Recipe Review

I Tried “Texas Mayo Cake” and I’ll Never Make Chocolate Cake Another Way

published Sep 11, 2023
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Slice of Texas mayonnaise cake.
Credit: Nathan Hutsenpiller

When I first heard about mayonnaise cake, my instant reaction was to scrunch my face in confusion. It sounded like something somebody’s grandmother would make — not that that’s a bad thing, but it definitely reminded me of the time of Jell-O salads

Turns out, mayonnaise cake is pretty old! In fact, it probably grew in popularity all the way back during the Great Depression, when dairy products were scarce and mayonnaise was seen as a more affordable way to bake. For decades, mayonnaise has been used in cake recipes due to its ability to yield a softer and more moist result. Even today, high-end restaurants have large mayonnaise tubs dedicated solely to baking chocolate cakes. 

As luck would have it, I came across this Reddit post showcasing an old cookbook titled Texas Sweets from Grandma’s Kitchen, where a commenter had requested the recipe for mayonnaise cake. Naturally, that immediately caught my attention and I had to see what this was all about. I was determined to make it myself and see if I could taste the difference. Spoiler alert: I couldn’t.

Get the recipe: Texas Mayonnaise Cake from Texas Sweets from Grandma’s Kitchen

Credit: Nathan Hutsenpiller

How to Make Texas Mayonnaise Cake

To start, you’ll want to preheat your oven to 350°F, then grease a 9×13-inch pan and set that aside. In a large mixing bowl, cream together 1 cup of mayonnaise and 1 1/2 cups of sugar, then add 2 eggs and cream until well incorporated. 

In a separate small bowl, mix together 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking soda and 1/2 cup of cocoa powder. Add 1 cup of hot water and mix well until smooth and no clumps remain. Slowly add the sugar mixture alternately with 2 cups of flour and blend until there are no dry spots. Stir in 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract then pour the mixture into your prepared baking tray. Bake for about 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out mostly clean. 

Once removed from the oven, let the cake cool in the pan for about 20 minutes before removing it from the tray and allowing it to cool further on a cooling rack. When the cake is cool enough, dress it with your favorite frosting and cake toppings, serve, and enjoy!

Credit: Nathan Hutsenpiller

My Honest Review of Texas Mayonnaise Cake

I absolutely loved this cake. As someone who isn’t the biggest fan of mayonnaise, I had to remind myself that mayonnaise is actually made of oil and eggs, and those are just normal cake ingredients. From there, I was able to get past my food preferences and move on to baking what turned out to be a very delicious chocolate cake. 

This recipe just reminds me of something a grandmother would bake. She would probably have a handful of variations, each with its own uniquely frosted top. I enjoyed how easily the recipe comes together and will definitely be keeping this one in mind for future bake sessions. I can already think of a couple cupcake recipes I’d love to use these ingredients for. 

Three Tips for Making Texas Mayonnaise Cake

  • Keep an eye on the timer. Use the toothpick test when you’ve reached the 30-minute mark of the baking process to get an idea of how done the cake is. You want the end results to be fluffy and moist, but not so moist that you’re in brownie territory. If you keep the cake in the oven for a few extra minutes, be careful not to let the bottom and edges burn. 
  • Let the cake cool completely. It’s important to let the cake cool off completely before applying any frosting to the top. Let the cake cool for at least 20 minutes in the pan before flipping it out and letting it finish the process on a cooling rack. The heat from the cake will make it difficult to apply the frosting, causing the frosting to melt before you finish. 
  • Level the cake. It’s normal for the center of the cake to dome during the baking process. You can level the cake into a flat surface by using a large bread knife and cutting the top of the cake off evenly until you’re left with a flat surface. Do this by cutting horizontally from one end of the cake to the other, or by slowly rotating the cake while you gently continue a horizontal cut. 

Get the recipe: Texas Mayonnaise Cake from Texas Sweets from Grandma’s Kitchen