Mocha Mayonnaise Cake with Chocolate Ganache

My Grandfather loved Mayonnaise Chocolate cake –   He requested it quite often.  His way of eating it was not very “fancy” – he would put the cake into a bowl, pour fresh cream over top, until the bowl was about 1/3 full of it, and let the cake soak in the cream.  I remember his making it for us, taking me outside on the back steps, hiding from my Grandmother (who did not approve of eating anything this way), and my getting covered with chocolaty cream with a face full of crumbs.

My second memory was trying to make mayo cake by myself when I was about 8 years old.  However, I did not realize that whole wheat flour and white flour would change the cake.. and I forgot to put sugar.  It was bad bad bad.. and yet, my family still ate it (Smothered in ice cream, and whipped cream, it wasn’t all that bad.. I think :P).

I did get the recipe right, eventually.  And when I got older, I played around with it a bit.  The original recipe has 1 cup of water, instead of 1 cup of espresso.  I’ve tried regular, different strengths, and various flavored coffees, but the best flavor by far is a cup of strong espresso which adds a depth of flavor that is just amazing.  If you don’t have espresso, use a cup of very strong coffee.

I hope you enjoy this as much as I always have.


Mocha Mayonnaise Cake with Chocolate Ganache

2 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 cup strong espresso (or strong coffee)
1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup heavy cream
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely choppedchoccakemixing
1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Sift together the flour, cocoa, soda and salt. Cream together the sugar, mayonnaise, espresso and vanilla.

Add the dry ingredients to the creamed sugar-mayonnaise mixture and mix until well blended and smooth.

Pour the cake batter into a greased and floured cake pan (9- x 13-inch pan).  Bake at 350 F for 35-40 minutes.**

Once the cake has finished, allow to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, and the remove from the pan carefully and allow to cool on a cake rack.

While the cake is baking, make the ganache. 051091066_04

In a medium sauce pan (I prefer Saucier Pan), bring the cream to a simmer, and then remove from heat.  Add in the chocolate and butter, and whisk until smooth and shiny.  

Spread the ganache over the cake as evenly as possible, and allow to set. 

**If you are going to make this as a layer cake, bake at 350 for about 25-30 minutes.  You may also need to make a bit more of the ganache, to cover all the layers.


  • Use Miracle Whip instead of mayonnaise– it gives the cake a tangy flavor that is really good.
  • Sprinkle the top with chopped pecans and shredded chocolate
  • Make 2 batches of the ganache.  Set aside one batch for the cake, and use the other to dip fresh strawberries.  Place the strawberries on top of the cake in a pretty way — or do this with black cherries (pitted, of course).  Mmmy goodness.
  • Replace the espresso with water, if you are not into the coffee flavor.

About Michie

I write two blogs - This Food Thing, ( and This Life I Lead (
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