My mom’s parents, Paul and Pauline, raised 10 children together in northern Minnesota. They were both such strong and lovely souls. Sadly, before I was born, my grandma Pauline passed away from breast cancer. My grandpa, at that point, had to teach himself how to cook and bake because my grandma had always done those things for him. In learning how to fend for himself, my grandpa became famous for one particularly unique dessert -mayo cake.
Mayo cake came about during the Great Depression when bakers didn’t have access to oil and eggs. It was so popular, recipes started to pop up everywhere and mayo companies even printed their own recipes right on their labels. This moist cake has an interesting flavor to it -it’s lightly chocolatey and kind of milky! (If this doesn’t sound like something you’ll like, maybe try my other chocolate cake recipe!)
My grandpa liked easier recipes so his version was more of a dump, mix, bake, and slap on some frosting kinda deal, and he definitely wouldn’t have ever done cupcakes. His frosting of choice? A quick stove top chocolate frosting. I, on the other hand, decided to add a little more technique to the recipe, just to ensure the best cake possible, and I really wanted cupcakes so I did cupcakes. My frosting of choice? A classic “buttercream” with chocolate chips added in for a little more chocolatey flavor. While I changed the size of his cake and the frosting, I think my grandpa would approve, and I don’t think he would even notice a difference in taste between using the non-vegan mayo and the vegan “mayo.”
It all gets started with the sifting of the dry ingredients. Over a large bowl, the flour, cocoa powder, and baking soda get tossed into a sifter to ensure that no lumps or clumps remain. Next, the wet ingredients (which includes, of course, some vegan “mayo”) get added and the whole thing gets a good stir.
The batter then gets spooned out into a standard size cupcake pan that’s been lined with cupcake liners, filling each paper about 2/3rds of the way full.
Transfer the pan into a preheated 350 degree oven and bake the cupcakes for 25 minutes or until a cake tester, or toothpick, inserted into the center of one of the cupcakes comes out clean. Repeat these steps with any remaining batter and then, once all of the cupcakes are done, allow them to cool completely before frosting them. While they’re cooling, it’s the perfect time to whip up our frosting!
To make the frosting, in the bowl of a stand mixer, or in a bowl using your hand mixer, combine room temperature “butter” with vanilla and just a little bit of salt. Beat until smooth then, with the mixer off, sift in the powdered sugar. Turn the mixer first to low, so as to not end up with powered sugar all over you and your kitchen, then gradually ramp up the speed to high. Beat until smooth and creamy. Turn the mixer off once more and add in the chocolate chips. Beat on the lowest speed just to get the chips mixed in and then stop.
Paul's Vegan 'Mayo' Cupcakes with Chocolate Chip 'Buttercream' Frosting
Credit: Compassion is the Secret Ingredient, http://www.citsiblog.com
- For the cupcakes:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 cup vegan “mayo”
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup warm water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla For the frosting:
- 2 sticks of vegan “butter,” room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 3/4 cups powdered sugar
- Generous 1/2 cup of dairy-free chocolate chips, mini or standard size
- For the cupcakes:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare a standard size cupcake pan by lining each cup with a cupcake liner. Set pan aside for a moment until needed. Over a large bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, and baking soda in a sifter then sift to ensure that no lumps or clumps remain. When the dry ingredients have been sifted, add in the “mayo,” sugar, warm water, and vanilla, and stir to combine.
- Spoon or scoop the batter into your prepared cupcake pan, filling each liner 2/3rds of the way full. Pop the pan into your preheated oven and bake for 25 minutes or until a cake tester, or toothpick, inserted into the center of one of the cupcakes comes out clean. Repeat this step until no batter remains.
- Allow the cupcakes to cool completely before frosting. Finished cupcakes will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. For the frosting:
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, or in a bowl using your hand mixer, combine the room temperature “butter” with vanilla and salt. Beat until smooth then, with the mixer off, sift in the powdered sugar. Turn the mixer back on, first to low so as to not end up with powered sugar all over you and your kitchen, then gradually ramp up the speed to high. Beat until smooth and creamy. Turn the mixer off once more and add in the chocolate chips. Beat on the lowest speed just to get the chips mixed in then stop.
- Frost your completely cooled cupcakes using an offset spatula or mini spatula.