Ok, so this isn't about soup, and there actually is a secret ingredient. But this comes with a story.
When I was about 17 I had a youth leader who claimed she made this amazing cake. And then she told me she had a secret ingredient. Mayonnaise. Not sour cream, not pudding mix. Mayonnaise! And I wrote her off right there. (Sorry, Jill!) But I have since changed my ways, but not easily. All these years, I kept telling myself I would never try to make that dang cake, but I had a baby-sitter coming over for a service thing (so for free) and I wanted to do something nice for her, so I thought I'd make some dark chocolate cupcakes and orange colored cream cheese frosting so she and my baby could have something fun to do. But the time was coming near, I didn't have a cake mix, and I didn't want to spend a lot of time making cake. I turned to my trusted favorite cookbook of all time and the first cake in the cake section was an emergency chocolate cake recipe. Perfect! So I look through the ingredients and ... it calls for mayo! But America's Test Kitchen is so trustworthy and amazing, so I thought I'd better try it. And holy cow, these were good cupcakes. I'm sure their less-emergency cakes are better, but I'm sold! Jill, you were right. Mayo can go in cakes. And it's good. Even my super anti-mayo husband ate a few of them with great joy.
Emergency Chocolate Cupcakes
makes 12 cupcakes
2 C all-purpose flour
1-1/4 C sugar
3/4 t baking soda
3/4 C Dutch-processed coca powder
1-1/4 C water
1 C mayonnaise
1 T vanilla extract
- Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 350°F. Line a muffin pan with paper cupcake liners.
- Whisk flour, sugar, and baking soda together in a large bowl. In a seperate bowl, whisk the cocoa and water together until smooth. Whisk in the mayonnaise and vanilla. Stir the mayonnaise mixture into the flour mixture until combined.
- Pour the batter evenly into the 12 muffins cups. Bake until a wooden skewer inserted into the center of the cakes comes out with a few crumbs attached, about 20~25 minutes.
- Let the cakes cool in the pan on a wire rack, about 1 hour. Spread tops with cream cheese frosting and sprinkles!