Chocolate Cake Recipe with a Secret Ingredient + Royal Honey Butter Cream Frosting

Here is a tried and true recipe for an exceptional chocolate cake. The secret ingredient is mayonnaise, which substitutes for the oil and the eggs in the recipe. This is from the Cake Bible and is moist, rich, and “Double-D” delicious. Ray and I don’t eat refined sugar so I substitute one cup of honey for one cup of sugar. Other than that, it’s the same and makes a very moist, delicious cake.

Here is the recipe from the Cake Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum:

Down-Home Chocolate-Mayonnaise Cake

Serves 10

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa (non-alkalized, such as Hershey’s)
1 cup boiling water
1 teaspoon vanilla
¾ cup mayonnaise
2 cups sifted cake flour
1 cup sugar (or 1 cup honey or maple sugar, if you prefer instead of sugar)
2 teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon salt

Preheat over to 350 degrees

In a medium blow whisk together cocoa and boiling water until smooth and cool to room temperature. Wish in vanilla and mayonnaise. (add honey here if using instead of sugar)

In a large mixing bowl combine the remaining ingredients and mix on low speed for 30 seconds to blend. Add chocolate mixture. Mix on low speed until dry ingredients are moistened. Increase to medium (high on a hand mixer and beat for 1 minute to aerate and develop the cake’s structure. Scrape batter into prepared pans (it will be very liquid) and fill the pans only about one-third full.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the tester inserted near the center comes out clean and the cake springs back when pressed lightly in the center. Cakes should start to shrink from the sides of the pans after being removed from the oven. Allow cakes to cool in pans on racks for 10 minutes. Loosen the sides with a small metal spatula and invert onto greased wire racks. Cool completely before wrapping airtight.

Each layer is 1 ¼ inches high


A simple dusting of powdered sugar or any buttercream except lemon or a cream cheese frosting.

Royal Honey Butter Cream:

6 large egg yolks
½ cup honey
2 cups unsalted butter

Have ready a greased 1-cup heatproof glass measure near the range.

In a bowl beat the yolks with an electric mixer until light in color. Meanwhile, heat the honey in a small saucepan (preferably with a nonstick lining), stirring constantly, until the sugar dissolves and the syrup comes to a rolling boil. (The entire surface will be covered with large bubbles.) Immediately transfer the syrup to the glass measure to stop the cooking.

If using an electric hand-held mixer, beat the honey into the yolks in a steady stream. Don’t allow the honey to fall on the beaters or they will spin it onto the sides of the bowl. If using a stand mixer, pour a small amount of honey over the yolks with the mixer turned off. Immediately beat at high speed for 5 seconds. Stop the mixer and add a larger amount of honey. Beat at high speed for 5 seconds. Continue with the remaining honey. For the last addition, use a rubber scraper to remove the honey clinging to the glass measure. Continue beating until completely cool.

Gradually beat in the butter and, if desired, any optional flavoring. Place in an airtight bowl. Bring to room temperature before using. Re-beat to restore texture.

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