Sweet Mexican Cornbread

Given that corn is the base of Mexican food it is not surprising that there are a variety of corn inspired desserts.  Mexican cornbread aka pan de elote should not be confused with the savory American version.  It’s prepared with fresh corn, is sweet and moist and can sometimes even have a custard like texture.  Usually you’ll find women selling homemade palm sized cakes or thick triangular slices outside markets for 15 to 20 pesos a piece.

The first time I remember trying pan de elote was at a stand tucked away in the southeastern corner of the mercado Jamaica in Mexico City.  This stand boasts an array of both sweet and savory corn-based antojitos and desserts including esquites, elotes, dori-esquites, corn jello, corn flan, corn cheesecake and of course the sweet and unassuming pan de elote.  Since this first encounter with Mexican cornbread I haven’t stopped going back to the same stand for my pan de elote fix, but I also became curious about making it on my own.  I found that it’s a quick and easy to whip up at home and is great for breakfast or brunch or a simple dessert.

Serves: 8

  • 3 cups fresh corn kernels (about 5 pieces of corn)
  • 1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 6 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted, room temperature butter
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit or 180 degrees Celsius.

In a blender puree 2 ½ cups of  corn kernels, milk, butter and vanilla extract.

Beat the eggs in a separate bowl and then incorporate into the corn mixture.  Finally add the salt, flour and baking powder and pulse a few times or until well incorporated into the the batter.

Pour the mixture into a buttered round 9 inch spring pan and sprinkle the remaining ½ cup of corn kernels into the mixture.  Bake for about 40 minutes or until golden brown. Let sit for about 30 minutes.

Recipe from Food 52.

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