When I was about 14 years old, I made a discovery that would forever change the way I baked. I had a piece of cake that was simply the most heavenly cake I had ever tasted in my life. It was so moist that I just had to know the baker’s secret. What I didn’t consider is that I might not like what I heard. When I asked her how she made her cake so moist, she simply said “Mayonnaise”. Her secret was 1/4 cup of mayonnaise added to the regular ingredients and mixed up into the batter before baking.
“Oh, disgusting!” I thought.
Then I thought a little more. Mayonnaise contains oil (always a necessary item in baking a moist cake), egg whites (known for giving cakes a fluffy lift) and vinegar (a natural preservative).
So I gave it a try. She was absolutely right. No matter what kind of cake I made, if I added 1/4 cup of mayonnaise, people would rave about how moist and delicious it was. I was hooked. I’ve used the mayonnaise trick for years now, even with cake mixes, and it has never let me down.
The real trick to using mayonnaise in your baking is to not let anyone else see you do it. For years, my husband raved about my cakes but, one day, he walked in the kitchen as I was adding mayo to the batter of one of his favorite cakes. He stopped dead in his tracks.
“What are you doing?!”
All I could say was: “I’m making the cake you’ve loved for years.”
He simply could not understand why I would do such a thing to his cake. It was ugly, but he knew my cooking and when I fell back on “trust me”, he did. The fact is, most people don’t care what makes their favorite food as awesome as it is and most don’t care to know. They just want the finished product.
So, do your family and friends a favor and use 1/4 cup of mayonnaise in your cake batter but do yourself a favor and keep your secret ingredient a secret.