Martha Stewart’s Chocolate-Mayo Cupcakes

Yesterday had been a busy day for me. I was running all over the place trying to get a few errands done before little Liam’s Pre-K promotion ceremony in the afternoon. By the time we all got home, I was ready to just sit down, put my feet up, and flip through the Martha Stewart Living magazine that had just come in the mail. My husband, Bill, was a doll and kept our two boys in the back room with him, playing video games, so Mom could have a bit of alone time. I sat down, got a big glass of iced water, and turned on my Norah Jones Pandora station while I flipped through my magazine.

As I was flipping through the magazine, I came across a recipe for chocolate-mayo cupcakes. I’ve seen chocolate cake recipes that call for mayonnaise many times before and I know I have made one years ago, but for some reason, this one just called to me. I had all of the ingredients on hand and it had been awhile since I’ve baked. So, I figured, what the heck. I grabbed the magazine, threw it in my cookbook holder and started getting all of the ingredients out. Bill came into the kitchen at that time and said, “Oh no, what are you making now? Cause you know, I’ll just have to have some.” He has a sort of love/hate relationship with my baking. He loves to eat what I bake, but he hates what it does to his waistline. Oh well, portion sizes dear, portion sizes.

The cupcakes weren’t done until about 10 o’clock at night, but regardless, I had to try one, right? I must confess, I did put a little too much cocoa powder into the mix. I was talking to Bill while I was measuring out the cocoa. I was supposed to put in 2/3 cup and I accidentally threw in 3/4 cup. It did make the chocolate a bit richer and the cupcake a smidge more dense, but overall, still enjoyable. This was the first time I’ve ever made any type of frosting with mayonnaise. Before I was done making the frosting, I turned away for a second and Bill decided to dip his finger in the bowl for a quick taste. No sugar had been added at that point, just mayo and cocoa powder. The look on his face was classic. I’m sure he was relieved when he finally got to taste the finished product. The mayonnaise gives the frosting a bit of a tang and it turns out to be similar to a thick ganache.

I hope you take the time to give these a try just like I did. I always love trying something new.


Chocolate-Mayo Cupcakes

As a replacement for butter and oil in this recipe, mayo creates a lighter crumb and creamier frosting.

Active Time: 30 min.

Total Time: 45 min., plus cooling

Makes: 18

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, 2/3 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder, 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder, and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt. Whisk in 2 large eggs, 1 cup hot strong-brewed coffee, 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract, and 3/4 cup mayonnaise until smooth.
  2. Divide batter among muffin cups fitted with paper liners (about three-quarters full). Bake at 350 degrees F until tops spring back when lightly pressed, 15 to 17 minutes. Let cool completely in tins; remove.
  3. For frosting: Whisk together 1/2 cup each mayonnaise and unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder. Whisk in 2 cups confectioners’ sugar and 2 tablespoons whole milk until smooth. Divide evenly among cupcakes.

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