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When You Can (and When You Can’t) Use Mayonnaise Instead of Butter in Baking

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Of all the questionable ingredients to add to cake batter, mayonnaise is certainly at the top of the list. , does not look like the customary ingredients for brownies. still here.

Yes, baking with a scoop of mayonnaise improves baked goods and can be used as a substitute for eggs or fat in recipes. But before you order a 16-liter container of Hellmann’s from Costco as an all-purpose butter replacement, you need to understand what the butter accomplishes in your recipe, and why (and when) it can’t be easily replaced.

When will mayonnaise replace butter in baked goods?

Mayonnaise, in its simplest terms, is like silk emulsion Break it down to its roots of eggs, acids (such as vinegar and lemon), and oils and you’ll see why baking makes sense. Its ingredients make it a great substitute for oil, its thick, creamy structure resembles softened butter, and since it already has eggs in it, mayonnaise exerts some of the egg’s binding power when heated. increase.

Mayonnaise can be used in dough or batter if the butter isn’t the star flavor, if it gets its structure from elsewhere (like flour), and if the butter isn’t doing something incredibly important (more on that later). Works best as a butter substitute. . cake dough, brownie battercookie dough, and dinner roll You can work with the richness that mayonnaise provides. Mayonnaise does its job, adding plenty of water and richness to the finished dish..

If you can’t use mayonnaise in place of butter in your recipe

There are some desserts that simply require butter. do nothing else. This is because butter plays an important role in many recipes. Butter not only helps create an emulsified batter, it also traps air and carbon dioxide, provides structure, enhances texture, extends shelf life, adds water, contributes to an attractive golden color, Of course, it offers mouth-watering flavors and aromas. . (For more information, The science of butter on this blog From my alma mater, the Institute of Culinary Education. )

Lay down a jar of mayonnaise and pick up a stick of goodies for recipes that rely on butter to provide flavor, structure, or texture response in the oven. Butter forward cookies do all three. The flavor, structure, and texture of shortbread cookies are all explosive, and many disappointed shortbread fanatics have to answer if one of them is off.

You can’t use mayonnaise in butter viennoiserie Also.if you happen to laminate fabric At home, I’m short of half a pound of butter, so drop the rolling pin and get some more. Because mayonnaise can’t help. The same is true when making Danish dough or pie dough. Butter provides the reaction needed in recipes that manipulate butter to create layers in dough.Butter must have percentage of water, as the butter melts in the oven, the water evaporates. As it evaporates, it leaves behind butter-coated air pockets. Increasing these air pockets hundreds of times causes a croissant, palmier or cheese stick to expand to about three times its previous size. Sorry mayonnaise, but butter beat you.

Similarly, butter should be used for flaky pie crusts, flaky biscuits, or anything with “flaky” in the title. short fabric It prevents the flour from absorbing too much water. The butter seals in some of the flour, preventing excess gluten in the dough and keeping it short. Mayonnaise is not a saturated fat that can be manipulated like butter. Instead of creating pockets, the mayonnaise just melts into the dough.

Mayonnaise If you’re new to desserts, use recipes that explicitly include mayonnaise in the recipe, or use a 1:1 ratio instead of cake batter. If you’re worried that your cookies will end up tasting like ham sandwiches, don’t worry. The mayonnaise-like flavor diffuses into many of the other ingredients, making it even more mellow after baking.

Mayo cookie recipe that actually works

The following recipe uses butter, eggs, When Salt the walnut chocolate chunk cookies, but you can also use light mayonnaise. I asked him what his “deal” was with them. When I told him I made it with mayonnaise, I could see his panic synapses start to fire. , pleasantly stunned. (Honestly, they’re the same.) This cookie recipe doesn’t have much better business. I couldn’t believe I was going to tell people that mayonnaise chocolate chunk cookies were quick, easy, and delicious.

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Photo: Allie Shanthorn Lineman

mayonnaise walnut chocolate chunk cookie

Makes a dozen cookies.


  • ¼ cup light mayonnaise (I used Hermans)
  • ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla essence
  • ½ cup flour
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
  • ¼ cup chopped dark chocolate

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a small bowl, combine dry ingredients. In another small bowl, combine mayonnaise and sugar. Add vanilla.

Pour dry ingredients into sugar and mayonnaise mixture and mix until nearly blended. Add chopped walnuts and chocolate. Mix until blended.

Scoop a tablespoon-sized mound onto a baking sheet. Bake at 350°F for 15 minutes. Chill and enjoy the tastiest mayonnaise cookies ever. You can double this recipe if desired.

When You Can (and When You Can’t) Use Mayonnaise Instead of Butter in Baking

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