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Substitutes for Mayonnaise When Baking a Cake

author image Sharon Segal
Sharon Segal has been working in the health field since 2006. Her background includes work with a cancer advocacy group, health policy research and volunteering with a community health organization. Segal holds a Master of Public Health in public nutrition from Tufts University and a Bachelor of Science in public health with a psychology minor from George Washington University.
Substitutes for Mayonnaise When Baking a Cake
A woman is mixing cake batter in a bowl. Photo Credit Antonio_Diaz/iStock/Getty Images

Some chocolate cakes contain mayonnaise because it can add significant moisture to the final product. No one likes a dry cake, but there are some alternatives to mayonnaise that are more nutritious than the rich condiment. Using one of these alternatives can ensure that you can bake your cake and eat it too.

Baking with Mayonnaise

Mayonnaise cakes became popular during World War II when common baking ingredients, such as eggs, butter, oil and sugar were rationed and families needed to be more resourceful. The egg yolks and oil in mayonnaise provided fat for a moist cake, but also created a recipe high in fat. You can now find lower fat mayonnaise, but there are alternatives to this condiment that provide more health benefits. The following substitutions can be used one to one, meaning if your recipe calls for one cup of mayonnaise, you can swap in one cup of the alternative.

Sour Cream

Though sour cream is sour by nature versus the salty sweetness of mayonnaise, it has a similar creamy consistency that works well in cakes. As a dairy product, it is full of protein and calcium, both of which are important for bone and muscle health. Choose lower fat or fat free sour cream in your baking to reduce fat in the recipe. Fat-free sour cream contains more water, so you may find you need to add more flour to your cake or use a little less sour cream.

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Yogurt, Greek or traditional, mimics the creaminess of mayonnaise, but contains less fat, cholesterol and additives. Yogurt is another excellent source of calcium and protein, whether it is the full or non-fat variety. Like sour cream, fat-free yogurts can cause your baked good to become watery in the oven, not allowing it to bake correctly. Greek yogurts are thicker, so a non-fat Greek yogurt may provide better results than non-fat regular yogurt. Every recipe is different, so experiment to determine what serves as the best mayonnaise alternative.


Whether you are a vegan, or are simply trying to add more vegetables to your diet, avocados are the perfect non-dairy baking solution. Avocados pack a greater nutritional punch than mayonnaise, and are a real super food. Although there are 4.5 g of fat for one-fifth of a medium avocado, this is mostly heart-healthy unsaturated fats. Along with healthy fats, avocados contain more than 20 vitamins and minerals, as well as antioxidants. To use an avocado, remove the pit, scoop out the meat and mash with a fork before adding to your recipe.

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