In Mistletoe in Juneau, Declan owes Danni an apology. So he walks into his mom’s bakery and asks her for “a really good cake recipe—as simple as you’ve got.” His mom gives him this one. He’s a little doubtful about the “secret ingredient”—mayonnaise—but the cake is delicious, and Danni forgives him immediately. Even if you’re like Declan and don’t have any baking experience, this moist chocolate cake will win anybody over.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Serves: 16



  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  • 1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 6 cups powdered sugar
  • ⅔ cup cocoa powder
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla


1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2. Grease two 8-inch round cake pans and dust them lightly with flour.
3. Sift together the flour, cocoa, and baking soda in a small bowl.
4. In a separate bowl, mix together the sugar and mayonnaise, then beat in the water and vanilla.
5. Gradually add in the dry mixture and mix well.
6. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
7. Make the frosting while the cake is baking.
8. In a work bowl with an electric mixer, cream the butter. Sift the sugar and cocoa powder together and gradually add to the butter, beating well after each addition. Add the cream and vanilla. Beat until well blended and fluffy.
9. Remove the cake from the oven, remove the layers from the pans, and place them on wire racks to cool.
10. Frost cake.