Mexican Sweet Corn Cake

Have you ever had this Mexican Sweet Corn Cake? It’s a seriously dangerous corn cake before. Dangerous meaning I could literally go hide with it somewhere and polish it off all by myself.

Mexican Sweet Corn Cake l

This deliciously moist, Mexican sweet corn cake is buttery, flecked with sweet corn nibblets {is that even a word?} and it crumbles, but it’s so in no way dry. You could have it on the side with pretty much anything. Maybe not pasta… that would be weird. But it also goes REALLY well in chili. Yup. in. chili. I’m sharing my new favorite chili recipe a little later, so don’t ya worry.

You bake this corn cake in a water-bath, sort of like a cheesecake, and it never crisps or turns golden… so it’s kind of like a cake-y cornbread. The only thing is you can’t cut it into a square and pick it up with your hands. Oh no, no! You just take an ice cream scoop or if you washed yours in the dishwasher like I did and it turned all tarnished and groddy, then just use a round tablespoon or a spoon for crying out loud to scoop. I do realize I’m failing miserably at describing this.

I remember the first time I had this sweet cake; it was when my husband and I went to a Mexican restaurant a few years ago. We ordered fajitas for two and on the too-small-of-plate-to-hold-that-many-toppings were these two little balls of yellow stuff. I picked at it with my fork and then tasted it. I was like “Um excuse me? What is this and how can I get a bowl of it?”


After a few failed attempts at home… I think I finally found how I can enjoy this corn cake without driving 50 minutes just to get two measly small balls of it on a teeny tiny plate. It all starts with butter, masa harina {corn flour}, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, salt, milk, water, sweet corn and of course butter.

heaping cup of corn

Dump a cup of sweet corn onto a cutting board…

rough chop

Give it a rough chop and set it off to the side. Watch yourself, these like to squirt. PS I get my sweet corn in a big gigantic bag from Costco… it’s the BEST!

1 cup of butter

Throw two sticks of butter into a bowl.

soft and pale yellow

Beat it until it’s fluffy and light in color.


Add in 2/3 cup of masa flour.


And a 1/2 cup of water.


Blend to combine.

add the corn

Next add in the chopped corn…

corn meal

The 1/2 cup of cornmeal…

sugar, salt and baking powder

… and the 1/2 cup of sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt and 1-1/2 teaspoons of baking powder.


Pour in the 4 tablespoons of whole milk. Heavy cream, if you have it, works too but it has to be either or… none of that skim business.


Mix until combined. Use a rubber spatula to double check you’ve mixed everything and no dry goods are left behind.


Pour the corn cake batter into an ungreased 8×11 baking dish…


… and spread it flat.

cover and fill

Cover it with foil, and place the baking dish into a 9×13 dish and fill it one-third of the way with water. For me it was about a cup and a half. Carefully slide the corn cake into the preheated 350 degree oven to bake for 50 minutes.

out of the oven to cool

And when you pull the double pan thingie out of the oven, safely retrieve the 8×11 out of the 9×13. Carefully remove the foil from the pan without burning your fingers and let cool for 10 minutes before you start scooping.

Mexican Sweet Corn Cake l

I mean LOOK at that texture… scrumptious.

Mexican Sweet Corn Cake l

This, ohhhh man, THIS is what sweet corn cake should look like, except maybe with 15 extra scoops or something.

Mexican Sweet Corn Cake l

This is so easy and I promise you everyone will love this.

No if you’ll excuse me I have some leftover Mexican Sweet Corn Cake to annihilate.


Enjoy! And if you give this Mexican Sweet Corn Cake recipe a try, let me know! Snap a photo and tag me on twitter or instagram!

Mexican Sweet Corn Cake l

My cookbook Simply Scratch : 120 Wholesome Homemade Recipes Made Easy is now available! CLICK HERE for details and THANK YOU in advance! 


Mexican Sweet Corn Cake

A soft, tender sweet and savory corn cake that works great as a side dish to your favorite Mexican meal or scoop some and add it to your chili. Your life will be forever changed.

Yield: 6-8 servings

Prep Time: 15 Minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes, plus 10 minutes cooling time

Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes


1 cup unsalted butter, softened

2/3 cup masa harina (corn flour)

1/2 cup water, plus more for water bath

1 cup sweet corn, roughly chopped (I get my sweet corn in the freezer section at Costco)

1/2 cup yellow cornmeal

2/3 cup sugar

1-1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

4 tablespoons whole milk (or heavy cream)


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl beat the two sticks of butter until fluffy and light in color.

Add in the masa and the water and mix with an electric hand mixer until combined.

Next add in the chopped corn, cornmeal, sugar, salt and baking powder. Pour in the whole milk and mix until combined.

Scrape the bowl to incorporate any missed dry ingredients before pouring the batter into an ungreased 8xll glass baking dish and spreading it so it's smooth.

Cover tightly with foil and place the dish into a 9x13 baking dish and fill 1/3 of the way with water.

Place the corn cake into your preheated oven to bake for 50 minutes. Remove and let cool for 10 minutes or so before serving.

Use a spoon or ice cream scoop to dish and serve.


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30 Responses to “Mexican Sweet Corn Cake”

  1. #
    Katrina @ WVS — September 10, 2013 at 6:19 am

    This sounds amazing!!

  2. #
    Tieghan Gerard — September 10, 2013 at 8:12 am

    At first I thought those scoops were ice cream, but this cake is actually better! Better because I get to eat it with chili, which in my book is an awesome thing!
    This is so different, but seriously sounds so incredible! I cannot wait to try it!

  3. #
    Paula - bell'alimento — September 10, 2013 at 10:58 am

    I’ve not had this and I think it’s high time I fixed that ; ) Want. Now.

  4. #
    Cate @ Chez CateyLou — September 10, 2013 at 10:59 am

    OMG! This looks amazing! I am a huge fan of sweet corn dishes. They have this corn pudding as a side dish at STK in New York and I literally lick the serving spoon, it is that good. Yours looks so similar! I can’t wait to try this recipe!

  5. #
    meredith in sock monkey slippers — September 10, 2013 at 11:05 am

    Corn cake was one of my favorites growing up! Going to have to make your recipe asap!

  6. #
    Ashley - Baker by Nature — September 10, 2013 at 1:51 pm

    How have I never heard of corn cake before!? I need to get on baking this asap.

  7. #
    Heather — September 10, 2013 at 3:04 pm

    I cannot handle how incredible the texture looks – I would likely just spoon it out of the pan nonstop 😉

    • simplyscratch replied: — September 10th, 2013 @ 11:31 pm

      I agree… dishes aren’t really that necessary. 😉

  8. #
    Jennie @themessybakerblog — September 10, 2013 at 3:11 pm

    I can’t take my eyes off of all of that sweet corn and creamy butter. This looks amazing. It may even be dangerous if I make this at home–no will power.

  9. #
    Sally @ Sallys Baking Addiction — September 10, 2013 at 4:55 pm

    I haven’t had corn cake in years, Laurie. Like, forever! And now I am craving it just by reading this post! Sweet and savory – oh it’s so good!

  10. #
    Kelli H (Made in Sonoma) — September 10, 2013 at 5:29 pm

    My friends loveeeeeeeee this stuff. I think it’s pretty good, but I bet I’d be the best friend ever if I made it for them. 😉 Looks delicious.

  11. #
    Christina @ The Beautiful Balance — September 10, 2013 at 7:43 pm

    Great minds think alike because I just made a vegan version of this last night! I’m here to tell you that we can run off and hide together and polish off the rest of it!

    • simplyscratch replied: — September 10th, 2013 @ 11:30 pm

      Sounds like a plan!

  12. #
    Jeanne (NanaBread) — September 11, 2013 at 9:23 am

    I’ve never seen this before, and now I don’t ever want to un-see it! I want to make this for Thanksgiving now. And dinner next week. And breakfast tomorrow. Thanks for introducing me to corn cake, Laurie!!!

    • simplyscratch replied: — September 11th, 2013 @ 8:45 pm

      HAAAA! You will love it!! Miss your face Jeannnnnnnnie!

  13. #
    Shelby — September 11, 2013 at 8:56 pm

    Laurie, thank you for this recipe! I have eaten this three times, in Arizona , Texas and California. I’ve never been served enough to figure out exactly what it was- but I loved it. I’ve never had it on the East Coast. In trying to explain it to other people I have called it sweet, pudding- cake like. I knew it had corn in it. Was never sure of what else. Thank you so much.
    PS Why is it served in such small amounts?

    • simplyscratch replied: — September 12th, 2013 @ 1:36 pm

      I have asked myself that question numerous times 😉 Hope you enjoy it!

  14. #
    Shawna — February 16, 2014 at 10:35 am

    I added a dash of vanilla and 3/4 of a 4oz can of green chilis. Its in the oven now. Can’t wait to taste it!

  15. #
    megan — May 15, 2014 at 10:13 pm

    i elliminated the whole milk and just add a can of creamy style corn it is just the right consistancy for the batter then pop it in the oven

  16. #
    JD — July 18, 2014 at 1:19 am

    Any suggestions to double the recipe?

    • Laurie McNamara replied: — July 18th, 2014 @ 1:21 am

      Hi JD! You can definitely double it… But I would bake it in separate water baths and not in one pan. Enjoy!

  17. #
    Susan — September 13, 2014 at 8:04 pm

    In the pictorial portion it says to use 2 sticks of butter which are usually a cup each, or so I thought. The ingriedient list says 1 cup of butter. I just realized this after I used 4 half sticks (2 cups of butter). Well its in the over now!! I added a bit more flour and corn meal to attempt to compensate… Hope it turns out yummy anyway!!!

  18. #
    Chrissi — September 28, 2014 at 9:02 pm

    I just made this. I LOVED it. I actually sub’ed 1/2 the butter with homemade applesauce that I had pureed and halved the sugar as a result of the sweetness in the applesauce. This was a fantastic side to our tortilla soup and I’ll be making for Thanksgiving as well. So. Impressed.

  19. #
    Kelly — October 29, 2015 at 1:44 am

    I just made this recipe to go along with some skinny chicken enchiladas I made and all of it was great! It was like a sweet cornbread mixed with the corn taste of tamales from the corn flour. It was absolutely delicious. I was in a rush when I was making it so I might have melted the butter a little too long when I needed to soften and blend the butter but it still turned out great. It was so good- I couldn’t even wait the ten minutes of cooling after it came out of the oven- I dived straight into it with a spoon. I would highly recommend this recipe!

  20. #
    Judy — March 3, 2017 at 4:24 am

    This looks like a side dish we had at Chi Chi’s. It was sooo good! Can’t wait to try it, but I am wondering if it can be made a day ahead & refrigerated till I’m ready to bring it to room temp before baking?

    • Laurie McNamara replied: — March 12th, 2017 @ 4:13 pm

      I think so! I haven’t tried it but I think you’d be able to!

  21. #
    Stacy — October 4, 2017 at 11:08 am

    Looks delicious! Just what I have been looking for, I can’t wait to try it,,, Thank you!


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