Most bakers have had the unfortunate experience of discovering, in the midst of preparing a cake or other treat, that they are missing a crucial ingredient such as oil. Maybe you have a neighbor you can borrow some from or maybe you can dash out to the store. What if it’s late at night, though, or you don’t have a car, or you simply don’t have time for a trip to the market? In that case, you can substitute something else, like mayonnaise, for the oil in a boxed cake mix.
Reasons to Sub Mayo for Oil
If you’re baking a cake and suddenly discover you’re out of vegetable oil, you might want to substitute something for the oil so you don’t have to run out to the store. Using mayonnaise instead of oil in your cake mix can also reduce the number of calories and the amount of fat in your cake, especially if you use light mayonnaise.
How to Do It
The Duncan Hines website recommends omitting the eggs in a boxed cake mix as well as the oil when substituting mayonnaise for oil in the mix. Use the same amount of mayonnaise as you would use of oil. For instance, if the directions on the box call for ½ cup oil, use ½ cup mayonnaise instead. The Duncan Hines website also says you may need to reduce the amount of water in the mix slightly and recommends adding the water called for in the directions a little at a time until you achieve the desired cake batter consistently. Don’t exceed the amount of water called for in the directions on the box, though.
Substituting mayonnaise for oil in a cake mix will change the nutritional statistics for the cake. Mayonnaise contains a fair amount of fat but not quite as much fat as oil. For example, the United States Department of Agriculture reports that one tablespoon of vegetable oil contains 120 calories and 13.5 grams of fat, while one tablespoon of Hellmann’s mayonnaise contains only 90 calories and 10 grams of fat. Hellmann’s Light mayonnaise contains only 35 calories and 3.5 grams of fat per tablespoon.
Other Things You Can Sub for Oil
You can substitute pureed fruit, like unsweetened applesauce, pureed pumpkin, or pureed prunes, for oil in a boxed cake mix. Mashed bananas will work, as well. You can also use shredded zucchini, plain or flavored yogurt (flavored yogurt may affect the taste of your cake), melted butter or margarine, or sour cream in place of oil.
Duncan Hines. http://www.duncanhines.com/baking-tips/ingredients/knitmama/mayonnaise-as-a-replacement-for-oil-and-eggs-in-a-cake-mix. Mayonnaise as a Replacement for Oil and Eggs in a Cake Mix.
United States Department of Agriculture. http://www.fns.usda.gov/fdd/facts/hhpfacts/New_HHPFacts/Oils/HHFS_OIL_VEGETABLE_B666_Final.pdf. Household Commodity Fact Sheet: Oil, Vegetable.
Hellmann’s. http://www.hellmanns.com/product/detail/97847/real-mayonnaise. Real Mayonnaise.
Hellmann’s. http://www.hellmanns.com/product/detail/97853/light-mayonnaise. Light Mayonnaise.
University of Missouri Extension and Kansas State University Research and Extension. http://extension.missouri.edu/extensioninfonet/article.asp?id=3450. How to Modify Recipes to Reduce Fat.