Recipe of the Day: Day 16, Portillo’s Chocolate Cake

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Raise your hand if you’ve eaten at Portillo’s. (All of Chicagoland raises their hands…). Yep, it’s awesome. Delicious dogs, burgers and fries, and the infamous chocolate cake. Portillo’s has been a C-family favorite since I was but a young pup in college. See, we didn’t grow up in or around the ‘burbs, so we kind of didn’t know what it was, and our first experience was the Sycamore, Illinois location, just up the road from good ol’ NIU (Go Huskies!!). So it was kind of a Christmas miracle that we tried the chocolate cake, because trust me, if there has ever been a group of people who are NOT in the know, it’s the C-family. We don’t know what’s going on. Truly.

But somehow we managed to love dessert enough to try the chocolate cake, and OMG. Life-changing.

Portillos Famous Chocolate Cake RecipeThe Portillo’s Famous Chocolate Cake must be something from another dimension it’s so good. But, apparently, no, it’s actually made with a very American, er, French ingredient. Perhaps you best read the list of ingredients before I reveal what it is, but I ASSURE YOU, this is the BEST chocolate cake you will ever eat. Oh, and you want to talk easy – it’s incredibly simple. I mean, look, even I did it, and I make almost everything from a box. Oh yeah, boxed cake mix is one of the ingredients.

Ok, ok, let’s just give you all the recipe. Oh, and btw, I made this cake for a very special someone who loves me enough to let me eat almost all of his special birthday Portillo’s Chocolate Cake. He doesn’t know that’s my plan…yet.

Portillos Chocolate Cake Recipe


Portillo’s Chocolate Cake Recipe


  • 1 box Betty Crocker Devil’s Food Cake (hey, I used Aldi, and it was just as delicious)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup ice cold water
  • 1 cup mayonnaise (O la, la – no, this cake doesn’t taste like mayo, it tastes amazing because of the mayo)
  • 2 cans Betty Crocker chocolate frosting (again, Aldi’s will be just dandy, and somehow I only used one can, though I bought two, and do I seem like the kind of person who’d skimp on frosting? One really is probably fine)


    1. Preheat the over to 350 degrees.
    2. Mix all the ingredients together – I did it by hand, because I really didn’t feel like trying to track down my beaters. It was fine.
    3. Pour batter into two 9 inch round cake pans, or one round springform pan if you don’t own two 9 inch round cake pans, and you enjoy cutting a cake.
    4. Bake at 350 for approx 30 minutes, or until a toothpick or knife comes out clean. Note – if you are using one pan, it will need to bake longer. I think we were right around 40 mins.
    5. Cool cake(s) completely. If you’ve got one cake, cut it in half (it’s easy to score a line all around the cake, then cut through with a large knife). If you’ve got two, slather a bunch of frosting on the top of one, then set the other on top. If you’ve now got two cakes because you cut it in half, same drill. Frost liberally, trying not to lick the knife along the way. It grosses your guests out.
    6. Enjoy your Portillo’s Chocolate Cake.
    7. Share. (I’m admittedly bad at step 7).

Portillos Chocolate Cake Recipe



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