Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Mayonnaise Chocolate Cake (vegan option)

Happy international chocolate day!  I am pleased to be able to bring you a chocolate cake.  It is months since I baked one but last weekend I suddenly had the urge.  Perhaps it was because Sylvia was on a sleepover and we had eaten dinner by about 6.30pm so much time stretched ahead of us without the bedtime routine.  So I baked.

It was lovely and relaxing to bake in the early evening without a child underfoot.  Even more relaxing because I did not need to explain to her why I was putting mayonnaise in a chocolate cake.  (I didn't tell her until she had eaten a few slices of cake.  She didn't seem pleased but then ate another piece quite happily.)  I also got to try putting some rye flour into my overnight sourdough bread which worked well.

The chocolate cake recipe is one that I had handwritten in my notebook many years before I started blogging or even surfing the net.  It fascinated me then and continues to do so. 

f you are skeptical about the idea, just think that mayonnaise is traditionally made of eggs, oil, and lemon juice.  Aren't these ingredients that are usually found in cakes!  So then it makes sense that this cake is made with no eggs or oil, other than what you might find in the mayo.

And I wondered from time to time if a vegan mayonaise would also work in this recipe.  I was recently reminded of this by a Vegan Brownie recipe by Seitan is My Motor that uses vegan mayo.  So having a jar of Kingland soy mayonnaise in the fridge that wasn't being used, gave me a good opportunity to try it. 

One problem with the recipe is that not every mayonnaise is the same.  The one I used was quite sweet and a little sharp.  I find vegannaise (or a good egg mayonnaise) to be far blander and creamier.  I wonder how they would be in this cake.  My version of the cake, which also reduced the sugar by a third and used baking powder instead of bicarb soda (I sometimes get caught out by the Americans writing "baking powder") was quite dense and perfect if you don't like your foods oversweet.

I also liked the frosting, based on this one but using dark chocolate and less icing sugar.  It is as creamy as it is sweet and gave the cake the little bit of extra sweetness it needed without making my teeth ache.

By the time Sylvia returned from her sleepover we had already had a couple of pieces of warm cake and forced it into an airtight container that was slightly too small.  It was still uniced.  So I made up the frosting and then Sylvia decided she needed to decorate it with sprinkles.  She was remarkably restrained.  She has enjoyed the cake in her lunchbox and I have taken it to work with my lunch.  It has been remarkably sturdy - in a good way.  And as someone who never seems to get through a jar of mayonnaise, it cheers me to know I can always put my surplus mayo into a lovely chocolate cake.

I am sending this cake to We Should Cocoa and to a new baking event called Baking Crumbs.

More vegan chocolate cakes at Green Gourmet Giraffe:
Chocolate spice cake (v)
Coconut and chocolate chunk cake (v)
Green ombre chocolate cake (v)
Vegan chocolate (layer) cake (v) 
Zucchini brownie with smoked walnuts (v)

Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake
Source unrecorded

Dry ingredients:
3 cups plain flour
1 cup sugar
6 tbsp cocoa
3 tsp bicarb soda (baking soda)
1/4 tsp salt

Wet ingredients:
1 1/2 cups mayo
1 cup water
3/4 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla

Chocolate frosting:
60g dark chocolate
2-3 dessertspoons butter of margarine
icing sugar

Mix dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.  Lightly whisk together wet ingredients in a medium mixing bowl.  Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and stir gently until combined.

Scrape into a greased and lined 13 x 9 inch baking tin.  Bake at 180 C for 35-40 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.  Cool on a wire rack.

Ice with chocolate frosting (melt chocolate, cook slightly and mix in margarine then mix enough icing sugar to have a soft icing).  Keeps for 4-5 days in an airtight container.

NOTES: the recipe I based this on had 1 1/2 cups sugar and 3/4 cup water.  I used vegan mayonnaise, milk, chocolate and margarine.  Any old frosting or buttercream icing would work instead of the frosting I used.  I used half white and half wholemeal flour.  My tin was actually 12 x 8 inch which might be why it was a nice high cake and needed about 10 more minutes in the oven.

On the Stereo:
The Swell Season: Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová


  1. We go through a lot of mayonnaise as I love the stuff! I thought you were going to say the vegan version uses aquafaba!

  2. Yummy looking cake. How I missed international chocolate day I do not know. I have seen mayo used in some low fat chocolate cake recipes and don't mind the idea at all.

  3. I am skeptical! But your description and photos are convincing me. What a novel cake, and all the more so for being vegan.

    Oh for the days where we can be at 6.30pm and not have bedtime routine stretching ahead :-) (Although in saying that, 6.30pm is actually quite a good time because that is when bath/bed routine start, so the end is in sight!)

  4. That's really intriguing! I have genuinely never seen a cake recipe (vegan or otherwise) that uses mayonnaise, but as you rightly say, all ingredients are typical cake-making stuff. I'm going to have to give this a try for sure!

  5. A belated happy international chocolate day to you too Johanna! I've come across mayo used in cakes once or twice before, and as you say, it is so fascinating. But makes perfect sense when you think about what mayo is made from! Mayo's not someting we routinely have at home, but I'm definitely going to buy a jar of it just to try it out at some point it looks gorgeous and must taste it especially given that your daughter went back for more :-) Thankyou so much for joining in with #BakingCrumbs Johanna, it's great to see you there :-)
    Angela x

  6. I remember first hearing about chocolate mayonnaise cake many years before I started bogging too and it sounded very strange. I didn't try making one myself until I had started blogging - and of course it wasn't as strange as it sounded. Your not too sweet, dense vegan version sounds perfect. Thanks for sharing it with We Should Cocoa.

  7. The cake looks gorgeous! I've heard of using mayo before but I've never tried it myself


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