Home Copycat Recipes Portillo’s Chocolate Cake Recipe

Portillo’s Chocolate Cake Recipe

Moist, fudgy, and chocolatey, this copycat Portillo’s chocolate cake recipe will give the restaurant a run for its money!

If you’re from or have ever been to Chicago, odds are good you’ve tried Portillo’s chocolate cake at least once. And chances are, it’s your absolute favorite chocolate cake in the world.

Homemade Chocolate Cake
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But what if I told you that you can actually make this decadent, drool-worthy cake at home, using just 5 ingredients?

It may seem impossible, but it’s true! I didn’t believe it myself either, but after trying it, I’m convinced.

The next time your friends come over, impress them with this restaurant-quality chocolate cake! It’s so good, I dare say it’s better than the original.

Portillo’s Chocolate Cake Recipe

If you’ve never tried the chocolate cake from Portillo’s, you’re missing out.

The Chicago restaurant may be famous for its hot dogs and Italian beef, but man, the chocolate cake is also the bomb.

It’s insanely rich, moist, and tender. It has the perfect balance of sweet and chocolatey, and the frosting is absolutely divine.

This recipe tastes exactly like it. Now, this may seem like a stretch, but this is the best chocolate cake recipe I’ve ever tried.

That’s saying a lot because I have tried many.

The best part about it is that it’s insanely easy to make. Have you ever made a cake using just 5 ingredients and one bowl? No? Well, you’re about to! 


  • Betty Crocker Devil’s Food Cake. Yup, the best cake in town is made with a cake mix! But don’t worry, I won’t tell if you won’t.
  • Eggs. They make the cake so rich and fudgy! Always use room temperature eggs when baking.
  • Mayonnaise. Don’t worry, I haven’t gone mad. Mayonnaise makes the chocolate cake even better. The oil makes the cake super tender, while the vinegar balances out the sweetness of the cake.
  • Betty Crocker chocolate frosting. Why make it from scratch when you can just buy a perfectly good pre-made frosting? I’m telling you, this frosting is so good, people will think it’s homemade.

Tips to Make the Best Chocolate Cake

  • Use room temperature eggs, as they will mix with the batter much better.
  • Add a bit of coffee! Coffee enhances the flavor of chocolate, giving you a deeper and richer-tasting cake. Don’t worry, you won’t taste the coffee at all! Just a teaspoon of espresso powder does a lot of magic.
  • Don’t overmix the batter. This can cause your cake to be dry and dense. Mix just until the ingredients are incorporated.
  • Don’t open the oven as the cakes are baking. This will change the temperature inside the oven.
Chocolate Cake

How to Store Portillo’s Chocolate Cake

Want to make this cake in advance? No problem, because it stores wonderfully in the freezer. Here’s how:

  1. Bake the cake and let it cool completely. 
  2. Wrap with plastic wrap and place it in a freezer-safe bag or container. Freeze the cake for up to one month.
  3. When ready to serve, transfer the cake to the fridge with the plastic wrap still intact. Frost the cake once completely thawed.
  4. Let the cake sit at room temperature at the counter. There’s no need to refrigerate it since the frosting seals in the cake, helping it keep its moisture. Chocolate cake will last up to two days at room temperature. 

Portillo’s Chocolate Cake Recipe



Prep time


Cooking time


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  • 1 (13.25 oz) box Betty Crocker Devil’s Food Cake

  • 3 eggs

  • 1 cup ice-cold water

  • 1 cup mayonnaise

  • 2 cans Betty Crocker chocolate frosting


  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease (2) 8-inch round cake pans.
  • In a large bowl, add cake mix, eggs, water, and mayonnaise. Mix on low speed for 30 seconds. Increase speed to high and mix for 5 minutes.
  • Pour the batter evenly over the two cake pans.
  • Bake for 30 to 32 minutes. Check for doneness using a toothpick. Insert a toothpick in the middle of the cake – if it comes out clean, it’s time to get it out of the oven.
  • Let the cakes rest for 5 minutes, then remove them from the pans. Let them cool on a wiring rack for an hour.
  • Place one cake on a plate and spread frosting on top. Top it with the other cake and coat the top and sides with the rest of the frosting. Decorate the cake as desired. Enjoy!
Portillo's Chocolate Cake Recipe

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author avatar
Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

2 thoughts on “Portillo’s Chocolate Cake Recipe”

    • Hi Rose!
      I’ve never done it myself but here’s what I would do:

      Increase the water to 1 cup + 2 tablespoons
      Add 2-3 tablespoons all purpose flour
      Bake the cake at 375°F
      Start checking it after around 20 minutes

      Everything else should stay the same.
      Let me know how it turns out!


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