Chocolate Mayo Cake or Cupcakes with Vegan Option


Go Dairy Free viewer, Leslie W., has a son with a severe milk allergy. She shared this dairy-free chocolate mayo cake recipe with us, and said, “This is our favorite cake recipe and it is so easy to make.”

Dairy-Free Chocolate Mayo Cake Recipe with Cupcake Option. A "depression era" cake made straight from the pantry! Vegan option.

Dairy-Free Chocolate Mayo Cake with Just 8 Ingredients

Mayo cake is a “Depression era” cake made with simple pantry ingredients. It uses mayonnaise, instead of eggs,  oil, and butter. Most brands of regular mayonnaise are dairy-free – they’re an emulsion of eggs and oil. If you confuse eggs with dairy, you’re not alone. See this post: Are Eggs Dairy? If you need egg-free, substitute your favorite vegan mayonnaise. It will produce a slightly different result, but should work.

Some versions of this classic recipe are a little lackluster, but Leslie’s dairy-free chocolate mayo cake is sweet and chocolaty. We originally shared her recipe way back in 2008, but have given the post an update. Her son is probably all grown up now, and baking this cake for himself!

Dairy-Free Chocolate Mayo Cake Recipe with Cupcake Option. A "depression era" cake made straight from the pantry! Vegan option.

Special Diet Notes: Chocolate Mayo Cake

By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, optionally egg-free, optionally nut-free, peanut-free, optionally soy-free, plant-based, optionally vegan, and vegetarian.

Dairy-Free Chocolate Mayo Cake or Cupcakes (Vegan Option)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This is a sweet, chocolaty version of chocolate mayo cake that works well with both regular and vegan (egg-free) mayonnaise.
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 2 (9-inch) cake layers
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • 1½ teaspoons baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup mayonnaise (regular or vegan)
  1. Preheat your oven to 350ºF and grease two 9-inch round cake pans or a 9x13-inch baking dish.
  2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the water and vanilla and mix until combined. Stir in the mayonnaise.
  3. Once that is all mixed together stir in the mayo.
  4. Pour the batter into your prepared pans or baking dish.
  5. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted int the center of the cake comes out clean.
  6. Let the cake cool completely before frosting.
Mayo Cupcakes Option: Line 18 muffin cups with cupcake liners. Divide the batter between the cups and bake for about 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in a cupcake comes out clean.

Classic Dairy-Free Frosting Recipes for Your Cake

Dairy-Free “Buttercream” Frosting

Dairy-Free Buttercream Frosting Recipe - an essential basic that's also vegan and allergy-friendly

Amazing Mylk Chocolate Frosting

Mylk Chocolate Vegan Frosting - foolproof dreamy, dairy-free recipes!

Dairy-Free “Cream Cheese” Frosting

Dairy-Free Cream Cheese Frosting

About Author

Alisa is the founder of, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.


  1. Im so excited to make this vegan mayo choco cake tommorow nite! Yay! My grandma & my mom used to make regular mayo cakes when I was a little girl and since becoming vegan, oh how I long for a great piece of chocolate cake. Thank you so much Alisa for creating this recipe. I don’t feel left out anymore on my family’s traditional recipies, I can just tweak them here and there. Have a great Sunday;-)

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