Sweet Corn Cake is the best Mexican side dish, because it’s simple to make, perfectly sweet, moist, and it boasts some pretty fantastic fresh corn flavor!

Mexican Sweet Corn on a plate next to Veggie Quesadillas

When I eat out at a Mexican restaurant, for me the sides are just as important as the main dish. Mexican food is so flavorful that I get really annoyed when I’m served lackluster rice and beans. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with Mexican rice and refried beans, just it can be more of an afterthought.

When living in New Mexico, my three favorite sides that would accompany tasty New Mexican dishes were calabacitas, whole pinto beans with a touch of green chile, and sweet corn cake.

Oh, the sweet corn cake.

Best Mexican Sweet Corn Cake in a cassrole dish

Process shot of making Mexica Sweet Corn Cake

While all are completely amazing, there’s just something about Mexican Sweet Corn Cake that makes me utterly happy and truly indicates a solid meal.

Recently, I made this corn cake to go along with my goat cheese and poblano quesadillas.

Ohhhhh weeeee!

Sweet corn cake and goat cheese and poblano quesadillas are a perfectly matched duo, and I highly recommend them served together!


Top view of Vegetarian Quesadillas on a plate


  • You can find masa harina right by the cornmeal at the grocery store, or you can order it online.
  • STORAGE TIP: I don’t know about you, but I do not go through my bag of masa very quickly. So, to ensure that I have masa whenever I need it, I store mine in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Stored like this, the masa will keep for 6+months in the freezer or 2-3 months in the refrigerator. 
  • Besides this Mexican Sweet Corn Cake, my other favorite use for Masa is for these Copycat Cheesecake Factory Sweet Tamale Cakes—SO good!
Best Mexican Sweet Corn Cake in a cassrole dish
4.50 from 2 votes

Best Mexican Sweet Corn Cake

Author Jillian – a Food, Folks and Fun original!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
8 servings
Sweet Corn Cake is the best Mexican side dish, because it’s simple to make, perfectly sweet, moist, and it boasts some pretty fantastic fresh corn flavor!


  • ½ cup salted butter softened
  • cup masa harina
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 ½ cups fresh corn kernels or frozen corn kernels, thawed
  • ¼ cup yellow cornmeal
  • cup granulated sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons heavy whipping cream or half and half
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder


  • Move oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare water bath by filling 9-13-inch metal baking pan a third of the way full with water, and set aside.
  • Lightly grease 8×8-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray, and set aside.
  • In large bowl use handheld mixer on medium speed to beat butter until creamy and lightened in color, about 1-2 minutes. Add masa harina and water and beat on low speed until combined, about 1 minute.
  • Using food processor or blender, chop corn by pulsing 3-5 times. Corn should be chopped but still chunky. Stir corn into butter mixture until combined, and set aside.
  • In medium bowl combine cornmeal, sugar, cream, salt, and baking powder. Add to butter and corn mixture and stir with wooden spoon until cohesive batter forms. Pour into prepared 8×8-inch baking pan, smooth into even layer, and cover with aluminum foil. Place pan into water bath.
  • Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until completely set, rotating pan once while baking.
  • Move to wire rack and cool for 15 minutes. Use small ice cream or cookie scoop to scoop sweet corn cake mounds onto plates for serving.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 268kcal | Carbohydrates: 35.1g | Protein: 4.4g | Fat: 14.5g | Saturated Fat: 8.4g | Cholesterol: 36mg | Sodium: 175mg | Potassium: 349mg | Fiber: 3.6g | Sugar: 11.8g | Calcium: 20mg | Iron: 3.2mg

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Mexican Sweet Corn Cake L
4.50 from 2 votes (1 rating without comment)

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  1. MMMmmmm…I love these and have always wanted to make them at home. Now I can’t wait to try them! I just found your site…I’m going to browse around some more!

  2. How many scoops does this make?

    1. It really depends on how big your scoop is. I used a 1-tablespoon scoop and it made about 25 scoops.

  3. This sounds so good. I love the corn cakes at Cheesecake Factory…this sounds close enough!

    One question. Does the pan that you place the water in have to be metal? Can a glass baking dish be used?

    1. Hi Mimi, a glass baking dish will work.

  4. Shar from N. California says:

    Can I used 1 1/2 cups of can of creamed corn in place of fresh, found corn and water? Can I use regular milk instead of HWC (seems a waste to buy a small carton for the minimal needed) is masteca same as masa Harina?

    1. The switches you proposed should be fine for this recipe. And yes, Masteca is Masa Harina.

  5. If i were to double the ingredients, how long would i leave it in the oven?

    1. I’ve never doubled the recipe before, but I’m thinking that it would be no more than 5 minutes or so as long as you use a 9×13-inch pan. Let me know how it turns out for you!