Dana Slatkin

Chocolate Birthday Cake with Chocolate Frosting

Chocolate CakeSince one of my dearest gal pals has a birthday this week, I think I’ll bake her a cake. But it can’t be just any cake. If you knew my friend, you would agree. It has to be festive…fudgy…a bit naughty. And memorable.


When I searched online for chocolate cakes, there were over six million recipes, each claiming to be the moistest, dreamiest one of them all. As I scanned through the myriad of ingredients, the word mayonnaise caught my eye. At first I winced, but as I gave it more thought, it made brilliant sense. Mayonnaise: an emulsion of yolks, vinegar, oil, and salt; a pantry staple. As it turns out, the idea was coined by some clever homemakers during World War II, when eggs and butter were in short supply.

Chocolate Cake with Chocolate FrostingWould it be short on flavor? I had to see for myself. After testing a few different versions, I combined the best virtues and came up with the recipe here. If you ask me, it’s the ultimate chocolate cake—rich but light, sweet but not cloying, and decidedly chocolate. It’s what I’ll be drooling over while singing “Happy Birthday” later this week. The birthday girl need never know our little secret.


Chocaholic in the family? Try our Ginger Chocolate Soufflé.

Photo credit: themoodfoodblog and Psychology Today

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  1. Angie says:

    I wanted to make this cake but when looking at the ingredients for the frosting I saw that it says 3 sticks of butter. Is that right? That seems like an awful lot of butter for only 3 cups confectioners sugar.

  2. Dana Slatkin says:

    Hi, Angie! The recipe makes enough frosting to frost a few layers of cake plus the outside of the cake (as is the photo). But you could certainly cut the recipe in half and not use so much frosting. This cake recipe does not fall into the “healthy” category. But the cook always deserves a little indulgence!

  3. Sal says:

    I tried this today for my daughter’s birthday. Randomly browsed through recipes and tried your cake. It was truly delicious and easy to do. Thank you for sharing. Appreciate so much. The frosting was just as good and simple. Thank you.

    From Singapore

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