Sorry I couldn’t get this post out earlier…I was planning to write it over the weekend to celebrate National Chocolate Cake Day on Saturday, but then I came down with an awful fever all weekend! And when your temperature is spiking at 104, the last thing you want to do is sit in front of a computer and write out your recipe for chocolate cupcakes. But I’m better now (or at least heavily medicated), and I wanted to share with you the recipe I used to celebrate Chocolate Cake Day!

For the longest time, I’ve heard of interesting and unconventional ingredients used in baking and wanted to try them. Diet Coke in brownies? You can’t be serious! A similar thing happened to me earlier this year, when a coupon bonanza earned me more mayonnaise than I could use by myself on a sandwich. A recipe search in for things to make with mayo came up with the strangest thing I’ve ever heard: mayonnaise chocolate cupcakes! Could it possibly be? The mayonnaise, which is essentially an emulsion of oil, egg, and lemon juice, is the substitute for egg in a cake recipe, and helps make the cake super moist and dense. I figured, why the hell not! And Chocolate Cake Day seemed like the perfect time to try out this interesting recipe!

Chocolate Mayonnaise Cupcakes

1 cup white sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 cup water
2 tablespoons grape jelly
1 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease 15 muffin cups or line with paper baking cups.
2. In a large bowl, stir together the white sugar, flour, cocoa, and baking soda. Make a well in the center, and pour in the water, grape jelly, mayonnaise, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla. Mix just until blended. Spoon the batter into the prepared cups, dividing evenly.
3. Bake in the preheated oven until the tops spring back when lightly pressed, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool in the pan set over a wire rack. When cool, arrange the cupcakes on a serving platter.

What I Did Differently:
– There was also a recipe for whipped caramel frosting that I didn’t use. I’m not all that confident in my baking skills as it is, so cupcakes were just enough out of my comfort zone as it was. I used a bucket of Betty Crocker dark chocolate fudge frosting instead. YUM.
– Instead of grape jelly, which I didn’t have, I used Peach preserves because I thought, they’re all made by Smuckers, it’s all good, right? Ehhhhh…the heterogenous nature of preserves, while treasured when it’s a spread on toast, doesn’t work well when you try to mix it into a cupcake batter. I got pieces of peach preserve sticking out weirdly in my cupcakes and that doesn’t look pretty. Next time I will try the grape jelly, or just not put it in at all.
– I….think I completely forgot about the water. Oops! Maybe that’s why the cake was so dense, haha!

My batter could have been blended more completely…I am always reluctant to use my electric hand mixer as it gets batter splattered everywhere! But hand-mixing the batter doesn’t always get it blended as well as it could be. I think this was the cause of the cupcakes rising at different heights after baking.

This is actually the first time I’m baking cupcakes by myself! The last time I can possibly remember baking cupcakes was back in 4th grade. I have never been much of a baker 😛

After filling the cupcake molds, I had quite a bit of batter left, so I glopped it into a ceramic mug, popped it in the microwave for two minutes, and made my first mug cake! From what I’ve learned from friends who have done this before, mug cakes are extremely easy to make: they’re just your regularly-prepared cake batter, placed into a mug, and microwaved for an easy to make and easy to handle cake. It gave me a sense of what the cupcakes would taste like once they were done: a little bland, but super moist, and not at all like mayonnaise!

The finished cupcakes!

Despite all the changes to the recipe, both intentional and accidental, the cupcakes came out great! They were moist and flavorful just like the recipe said they would be, and had no taste of the tangy mayonnaise at all in the finished product. I found they were a little bland, so next time I might try to add more sugar, or something else to give the recipe a little more kick. But I’m pretty sold on unconventional ingredients in baking products: now I know the best way to get rid of all my excess mayonnaise!