This recipe will give you restaurant quality food without having to go to the Cheesecake Factory to get it. You will save money by making the dish at home and get rave reviews in the process.

It costs approximately $6.99 to make this recipe. The recipe makes four servings for about $1.74 per serving.

An overhead picture of the finished Sweet Corn Tamale Cakes on a white platter.

These Cheesecake Factory Sweet Corn Tamale Cakes are a flavor explosion!

Sweet Corn Tamale Cakes is like a flavor explosion in your mouth. I remember the first time I tried this appetizer at the restaurant years ago.

They were love at first bite! I knew after first tasting them that I NEEDED to recreate them at home. I set to work to recreate them and nailed it. Make the recipe and you will be amazed how much i tastes just like The Cheesecake Factory.

Sweet Corn Cake ingredients and cost

Per Serving Cost: $1.74

Recipe Cost: $6.99

  • 2 tomatillos – $0.38
  • 4 ounce can chopped green chiles – $1.99
  • 1 green onion – $0.08
  • 3 Tablespoons fresh cilantro – $0.15
  • 5 teaspoons granulated sugar – $0.07
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin – $0.01
  • ¼ + ⅛ teaspoon salt – $0.01
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper – $0.01
  • 1 large Roma tomato – $0.36
  • 1 Tablespoon red onion – $0.06
  • ½ teaspoon lime juice – $0.01
  • ½ cup mayonnaise – $1.04
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar – $0.01
  • 1 teaspoon water – $0.00
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder – $0.02
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika – $0.01
  • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper – $0.01
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder – $0.01
  • ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder – $0.01
  • 1 ½ cups frozen sweet corn –$1.27
  • ½ cup butter – $1.12
  • ½ cup corn masa harina flour – $0.16
  • 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour – $0.02
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons olive oil – $0.18

NOTE: The recipe prices are calculated by using grocery store websites. The recipe cost is calculated by the amounts needed for the recipe. The actual cost of the recipe will vary depending on what ingredients you already have. I updated the pricing for this recipe in November 2023.

All of the ingredients needed to make this Sweet Corn Tamale Cakes recipe.

Cook’s Tools for Tamale Cakes

  • Food processor
  • Mixing bowls
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Large skillet
  • Microwave-safe platter
  • Cutting board
  • Chef’s knife
  • Wooden mixing spoon

How to make Sweet Corn Tamale Cakes (Cheesecake Factory Copycat Recipe)

  1. First, make the salsa verde using a food processor. Chill for at least one hour.
  2. Next, make the pico de gallo. Let this chill for at least one hour.
  3. Make the Southwestern sauce and let this chill for at least one hour as well.
  4. Now, make the corn cakes. Then cook them for about 5-8 minutes per side. 
  5. Finally, assemble the corn cakes by placing a corn cake on top of the warmed Salsa Verde. Spread the Pico de Gallo and Southwestern sauce over the tops. Top with sour cream, avocado, and cilantro before serving.

For more detailed instructions, check out the recipe video in the recipe card below! 

A picture collage of how to make copycat Sweet Corn Tamale Cakes.

Sweet Corn Cake Recipe tips

  • I suggest making the salsa verde, pico de gallo, and southwestern sauce either the night before or the morning before. This will speed things along when you’re ready to make these babies!
  • You can use store-bought salsa verde and pico de gallo in this recipe.
  • Once you form the tamale dough, if the cakes aren’t sticking together, add a couple of tablespoons of water to the mix.
Three Sweet Corn Tamale Cakes on a white serving dish.

How to serve this Sweet Corn Cake Recipe

You can serve these as an appetizer or as a main dish like I do. I usually round out the meal by serving them with my Restaurant-Style Black Bean Soup.

Storing Sweet Corn Tamale Cakes

SERVE: You can keep these out for about an hour before you need to be refrigerated.

STORE: It’s best to store the tamale cakes, salsa, and sauce separate in covered containers in the refrigerator. You can store the salsa and sauce for a week and the tamale cakes for 2-3 days.

FREEZE: The salsa, sauce, and toppings cannot be frozen; only the tamale cakes freeze well. To freeze the tamale cakes, wrap them in a layer of plastic wrap and a layer of foil. Then place them in a freezer-safe Ziploc bag. These will keep for about 3-4 months in the freezer.

REHEAT: Reheat the tamales cakes in a 300 degree F oven for 10-15 minutes or in a skillet over medium heat until heated through.

A close up picture of the copycat Sweet Corn Tamale Cakes on a white platter.

More Mexican Inspired Recipes

The finished Sweet Corn Tamale Cakes on a white serving platter.
4.62 from 36 votes

Sweet Corn Tamale Cakes – Cheesecake Factory Copycat

Author Adapted from
Recipe Cost $ $6.99
Serving Cost $ $1.74
Prep Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
4 people
This Sweet Corn Tamale Cakes Recipe is a Cheesecake Factory Copycat recipe! They can be served as an appetizer or as a main dish.


  • food processor
  • mixing bowls
  • measuring cups and spoons
  • large skillet
  • Microwave-safe platter
  • cutting board
  • chef's knife
  • wooden mixing spoon



  • 2 tomatillos roughly chopped
  • 4 ounces canned chopped green chiles drained
  • 1 green onion sliced thin
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh cilantro roughly chopped
  • 1 ½ teaspoon granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • teaspoon ground black pepper


  • 1 large Roma tomato diced
  • 1 Tablespoon red onion diced
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh cilantro minced
  • ½ teaspoon lime juice
  • Salt and ground pepper to taste


  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • ½ teaspoon granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • teaspoon garlic powder


  • 1 ½ cup frozen sweet corn
  • ½ cup butter softened to room temperature
  • 3 Tablespoons sugar
  • teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup corn masa harina flour
  • 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ Tablespoon olive oil


  • Sour cream
  • Avocado diced
  • Fresh cilantro chopped



  • Combine all ingredients in a food processor. Pulse until combined, but still a little chunky. Transfer to a small bowl, cover, and chill for at least 1 hour.


  • Place all ingredients in a small bowl and toss. Cover and chill for at least 1 hour.


  • Add all ingredients to a small bowl and mix until well combined. Cover and chill for at least 1 hour.


  • Add 1 cup of the frozen corn to a food processor until it's coarsely pureed. Add the pureed corn, softened butter, sugar, and salt to a medium bowl. Mix until combined.
  • Add masa and flour and mix until no flour streaks remain. Add the remaining ½ cup of frozen corn kernels, and mix until corn is evenly distributed.
  • Measure ½ cup portions of the mixture and use your hands to form them into 3-inch wide patties.
  • Add the olive oil to a large skillet and preheat over medium-low heat. Add the patties to the skillet and cook until golden brown, about 5-8 minutes. Flip and cook the other side until golden brown, another 5-8 minutes.


  • Add the Salsa Verde to your platter and spread it evenly. Heat the platter in the microwave for 1 minute. Place the corn cakes on the warmed Salsa Verde, and evenly distribute the Pico De Gallo and Southwestern Sauce over the tops. Dollop with sour cream, and garnish with avocado and cilantro. Serve immediately.



Serving: 1tamale cake | Calories: 628kcal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 51g | Saturated Fat: 19g | Cholesterol: 73mg | Sodium: 721mg | Potassium: 334mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 1145IU | Vitamin C: 18.8mg | Calcium: 36mg | Iron: 2.3mg

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This post first appeared on FFF in February of 2015. I have since updated the pictures and added a video.

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Recipe Rating


  1. I followed the recipe exactly as written and it’s fantastic! Thank you for sharing it. Can’t wait to make it for friends.

    1. Yes! I’m so glad you enjoyed this recipe! I like making it for girl’s night. 🙂

    2. I made these last Sunday and they were amazing. Thanks so much! I loved the combination of the sweet cakes and the freshness from the pico. Highly recommended

  2. Aaron Tecklenburg says:

    Just made these for an appetizer. Excellent recipe! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Aaron, I’m so glad this recipe was a hit! Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

  3. I had the tamale corn cakes at the Cheesecake Factory last month and I loved them. I just tried your recipe today and it’s perfect. It tastes just like them. Thanks.

    1. Dot, I am thrilled that you enjoyed this recipe! Thanks for leaving a comment and a recipe rating, it really helps!

  4. Am I supposed to thaw the frozen corn or leave it frozen? Thanks in advance!

    1. I always keep it frozen, but you can use thawed corn, too.

  5. Very colourful, I like the variety of vegetables you can put on them.

  6. So delicious! I followed the recipe exactly how it says and they were perfect! Taste just like the ones at Cheesecake Factory!

  7. These were perfection! I was a server at the Cheesecake Factory for years and their sweet corn tamale cakes were always one of my favorites – these are spot on! I love that I can make these at home whenever I want. Thank you for the fantastic recipe. My entire family really enjoyed these – my only wish was that I tripled the batch when I made it!

    1. I am thrilled that you enjoyed the recipe! Thanks for stopping by to let me know!

  8. Kristy Hanson says:

    Because of my wheat allergy, I rarely have very many options to choose from on a restaurant menu. I love Cheesecake Factory because they have quite a few items that they will prepare without gluten. I usually order this appetizer for my meal, as it is absolutely incredible. I pinned this recipe a long time ago but never got around to making it because it looked a bit complicated. OMGOODNESS, it was even better than ordering it in the restaurant. You nailed it. Great tip to get the sauces made first, as this recipe is SO WORTH IT! I’m excited to make it again soon because I will use dairy free butter and vegan mayo substitution for my milk and egg allergic son!

    1. Kristy,

      I am thrilled that you loved this recipe! Your comment made my day!

  9. I really enjoyed these. The only change or exception I made was to reduce butter to 1/4 cup for the cakes. They worked great. Thank you

  10. Shadi Hasanzadenemati says:

    My family is going to love this, thank you for the recipe!

  11. What a gorgeous and delicious recipe! Thanks for so many tips and for keeping this so versatile.

  12. These are so tasty! I love all the sauce combinations with them too! Thanks.

  13. I like corn cakes, but have never served them with pico! What a great idea, will serve it this way next time.

  14. These are so delicious and very tasty! My hubby and daughter were all over these! So flavorful and so yummy! Can’t wait to make these again soon!

  15. June Humphrey says:

    Could I use cornmeal to replace the corn Mesa?

  16. This is my all time favorite at Cheesecake Factory, but it’s just as good with your recipe!! Tonight was my third time making these, I added sautéed shrimp to make it a meal, which was awesome. I want to thank you for this recipe!

    1. Yum, adding shrimp to these sounds like heaven! I’m so going to try it next time!

  17. Cathy Ooley says:

    Can you substitute canned corn for frozen?

  18. Can you make the cakes ahead of time and refrigerate them?

  19. Amazing Recipe and just like the restaurant!

  20. Does this Recipe make 4 cakes or 12? I wasn’t sure if It served 4 people 3 cakes each like the picture. Thanks!