June 11, 2014
At Home with Friends


Corn Cakes

These are great to make ahead and freeze.

This recipe calls for masa harina flour which is available at most supermarkets and all Latin markets. To make masa harina, dried corn is treated in a solution of lime and water which loosens the hulls from the kernels, which softens the corn. The soaked corn is washed and ground wet. This is dried and ground, to make masa harina.

Masa harina is used to make tortillas and tamales. Regular corn meal (which is ground dried corn) will not make dough, so it can’t be used for tortillas or tamales. This recipe is closer to a tamale than cornbread. Use cornmeal for cornbread. Don’t substitute cornmeal for masa harina! You won’t get the desired result.



EVENT:  Mexican Fiesta

YIELD: Approximately 21 2-inch corn cakes



3 cups frozen sweet corn (1 1/2 10 oz. bags of frozen sweet corn)

3/4 cup (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon ground pepper

1 cup corn masa harina flour (corn flour)

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon aleppo chili pepper, OR 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/8 cup chopped scallions



Make the corn cakes:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Put 2 cups of frozen corn into a food processor, blend until coarsely chopped.

3. Combine with butter, salt, pepper and aleppo or cayenne pepper. Add masa harina flour and all-purpose flour. Blend well.

4. Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl. Add in the remaining cup of frozen corn and scallions. Mix by hand.

5. Measure 1/8 cup of the mixture and form in into a 2-inch wide patty. (You can also use an ice-cream scoop.) Arrange on a baking sheet with raised sides. Repeat with the remaining mixture.

6. Bake for 15-20 minutes until the corn cakes are brown on the bottom. Flip each corn cake and bake for additional 5-10 minutes.

7. If you do make these ahead, cool them thoroughly and store them in a freezer in an air-tight container, with wax paper in between the layers. The corn cakes keep frozen for several weeks. Reheat from frozen at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes.

To serve:

  1. Top a corn cake with guacamole, sour cream and ale.


A NOTE:  If you want to double this recipe, make it in two batches, otherwise the quantity is too large for most food processors.