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.
Pay de limón is a very common dessert in Mexico. It reminds me of a 1950´s style cake that my Grandma Frances would have made. She loved making recipes with “secret” ingredients and using all sorts of canned products to cook, as did many home cooks at the time. Basically, all of the ingredients for this recipe can be bought at your local corner store, except maybe the limes. In the States these types of pies or cakes are referred to as icebox cakes and became popular during World War I because they were easy and cheap to prepare, required almost no fresh ingredients and no baking!
Pan de muerto is a sweet bread prepared for the Day of the Dead celebration on the 1st and 2nd of November. The bread is used as part of the altars or ofrendas that are made to honor the lives of the dead and is also eaten in the days on and around the celebration. Depending on the region or state in México, there are tons of variations of this traditional ceremonial bread.