Mayonnaise is a surprising yet not-so-secret ingredient that makes cakes moist and fluffy. It's equally good for creating crispy-yet-chewy chocolate cookies and savory breaded chicken strips, thanks to its eggs and oil content. Mayonnaise also works in place of eggs in many baking recipes, helping the finished product maintain moisture, texture and flavor.
Add Mayo for Moist Cakes
Mayonnaise may seem like a strange ingredient to add to a cake, but it works on many levels. At its most basic, mayo is a whipped blend of egg yolks, a vegetable oil, and vinegar or lemon juice. The oil in the mayonnaise makes a cake more tender and moist, while the vinegar helps enhance flavors, especially for a chocolate cake. Make your next chocolate cake extra moist by adding 1 cup mayonnaise to the batter and omitting any oil required. If you aren't so sure about swapping out the oil, work from a recipe that already calls for mayonnaise as a main ingredient.
Make Mayo Chocolate-Chip Cookies
You can also use mayo as a secret ingredient for chocolate chip cookies. The oils and eggs in the mayonnaise help the cookies crisp up nicely on the edges while staying tender inside. The saltiness of the mayo also pairs well with the chocolate in the cookies. To incorporate mayonnaise into a chocolate-chip cookie recipe, use 2 heaping tablespoons of mayonnaise for every egg called for in the recipe.
Use Mayo for Baked Breaded Chicken Strips
Baking breaded chicken strips is a healthier alternative to frying them. Make the recipe even more tasty by using a mayonnaise and Dijon mustard blend before dipping the strips into the breadcrumbs. Mix 1/3 cup each mayo and Dijon mustard in a bowl, along with several sliced or minced garlic cloves. Season rinsed and dried raw chicken breast strips with a little salt and pepper; dip them in the mayo-Dijon mixture, then into in a bowl of breadcrumbs. Bake on a foil-lined cookie sheet at 450F for 15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and no longer pink inside.
Mayonnaise also comes in handy when you're baking a cake from a box mix. Instead of adding oil and eggs in a cake-mix recipe that calls for them, use mayonnaise in place of both. Replace the oil with the exact same amount of mayonnaise and skip the eggs altogether. If the cake batter seems too dry, add a few drops of water at a time, stirring until the batter reaches the desired consistency.
Use Mayo as a General Egg Substitute
Mayonnaise can be used as a substitute for eggs in just about any baking recipe. Since mayonnaise already contains eggs, it's not a far stretch to consider it as a substitution. To use mayo instead of eggs when baking, swap 2 to 3 tablespoons mayonnaise for each egg called for in the original recipe.
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- The Cook's Thesaurus: Eggs
- Bon Appetit: Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake
- Hellmanns: Easy Apple Crisp
- University of Nebraska: Ingredient Substitutions
- Serious Eats: Everything You Can Do With a Jar of Mayo
- Serious Eats: Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake Recipe
- Rozanne Gold: Cookie Surprise: Don't Hold the Mayo
- Natasha's Kitchen: Baked Breaded Chicken Strips
- Use regular mayonnaise, not fat-free or low-calorie mayonnaise.
Kathy Adams is an award-winning journalist. She is an avid DIYer that is equally at home repurposing random objects into new, useful creations as she is at supporting community gardening efforts and writing about healthy alternatives to household chemicals. She's written numerous DIY articles for paint and decor companies, as well as for Black + Decker, Hunker, Kroger, SFGate and others.