Mayonnaise in Cake ~ The Portillo’s Chocolate Cake Experiment

June 29, 2018thetipsyhousewife

I want to start out by saying that I think I am a pretty decent cook. I make a lot of things that people seem to love and that they special request when they know I am cooking for a party or coming to their house for one. While this talent comes fairly easy to me, there is one thing that I have never been able to do, and that is Bake. I am awful at it. No matter how hard I try, even if it is a box mix, it never comes out right. There are times I have been able to make some really great bread, but there have also been many failed bread attempts as well. If you follow me on social media than you may recall this past Easter’s serious bread debacle. If you don’t follow me on social media the story was that I made some beautiful looking bread that tasted like nothing.

I try not to feel too badly about this lack of ability. I hear from a lot of people who cook that if you can cook well you usually can’t bake but to those who bake well they can usually also cook. Does that even make sense?

Anyway, back to the matter at hand. I am spending a couple of weeks up at my family lake house and for once in my 4 years of life, I have some extra time on my hands. I was also here for two days without Original Tipsy (who hates when I mess up her kitchen) so I decided to take advantage and TRY to make any semblance of a baked good.

I am trying to learn to use Pinterest so I decided to get some practice and I researched a bunch of recipes that would be easy for a Baking Failure like myself.

I stumbled across countless recipes for Copycat Portillo’s Chocolate Cake. If you aren’t familiar Portillo’s is a Chicago based quick service restaurant that is known for great food especially Hot Dogs, Italian Beef, and their Chocolate Cake. So this copycat recipe intrigued me. I am also an admitted milk addict, like I drink it everyday, and nothing pairs better with an ice-cold glass of milk than chocolate cake, so I decided to try making this recipe.

I saw that it needed few ingredients.

  • 1 Box of Devil’s Food Cake Mix
  • 1 C of Mayonnaise (I will only use Hellmann’s)
  • 1 C of Cold Water
  • 3 Eggs


Simple enough right? So I took the pick up into town to the Family Dollar and I was able to get the cake mix and the mayo. We had eggs back at the house. I also decided to make them into cupcake form because it just seems easier to eat that way, so I also purchased some cupcake liners. I hopped back in the pick up and headed back to camp to get this project underway.

I decided to do everything exactly as the recipes called for. So I heated my oven and mixed the ingredients EXACTLY as it said to.

  1. Poured the cake mix in the bowl.
  2. Added the cup of mayo.
  3. Added the cup of ICE COLD water.
  4. Added the 3 eggs
    1. Pro Tip, I also read to use room temp eggs when baking, not sure if this is true in every case, but it worked well here.
  5. Mixed on low for 30 second then mixed on high for 4 minutes. I even set a timer!

The batter was looking pretty great at this point so my confidence was building.

I then set the cupcake liners into the cupcake tins and filled them 3/4 of the way. The recipe did not yield 24 cupcakes but 18 and they were nice and plump.


I then CAREFULLY placed them into my heated oven and anxiously set my phone timer to 30 minutes.

The rest was magic! These cupcakes came out perfectly! I couldn’t believe my success!


But, I was not done. I needed to let them cool before getting too excited and decorating them while warm. I set them on cooling racks and attended to other Tipsy business. I came back when they were cooled and iced them with icing from a can and I even put some flowers on them to make them more festive.


There was only one small can of Chocolate Icing at Family Dollar so I did 12 Chocolate frosted and 6 Vanilla.


I then took them outside to do a photo shoot for my social media and my blog. Take a look at the helper I had!


I couldn’t be prouder of my success. I think the key to these turning out was being very precise in how I executed the recipe. I am not a measurer and I think that is key in baking. I know it was just a box mix this time, but this gives me a starting point to maybe try a something a little bit harder the next time!

Finally, I threw off my apron and enjoyed the fruits of my labor with a cold glass of milk. Oh, they also tasted ALMOST like Portillo’s Chocolate Cake, not EXACTLY but pretty darn close.


Ps. If you like my apron it is from an awesome company called Aprons By Jem, they make the BEST aprons. Check out their website and Instagram page for more awesome aprons!

If you have any simple baking recipes you think I can make, please email them to me at



For more easy recipes check out my Last Post FOURTH OF JULY RECIPES FOR PEOPLE WHO CAN’T COOK





  • Anonymous

    June 29, 2018 at 12:00 pm

    You make everything look delicious…. these cupcakes are worth a try, especially with a cold glass of milk on a hot day!!!!!!

  • Tavi J

    July 5, 2018 at 11:56 am

    Iā€™m giving this recipe a try today! Looks super easy šŸ™‚

    1. thetipsyhousewife

      July 5, 2018 at 11:57 am

      It is! I cannot bake and it still came out well! I hope you enjoy it!

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