Cupcake Project Substitution Lab
Test 1: Using Mayonnaise as an Egg Substitute
Introduction / Purpose
Mayonnaise is mostly egg yolk and oil; so, despite the initial “yuck” factor, mayo is sometimes suggested as a substitution for eggs in baking. The most famous example of baking with mayonnaise is the chocolate mayo cake – proclaimed to be extra-moist. I wanted to know how mayonnaise would work as a substitution for eggs in desserts other than chocolate cake. Would I be able to taste the mayo? How would it affect the consistency of the dessert? Is mayonnaise a viable alternative to eggs? I decided to run some tests in my substitution lab (a.k.a. my kitchen). My hypothesis was that the substitution would be successful, but taste would be compromised.
I used a substitution amount found on Allrecipes: 3 tablespoons of mayonnaise in place of 1 egg. I used two tried and true recipes, Ultimate Vanilla Cupcakes and Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies. Both recipes contain two eggs and I replaced the two eggs in each recipe with 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise.
Results and Discussion
The mayo had a huge impact on the Ultimate Vanilla Cupcakes. The cupcakes didn’t dome, they weren’t quite as light, and the taste wasn’t Ultimate. The cupcakes did NOT, however, taste like mayo – they were still quite good. I frosted them with vanilla bean buttercream frosting, served them to several unsuspecting test subjects, and no one talked about an odd flavor.
Important: Do not try to use mayo in your frosting. I tried that as a separate experiment and the taste and smell were gag-inducing.
Based on the results of this study, I would use mayo without hesitation when making chocolate chip cookies and I would be comfortable making the same substitution with other types of cookies. I would use mayo in a pinch in cakes that don’t call for mayo. I would expect the cake to be enjoyable (aren’t all cakes?!) but sub-par.
Did you enjoy Cupcake Project Substitution Lab? Let me know in the comments. I’m considering making it a regular feature and would love your input and suggestions for future tests.