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On Valentine’s I always think of chocolate. This year I’m making my mother’s favorite chocolate cake. It’s a treasured family tradition/recipe.

As a busy pastor’s wife Mother often found herself entertaining on the spur of the moment. Sometimes she needed to bake a quick dessert and she found she was out of cake mixes, eggs and/or shortening. That’s when she pulled out the old stand-by recipe for “Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake” passed down from her mother-in-law.

I still make this recipe and now my daughter does. It’s easy to mix in one bowl, always turns out moist, and is sure to please. Since I moved to the mile-high state of Colorado I’ve adjusted the sea-level recipe for high altitude. I’ll give the high-altitude measurements in parentheses:

Mother’s Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake
Grease cake pan(s). Heat oven to 375º. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl:
1¼ (1) cup sugar
2 cups flour
3 (4½) tablespoons Cocoa (I use more cocoa than my mother and grandmother did.)
2 (1¼) teaspoons soda
1 cup water
1 (1¼) cup real mayonnaise
1-2 teaspoon vanilla
Beat well then pour into one oblong pan or two layer pans and bake for 25 min (or until toothpick comes out clean).
Good with buttercream frosting. Sometimes we just dust it with powdered sugar.


~ Catherine Lawton

Photo by Will Echols on Unsplash