Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake
Tips: This recipe was developed in the 1930s by the
wife of a mayonnaise company employee, and it is a great example
of ingenuity. Id never have thought to put mayonnaise into
a chocolate cake, but after all, its made primarily of oil
and eggs, so theres no reason it cant work. There are
other cakes that have more chocolate flavor or a more velvet texture,
but this is so quick and easy that its a good choice when
you need something fast or for introducing young ones to the magic
It is the nature of this cake to dip slightly in the center, but
that can be covered up with frosting (or, serve squares of the cooled
cake, dusted with confectioners sugar, with scoops of ice
cream). I grew up on Hellmans Mayonnaise, so thats what
I use here. I find the original, ultra-high-fat type to be best
for this cake. Hellmans Light Mayonnaise can also be used,
but the cake will be somewhat gummy in texture. Incidentally, no
salt is called for in the recipe, as theres plenty in the
mayonnaise and baking soda.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, stirred before measuring
- 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup nonalkalized (non-Dutch process) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1-1/4 tsp. baking soda
- 1 cup good-quality mayonnaise, preferably at room temperature,
stirred well before measuring
- 1 cup water
- 1 tsp. vanilla
Adjust rack to center of oven; preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease
a 7 by 11 or 9 by 9 inch pan, at least 1-1/2 inches deep, with vegetable
shortening. Dust the greased pan lightly with flour, knocking out
any excess. Set aside.
Into large bowl, sift together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, and baking
soda. Set aside. Place mayonnaise in medium bowl; gradually beat
in water with fork or small whisk. Mayonnaise will thin considerably.
Stir in vanilla.
All at once, add liquid ingredients to dry ingredients. Using a
hand-held electric mixer, beat at low speed until ingredients are
combined; scrape bowl and beater(s) well. Beat at medium speed for
1-1/2 minutes. Batter should be smooth.
Turn batter into prepared pan and spread level, then push batter
slightly higher in corners and along sides of pan. Bake in preheated
oven for 28 to 35 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center emerges
with only a few moist crumbs clinging to it. Do not overbake.
Remove to cooling rack. Cool completely before frosting or storing.
If unfrosted, store airtight at room temperature for up to 3 days;
freeze for longer storage.
Yield: 8 to 12 servings
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