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Sweetcorn Cakes or Tamales

A community recipe by

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I first tasted these a year ago on holiday in Vegas and there's nothing like them in Britain. Not even at American or Mexican themed restaurants. (Although admittedly these do not really resemble proper Mexican tamales, despite the name.)

These are light, creamy sweet little 'pudding' shaped corn cakes. I spent the last couple of years using different recipes and modifications trying to re-create them at home, and the recipe you see below is absolutely the closest you are going to get.


Serves: 2

  • ⅓ cup masa harina
  • ⅓ cup light margarine (or butter - softened)
  • ⅓ cup milk (or single or double cream, or evaporated milk, whatever your preference)
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup coarse yellow cornmeal
  • 13 ounces sweetcorn


Sweetcorn Cakes or Tamales is a community recipe submitted by Baking Phoenix and has not been tested by so we are not able to answer questions regarding this recipe.

  • Preheat oven to 190 c / 375 f / Gas Mark 5
  • Whisk the masa harina with the margarine (or butter) until fully mixed.
  • Slowly add the milk/cream until combined to a creamy consistency.This will take a couple of minutes.
  • Sprinkle in the baking powder followed by the sugar then the cornmeal. Whisk thoroughly between additions.
  • Separately, drain the corn and coarsely chop using a processor. Do not make completely smooth.
  • Tip this into your mixture and mix thoroughly - a quick final blast with the whisk will do it.
  • Spoon the mixture into your 4 ramekins in equal amounts or pour into your 8x8inch pan.
  • Place the ramekins/tin into a larger baking tin (a roasting tin is great) filled about half an inch deep with hot water. Cover the ramekins/tin very carefully with foil or just place an upside-down shallow baking sheet on top of them.
  • Place in pre-heated oven and bake for approx 50mins (ramekins) or 60mins (tin).
  • When cooked, remove ramekins/tin and allow to stand for about 10mins. This allows for easy removal. (Turn ramekins upside down on to plates and gently tap the bottom - they'll come out easily.) If using a tin, just scoop out as required.
  • Delicious served with salsa and sour cream on a bed of salad with rice!
  • Additional Information

    Masa harina is NOT the same as cornmeal/polenta or cornflour (UK). Masa harina is readily available in the US but I'm afraid in the UK you may have difficulty finding it, and it really is required for this recipe.

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