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The Adventures of Baking a Chocolate-Mayonnaise Cake

A series of unfortunate events - in lab report format

By Lucy Dan (she/her/她)Published 3 years ago 5 min read
The Adventures of Baking a Chocolate-Mayonnaise Cake
Photo by Kisoulou on Unsplash

So, I bought a lot of mayo with the thought that I would make lots of egg salad. I now have a lot of mayo and with the incremental amount that I'm using for the egg salad, I'm never going to finish the mayo.

And I hate food waste.

So I took to Twitter to get some ideas on what else I could do with mayo. I was met with such a surprising range of responses:

  • "Just eat it in spoonfuls"
  • Egg salad! Potato salad!
  • A substitute for butter in grilled cheese

But the one that definitely caught my eye the most is the concept that you can in fact bake food using mayo. This includes:

  • mayo cookies
  • mayo muffins
  • chocolate mayo cake

I am thoroughly disgusted at the prospect of mayonnaise in baked goods, but after some brief Googling, I have learned that it is, in fact, a real thing.

I am ready to challenge my assumptions, my gut reactions; to learn about how others have been using mayo in their baked goods.

Also, if I just deconstruct it in my mind, mayo is just raw eggs and oil, right Those are cake ingredients too, now just combined into one goopy entity as mayo.

I hypothesize that you won't be able to taste the mayo, just like how you can't taste the eggs in a cake. Specifically, I believe that the chocolate flavours will mask the mayo flavour.



I used the first recipe that came up for me on Google, from SpendWithPennies by Holly (Holly, 2017).

Materials (Ingredients)

The ingredients list was really short, including flour, sugar, baking soda, vanilla extract (which I skipped), unsweetened cocoa powder (which I subbed with Nesquik chocolate syrup because that's all I have), creamy salad dressing/Miracle Whip/mayo, lukewarm water (Holly, 2017).


Preheat the oven. Which I actually remembered to do before I mixed the ingredients in interest of saving time.

Grease and flour a baking dish. Which I didn't want to do so I put aluminum foil but now that I reflect on this substitution I realize that no baking recipe ever calls for aluminum foil and there must be a reason for that and I'm about to learn it in 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Mix together all the ingredients in a large bowl. So… I actually do not own a bowl larger than the standard generic Ikea bowl so I actually mixed the ingredients in a large pan (See Figure 1). I was going to do it in my large pot, but that's in the sink, dirty.

Figure 1. Batter mixed in a large pan. Photo was taken by the author.

Bake for 30 minutes… I set a timer, go me. Most importantly, I pressed go on the timer, which is an important step I frequently forget with my timer-setting, so perhaps I am growing as a person. In fact, in the 30 minutes while this was baking, I wrote most of this article and considered washing that pot that was mentioned in the previous step.

At about 25 minutes, it actually started smelling pretty good.

…or until toothpick comes out clean. I also do not own toothpicks, preferring floss for achieving the same goal, so I went with a fork. That's just four chopsticks fastened to a handle, right?

Turns out 30 minutes wasn't enough so this instruction was very important. It actually took 40 minutes, probably because I used a taller baking dish. See Figure 3 for final photo.

Figure 2. Cake has been freshly placed in the oven. Photo by author.

Allow for cooling completely.

Figure 3. Final Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake photo. Chilling and waiting to cool. Photo taken by author.


Immediate taste test

Visuals. 7/10. Turns out there's actually nothing wrong with using aluminum foil for a cake - it still bakes the cake and doesn't alter the flavour in a perceptible way. It just changes the visual aesthetics of the cake because of the rounded corners. Also because I baked it in a bread tin it looks like bread.

Smells. 9/10. Possibly the best out of all of the senses. It smelled amazing at the 25-minute mark and continues to make my apartment smell great.

Texture. 8/10. As promised, the cake was quite moist - you can see it in the Instagram photo above.

Taste. 7/10. First, as hypothesized, I actually could not taste the mayonnaise. The cake tastes just like a cake. The reason why the rating isn't higher is because it actually wasn't very sweet and had a hint of bitterness.

Sound. 8/10. The cake actually formed a nice crust on time that provides that perfect crisp when you bite into it, without making the inner parts of the cake dry. I'm pretty proud of this, actually.

Delayed taste test

As I live alone, I ended up eating this cake over the next few days, expecting that it would be uniformly bitter. However, that was not the case. Over the next few days, the bitterness went away, with intermittent slices of overwhelming sweetness.



We started this cake adventure because I was in true disbelief that you could bake a cake with mayonnaise as one of the key ingredients. I hypothesized that because mayonnaise is just oil and eggs - which already are key ingredients of cake that one cannot taste - I should not be able to taste mayonnaise when added to my cake. This fits into the literature amongst other ingredients such as zucchini that can be added to cakes with arousing toddler suspicion.

However, this cake was only average in flavour. The resulting flavour was only slightly sweet but also slightly bitter. One early explanation for this might be in the substitution of ingredients. However, the main substitution was using Nesquik instead of unsweetened cocoa butter, which should actually be slightly sweeter in taste. The author additionally admits that she may have used 2 tablespoons of baking soda instead of 2 teaspoons of baking soda, which would definitely throw the flavouring off.

Upon delayed taste testing, however, an alternate explanation emerges. As different parts of the chocolate mayo cake had varying sweetness and bitterness levels, it appears that the cake mixing was not entirely successful. Perhaps investing in a real mixing bowl and a real baking spatula will be more effective than using a large pan and a large ladle.

In conclusion, chocolate mayo cake tastes more of chocolate than of mayo; if you make the mistake of swapping measuring contraptions it will also taste more of baking soda than chocolate. Also, make sure to mix the batter thoroughly, with the right tools. Try at your own risk.





First published here. Tweet me your thoughts here.

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About the Creator

Lucy Dan (she/her/她)

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