All of our online cooking courses are now free, forever! Click here to get started.

globe outlook-b

Join! 12 weeks for $1

The New Milk Street Cookbook | Order + Save 40%!

Tvcb 4 Spine Mock Shaddow

EVERY RECIPE FROM THE FIRST 4 SEASONS

Milk Street Recipe
Milk Street Bowtie Mexican Sweet Corn Cake

Mexican Sweet Corn Cake

1¼ hours (25 minutes active) plus cooling

Mexican Sweet Corn Cake

Free

This simple baked treat is ubiquitous in Mexican food markets, street stalls and restaurants. Called panqué de elote, pan de elote or pastel de elote, its texture lands somewhere between cake and cornbread while hinting at custard. In Mexico City, we had it for breakfast, as it’s commonly served, but finished with a dusting of powdered sugar, we think it also makes a casual, homey dessert. Cornmeal is not a typical ingredient in panqué de elote; we add a small amount to account for the fact that fresh Mexican corn used for making this type of cake is starchier and drier than the fresh corn available in the U.S. If you have more than 250 grams (1½ cups) corn after cutting the kernels from the ears, it’s best to save the extra for another use rather than use it in this recipe; the additional moisture may make the cake too wet. Yellow corn yields a cake with a warm golden hue, but white corn also works.

3 medium ears fresh corn, preferably yellow, husked
36 grams (¼ cup) fine yellow cornmeal
14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
57 grams (¼ cup) plain whole-milk yogurt
165 grams (1¼ cups plus 2 tablespoons) all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon kosher salt
2 large eggs, plus 2 large egg yolks
½ cup grapeseed or other neutral oil
Powdered sugar, to serve
Ingredients
  • 3

    medium ears fresh corn, preferably yellow, husked

  • 36

    grams (¼ cup) fine yellow cornmeal

  • 14

    ounce can sweetened condensed milk

  • 57

    grams (¼ cup) plain whole-milk yogurt

  • 165

    grams (1¼ cups plus 2 tablespoons) all-purpose flour

  • 2

    tablespoons cornstarch

  • 2

    teaspoons baking powder

  • ½

    teaspoon kosher salt

  • 2

    large eggs, plus 2 large egg yolks

  • ½

    cup grapeseed or other neutral oil

  • Powdered sugar, to serve

Directions
  1. 01
    Heat the oven to 350°F with a rack in the middle position. Mist a 9-inch round cake pan with cooking spray. Using a chef's knife, cut the kernels from the ears of corn. Measure 250 grams (1½ cups) kernels and add to a blender; if you have extra corn, reserve it for another use. To the blender, add the cornmeal, condensed milk and yogurt, then puree until smooth, 15 to 20 seconds, scraping down the blender as needed. Let stand for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt.
  2. 02
    To the blender, add the whole eggs and yolks, and the oil; blend on low until smooth, 5 to 10 seconds. Pour the puree into a large bowl. Add the flour mixture and whisk just until evenly moistened and no lumps of flour remain. Transfer to the prepared cake pan and bake until golden and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes.
  3. 03
    Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Run a paring knife around the pan to loosen the cake, then invert directly onto the rack and lift off the pan. Re-invert the cake onto a serving platter and cool completely, about 1 hour. Serve dusted with powdered sugar.
Tip: Don’t use frozen corn kernels—it results in a dense, gummy texture. Made with fresh corn, the cake’s crumb is much lighter and softer. After adding the flour mixture to the corn puree, don’t whisk vigorously. Gentle mixing, just until no pockets of flour remain, will minimize gluten development so the cake bakes up tender.
In the store
More

Desserts

Comments
  • Mark R.

    Delicious! Easy to make, light and not too sweet.

    0 votes
    0 comments
  • Brendan H.

    Can you use canned corn?

    0 votes
    1 comments
    • Janelle C.

      Hi Brendan,

      Fresh corn produces the best results as it is essential to the cake's light and soft texture. Avoid using canned corn if you can.

      Best,
      The Milk Street Team

      0 votes
      0 comments
  • Lucy N.

    Can I use greek yogurt? I am having trouble finding anything other than greek yogurt at my local supermarket.

    0 votes
    6 comments
    • Travis T.

      Middle-Eastern markets usually have it. However, it's shockingly easy to just make your own! You can look it up, but in short:
      1. Heat a cup of whole milk to at least 180°F
      2. Cool it to 115°F, then add a spoonful of store-bought yogurt
      3. Maintain at 110-115° for 6-8 hours
      4. You're done!

      2 votes
      4 comments
      • Elizabeth P.

        So is the Milk Street reply actually just no to using Greek Yogurt? Because news flash, Middle Eastern grocery stores aren’t available in a lot of the country, and your “shockingly easy” recipe isn’t when it comes to the real life. Plus, I couldn’t begin to “maintain a recipe at that temperature range for such a long period. Some people work in jobs that aren’t for a cooking magazine TV show. So, yes or no to using Greek yogurt?

        0 votes
        2 comments
        • Lynn C.

          Hi Elizabeth -

          I think Travis T. was just trying to be a helpful fellow reader, he is not a Milk Street representative. Thank you for your comments, Travis!

          We haven't tested this with Greek-style plain whole milk yogurt. Greek-style yogurt is generally thicker than plain traditional-style yogurt and, therefore, could yield a slightly more dense final cake. You can thin it with a little milk to achieve the same texture as traditional-style.

          Best,
          The Milk Street Team

          0 votes
          1 comments
          • John M.

            Elizabeth,
            I'm was in the same quandary as you in that I couldn't find plain yogurt outside of quart sizes. So I used plain Greek yogurt thinned with a bit of milk and it was a complete success. I tried to respond to your comment on July 31, but it remains 'currently under moderation'.

            0 votes
            0 comments
  • Lisa D.

    Can you use almond flour instead of all- purpose? How will that affect it?

    0 votes
    3 comments
    • Janelle C.

      Hi Lisa,

      In this case, we'd recommend using gluten-free all-purpose flour (King Arthur Flour is a great brand) and xanthan gum (1/4 teaspoon of xanthan gum for every 1 cup of flour). Almond flour, in most cases, is another excellent substitution but may add an unwanted nutty flavor to the cake. It will also alter the texture of the cake.

      Best,
      The Milk Street Team

      0 votes
      2 comments
      • Miriam T.

        Are you recommending 1/4 tsp xanthum gum whenever you use GF all purpose flour to cakes, or just for this cake?

        0 votes
        1 comments
        • Janelle C.

          Consider this a general rule for all cakes, but as stated almond flour is also a great substitution, but not for this particular cake.

          0 votes
          0 comments
  • Cheryl C.

    When I was a kid growing up in Texas, I remember our mother dragging my sister and me out to pick what was called “field corn”. The field corn was what you describe as cow corn. It was drier and never gummy as you now find in the supermarket. She was a woman before her time in appreciating those finer nuances of our flavor world. I can’t wait to try this recipe.

    2 votes
    0 comments
  • Jane L.

    Made this with Maryland sweet, fresh corn. Sliced a wedge horizontally, buttered, then placed buttered side down in a preheated cast iron skillet. Toasted until lightly golden. Heaven.

    0 votes
    0 comments
  • Victor M.

    Just made this recipe. It was fantastic!

    0 votes
    0 comments
  • Kimbery W.

    The flavor of this bread was wonderful. However it was denser than I anticipated. I am wondering if it was the grapeseed oil that contributed to this. If you used less oil, would that make it less dense? Or could you use butter as a substitute?

    0 votes
    1 comments
    • Lynn C.

      Hi Kimbery -

      This is meant to be sort of a cross between cake and cornbread so the texture is not as light and fluff as, say, a layer cake. I don't think the oil is making it dense and melted butter would have a similar effect on the texture. Reducing the oil would likely yield a dry cake. Two things to keep in mind - 1. make sure you are using fresh corn kernels, not frozen - they add too much additional moisture and 2. whisk gently and mix just until there are no pockets of flour remaining - this will minimize gluten development and keep the cake tender.

      Best,
      The Milk Street Team

      0 votes
      0 comments
  • Teresa L.

    My partner loooooved this when it first came out of the oven. Unfortunately I ate it the day after and thought it was super dense and not that much of a departure from a typical cornbread recipe, especially given the effort. So perhaps make this for a large group where the cake can immediately be served and eaten.

    0 votes
    0 comments
  • Elizabeth P.

    What would freezing instructions be for this recipe (how to wrap,how long it a stay frozen, and thawing instructions)?

    0 votes
    1 comments
    • Lynn C.

      Hi Elizabeth -

      We haven't tested freezing this particular cake but, if you do, we recommend wrapping in plastic, then foil, and then sealing in an airtight container or freezer zipper-lock bag.

      Best,
      The Milk Street Team

      0 votes
      0 comments
  • Celia O.

    This recipe is aptly called a cake. Expect the consistency of such. I have always loved cake. We thought it had great flavor but too much sweetness for us. That is a function of the sweetened condensed milk. Therefore the recipe cannot be adjusted to be less sweet.

    0 votes
    0 comments
  • David S.

    I have made this cake 3 times... it is excellent...
    Today I added about 2 tablespoons of rather coarsely grated cotija cheese.. incredible little bits of salty funkiness spread throughout the cake...
    Highly recommended..

    0 votes
    0 comments
  • Laszlo P.

    Can one use an 8 inch spring form pan? For corn cake.

    0 votes
    1 comments
    • Lynn C.

      Hi Laszlo -

      I wouldn't recommend using a springform pan. This batter is very loose and would likely leak through the bottom of a springform.

      Best,
      The Milk Street Team

      0 votes
      0 comments
  • Bonnie A.

    I have a love-hate relationship with this recipe. I actually find it a little bit tedious (shucking, getting out the blender), etc., and I consistently have a problem with bit of unmixed flour showing up as a white ridge in the finished cake. This is despite my efforts to incorporate it longer. I guess it's me! Maybe sifting would help?

    0 votes
    0 comments
Down arrow

Mexican Sweet Corn Cake

Get Ready to Cook

8-10

Servings

1¼ hours (25 minutes active)

plus cooling

Tip

Don’t use frozen corn kernels—it results in a dense, gummy texture. Made with fresh corn, the cake’s crumb is much lighter and softer. After adding the flour mixture to the corn puree, don’t whisk vigorously. Gentle mixing, just until no pockets of flour remain, will minimize gluten development so the cake bakes up tender.

Ingredients
  • 3

    medium ears fresh corn, preferably yellow, husked

  • 36

    grams (¼ cup) fine yellow cornmeal

  • 14

    ounce can sweetened condensed milk

  • 57

    grams (¼ cup) plain whole-milk yogurt

  • 165

    grams (1¼ cups plus 2 tablespoons) all-purpose flour

  • 2

    tablespoons cornstarch

  • 2

    teaspoons baking powder

  • ½

    teaspoon kosher salt

  • 2

    large eggs, plus 2 large egg yolks

  • ½

    cup grapeseed or other neutral oil

  • Powdered sugar, to serve

Step 1 of 3

Prepare Corn Mixture

3
medium ears fresh corn, preferably yellow, husked
36
grams (¼ cup) fine yellow cornmeal
14
ounce can sweetened condensed milk
57
grams (¼ cup) plain whole-milk yogurt
165
grams (1¼ cups plus 2 tablespoons) all-purpose flour
2
tablespoons cornstarch
2
teaspoons baking powder
½
teaspoon kosher salt

Heat the oven to 350°F with a rack in the middle position. Mist a 9-inch round cake pan with cooking spray. Using a chef's knife, cut the kernels from the ears of corn.


Measure 250 grams (1½ cups) kernels and add to a blender; if you have extra corn, reserve it for another use. To the blender, add the cornmeal, condensed milk and yogurt, then puree until smooth, 15 to 20 seconds, scraping down the blender as needed.


Let stand for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt.

Step 2 of 3

Bake Cake

2
large eggs, plus 2 large egg yolks
½
cup grapeseed or other neutral oil

To the blender, add the whole eggs and yolks, and the oil; blend on low until smooth, 5 to 10 seconds. Pour the puree into a large bowl.


Add the flour mixture and whisk just until evenly moistened and no lumps of flour remain. Transfer to the prepared cake pan and bake until golden and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes.

Step 3 of 3

Cool and Serve

Powdered sugar, to serve

Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Run a paring knife around the pan to loosen the cake, then invert directly onto the rack and lift off the pan.


Re-invert the cake onto a serving platter and cool completely, about 1 hour. Serve dusted with powdered sugar.

Milk Street Bowtie Logo

Done!

Did you enjoy this recipe?

Mexican Sweet Corn Cake

Want more?

See More Desserts
SEPTEMBER 2020
CHRISTOPHER KIMBALL FOR KUHN RIKON SET

Win our collection of Christopher Kimball by Kuhn Rikon Cookware! Package includes: Pop-Up Steamer Basket & Colander, Everything Ladle, Spider Skimmer, Wok Spatula, SoftEdge Thin Edge Spatula, Slotted Spoon, Serving Spoon, Precision Tongs, Quick Turn Spatula, SoftEdge Quick Turn Spatula, Thin Edge Spatula, Comfort Balloon Whisk, Traverse Power Whisk, All-Purpose Kitchen Grater, Julienne Pocket Peeler, Serrated Pocket Peeler, Straight Pocket Peeler, Spice Jar Set of 4, Ratchet Grinder

$360 VALUE

Success!

Thank you for participating in our monthly giveaway!
Entry Form
How we use your email.

Your email address is required to identify your giveaway entry as well as communications from Milk Street. We will not share or rent your email address. You can unsubscribe from receiving our emails at any time.

Enter the Milk Street Giveaway