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




  • 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



  • 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




  • 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.

4.62 from 36 votes (12 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating


  1. Keep a cover handy! The corn will pop. Delicious! Thank you.

  2. I just made these and they were delicious even though I had to take the short cut with jarred tomatillo salsa and pico Can’t wait to make them again including the three sauces. I live in an area where I will have amazing fresh corn in the next week or so. Is there any reason why I shouldn’t make these using fresh corn? Thank you!

      1. As soon as I added the softened butter it hardened

  3. These were so delicious! I used store bought pico and salsa. I would definitely make these again but thaw the corn first.

  4. I haven’t tried the recipe, but I’ve eaten these for years. I’ve thought about trying them myself. One question, do you think I could use a base of a corn casserole just to make things a bit easier? I was going to make a corn casserole with Jiffy corn meal mix and cut them into circles after being baked. Then add the toppings. My corn casserole is extremely easy to make and tastes almost identical to the base corn cake.

    1. I guess you could, they obviously wouldn’t be the same as the tamale cakes in the recipe but would be an interesting twist. Try them out and let me know how it goes for you.

  5. I only cheated when I did the cakes and used Chi-chi’s corn cake mix and they rock!

  6. Can the batter be made ahead?

    1. Food Folks and Fun says:

      Yes, the batter for the sweet corn tamale cakes can be made ahead of time. It is recommended to prepare the batter up to one day in advance and store it in the refrigerator.