It’s no secret that mayonnaise can liven up your recipes. Cooks have been using it for decades, and for good reason. In its purest form, mayonnaise is made of just whole eggs, lemon juice or vinegar, and oil. It’s a wholesome ingredient that is affordable to keep on hand, and simple enough to whip up from scratch in the kitchen. It’s the base for dips, spreads, and aiolis galore—not to mention being an invaluable component of classic sammies like the BLT or club.
Mayonnaise can be a booster for more unsuspecting recipes, as well. When used in batters for baked goods, it makes breads, cookies, and cakes more fluffy and moist. Chocolate cake is the most common sweet dish you’ll find that calls for mayonnaise as a “secret ingredient,” but there are others out there, too. Here are 5 surprising recipes to jazz up with mayonnaise.
(Make your own mayonnaise with our own recipe found here—just omit the mustard if you’re making it to use in these sweet treats!)
- Chocolate cake. Taking roots in the Great Depression and WWII eras when simple ingredients were limited, the trick of adding mayonnaise to cake is still employed in many a home cook’s kitchen. While you can track down a mayo-laden chocolate cake recipe anywhere on the internet, this version from the blog With the Grains uses whole grain flour and raw cane sugar.
- Fruit crisp. A scoop of mayonnaise is added directly to the sugared flour mixture that will become the crisp topping on a home-baked fruit pie. On epicurious.com a member-shared recipe for Blueberry Mayonnaise Crisp shows you how.
- Cornbread. If you like your cornbread thick and fluffy, soft and moist, try the mayo method for great results. Tasteofhome.com hosts a recipe for West Tennessee Corn Bread that is atypical all around: it not only calls for mayonnaise in the batter, but has no flour in the mix!
- Cookies. On her personal blog, chef and author Rozanne Gold shares a recipe for chocolate chip cookies that was born out of her own experience being shy just one egg in order to make cookies, yet still making a go of it.
- Cheesy Garlic bread. If you’ve ever eaten Mexican elotes (corn smothered in a mayo-and-cheese sauce), you know how good of friends mayonnaise and cheese can be, especially when served over something warm and hopelessly sloppy. On epicurious.com, a recipe for Three-Cheese Garlic Bread shows you how to incorporate this same culinary combo, but over toasty, buttery bread.
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