Mexican Corn Cakes

by Jess on April 8, 2013

in Appetizers, Main Dishes, Recipes, Side Dishes, Vegetarian

Mexican Corn Cakes As much as I sometimes lament that I miss the change of seasons that I grew up with (and the produce that comes with that…berries, oh how I miss berries), there are some definite perks of living in a hot climate. Some of that summertime produce has found its way to Thailand and is available all year. We eat sweet, bright red watermelon any time we want it, and fresh herbs of every sort are sold by the bundle for just a few cents. Sweet corn, too, is almost always available.

Sweet Corn_Thailand Sweet Corn 2_Thailand

In full disclosure, sweet corn is one of those things that I believe tastes so good because of the’s the knowing you can only get it for a few fleeting months. Growing up in Kansas, I waited all summer for corn so sweet that I could eat it straight off the cob with nothing else. One of my favorite summer lunches has long been a spinach salad with tons of fresh raw sweet corn and avocado slices.

All of that is to say that the corn here is good, but never quite as good as in a place where you wait for it all year long. I do, however, cook with fresh corn often these days. I’m discovering that it adds so much to so dishes that I might never have explored if I didn’t have such an abundance of the stuff.

Mexican Corn Cakes with Poached Eggs

It was with this in mind that I came across these Mexican Corn Cakes for this month’s Secret Recipe Club. Kate’s blog, Kitchen Trial and Error, is full of great ideas for simple, creative dinners. These corn cakes caught my eye because I had never had anything like them. I do, however, love anything that can be topped with a poached egg and called dinner.

These were the perfect vehicle for a tasty combination of eggs, avocado, and a quick, fresh salsa. I used fresh corn, but the original recipe calls for frozen, which makes this a light, fun dinner year-round. It’s certainly one I’ll be making again.

Mexican Corn Cakes with Poached Eggs

Note on Baking: The first time I made these, I tried baking the corn cakes instead of cooking them in oil on the stove top. Not surprisingly, the version below was a clear winner. When pan-fried, the outside gets caramelized and sweet while the inside stays tender. However, the baked version were worth mentioning. I baked them at 400 degrees on a greased baking sheet for about 25 minutes, turning them over halfway through baking. Not as crisp, but still delicious.

Mexican Corn Cakes
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Top these sweet mexican corn cakes with salsa, avocado and poached eggs for a great dinner. The cakes come out crispy on the outside, creamy on the inside.
Recipe type: Main Dish
Serves: 6 (12 corn cakes)
For the Corn Cakes:
  • 1½ cups cornmeal
  • ½ cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup grated cotija or queso fresco cheese (omit for vegan corn cakes)
  • 2 cups frozen corn
  • ¾ to 1 cup water
  • 3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
For Serving (optional):
  • poached eggs
  • sliced avocado
  • simple salsa (made with chopped tomatoes, red peppers, red onions, cilantro, and lime)
  1. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the cheese and corn and mix just until combined. Add the water, ¼ cup at a time, and stir until the mixture holds together.
  2. Shape the mixture into 12 evenly sized cakes, pressing gently until the mixture stays together. Place the cakes on a cutting board or plate.
  3. Pour the oil into a large skillet over medium heat. Fry the first batch of corn cakes until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Flip and cook on the other side until golden brown.
  4. Serve the corn cakes warm, topped with avocado, poached eggs, and simple salsa.
Adapted from Kitchen Trial and Error and from the original in Martha Stewart's Dinner at Home.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 2 corn cakes Calories: 281 Total Fat: 11g Saturated fat: 3g Carbohydrates: 42g Sugar: 2g Sodium: 337mg Fiber: 4g Protein: 7g Cholesterol: 8mg

{ 32 comments… read them below or add one }

1 AmandaE April 8, 2013 at 7:51 pm

Baked or fried these corn cakes sound delicious! I can’t wait until it’s fresh corn season, something about that first bit of sweet corn on a hot day just makes everything seem brighter. Great SRC pick :-)
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2 Cassie | Bake Your Day April 8, 2013 at 8:19 pm

These look so good, almost like summer-on-a-plate in the MW!


3 Jess April 9, 2013 at 8:44 am

Oh how I love those summer dinners in the midwest. Even though it’s hot here all the time, there’s nothing like those August dinners outside with sweet corn from home!


4 melissa@IWasBornToCook April 8, 2013 at 9:23 pm

Definitely making these soon!
melissa@IWasBornToCook recently posted..Perunagratiini – Finnish Scalloped Potatoes (Secret Recipe Club)My Profile


5 Dana April 8, 2013 at 11:53 pm

these look gorg and SO tasty! Bravo friendy friend!
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6 Ashley April 9, 2013 at 1:33 am

What a great vegetarian dinner option … I love anything topped with an egg, avocado and some salsa. I think even my husband would agree to eating this for dinner …. he’s very picky with the meatless meals : )
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7 sally @ sallys baking addiction April 9, 2013 at 1:52 am

these are making me verrrrrrrrrrrrrry hungry. :) I love corn cakes! It’s been a few years since I made them. College, I think it was. I love pretty much anything with avocados in (or on) it!
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8 Isabelle @ Crumb April 9, 2013 at 2:45 am

Everything tastes better when pan-fried. EVERYTHING. :) (Well, OK… there might be a few exceptions, but they are few and far between.)
I’m a little jealous of anyone who gets sweet corn and juicy watermelon year-round. I know half the fun of eating seasonally is counting down the days until it’s sweltering hot and all the gorgeous summer produce comes back to the farmers’ market… but I do so miss those sweet crisp corn niblets right now.
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9 Jess April 9, 2013 at 8:42 am

Having those fresh treats year round takes some, but definitely not all, of the pleasure out of them. There’s nothing like that first bite of corn or watermelon after waiting all year to get it!


10 Stephanie April 9, 2013 at 3:37 am

The poached egg is brilliant… I’ve made corn cakes a couple of times for SRC, but it’s always been a bit of an effort to turn them into a meal. Lovely photo!
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11 Claire @ Claire K Creations April 9, 2013 at 6:01 am

I totally agree with you Jess, sweet sweet corn is so wonderful.
It’s so disappointing when you get excited about it (yes I get excited about corn) only to bite into it and find it a little bitter.
I think I’d go all out and make the fried version of these.
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12 Jess April 9, 2013 at 8:37 am

SO true, Claire. There’s nothing as sad as lackluster corn when you think it’s going to be sweet and crisp! This recipe could redeem just about any corn though, so it’s a keeper for sure.


13 Lesa @ Edesia's Notebook April 9, 2013 at 8:07 am

What a beautiful dish. I too am jealous about your year-round produce. The growing season is so darn short in Wisconsin! Your poached eggs are so perfectly round and white that at first glance, I thought they were generous dollops of sour cream! Great choice for this month’s SRC.
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14 Jess April 9, 2013 at 8:36 am

I’m trying to enjoy it while I have it, Lesa. I suspect I’ll be back in a place with seasons soon enough, and I’ll be missing the days when I could get corn all year. This was the first time I tried the poached egg method in which you make a whirlpool with the water and drop the egg in the middle. Turns out, it really does make nice round poached eggs!


15 Lisa~~ April 9, 2013 at 8:19 am

Your corn cakes look amazing and I love that you tried them both baked and fried.

If you haven’t already, I’d love for you to check out my SRC entry: Laura Goodenough’s Apple Coffee Cake

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16 Jess April 9, 2013 at 8:34 am

I’m always interested in finding lighter variations, Lisa, but this was definitely a case where the fried won out! Thanks for stopping by!


17 leigh April 9, 2013 at 10:27 am

What beautiful photos!

Unfortunately my post missed the blog hop due to tech issues… is the link as I’d hate for people to miss seeing Aly’s recipe and her wonderful blog –
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18 Kirstin April 9, 2013 at 11:09 am

WOW! Yum! This looks to die for and to savor. I’m saving this recipe! Great choice. I’m a fellow SRC member, group D
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19 Camilla @ Culinary Adventures April 9, 2013 at 1:50 pm

Those look so amazingly delicious. I haven’t seen corn yet this year, but I will definitely make this when I do get them. Thanks for sharing with the SRC.
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20 sarah k @ the pajama chef April 9, 2013 at 10:33 pm

what a great twist on corn cakes. yum! i totally get you on the “anticipation” factor of certain foods. will have to keep the frozen corn idea in mind for the off season!
sarah k @ the pajama chef recently posted..SRC: Herb, Tomato, and Cheese CrackersMy Profile


21 PolaM April 10, 2013 at 1:14 am

Love these corn cakes! they look delicious with the combination of corn and cornmeal!
PolaM recently posted..#SRC: Oatmeal PancakesMy Profile


22 Shelby April 10, 2013 at 7:28 am

Oh boy, I love these! I also love the avocado on top. Definitely hitting my to make list!
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23 LeAndra April 10, 2013 at 8:43 am

These look amazing! They are on my Cinco de Mayo menu for sure.


24 Elizabeth@ Food Ramblings April 10, 2013 at 9:39 pm

Yum- great SRC pick!


25 Kiran @ April 11, 2013 at 12:06 am

Gooey and oozy eggs always get me! Delish!
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26 Jess April 11, 2013 at 10:30 am

Me too, Kiran. I seriously cannot resist an egg with a runny yolk!


27 Debra April 11, 2013 at 4:35 am

Jess, you have me yearning for July and sweet corn!
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28 Kevin @ Closet Cooking April 11, 2013 at 8:19 am

Now that looks like one really tasty meal!
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29 Karista April 15, 2013 at 12:24 am

Oh how I love these corn cakes! Such beautiful pictures and I can just imagine how delicious these will be as I’m dining al fresco on the deck this summer. And a glass of white wine or a Mexican beer :)
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30 Kirby Burt April 24, 2013 at 7:13 am

Those look really delicious.I’ve recently been trying out new Mexican recipes with my family and this will definitely be added to my recipe book of things to try. Thanks for sharing this :)
Kirby Burt recently posted..Authentic Mexican Recipes updated Sun Apr 21 2013 6:22 pm EDTMy Profile


31 The Mistress of Spices May 6, 2013 at 12:34 pm

Lovely! What do you substitute for cotija/queso fresco here in Thailand (unless you have some inside source for these)…feta?


32 Jess May 6, 2013 at 12:52 pm

Yep – feta all the way! Sometimes I use goat cheese if it’s going to be sprinkled on top, but it’s a bit too creamy for this recipe. The feta worked perfectly and had that distinct tangy, salty taste. We make do with what we’ve got, right? ;)


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