Red Velvet Cake – Portillos Style

Around about these parts, Portillos is known for a bunch of traditional Chicagoland foods, hot dogs, Italian beef, but…

their chocolate cake?


And, the recipe has been kindofan open secret for a while. Chocolate super moist cake mix, three eggs, and mayonnaise.

But… what if I mix things up a bit?

•1 box red velvet cake mix*
•3 eggs
•1 cup ice cold water
•1 cup mayonnaise

•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
•3-1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

*Portillos uses a chocolate or devil’s food mix, but, trust me, this is NICE!

Heat your oven to 350º and apply cooking spray or your own fave pan coating to your cake pans of choice.

Since this cake is destined for a friend’s son’s birthday party, there was travel involved and I opted for a 13×9 pan.

Combine the cake mix with the eggs, mayonnaise, and ice water in a bowl and mix on high for two or three minutes, until everything is well and truly mixed.

Scrape down the sides of the bowl and transfer the batter to your prepared pan.

Bake, according to the directions on the cake mix box, until a toothpick inserted in the cent of the pan comes out clean.

For this sheet cake, about 35 minutes.

Set the cake aside to cool and then, put the frosting together.

Combine the cream cheese, butter, salt, pepper, and vanilla together in a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and beat until blended and fluffy.

Add the confectioners’ sugar and continue to beat until you have a nice frosting.

Note: if the frosting seems too thick, beat in some whole milk or heavy cream until the frosting is as thick as you like; just remember that, once you have stashed the cake in the fridge, the frosting will thicken.

Chill the cake until ready to serve.





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