Devil’s Food Cake

Devil’s Food Cake

My grandmother had a tradition of baking everyone’s favorite cake for their birthday each year.  She always made this Devil’s Food Cake for my mom’s birthday.

It’s an easy recipe that doesn’t require much more work than a boxed cake mix, but it comes out so much more flavorful and moist.  The secret ingredient: mayonnaise.

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While the cake is definitely delicious on its own, growing up we always ate it out of a big glass with milk poured over it.  That’s still my favorite.  

In addition to making it per my grandmother’s recipe, I have occasionaly swapped out the peppermint extract for raspberry flavoring.  I also often make it as cupcakes or in 9-inch round pans for a triple-layer cake, and just adjust the baking times.

If you’re short on time you can use purchased frosting.  I usually make this easy Chocolate Frosting from Kraft, though I use semi-sweet chocolate instead of unsweetened.

Devil’s Food Cake


  • 4 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups water
  • 4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 cups mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • chocolate frosting


  • Preheat oven to 350◦.  Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray.  
  • Mix flour, sugar, cocoa powder, and salt in a large bowl.
  • Whisk together water and baking soda in a small bowl, then add to the flour mixture.  (It will be very thick.)
  • Add mayonnaise and peppermint extract and stir until thoroughly combined.
  • Spread in prepared baking pan and bake until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean, about 40 minutes.  
  • Let fully cool, then frost with chocolate frosting. 

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