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Duke’s Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake

Duke’s Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake is an incredibly moist and chocolaty cake that has been popular in the south for generations. So easy to make and uses only simple ingredients.

Duke's Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake - so moist and rich!

Probably everyone who was raised in the South has eaten this cake a multitude of times. It’s one of those recipes that really stands the test of time. It is sure to bring back memories for many people. Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake is a southern classic.

Mayonnaise may sound like a strange addition to a cake, but when you think about it, it’s really just oil and eggs. And southerners do love their mayonnaise and put it in and on everything including burgers, sandwiches, casseroles, even cake.

Duke's Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake - a southern favorite that's so moist and rich!

Duke’s Mayonnaise is the mayonnaise brand of choice for many southerners, but it is a very regional product and not widely available outside of the south. You can substitute any brand of mayonnaise.

Many southerners feel almost a cult-like allegiance to Duke’s Mayonnaise and that probably has as much to do with its history as it does the taste.

Duke’s Mayonnaise is a southern made product that came about because of some good ole southern ingenuity and hard work from Mrs. Eugenia Duke. During World War 1, Mrs. Duke started selling sandwiches to soldiers to make extra money. It wasn’t long before people were asking her for her mayonnaise recipe. She eventually began selling her sandwiches to more and more people and is said to have bought her first delivery truck after selling her 11,000th sandwich.

Duke's Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake -so moist!

It wasn’t long before she decided to scrap the sandwiches and focus on making the mayonnaise. In 1926 she sold her recipe and brand to the CF Sauer Company. The company proceeded to hire Mrs. Duke as their chief salesperson and the original salesforce selling Duke’s Mayonnaise for the company consisted of all women. It is still produced in Greenville. SC where Mrs Duke began selling sandwiches all those years ago and is made with her original recipe.

Mrs. Duke and Duke’s Mayonnaise are definitely deserving of being celebrated for their important contribution to the food industry in the south and what better way to celebrate than with chocolate cake? Mayonnaise makes this cake exceptionally moist, even days after it is baked. An insanely rich and chocolatey frosting makes it hard to resist.

If you want to purchase Duke’s mayonnaise online you can buy it here.

Duke's Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake

Duke's Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake - so moist and rich!

Duke's Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake

Mayonnaise make an exceptionally moist and rich chocolate cake. This southern dessert is so easy and delicious!
PREP: 20 mins
COOK: 30 mins
TOTAL: 50 mins


  • 6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups Duke's mayonnaise, use full fat
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups cold water

Chocolate Icing

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5 to 6 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 6 or more tablespoons of milk


  • Preheat oven to 350°F and grease and flour two 8-inch cake pans.
  • Sift cocoa, flour, baking soda, salt and sugar into a medium bowl.
  • Combine mayonnaise, vanilla and water in an electric mixer at low speed. Once smooth, slowly add in dry mixture until just incorporated (do not over beat).
  • Pour batter into cake pans and bake for 30 minutes or until done.
  • Cool on wire racks.
  • For icing, In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter and cocoa with whisk attachment until smooth. Add vanilla. Add confectioners' sugar alternately with milk until icing reaches a spreadable consistency.
  • Spread a portion of the icing on top of one layer of cake. Stack the other layer on top. Use remaining icing to cover the top and sides.


Note: You may have a hard time frosting the sides of the cake without crumbs showing. If so, spread a thin layer of frosting on sides, refrigerate for 15 to 20 minutes and then do a second thicker coat.


Calories: 553kcal
Author: Christin Mahrlig
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Southern

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Recipe Source: Duke’s Mayonnaise

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Another favorite southern dessert is this Banana Pudding Cake!

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29 thoughts on “Duke’s Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake”

  1. Made this cake Friday night and it was so moist I had a lot of trouble getting the icing on. It is great but a royal mess. Any suggestions on how too make this “Neater” lol

  2. It looks delicious and i would like to make it for my kids but i have one problem..
    I’m from Europe, could you please write me how much grams or milliliters is one cup? 🙂

  3. Renee Jackson

    My mother made this cake hen I was a child in Michigan. She said it was developed during the war when eggs and butter were rationed. I still make it.

  4. Dorothy Dunton

    Being originally from Michigan I always used Hellman’s mayo for my chocolate cakes. However, since transplanting to TN nine years ago, I now use Duke’s for everything!

  5. Thalia @ butter and brioche

    This is THE best chocolate cake I have ever seen… it looks so moist and chocolatey! I have never baked/eaten a cake with mayonnaise before, you definitely have got me curious to know what it tastes like. Pinned!

    1. Christin
      Christin Mahrlig

      Thank you Thalia! It really doesn’t taste much different than any other cake but the mayonnaise gives it a really moist texture 🙂
      Thank you for pinning!

  6. Ella-HomeCookingAdventure

    This looks wonderful. Never had a chocolate cake that uses mayonnaise. I am so curious about it.

  7. Lindsey @ American Heritage Cooking

    These are the types of desserts that make me sad that I wasn’t raised in the SOuth! How have I never had this cake?!?! Need. Want. Need! Pinned.

  8. Jess @ On Sugar Mountain

    I would have never thought to use mayo in a cake, but you’re right: mayo is pretty much just oil and eggs and it looks like it makes a superior cake! This chocolate cake looks absolutely heavenly, Christin!

  9. Ashley | Spoonful of Flavor

    Wow, I can’t believe how easy this is to make! I’ve never baked with mayo but I can understand why it would create such a moist cake. And you know I can’t ever resist chocolate 🙂

  10. Shashi @ runninsrilankan

    Oh dear lord – you are killing me with this cake Christin – I have added sour cream to a cake before but never mayo – this cake looks so fluffy and light – I think I could eat the whole thing!

  11. Sarah@WholeandHeavenlyOven

    I’ve heard awesome things about mayo chocolate cakes, and I think it’s finally time that I just break down and try it. — This looks so SO moist and soft, Christin! I’d a love a big ‘ol piece with a glass of milk right now. 😀

  12. Amy (Savory Moments)

    I’ve not had mayo cake before, but it looks so moist, fluffy, and really delicious!!

  13. Jessica @ Sweet Menu

    Loving this beautiful chocolate cake! You know the addition of mayonnaise really does make sense when you explain it like that, and it probably gives the cake that nice softness with a hint of sour, kind of like sour cream. I really want to try this!

  14. I love a good chocolate cake! I remember the first I heard of using mayo for cake and I wasn’t too sure I liked the notion since I’m not big on mayo alone…but then I thought about it being oil & eggs like you said and it made sense! You would never know, would you, if you weren’t told?

  15. My mom used to make a chocolate mayonnaise cake growing up and it was incredible. I’ve never liked mayo much, so when she told me what was in it I was sure I wouldn’t like it. Was I ever wrong! This cake looks so chocolatey and amazing!

  16. Gayle @ Pumpkin 'N Spice

    This cake looks delicious, Christin! Where I live, we have a fast food place (Portillos) that makes a famous chocolate cake made with mayo. It’s the first time I’ve heard of it, but it does make the cake incredibly moist!

  17. Natalie @ Tastes Lovely

    So I’ve never actually had a mayo cake, but I can imagine how creamy and moist it would be. I can’t wait to try this!

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