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Mexican Sweet Corn Cake is a moist spoon cake that’s loaded with fresh corn flavor.
We have several cornbread recipes here on A Family Feast – but nothing like this delicious Mexican Sweet Corn Cake!
It’s not a cake that you would slice and serve in wedges or squares – instead, it’s scooped or spooned onto your plate as a side dish. You can even scoop it right on top of a bowl of chili – and the sweet corn flavor and the crumbly texture is absolutely fantastic!
Mexican Sweet Corn Cake is baked in a water bath which helps keep it super moist. And throughout, you’ll see bits of fresh corn kernels baked into the corn meal and corn flour mixture. There is intense corn flavor through-and-through this cake, and sugar, butter, and cream give it a lightly sweet taste with a super moist texture.
If you can’t find fine corn meal, place coarse corn meal in a small food processor and process to a fine grain.
Key ingredients and Substitutions
- Fresh corn on the cob – Cut the kernels from the cob (follow this easy method), then coarsely chop in a food processor with sugar and milk. In a pinch, a good-quality canned corn or frozen corn could be used, but fresh corn on the cob is the best – so try to find that if you can.
- Fine corn meal – At the market, you’ll find corn meal sold in different grinds: coarse, medium and fine. Choose fine corn meal for this recipe. If you can only find coarse, pulse it in a food processor to make it a finer grind.
- Masa harina – This is a golden corn flour with a super fine texture and it’s often used to make corn tortillas. This flour helps thicken the cake batter and also gives it more corn flavor.
- Lard and butter – Both are melted and mixed into the batter. If you can’t find lard, vegetable shortening is a second choice, but lard is best to use.
- Whole milk and heavy cream – The higher milk fat of both the milk and cream help give this sweet corn cake a decadent flavor and a soft texture.
- Sugar – Granulated sugar adds the perfect amount of sweetness to this cake.
- Seasonings – This cake is simply seasoned with a touch of salt and a pinch of cayenne. Both enhance the flavors of the corn.
Special supplies needed
- Food processor
- 9×13-inch baking pan as well as a larger roasting pan for the water bath
How do I make Mexican Sweet Corn Cake?
- Cut fresh corn from the cob and pulse in a food processor along with milk and sugar until the corn is a coarse texture.
- Add melted lard and butter to the corn mixture and pulse again to combine.
- Combine corn meal, masa harina, baking powder, salt and cayenne in a large mixing bowl.
- Pour the wet corn mixture into the bowl with the corn meal mixture and stir to combine.
- Pour the batter into a buttered 9×13-inch baking dish.
- Bake using the water bath method until firm and lightly golden on top.
- Serve warm out of the oven.
Scoop your Mexican Sweet Corn Cake right on top of our Texas Chili. (It’s fantastic served this way!)
Frequently asked Questions
Can I make this Sweet Corn Cake ahead of time? Because the batter has baking powder in it, you don’t want to let it sit for too long after mixing the wet and dry ingredients together. But, you can mix it and bake ahead of time, then reheat or serve at room temperature.
How do I store it? Cover the baking dish tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate your cake for up to three days.
Can I freeze? Yes, this cake freezes well. We suggest freezing it in individual portions, then thaw servings as needed.
You may enjoy these cornbread recipes:
- Cornbread Fries with Honey-Sage Dipping Sauce
- Classic Cornbread
- Bacon Topped Cornbread
- Zucchini Johnnycakes
- Zucchini Corn Bread with Bacon
Butter, to grease a 9×13-inch dish or pan
5 cups fresh corn removed from cob, about 7–8 ears
½ cup whole milk
1/3 cup heavy cream
¼ cup water
2/3 cup granulated sugar
12 tablespoons butter melted (1 ½ sticks)
4 tablespoons lard melted (1/4 cup)
2/3 cup fine corn meal (if you can’t find fine, place coarse corn meal into a small food processor and process to a fine grain)
1 cup masa harina (corn flour)
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and put a tea kettle on to boil.
Butter a 9×13-inch baking dish, then set aside.
Remove corn kernels from cobs (see this easy method) and place into a food processor.
Add milk, cream, water and sugar and pulse just until the mixture is coarse and the corn is just slightly broken up.
Add the melted butter and lard and pulse to combine.
In a large bowl mix corn meal, masa harina, salt, baking powder and cayenne.
Add the corn mixture to the dry ingredients and stir to combine then let the batter sit for ten minutes so the dry ingredients can absorb the wet.
Pour the batter into the prepared dish then place the filled dish or pan into a larger pan for the water bath.
Open the oven and slide out a rack and place the double pans onto the rack and pour the hot water into the outer pan until it comes half way up the corn cake pan. Be careful not to overspill into the corn cake pan.
Bake for 50-55 minutes until the mixture is set. The best way to tell is to gently touch the top in the center. If it is still liquidy, bake for five more minutes. The finished cake is very soft in texture so the bake time should not extend 55 minutes or it will dry out. There are no raw eggs in the batter so lean towards slightly undercooked than overcooked if you are not sure.
Remove from oven and scoop over chili, or serve along sides roasted meats or spicy dishes as a side. Serve hot but can also be served room temperature or cold.
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