Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake (Double Chocolate Layer Cake)

This is my favorite chocolate cake recipe since it’s quick and simple to prepare, plus it reminds me of Chicago’s famed Portillos chocolate cake! This is a luscious chocolate cake that is rich and chocolaty, coated in a thick layer of chocolate buttercream frosting, then stacked for a delectable dessert. The ideal foundation for my handmade Portillos Chocolate Cake Shake.

Don’t leave because of the name! Mayonnaise is an ingredient that serves three functions, and you’d never guess it if I didn’t tell you.

Which I have to so you can make it yeah.

But really… mayonnaise?

I seldom use mayonnaise unless I’m cooking a large quantity of my copycat Ruby Tuesday pasta salad, and this cake is an exception.

Mayonnaise is typically made with egg yolks, oil, vinegar, and salt. And, if you consider most cake recipes, they ask for eggs, oil, salt, and occasionally vinegar, thus the mayo fills the roles of all of those components at once!

So don’t allow the thought of mayo in this chocolate cake turn you off; I guarantee there will be no feature of the finished cake that will keep you from falling in love with it.

Portillo’s Chocolate Cake Copycat recipe

This is my Portillos Chocolate Cake clone recipe. If you didn’t already know, I’m from Illinois, and one of the things I miss the most about it (apart from the deep dish pizza, ooooooohmygod) is Portillos.

Portillos has some of my favorite dishes, and it’s the first place I go when I visit. I always order the same thing:

  • Italian Beef sandwich, dry with gravy on the side
  • Cheese fries (crinkle fries, to be precise)
  • Chocolate cake shake
  • And, depending on how long I’m in town, maybe a chocolate cake to go with it.

While I don’t get to fly home to Chicago very often to indulge, the good news is that baking my own rich double chocolate layer cake at home couldn’t be simpler, except from hiring someone to do it.

Yep, we’re using boxed chocolate cake mix

I wouldn’t generally recommend using a box mix, but it’s the quickest way to obtain the flavor I want, so that’s precisely what we’re going to do!

A box of Betty Crocker Super Moist Milk Chocolate cake mix, to be exact. You may use a different brand, but this one has the greatest taste in my opinion.

How do you keep chocolate cake layers moist?

There are many factors that contribute to a delicious chocolate cake that isn’t too heavy and doesn’t crumble, which is why I like to use certain shortcuts in this recipe to assist assure success!

  • Do not overmeasure the flour. Because we’re using a boxed cake mix, all of the dry ingredients (flour, cocoa powder, sugar, etc.) have already been measured for you! If you’re unclear how to measure dry ingredients, bookmark this page for future reference.
  • Try not to overmix the cake batter. This is helped a little by using the dry mix, but still! Make sure to blend the ingredients well, but you don’t need to do it for an extended period of time for good measure.
  • Maintaining a steady baking temperature. If you need assistance with verifying the calibration of your oven, I have a guide on how to do it! Aside from that, make sure you’re not opening and shutting the oven while it’s baking since this might substantially reduce the baking temperature and give inconsistent results.
  • Don’t overcook! I’d want to label this the most significant advice, but they’re all crucial. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out wet with crumbs.Some recipes ask for the toothpick to come out clean, but I find that if it stays that long, it’s overcooked and perhaps dry.
  • Add a generous amount of icing. Although you may not realize it, putting a layer of frosting between the two cake rounds, as well as icing the top and edges of the cake, helps give and keep moisture!

How to level a cake

Make use of a cake leveling tool. I prefer to use a cake leveler like this one, which allows you to change the height on each side while gliding it across the cake from one side to the other.

Make use of a serrated knife. Place your knife at the edge of the cake dome and keep the blade parallel to the counter while cutting a few inches into the cake. Remove the blade, flip the cake a quarter turn, and repeat the process. Work your way around the cake the rest of the way, then take one last parallel slice all the way through to remove the top.

Use toothpicks, unflavored dental floss, and a ruler. You may have seen a video of this popular hack at some time. You measure up from the bottom of the cake with a ruler and place a toothpick where you want the layer to be removed.

Turn the cake an eighth turn and repeat the process all the way around. Wrap the dental gloss (unflavored this time, my friends) around the cake, laying it on top of each toothpick. Cross the floss ends and pull straight across to draw the thread through and slice the cake.

For what it’s worth, this technique will be the dirtiest of the three, but hey, a hack is a hack, right?

How to frost a layer cake

There’s no need to be afraid by layer cake decorating! This one, in particular, was not doing any crazy fondant or complex piping.

  • 4 all the way around.Within around 1 minute, place 3 of your frosting on top of the initial layer of cake.Spread roughly 1 teaspoon of frosting using an icing spatula.
  • Place the second layer on top, centering it and aligning it with the bottom layer.
  • The crumb layer or crumb coat is a thin coating of icing applied to the edges of the cake. It seals in any crumbs that may appear while you’re icing.
  • Now, frost the exterior of the cake whatever you wish with the remaining frosting!

Decorating a chocolate layer cake

To be absolutely honest, I prefer to utilize the remaining cake tops from when we flattened the tops of the cake rounds as a decoration since it is straightforward and eliminates waste.

Simply crumble them and lay them on top, and you’re done!

As a consequence, the cake is moist, rich, and doubly chocolaty, with a delightfully thick layer of chocolate buttercream icing.

How many slices does this recipe make?

This is the kind of cake that should be cut into 16 smaller pieces rather than 8 huge ones. It’s rich and sweet enough that a bigger piece would definitely be too much.

That’s not to say I haven’t gorged myself on a large portion. I immediately knew as soon as I finished that I should have exercised some self-control since the sugar rush is not for the faint of heart!

How to store a chocolate layer cake

This isn’t as easy as putting the frosted cake on a covered cake stand and calling it a day, unless you’re having guests and it’ll be gone soon!

  • If you’re keeping the constructed, frosted cake, wrap it securely in plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator for 5-6 days. I stress the firmly because you don’t want cold air from the fridge sucking moisture out of it.
  • Wrap each cake layer separately in plastic wrap and foil (and place in a freezer-safe container) and freeze for up to 3 months if freezing the cooked and cooled cake layers before icing. Before assembling and icing, let them to come to room temperature.
  • You may prepare the frosting up to 3 days ahead of time and keep it in an airtight jar in the fridge. You may just need to re-whip it before using it.

Use a slice for a chocolate cake shake!

After you’ve served everyone at the table, try blending a piece of cake with chocolate ice cream in a blender (aff link) to create my favorite chocolate cake shake.

I can’t express how much I like it, so you’ll just have to go and see for yourself.

Double Chocolate Layer Cake (Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake)


Prep Time: 15mins
Cook Time: 30mins
Total Time: 1hr15mins
Servings: 8to 16 slices, depending on size
    ✓ Read the recipe beginning to end
    ✓ Check oven calibration
    ✓ Check expiration dates
    ✓ Properly measure ingredients
    ✓ Check butter temperature


This is my favorite chocolate cake recipe because it’s easy to make, ready in under an hour, and reminds me of the famous Portillo’s chocolate cake from Chicago! You might know this as “chocolate mayonnaise cake” – a moist chocolate cake, rich and chocolatey, covered in a thick layer of chocolate buttercream frosting, and layered for a decadent dessert. The perfect base for my homemade Portillo’s Chocolate Cake Shake.


  • 9 round cake pans
  • Hand mixer
  • Stand Mixer


Chocolate Cake

  • 1 box, 15.25 oz. Super Moist Milk Chocolate Cake Mix by Betty Crocker
  • 3large eggs, room temperature
  • 1cupwater
  • 1cupmayonnaise

Chocolate Frosting

  • 10ouncessemisweet, milk, or dark chocolate chips
  • 1 cupsunsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3cupspowdered sugar
  • 1Tablespoonvanilla extract


Chocolate Cake

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Set aside two round cake pans sprayed with nonstick spray.
  • In a large mixing bowl, add cake mix, eggs, water, and mayonnaise and beat on medium speed with a hand or stand mixer until thoroughly blended.
    1 package (three big eggs), 1 cup water, and 1 cup mayonnaise
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out with moist crumbs, in each of the prepared pans.
  • Allow to cool in the pans for 5 minutes before gently removing from the pans and transferring to wire racks to cool completely.
  • Once the cakes have cooled, level off the top of one of them (this will be your bottom layer). You may also level both if you want the top to be flat. Set aside the pieces that you shaved off the tops.

Chocolate Frosting

  • Melt chocolate in a double broiler or microwave until smooth, then leave aside to cool.
    10 oz. semisweet
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

    In a large mixing basin, cream butter with a stand or hand mixer until creamy.
    1 1

  • Add the powdered sugar and beat until thoroughly blended, beginning on low and then raising the speed as the powdered sugar integrates.
    3 cups granulated sugar
  • Beat in the vanilla essence and melted chocolate until fully mixed and smooth.
    1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 3 of the prepared frosting. Frost the top and edges of the second cake layer with the remaining frosting.

    Place the leveled-off cake layer on a dish and coat the top with 1 tablespoon of icing.



  • If you’re keeping the constructed, frosted cake, wrap it securely in plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator for 5-6 days. I stress the firmly because you don’t want cold air from the fridge sucking moisture out of it.
  • Wrap each cake layer separately in plastic wrap and foil (and place in a freezer-safe container) and freeze for up to 3 months if freezing the cooked and cooled cake layers before icing. Before assembling and icing, let them to come to room temperature.
  • You may prepare the frosting up to 3 days ahead of time and keep it in an airtight jar in the fridge. You may just need to re-whip it before using it.

Nutrition: The nutritional information below is for 8 slices, which may be divided in half for a total of 16 slices.

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 1135kcal | Carbohydrates: 103g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 79g | Saturated Fat: 35g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 17g | Monounsaturated Fat: 22g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 167mg | Sodium: 657mg | Potassium: 421mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 79g | Vitamin A: 1190IU | Calcium: 126mg | Iron: 5mg


What does mayonnaise replace in a cake?

To use mayo instead of eggs, just replace two or three tablespoons of mayo for each egg in the recipe. Simply replace the oil with mayonnaise in the same amount. If the recipe asks for one-third cup of oil, use one-third cup of mayo instead.

Why is my mayonnaise cake dry?

The moisture level of a cake is determined by the ratio of wet to dry components. A cake will taste dry if there is just too much flour and not enough butter. A cake, on the other hand, will taste overly moist if there is too much milk and not enough flour.

What is the best combination for chocolate cake?

Peanut, almond, and hazelnut are all fantastic when combined with darker chocolate and offer a lovely textural depth to your cake sponge or topping. Coffee may be included into all components of your chocolate cake, including the sponge, buttercream, icing, and decorating.

What does adding sour cream to a box cake mix do?

Sour cream provides moisture without thinning the batter as a liquid would. Because sour cream adds moisture without thinning down the batter, the result is a cake with a very soft, fine crumb.

How much mayonnaise equals one egg in a cake?

Methods. I substituted 3 tablespoons of mayonnaise for 1 egg, which I discovered on Allrecipes.

Is mayo better than oil in a cake?

Because mayonnaise is heavy in fat, it works well as a replacement for oil. It also gives the cake a creamy texture and a faint tangy flavor. It’s fantastic in chocolate cake, but it also works in yellow boxed cake mixes. Use full-fat mayonnaise rather than reduced-fat mayonnaise.

Why do you put vinegar in a cake?

Vinegar may serve numerous purposes in baked goods: When combined with a base (baking powder), a leavening agent produces carbon dioxide. Acidulant: lowers pH, which aids in meringue stability. Antimicrobial agent or preservative: lowers the pH to limit mold and bacterial development.

What is the secret to a good pound cake?

The crucial word here is “gently”; overmixing with a strong hand can cause the batter to deflate, and all your hard work creaming will be undone. As a consequence, the cake will be thick and tough. Grease the inside of your loaf pan with softened butter.

Why do bakers soak cakes?

A cake soak is a syrup or liquid that is put to a cake after baking, generally while it is still warm, and absorbed by the cake, keeping it moist. Consider Tres Leches cake, but with less liquid. It’s a standard baking technique used in commercial kitchens and bakeries.

What 2 cake flavors go well together?

Cake Flavor Combinations You’ll Love
Chocolate cake with vanilla buttercream layers.
Chocolate truffle: chocolate cake stacked with chocolate mousse and chocolate ganache, topped with ganache or buttercream.
Vanilla cake topped with vanilla buttercream.
Almond buttercream on top of an almond cake.

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