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Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake

"It might sound weird and gross to put mayonnaise in a chocolate cake, but it makes sense when you think about it."

You can't seriously tell me that doesn't look incredibly tasty. [Photographs: Liz Gutman]

Some things just go together—peanut butter and jelly, cheese and crackers, chocolate and mayonnaise. Wait, what? You don't yet know about how awesome chocolate mayonnaise cake is?

Today's recipe was actually inspired by a SE Talk thread. I can't say I know its exact origins, but it's certainly nothing new—many recipes refer to it as "World War II" or "Depression-Era" chocolate cake. It's a testament to the resourcefulness of home cooks through the ages; in times of food scarcity or limited budgets, you have to get creative. It's no wonder this recipe has lasted—this chocolate cake is moist, tender and delightful. And really easy to make.

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Could you actually make my slice a little bigger?

It might sound weird and gross to put mayonnaise in a chocolate cake, but it makes sense when you think about it. Mayo is just oil, eggs, and a little vinegar. The oil makes the cake beautifully moist and tender, and the vinegar punches up the chocolate flavor a little.

What's nice about it is it's not too sweet, and extremely chocolatey. I decided to make it a 2-layer 9" cake, with a simple chocolate frosting recipe from Smitten Kitchen; but it's just as delicious by itself with a little whipped cream or a scoop of ice cream. When chocolate cake is this good, you don't need to dress it up too much.

Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake

About the author: Liz Gutman co-owns the Brooklyn-based candy business Liddabit Sweets, which means she spends a lot of time around chocolate (and a lot of time eating it). She moved to New York in 2001 to go to, wait for it, acting school. But when the acting life wasn't for her, she wound up in the French Culinary Institute's pastry program while working at Roni-Sue's Chocolates in Manhattan's Lower East Side. She befriended Jen King, aka the other half of Liddabit, at FCI and founded Liddabit in May of 2009.

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