I like a corn muffin as much as the next girl, but light and tender, they are not. I’d never heard of any other version of a corn cake until I tried our recipe for Mexican Sweet Corn Cake. A simple, barely sweet bake, panqué de elote is airy and velvety soft.

You’d think such a fluffy, tender crumb would require a lot of coddling, but this recipe, which we learned in Mexico City, turned our notions of cake-baking on their heads. No creaming butter and sugar, no whipping egg whites, no fussy folding here. All you need is a blender—trust me—and you’ll be tucking into cake in no time.

Measure your corn
Fresh corn truly sings here, so even though you can use frozen kernels, opt for fresh ears if you can find them. Since there’s usually some variation in yield when using fresh ingredients in baking, measure the corn after stripping the kernels. If you have extra corn, save it for some other use, or the batter will be too wet to turn out the fluffy texture we love so much in this recipe.

For the neatest way to strip corn, try this: First, peel the husks and silk from each ear. Take a small mixing bowl and place it upside down at the base of a medium bowl. Place the ear of corn on the the upturned bowl, like a little platform, and grip the stalk so the ear feels secure. Shimmy your knife down the ear and rotate until all of the kernels are collected between the two bowls. Repeat until all of your corn is prepped.

Don’t over-mix the batter
90% of the batter comes together in the blender, which I love, and as blenders go, I can’t recommend the Beast highly enough. Sleek and slim, it lives on my counter and has almost entirely replaced my Vitamix—and its ribbed blending vessels keep ingredients moving, which means I almost never have to scrape down the sides. Win-win.

We don’t just use the blender here for ease, though. Blenders are a secret weapon for veggie-based cakes. Here, blender blades burst the fresh corn’s cell walls, so its interior sugars are released to flavor and perfume the batter.

Our recipe deviates slightly from traditional Mexican versions to include a little cornmeal, which goes in the blender with the corn and wet ingredients—this is to account for the fact that American sweet corn is moister and less starchy than Mexican varietals. It’s okay to blend, as cornmeal is naturally gluten-free, so there’s little to no risk of overmixing it.

Once your ingredients are pureed, pour the mixture into a large bowl and add your remaining ingredients. Mix very lightly, only until the dry spots disappear. Overmixing will cause the gluten strands from the AP flour to get stronger and longer, toughening the cake.

And don’t use Greek yogurt!
For panqué de elote’s silky texture, seek out plain whole milk yogurt. These days, many people have Greek yogurt on hand. But Greek yogurt, being thicker than plain yogurt because it’s strained, might result in a cake that’s denser than the original. If you have to use Greek, you can thin it out with milk, but make your life easier by buying the regular stuff.

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