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Homemade chocolate cake is sooo much better than the store bought boxed mixes, without any weird processed ingredients, is super frugal and did I mention it plain tastes better. Score!
My great-grandmother passed down many things in our family, and though I never knew her, I still think of the woman she was whenever I use her recipes or sieve when making applesauce, raspberry jelly, and blackberry syrup. I know she was a God fearing woman and an excellent baker, hence her recipe for Heavenly Chocolate Mayo Cake is still our go to recipe. I wonder if she had any idea her legacy would live on in my home.
I love getting old family recipes, even when they’re not from my family. There’s something about reaching back through generations that make me feel connected. And if a recipe has been passed down, then you know it is going to taste amazing.
I didn’t name this recipe, it was already called Grandma’s Heavenly Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake. It’s a from scratch, honest to goodness moist and heavenly cake. My son requested cupcakes with caramel frosting.
It’s been a tradition since my children were born to bake all of their birthday cakes. It’s been fun, we’ve had tractors, ninjas, Mickey and Minnie Mouse, and my daughter wants a Barbie cake this year. This year, my nine year old didn’t care so much about the theme, just the taste. Can you hear the tremor in my voice? How do they grow so fast?
Here they are cooling. My daughter kept begging for one of the muffins. Because if she called them a muffin, who cares if they were before lunch. And frosting, who needs frosting? She takes after her mother with the no patience gene.
Resources for Homemade Chocolate Cake
I use the old-fashioned chocolate cake recipe for everything, seriously, don’t waste your money on those boxed cake mixes, because from scratch is better and so much healthier.
Speaking of from scratch, if you like this recipe and adore vintage and the old-ways of doing things, you’ll want to check out my new book The Made-From-Scratch Life, for more family recipes, tips, and simple living advice (this is one of the recipes in there, plus others from my grandparents, great-grandparents, and my parents.)
This recipe will yield a regular cake in either a 9×13, two circle pans, or 24 cupcakes (depending on how full you fill them). I actually used my super large muffin tins (these are from our affiliate partner Amazon Baker’s Secret 116466007 Basics Nonstick 6-Cup Texas Muffin Pan, but then I realized I needed more cupcakes for the party and switched to my regular pans. I’m kind of partial to the jumbo tins. I like cake, what can I say.
2 cups flour (I used soft white wheat but all purpose or cake flour is fine)
1 cup sugar (I use organic evaporated cane juice)
1/2 cup cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup cold water
1/2 cup brewed coffee
1 teaspoon vanilla
5 Tablespoons butter (I think cream cheese would work well, too)
1 and 1/2 cups brown sugar
3 Tablespoons boiling water
1 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Stir all dry ingredients together. Combine wet ingredients with dry until smooth. Pour into greased and floured pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes for a cake or 16 minutes for cupcakes. Cool completely before frosting.
For frosting. Beat butter and slowly add in sugar until creamed together. Pour in boiling water and beat until creamy. Spread over cupcakes.
My daughter requested raspberry frosting this year, I used a little bit of beet root powder and raspberry jam with the buttercream frosting recipe in The Made-from-Scratch Life.
Do you have a special family recipe that’s been passed down?
About the Author
Melissa K. Norris inspires people's faith and pioneer roots with her books, podcast, and blog. Melissa lives with her husband and two children in their own little house in the big woods in the foothills of the North Cascade Mountains. When she's not wrangling chickens and cattle, you can find her stuffing Mason jars with homegrown food and playing with flour and sugar in the kitchen.