Portillo’s-Style Chocolate Cake

For those unfamiliar, Portillo’s is a Chicago-based chain known for burgers and hot dogs and Italian beef and…

Chocolate cake.

So, of course, someone came up with “the” recipe – “sweartogod, my uncle’s sister’s brother-in-law’s third cousin once removed worked there for a week twenty years ago, and, he KNOWS, man!”

Accurate or not, this is da BOMB of a cake.

•1 box Betty Crocker Super Moist devil’s food chocolate cake mix*
•3 eggs
•1 cup ice cold water
•1 cup mayoannaise

Cream Cheese Frosting:
•8 oz cream cheese, softened
•1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
•1/4 tsp salt
•1 tbsp vanilla
•1/8 tsp black pepper (trust me, it’s good)
•3-1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

*According to the uncle’s sister’s brother-in-law’s third cousin once removed, it HAS to be Betty Crocker Super Moist, and I keep to that, but not always devil’s food; I think that the triple chocolate works a treat.

Apply cooking spray to a 13×9 pan and heat your oven to 350º.

Combine the cake mix mayonnaise, and the ice water in a mixing bowl until smooth, then add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each egg.

Pour the batter into your prepared baking pan and pop into the oven for 30 to 35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Note: this cake was traveling to a friends house for an 11 year old’s birthday party, so I went with the 13×9 pan. If you want to make a traditional two layer version; go for it, and follow the baking times on the box.


Remove the cake from the oven and set aside to cool on a rack.

When ready to frost, cream the butter together with the cream cheese, salt, vanilla, and black pepper (trust me on this) in a mixing bowl, then beat in the confectioners’ sugar until smooth. If you want a thicker frosting (but remember, it will firm up in the fridge), add more confectioners’ sugar; if you think it is too thick, beat in some heavy cream or half and half – one tablespoon at a time – until you are at happy.

Frost the cake, cover, and stash in the fridge until ready to serve.

Truly, a star among chocolate cakes.

Thank you, uncle’s sister’s brother-in-law’s third cousin once removed.

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