door is always open for you. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  2. Ronnie Evans says:

    Potato salad made with dukes mayonnaise

  3. Alice C says:

    I made this recipe for Valentines. The cake was excellent – texture was great, super moist but light with no “sad” spots. The icing was wonderful as well. Mine was a little thick but I added a little more milk as needed to rich the consistency I was looking for. The directions and steps were very easy to follow and not hard at all. I would definitely recommend this recipe for any one, especially a chocolate lover.

  4. Barbara Jean says:

    Baked this Mayo cake this yr. for the hubs. Went to see mom while cakes were cooling. Came back & hubs said the cake would be stale before I got it iced. Made the icing using half & half instead of milk at room temp. Cake is unbelievably delicious & easy to make. A go to cake from now on. He can’t eat it fast enough. Thank you for a wonderful recipe.

  5. Julie says:

    The cake is great! Thank you for the recipe! I’ve used Duke’s mayonnaise for years and it’s the best. Wouldn’t use any other! By the way, ! I’ve tried several of your recipes for various things and am never disappointed. Your biscuit recipe is SO good. And the cobblers! Oh, my! Thank you again. You are appreciated.

  6. Donna Gordon Pike says:

    Good day Steve!

    I can’t wait to try this. My Mom used to make a mayonaisse cake many, many years ago and I had forgotten about it so I am glad you made this. Unfortunately, there is no Duke’s mayonaisse in Canada but Costco makes a really nice mayo which I will use. One day, when the border from Canada to the USA open up again, I will make a trip to the South and get some Dukes, once and for all! I am going to hold off making this for a while. We are not allowed to have any family members, friends etc. in our homes because of Covid 19. Very strict rules and my husband and I miss our grown children and grandchildren very much. I have not been able to cook for them for a very, very long time now. I sincerely hope Canada gets more vaccine. My husband and I are 73 and 70 respectively and relatively hale and hearty for our age. Even at that, we most likely will not be able to receive the vaccine until maybe, June or July! We are not allowed to travel and have been advised to not leave our own community or go out except for essentials. Luckily we have been retired for some time and are used to being at home and it is sooo hard not to bake a lot and eat it! Now this lovely, tempting cake…..

    We always, and I mean ALWAYS look forward to your newsletter and recipes. Congrstulations on your cookbook success! Sending prayers thst your vertigo disappears as quickly as it came to you. You never know…..

  7. Clara Smith says:

    Steve, I made my first mayonnaise chocolate cake about 40 years ago. Loved it. Duke’s mayo is A # 1, the very best. Glad you made your cookbook and am eagerly awaiting the second order, I’m not surprised it was sold out in 2 hours. God is good. Clara

  8. Karen Miller says:

    In this time of having to “make do”, I have all the ingredients! Yum!

  9. Lynne Jones says:

    Steve, will definitely try the Mayonnaise Cake recipe. I did notice in your ingredients that you used Imitation Vanilla. Do you think this is just as good as real vanilla? Also do you think Hellman’s Mayo will work? Thanks for your newsletters and recipes. Blessings to you.

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Lynne, It’s just a matter of preference for the Vanilla. I don’t notice a difference in my recipes and have always used the Happy Home brand of flavorings. I would imagine your Hellman’s would work but I’ve never tried it. You have to know that I only use Duke’s around here. Smile. I hope this helps. Thank you for your visit and be sure to stop by again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  10. Lori Dom says:

    Can’t wait to bake this cake tomorrow for my mother, her birthday was Sunday and chocolate cake is her favorite. Thank you for this recipe. God bless and have a great week.

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