Chocolate Cake~Doctored Mix

This cake is fabulous!  It is super moist, just like my chocolate scratch cake…but has a lighter texture.  When making chocolate cupcakes from a mix, this is the one that we use (and everyone loves them!)   

***This recipe does not work as well with fondant covered cakes–it is a little too soft for the weight of the fondant. 

1 box  Chocolate Cake Mix

Ingredients as listed on the box (water, eggs, and oil)

1 Tablespoon  cocoa powder

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 Tablespoons  mayo (mayonnaise)

Sift mix into bowl and add ingredients according to box instructions.  Add vanilla, mayo and cocoa.

Mix all ingredients on medium speed for two minutes, scraping the bowl when necessary.

Fill your greased/prepped pans.  Bake at 325 until cake springs back when touched in the center.

Don’t forget to wrap your warm cakes in plastic wrap and foil, and freeze for extra moist cake.


Category: Cakes and Cupcakes, Recipes


  1. Tristan Kehle says: #1

    Melissa- Would this cake work for a stacked 9×13 with buttercream frosting? I plan on using a raspberry filling. Thanks for any advice!

  2. Melissa Diamond says: #2

    Hello! Yes, I’ve done this many times. If your filling is very soft, just be sure to dam it! ;0)

  3. ekachu27 says: #3

    I love the this recipe!! This is my go to Chocolate Cake! :0)

    Thanks Melissa

  4. Nona says: #4

    Hi there, HAPPY NEW YEAR!
    I want to bake some cupcakes for today and can’t find Devil’s Food chocolate mix… only found white mix…. you think is a good idea if I add the mayo, cocao and vanilla?

  5. BeBe says: #5

    No, probably not……..I’m sorry but it just won’t have the chocolate flavor that you want. You will have great vanilla cupcakes by adding the mayo and vanilla.

  6. Nona says: #6

    Thanks BeBe…. I hope that 2012 is treating you well so far!

  7. sttrimb says: #7

    Have you ever made it with Miracle Whip?

  8. Melissa Diamond says: #8

    Hi Sttrimb, no I haven’t but I’m curious to know the result if you give it a try.

  9. Tamara Meyer says: #9

    I am making a 1/2 sheet cake but they are wanting to place an emblem in the middle that is 12×12 and weighs 1.3lbs. Is this cake too soft? Should I try the other chocolate cake recipe you have?

  10. Melissa Diamond says: #10

    Hi Tamara— No matter what cake you use (and this one would be fine even though it is soft)–you will want to dowel beneath such a heavy emblem. I would treat it just as if you are putting on an extra tier. You can trace the emblem onto parchment and cut out a template so that you know exactly how to space out your dowels (or bubble tea straws) so that the weight will be evenly distributed.

    If you don’t want to put the emblem directly onto the icing, you could use your template to cut out a cake board the same size as the emblem. Then place the emblem on the board and dowel beneath before placing on the cake. (You can pipe a small border if needed around the edge of the emblem).

  11. Angie Stevenson says: #11

    Hi BeBe, I am wanting to make your Chocolate Cake from Scratch and I was wondering if you use sweet or unsweetened cocoa?

  12. BeBe says: #12

    Hi Angie, my chocolate cake from scratch uses unsweetened cocoa

  13. Nayeli Ramirez says: #13

    on this cake does the T stand for tablespoon or teaspoon???

  14. Melissa Diamond says: #14

    Hi Nayeli—Thanks for asking–we’ll have to change our recipe for others who may not know. T is the abbreviation for tablespoon, and t is the abbreviation for teaspoon.

  15. jasmin saba says: #15

    Hi I love devils food cake. I normally make it without the mayo, what does the mayo do in this recipe?

  16. BeBe says: #16

    Hi Jasmin, the mayo makes it more moist.

  17. irma ornelas says: #17

    hola bebe esta receta dices que sirve para cupcakes necesito que no salgan del capacillo y ponerles fondat al decorarlos si me sirve esta receta?

  18. irma ornelas says: #18

    hola bebe esta receta dices que sirve para cupcakes necesito que no salgan del molde y ponerles fondat al decorarlos si me sirve esta receta?

  19. irma ornelas says: #19

    hola bebe esta receta dices que sirve para magdalenas necesito que no salgan del molde y ponerles fondat al decorarlos si me sirve esta receta?

  20. irma ornelas says: #20

    perdon melisa por manda varias veces el mismo mensaje pero no entiendo bien la manera de borrarlos

  21. HollyLE says: #21

    Hola Irma,
    Si utiliza esta receta de magdalenas, puede utilizar pasta de azúcar, pero no se debe utilizar para las tortas porque la masa más grande de la torta no soportar el peso de la pasta de azúcar (se necesita una torta densa). Papeles magdalena mantener la forma de la torta, para fondant debería ser un problema.

  22. Kels says: #22

    I am in love with this cake, especially for cupcakes. It is a softer cake. Will it hold up as a layer cake. Thinking 9″ round layers with the baseball hat on top?

  23. BeBe says: #23

    Hi Kels, I would not use it if you are planning to cover the cake in fondant, it would be fine with a buttercream frosting. You would then add your bubble tea straws (or wooden dowels) for supporting the baseball cap that would be on its own cake board. This would be supporting the weight of the cap instead of the chocolate cake beneath it.

    You could use the Chocolate Sour Cream Cake, here is the link link to if you were planning to use fondant. Let me know if you have other questions.

  24. Freda says: #24

    Was wondering how much batter does this recipe make, was thinking of making two layers 9 inch each…or 3 8-in layers?

  25. BeBe says: #25

    Hi Freda, It makes 4 cups of batter……..enough for two 8 inch or 9 inch layers.

  26. Jeanf says: #26

    One question – does this recipe work as is with the reduced size cake mixes that are out now? Thank you!

  27. Melissa Diamond says: #27

    Hi Jeanf, yes it does!

  28. Marian says: #28

    Can I doctor a carrot cake mix by adding the mayo and more vainilla.
    I’ve heard of other ways to make it taste better, like changing the oil for butter, adding milk instead of water and adding an egg…. What do you recomend?

  29. BeBe says: #29

    Hi Marian, Click on this link to Melissa’s doctored cake mixes for carrot cake,link to I hope you will like this.

  30. suzanne williams says: #30

    Could I use this with Red Velvet cupcakes, I have never tried this but I am looking for a very moist cupcake, Thank you

  31. Melissa Diamond says: #31

    Hi Suzanne, any cake mix would work well with this recipe! ;0)

  32. suzanne williams says: #32

    Just verifying that this cake will be awesome for a two tierd baby shower I always use the sturdy doctored cake reciepe but I think it’s too dense for my basic cakes needing a lighter change but no disasters also this will be a buttercream thank you

  33. Melissa Diamond says: #33

    Hi Suzanne, when I had my cake business from home several years ago, I often used this recipe for tiered cakes with no issues (for buttercream frosted cakes). The “fluffy factor” does mean that will settle a little bit more than denser cakes, so just make sure to let it settle before applying the final layer of buttercream. I like to fill my cake layers, wrap with plastic wrap, and place a smallish book on top for several hours or overnight. This applies a steady light pressure. Then frost and decorate as usual! ;0)

    **One other thing, because these are softer layers, they don’t do as well with trimming. If you normally trim the sides of your cake before frosting, I would either skip that step, or do this step when partially frozen, and then crumb coat while partially frozen. This just keep things neat and crumble-free ;0)

  34. Shannon Seymore says: #34

    since the box cake providers have decreased the weight of the standard cake mix from 18.25 to 16.5 does the loss of that matter in this / or other recipes on this site.

  35. BeBe says: #35

    Hi Shannon, You can still make the recipes with the smaller size and they will turn out fine even through there is less cake batter. Here is a link to Anne Byrne (author of the Cake Mix Doctor) and her advice under “Hello Anne”, I often take her advice and add 4 to 6 Tablespoons flour or the amount needed to bring the weight to 18.25 oz. Some of the members on the site add cake mix from another box of mix to bring the weight back to the old 18.25 amount.

  36. robynne morton says: #36

    I find that putting two teaspoons of apple sauce in your cake mix makes it moist too:)

  37. BeBe says: #37

    Thanks for posting this tip, Robynne.

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