Cake, I Love You - Jill O'Connor

Cake, I Love You: Decadent, Delectable, and Do-able Recipes by Jill O'Connor offers 60 divinely decadent recipes that will appeal to home bakers of all levels. Organized by flavor profile (banana, coconut, chocolate, caramel, spice, fruit) and level of difficulty, each chapter in this cookbook from baking master Jill O'Connor presents only one problem that I can see - you will want to make each and every cake. Can you have too much cake? Never!

As I started to go through the recipes, I found myself saying "I need to make this one" "and this one" and "this one". Absolutely gorgeous photographs and exquisite flavor combinations make this a must have for any baker. White Chocolate Lemon Walnut Cake, a stunner of a Lemon Bomb Cake, and a Pink Lady Applesauce Cake with Apple Cider Caramel Glaze are just a few examples. Since it is the middle of July and we are in the middle of planning a move, I haven't had a chance to make the White Chocolate Lemon Walnut Cake - but that will be first up on my list. 

Jill has events planned please see our calendar for more details. You may ask - do we really need another cake cookbook - and the answer is yes, irrefutably yes, you need this one. Jill is the author of many books on sweet treats many of which are indexed for our members.

Special thanks to Chronicle and the author for sharing the Old-Fashioned Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake recipe with our members. Be sure to head over to our contest page to enter to win a copy of this beautiful book. 


Old-Fashioned Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake


When I need an easy, foolproof, and thoroughly addictive chocolate cake in a hurry, or when I want to make an ordinary day feel like a special occasion, this is the chocolate cake I turn to every time. It is luxuriously rich, yet surprisingly light in texture. I've baked easy sheet cakes, cupcakes, and classic double-layer cakes using this batter, and I'm never disappointed. Mayonnaise cakes were popularized in the late 1930s by Hellman's, a well-known maker of mayonnaise, who promoted their product as a more economical substitution for butter and eggs. Since mayonnaise is simply an emulsion of eggs and oil with a dash of vinegar, it works beautifully. Although tasty enough to eat plain or simply sprinkled with confectioners' sugar, I love to slather this cake with Melted Chocolate Bar Frosting, which takes 5 minutes to whip together from pantry staples-all you really need is a bowl, a wooden spoon, and a little muscle.

2 cups [280 g] all-purpose flour
3/4 cup [60 g] natural cocoa powder (see page 13)
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
2 cups [400 g] granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 cup [240 g] mayonnaise (do not use low-fat)
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp instant espresso powder or instant coffee granules
1 1/3 cups [320 ml] boiling water


1 cup [180 g] semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup [180 g] milk chocolate chips
1/2 cup [110 g] unsalted butter
1 cup [240 g] sour cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp fine sea salt
2 to 3 cups [240 to 360 g] confectioners' sugar, sifted

Position a rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F [180°C]. Coat a metal 9-by-13-in [23-by-33-cm] cake pan or two 9-in [23-cm] round cake pans with nonstick cooking spray. If using 9-in [23-cm] round pans, line the bottoms with parchment paper.In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the granulated sugar and eggs together at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Beat in the mayonnaise and vanilla until smooth.

Decrease the mixer speed to low and beat in half of the dry ingredients just until combined. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl.

In a small bowl, stir together the espresso powder and boiling water. Add half of the espresso mixture to the batter and beat on low speed just until the batter is smooth, 5 to 10 seconds. Add the remaining dry ingredients and beat just until combined. Beat in the remaining espresso and beat just until smooth. The batter will be somewhat thin. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan(s) and spread evenly with a spatula.

Bake for 22 to 25 minutes, until a wooden skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Transfer the pan(s) to a wire rack and let cool completely, about 30 minutes.

To make the frosting:  In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine the semisweet and milk chocolate chips with the butter. Microwave on high for 1 minute. Stir together until the butter and chocolates are completely melted and smooth. If not completely melted after 1 minute, heat again in 15-second increments, stirring between each, until smooth and shiny. Using a large balloon whisk or a wooden spoon, stir in the sour cream, vanilla, and salt. Beat in 2 cups [240 g] of the confectioners' sugar, just until smooth and spreadable. Let the frosting set for a few minutes at room temperature, as it will firm up a little as it cools. If a thicker, sweeter, frosting is desired, beat in the remaining 1 cup [120 g] confectioners' sugar.

To finish the cake: For a sheet cake, leave the cake in the pan and spread the top with the frosting. Cut into squares and serve. If making a layer cake, place one layer on a cake plate or cake stand and spread with one-third of the frosting. Top with a second layer and spread the remaining frosting evenly over the top and around the sides of the cake. Cut into wedges and serve. To store, cover the sheet cake with plastic wrap or aluminum foil.

Store the layer cake in a tightly covered cake carrier. Both will keep at room temperature for up to 3 days.

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  • lgroom  on  7/17/2017 at 4:14 PM

    I love lemon poppyseed cake -- always what I have for my birthday.

  • jr0717  on  7/17/2017 at 6:06 PM

    I could make coffee cake for days and not grow tired of it!

  • bvgardner  on  7/17/2017 at 9:18 PM

    I would love to try the banana brownie swirl cake from the book.

  • jezpurr  on  7/17/2017 at 10:04 PM

    I love lots of different cakes. Strawberry Shortcake, German Chocolate, Coconut, and more!!!^_^

  • heyjude  on  7/18/2017 at 2:11 AM

    The chocolate mayo cake always gets raves.

  • dbielick  on  7/18/2017 at 8:44 AM

    Love the holiday bundt cake from Dorie Greenspan

  • JenJoLa  on  7/19/2017 at 3:53 PM

    Lemon honey cake is my go-to cake to bake.

  • matag  on  7/19/2017 at 3:56 PM

    My grandmother made this!

  • Siegal  on  7/19/2017 at 3:58 PM

    I love making any cakes with my daughter

  • EmilyR  on  7/20/2017 at 10:29 PM

    I love lemons and wedding cake with whipped frosting to eat. To make I usually end up with a dark chocolate ganache cake.

  • lhudson  on  7/21/2017 at 8:10 AM

    Black Irish whiskey-chocolate cake

  • BMeyer  on  7/22/2017 at 8:12 AM

    Grandma Robideaux's coconut pecan cake

  • sgump  on  7/23/2017 at 5:21 PM

    My favorite cake is a nice moist coconut cake

  • FireRunner2379  on  7/23/2017 at 6:31 PM

    My favorite cake to make and eat is Dark Chocolate Stout Cake with Chocolate Buttercream!

  • abihamm  on  7/24/2017 at 5:12 PM

    My favorite to make is a Yellow Cake with Whipped Ganache Frosting. :D

  • lebarron2001  on  7/26/2017 at 11:57 AM

    My favorite cake to make and eat is Cheesecake

  • blizzful  on  7/26/2017 at 11:24 PM

    Salted butter pean cake

  • kitchenclimbers  on  7/27/2017 at 10:19 AM

    had a chocolate salted caramel cake last night that was amazing!

  • robynnemellor  on  7/27/2017 at 2:48 PM

    Chocolate Dipped Strawberry Cake. That frosting looks so good!

  • LaurenE  on  7/28/2017 at 10:14 AM

    Carrot cake with cream cheese frosting

  • eveaway  on  7/28/2017 at 6:02 PM

    Zucchini Walnut cake.

  • ChoiceJoyce  on  7/29/2017 at 6:58 PM

    Heard of the other buttercream nationalities (the meringues), but really want to know what German buttercream is!

  • Lafauvette  on  7/30/2017 at 1:23 PM

    German chocolate cake

  • ktwalla  on  8/3/2017 at 2:21 PM

    Plum torte

  • Jenamarie  on  8/9/2017 at 1:04 PM

    Red velvet cake.. But with chocolate icing!

  • t.t  on  8/13/2017 at 11:36 PM

    lemon poppyseed pound cake

  • verorenee  on  8/15/2017 at 3:51 PM

    I love making bundt cakes!

  • orchidlady01  on  8/18/2017 at 3:28 AM

    I like German Chocolate cake.

  • echilt5  on  8/23/2017 at 11:00 PM

    I love Pink Champagne Cake.

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