Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Homemade Chocolate Mayo Cake with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting (& Camping theme)

My sweet boy Aaron recently turned 19. And he has been a lover of all things camping in the past several years. So, first of all, I had asked him what kind of cake he wanted. He said he wanted homemade chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. I remembered that my Mom used to make a super moist chocolate cake when I was a kiddo and I asked her about it. She didn't have the recipe but she said she knew the secret ingredient in it was mayonnaise. So I went on a mission and found a chocolate mayo cake recipe. I then decided to surprise him with camping theme and found these adorable decorations in a set on amazon. Just look up camping cake toppers.  

I found the cake recipe on foodnetwork.com but I didn't use the buttercream recipe it had. I used a different frosting recipe. I found it on sallysbakingaddiction.com Here is the chocolate buttercream frosting I made:

  • 1 cup (230g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3 and 1/2 cups (420g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 cup (45g) unsweetened natural or dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 3 Tablespoons (45ml) heavy cream or milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoonpure vanilla extract
  1. With a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle or whisk attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy – about 2 minutes. Add confectioners’ sugar, cocoa powder, heavy cream, salt, and vanilla extract. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds, then increase to high speed and beat for 1 full minute. Add 1/4 cup more confectioners’ sugar or cocoa powder if frosting is too thin or another Tablespoon of cream if frosting is too thick.
  2. Cover tightly and store for up to 1 week in the refrigerator or up to 3 months in the freezer. After freezing, thaw in the refrigerator then beat the frosting for a few seconds so it’s creamy again.

I love that the cake topper set I found even had a tent that you could light up with the silhouette of a camper inside. I also ordered a set of cake topper plastic forest trees. And then I used sprinkles and colored sugar to add water and green grass. It was so fun to do! And the cake turned out moist, delicious and rich. So yummy! 😋

Aaron loved it and especially the camping surprise. ⛺️ 🌲 

And finally here is the recipe I used for his cake:

Unsalted butter, for buttering the pan
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for the pan
2/3 unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon instant espresso powder 
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 large eggs
1 cup mayonnaise
4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted

  1. For the cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour two 9-inch cake pans. Line the bottom of each with parchment. 
  2. Combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and baking powder in a medium bowl. Dissolve the instant espresso powder in 1 1/3 cups warm water.
  3. Beat together the sugar, vanilla and eggs in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the mayonnaise and the melted chocolate until just combined.
  4. Alternate beating the flour mixture and the espresso mixture on medium-high speed into the chocolate-egg mixture until just combined; work in 4 batches, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Take care not to over mix. 
  5. Pour the cake batter into the prepared pans and bake until the cakes are set and the tops spring back when touched and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Cool the cakes in the pans set on a rack for 20 minute. Invert the cakes onto the rack, remove the parchment paper and cool completely.
  6. Frost the cake: Put 1 cake round on a cake stand or large serving plate and evenly spread 3/4 cup frosting over it. Top with the other cake round. Frost the top and sides with the remaining frosting. The cake can be frosted up to a day in advance. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.


  1. The cake and frosting sound so good! I love the decorations, it turned out so cute. I know Aaron felt loved!

  2. Oh, that sounds so delicious!! I may have to make that this weekend. I love chocolate cake. :)