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$100 cake recipe now shared freely, revealing secret

This week's recipes include $100 Cake and Mayonnaise Chocolate Pudding.
From the Kitchen by Joyce Walter

While browsing through one of my favourite cookbooks, I came across the recipe for the $100 chocolate mayonnaise cake. I had previously made this cake and went so far as to mark it as a favourite in the front of the book — but out of sight, out of mind — until now.

The story behind the recipe is as follows: “A lady who was having dinner in an elegant New York hotel was so impressed by this cake that she requested the recipe. The chef gave it to her, along with a bill for $100, which her lawyer advised her to pay. She called it the $100 Cake and gave the recipe freely.”

Mayonnaise, it turned out, was the surprising ingredient in the recipe. As she shared the original recipe, various changes were made by the recipients, but mayonnaise remained the super-secret addition.

The recipe that cost the lady $100 is shared this week, along with a recipe for a pudding that also includes mayonnaise.

• • •

$100 Cake

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup commercial whole-egg mayonnaise
  • 1 cup lukewarm water
  • 2 tsps. baking soda

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 9x13 inch pan.

Dissolve soda in the lukewarm water. Mix other ingredients together and then stir in soda and water mixture. Pour into the prepared pan.

Bake about 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before cutting.

Note: watch carefully so cake doesn’t burn.

Variations: For a date-nut mayonnaise cake, add 1 tsp. cinnamon, 1 cup chopped walnuts and 1 cup chopped, pitted dates.

For a prune-nut mayonnaise cake, drain and cut up a 1 lb. jar of pitted, cooked prunes. Substitute the cold prune liquid for the water and add 1 cup chopped pecans.

• • •

Mayonnaise Chocolate Pudding

  • 1-8 oz. pkg. chocolate cake mix
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 1/2 cups water, divided
  • 3 eggs
  • 2-3.4 oz. pkgs. chocolate instant pudding
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/3 cup sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9x13 inch cake pan and set aside.

Beat cake mix, mayonnaise, 1 cup water and 3 eggs in a large bowl, using an electric mixer on low speed. Beat for 30 seconds. On medium speed, beat for another 2 minutes, scraping sides occasionally. Pour batter into prepared pan.

In a medium bowl, and using a wire whisk, blend the puddings with the milk, remaining water and sugar. Pour over prepared cake.

Bake 1 hour or until toothpick comes out clean. Best served warm with ice cream.

Joyce Walter can be reached at