Mexican Corn Cakes

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
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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


  1. says

    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 :-)
    AmandaE recently posted..Secret IsMy Profile

    • says

      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!

  2. says

    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.
    Isabelle @ Crumb recently posted..Secret Recipe Club: Roasted Spring Greens Salad with Hazelnuts and PecorinoMy Profile

    • says

      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!

    • says

      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.

    • says

      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!

    • says

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

  3. says

    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 :)
    Karista recently posted..Crawfish FettuccineMy Profile

    • says

      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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