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Thursday, December 8, 2022

The Great Depression and Mayo

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Mayonnaise cake sounds crazy. The thought of mayonnaise, which is delicious on a sandwich or in potato salad, in a sweet like cake is just… bizarre. But during the Great Depression simple and easy to find ingredients for us, oil and eggs had rations placed on them.

When you think about what’s in Mayo- eggs, vinegar, and oil it makes sense that it was used in cake. It’s like combining the ingredients into one and shortening the recipe. Most cakes call for eggs and oil, and some call for buttermilk which is similar to vinegar in a recipe. It’s important to also note the no salt in the recipe is due to the salt in mayonnaise. A fun fact is during the Great Depression this recipe could be found on the Mayo jar!

When I told my husband I was making this he snarled his nose like I had lost my mind. Honestly, I wasn’t sure if I had but I knew I wanted to try. The result was the most moist chocolate cake I’ve ever made. The topping was extremely rich, but delicious. 



-2 cup flour

-1 cup sugar 

-6 tablespoons cocoa powder

-2 teaspoons baking soda

-1 cup water

-1 cup mayonnaise

-1 teaspoon vanilla

Fudge Sauce

-3/4 cup heavy cream

-1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips


  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Mix together dry ingredients, add in water, mayonnaise, and vanilla. Mix until evenly combined.
  3. Pour batter into greased pan. Bake for 40 minutes, or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Fudge sauce

  1. Heat heavy whipping cream, dump chocolate chips in and let sit for about 5 minutes. Stir together until smooth.
  2. Pour over cake while warm, and serve warm. Excellent served with vanilla ice cream!
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Madison VanRavensway
Don't let her quiet nature fool you. Madison is a force to be reckoned with in the outdoors, or creating amazing recipes from scratch.
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