Monday, January 30, 2012

Duke's Chocolate Cake

 Do you want the chocolate-iest chocolate cake you've ever had?  Then forget about the fact that this has mayonnaise if you're one of those unfortunate people who doesn't like mayo.  I've never suffered from this problem, but I hear it can be a doozy for those who do.
What the mayonnaise does is make this incredibly moist and rich, replacing the eggs and oil normally found in chocolate cake.  Of course, you know my mayonnaise preference.  Duke's all the way!  Actually, that's how I came to find this recipe.  Someone found my humble little blog by searching for "Duke's mayonnaise cake."  Naturally this piqued my curiosity.  A cake made with mayo?  Duke's no less?  I mean, I haven't heard of a Hellman's cake for sure.  God bless America, I had to try it.

The ingredients are simple:  Flour, sugar, Duke's mayonnaise, water, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, and vanilla extract.  Don't mind that brown speck in the sugar, it's just cocoa powder.  An apron is a good idea for this recipe.
Sift the flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking soda together.  Actually, you're supposed to sift in the sugar too, but I didn't do that.  
Beat the mayonnaise, water, sugar (if you didn't sift it), and vanilla extract together.  Yeah, this ain't too pretty.
It'll get pretty foamy after you've beaten it smooth.
Stir in your dry ingredients until they're just combined.
Pretty!  And not a hint of actual mayonnaise flavor.
 I like the insurance of tracing and cutting out a round of parchment paper for the cake pans.
Divide the batter between two pans.  Bake until a toothpick comes out clean.
 Rich, moist chocolate cake.
Pop it out of the pan after five minutes.  It should come out easily after running a knife around the edges.  I let it cool a little more before removing the parchment paper.
I would like to assure you that this is not burnt.  In fact, it is just incredibly moist.  Trust me, I tested.
Whilst the cake cools, whip up a buttercream frosting full of cocoa.  You need: butter, cocoa powder, milk, vanilla extract, and powdered sugar.
 Combine the butter and cocoa powder first.  Start it out on low speed unless you like wearing it.  Once it starts to come together a little you can increase the speed.
Add the vanilla extract.
Alternate adding the powdered sugar and milk until you get a spreadable frosting.

I used a chocolate mousse in the middle, but the buttercream would be just a wonderful.
Spread the buttercream all over the cake.
This doesn't need to be fancy.  It's a cake made with mayonnaise for cryin' out loud.
 Lordy that's a big ol' honkin' slice of cake!
It's sweet and velvety and just slaps you in the face with its chocolate goodness.  Enjoy this bad boy with a cold glass of milk.

Duke's Chocolate Cake (makes 1 8-inch or 9-inch layer cake)
[Editor's Note: After feedback, I have divided up the recipe to reflect both cake batter and frosting]
6 tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
3 c all-purpose flour
1 tbs baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 c sugar
1 1/2 c Duke's mayonnaise (use full fat, not reduced-fat or fat free)
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 c cold water
1 c unsalted butter
1 c unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
5-6 c powdered sugar
6+ tbs milk
  • Preheat oven to 350º.  Sift together 6 tbs cocoa powder, flour, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.  In another large bowl, beat together sugar, mayonnaise, vanilla extract, and water until smooth.  Stir in dry ingredients until just moistened.  
  • Grease and flour two 8-inch or 9-inch cake pans and line with a round of parchment paper in each.  Divide batter between the two pans and bake 25-28 minutes for 9-inch pans and 30 minutes for 8-inch pans or until a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean.  Cool cake in pans 5 minutes, then run a knife around the edges and pop out onto wire racks.  Let cool completely.
  • While cake layers cool, make frosting.  Beat together butter and remaining cup of cocoa powder until smooth.  Start slowly and increase speed to avoid flying cocoa powder.  Add vanilla extract.  Alternate adding a cup of powdered sugar with a tablespoon of milk until mixture reaches a spreadable consistency.  You may need more than 6 tablespoons of milk to get the frosting to the right consistency.
  • Place bottom layer on a cake plate.  Spread 1/2 cup of frosting on top.  Place second layer over frosted layer.  Spoon a generous amount of frosting on top and spread over top.  Ice the sides of the cake with remaining frosting.  


  1. In case you were wondering :)

  2. Seriously!!!! Have just had to THROW out my cake base as when you listed ingredients you did NOT seperate frosting ingred. from cake ingred. then in
    the written instructions you say some measurements but ...get the idea..UGH! I have never seen any one do this. Headed to where I should have been to start with Duke's website!

  3. I apologize that the recipe did not appear to be clear. I will make adjustments to the recipe to reflect differences in cake batter measurements and frosting measurements. Although it is specified in the instructions as you stated, I could see where it might be confusing. I appreciate the feedback and hope your chocolate cake did ultimately turn out as you hoped.

  4. This chocolate cake really is a simple but a really mouthwatering recipe! Can't wait to make this over the weekend.

  5. Let me know how you like it! I think it's one of my favorite chocolate cakes, and you're right---crazy simple to make.

  6. I made this cake last weekend after getting the recipe card at the Southern Women's Show. I used heavy cream for the frosting and kept adding til it was a smoother consistency than the amts specified in the recipe. The cake was deelish, but maybe a tad "dense" and I wonder if anyone has tried cake flour in place of all purpose? I wonder if it would be a bit lighter? The flavor was really good!!!

    1. I think cake flour would definitely make for a finer crumb, so it would be bit lighter. I totally support adjusting recipes for things like frosting to suit your tastes because 1) You're the one eating it, so you should completely enjoy it and 2) Things like how much moisture is in your butter and even the weather can alter how much liquid you may need to add to get the consistency right. I'm glad you liked the flavor! We've made this cake for my nephew's birthday the past two years, so it's become something of a family favorite now.