After our friend, sculptor and graphic designer Deborah Laux , mentioned that she is the keeper of a family recipe for Chocolate May Cake, I begged her to send it to me so that I could share it with the Modern Retro Woman community. In her email she writes,
My childhood was littered with Chocolate Mayo Cakes – the only cake our family made. It’s simple and quick to make. And, it’s mouth-wateringly moist.
You may notice the recipe does not call for oil or eggs. Mayonnaise is made of oil and eggs blended together. [You thought it was weird, yes?] And, whether you are a Miracle Whip family or a Best Foods family, this cake will work for you. The moistness in this cake has to do with the emulsification of the oil and eggs. If someone knows the science behind it, let me know.
My mom always made the frosting with coffee. You can look up how to make frosting with powdered sugar. Just use brewed coffee as the liquid. Coffee cuts the sweetness and it goes great with chocolate. We ate it as kids so you know it doesn’t really taste like coffee.
Bake in a regular rectangular cake pan. We always frosted it right in the pan because it never lasted long enough to bother with the fancy stuff.
Naturally, I had to try this out myself so that I could gush about how good it tasted. My only dilemma was that I didn’t have any powdered sugar in the pantry for making a frosting. Thank goodness for the Internet! I did a search for sugarless frosting and found one from the sugar rationing days of World War II at RecipeCurio.com.
My only admonition about this cake is to make sure you are using real mayonnaise or Miracle Whip for best results. The low fat or “other fats” mayonnaise may not give you the results you want.
As Deborah said in her email….Enjoy!
- 2 cups flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 5 Tb. cocoa
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons soda
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Grease and flour a rectangular cake pan. Preheat the oven to 350ºF (325ºF for cupcakes).
- Sift the dry ingredients together into a large mixing bowl.
- Combine the water, mayonnaise, and vanilla. Add to the dry ingredients, mixing thoroughly. Pour into the cake pan (or cupcake tin).
- Bake for 25 to 35 minutes for cake or 15-25 minutes for cupcakes.
- Use regular mayonnaise for best results.