- Our most requested recipe! This popular dish is really more like a pudding than a cake. Serve a scoop of it freshly steamed as it loses its light, fluffy consistency when reheated in the oven. The secret to making great corn cake is in the steaming. You can try and bake the cake in a pan in the oven (inserted in a pan of water to create steam), or you can steam them on the stove in a steamer basket** as in the following recipe.
Corn husks (enough to line and cover a 3-quart
steamer basket in a double layer)
1/4 cup vegetable shortening (like Crisco)
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup masa dough*
1 cup cold water
1 pound corn, fresh and cut off the cob (or frozen and thawed)
1/2 cup yellow corn meal
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
- Soak corn husks in hot water for 30 minutes until pliable. Drain.
- Place vegetable shortening and butter in a mixing bowl and beat on medium speed until mixture becomes fluffy and creamy. Add masa and mix on low speed for about 2 minutes. Add water and mix well on medium speed. Grind the corn coarsely in a food processor.
- In a large mixing bowl combine the corn meal, sugar, whipping cream, baking powder and salt. Add the masa mixture and the ground corn and mix well.
- To steam the corn cake, line the steamer basket with the softened corn husks. Fill with corn cake batter. Cover with more corn husks and a tea towel to absorb moisture. Steam on the stove for about 2 1/2 hours. Batter should not stick to husks when corn cake is done. If it does, it needs to steam longer.
- You can buy prepared masa dough at most Mexican and specialty food markets. Or you can readily purchase Masa Harina (made by Quaker Oats) which is dried corn that has been ground and treated. It is the basic ingredient used in making tamale dough (also called masa).
- You can also improvise a steamer by placing a rack on cans in a large stockpot or Dutch oven with a tight-fitting lid.