A good corn cake should be moist on the inside and crisp on the outside, with lots of flavor.
It’s delicious as an appetizer at any season of the year, but it really shines during the summer.
- This corn cake recipe is perfect for a summer barbecue or potluck!
- The cakes are fluffy and studded with sweet corn, and can be served with a dollop of honey butter.
What Is A Corn Cake?
Corn bread has been around since before recorded history, and it was probably developed by Native Americans who ate corn kernels ground into flour to make their bread.
Corn meal was also used as a thickener, which gave rise to the term “cornbread.”
In addition to being eaten plain, cornmeal was often mixed with other ingredients such as eggs, milk, meat drippings, or even molasses.
In modern times, cornbread is still made from cornmeal, usually in combination with whole wheat flour.
As a result, people have come up with many different recipes that use all kinds of additives, like sugar, baking powder, salt, spices, and herbs.
What Is In A Corn Cake?
Corn cakes have been enjoyed since ancient times.
Corn was once grown primarily as food for humans, so they were easy to prepare.
In fact, corn cake is one of those foods that has evolved over time.
Some versions call for flour, sugar, eggs, milk, and even lard, while others use whole-grain flours like millet, sorghum, amaranth, quinoa, buckwheat, and more.
Some recipes also include spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, ginger, cardamom, and cloves.
How Do You Make A Corn Cake?
There are many different recipes for this classic American dish, so we will show you our favorite one here.
You might also want to try these other great corn cake recipes from around the web.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (176 Celsius).
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Place some flour into a large bowl and then add water until it has formed a batter that is about 1/4 inch deep.
Add salt, sugar, egg yolks, and vanilla extract.
Whisk well until all ingredients have been incorporated together.
Add the remaining dry ingredients in three separate bowls.
In one, mix the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
In another, whisk the buttermilk, eggs, milk, oil, and lemon juice until they are combined.
In the final bowl, combine the wet and dry ingredients.
Mix them together using a spatula until all lumps disappear.
Now use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl and stir again.
Using a spoon, scoop out portions of the batter and place onto the prepared baking sheet.
Use more than half of the batter if you wish to make small cakes, or less if you prefer larger ones.
Bake the corn cakes in the preheated oven for 15 minutes.
Rotate pans 180 degrees after ten minutes, and bake for another 10-15 minutes.
When the corn cakes come out of the oven, let them cool completely before serving.
They taste best when eaten right away, although they can be wrapped up tightly and stored in the fridge for several days.
Serve warm from the oven with honey butter.
What Is The History Of Corn Cakes?
Corn bread may have originated in Mexico, where it was made by grinding hominy into a paste.
Cornmeal was used to make this Mexican version of cornbread, which became popular throughout Central America and eventually across North America.
In the 1800s, when corn was plentiful, people would use ground dried corn kernels instead of flour to make cornmeal.
Eventually, they started using fresh corn instead of dried corn, too.
In 1877, Southern cookbook author Sarah Rutledge published her first corn cake recipe.
She called them “cobblers,” but today we call corn cakes “spoonbread.”
These days, most corn cakes are made with yellow corn meal, though white corn meal is still available.
This type of corn meal has been milled very finely so that it cooks up light and airy.
White corn meal tends to stick together more than yellow corn meal does, so if your corn cake isn’t coming out right, try adding some extra hot water or milk to loosen things up a bit.
Most corn cakes are also enriched with eggs, but there are plenty of other ways to add richness and moisture to your corn cake batter without making it taste egg-heavy.
How Did Corn Cakes Get Their Name?
Corn cakes have been around since before recorded time.
They were originally made from wild rice flour (called “grits” in parts of the South), but they also contain wheat flour.
Corn cakes were often given to slaves as part of their Sunday meal.
As soon as African-Americans learned how to grind grain into flour, many began making corn cakes using that new ingredient.
These days, you will find several different varieties of corn cake throughout the United States.
Some people like them plain without a lot of added ingredients, while others prefer theirs with honey, sugar, and/or spices.
What Are Some Popular Corn Cake Recipes?
Corn cake has been around since ancient times.
In fact, it was considered one of the most important foods in many cultures, including Native American tribes, African slaves, Mexican peasants, and European royalty.
In this article we’ll take you through some of the best corn cake recipes out there, from classic to modern, and all the way down south.
1. Corn Cake Recipe With Honey Butter
Honey butter is not only tasty — it also helps keep your corn cake moist while baking.
Once the batter is mixed together, you need to let it sit until everything comes together in preparation for baking.
For this particular recipe, you will need 1 cup cornmeal, 3/4 teaspoon salt, 2 tablespoons sugar, 1 tablespoon baking powder, 1 egg (or two), 1/2 cup milk, 1/2 cup vegetable oil, 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, and chopped green onion.
Prepare these ingredients before starting cooking the batter by mixing them together into a large bowl.
Next, add half a cup of sour cream to soften the mixture slightly.
Then pour in the rest of the ingredients, mix well, and let it sit for 10 minutes.
Finally, preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and bake the corn cake for about 30 minutes.
2. Easy Sour Cream Corn Cakes
If you don’t care much for using eggs, then you might want to try making sour cream corn cakes instead.
For this recipe, you will find yourself needing 6 cups flour, 4 teaspoons baking soda, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 2 teaspoons salt, 2-3 cups sour cream, 3/4 cup brown sugar, and 2 sticks melted unsalted butter.
Mix up the dry ingredients first, before adding the wet ingredients.
Once that’s done, prepare the sour cream mixture by combining the sour cream, molasses, vanilla extract, and lemon juice.
Lastly, combine both mixtures and stir well after each addition.
Bake the cakes for 25 minutes at 375 degrees Fahrenheit, and serve warm with a side of butter sauce.
3. Grilled Cheese Sandwich Corn Cake
Grilling cheese sandwiches isn’t just fun — it’s great for grilling corn cakes too.
To make grilled cheese corn cakes, you will need 6 slices bread, 4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, and 1/2 pound bacon.
Slice the bread horizontally into four equal pieces, spread mustard on the top slice, cover with cheddar cheese, and cook over medium heat for five minutes.
Add the other three slices to the pan and repeat the process.
Finally, grill the whole thing until the cheese starts to melt.
Serve hot with syrup and fresh fruit if desired.
4. Fried Corn Cakes With Bacon And Maple Syrup
Fried corn cakes are always amazing, especially when they come topped with maple syrup and crispy bacon bits.
You will need six strips of bacon, a small bag of frozen corn kernels, and five eggs.
Boil the eggs for ten minutes, remove them from the water, peel, and chop.
Next, place the corn kernels in a blender and blend until completely smooth.
Combine the eggs and corn together with the remaining ingredients, and drop spoonfuls onto a greased cookie sheet.
Cook the corn cakes for 20 minutes at 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
5. Homemade Cornbread
Homemade cornbread usually takes longer than you think.
If you have extra time, however, you could make this homemade version.
It consists of 5 cups white flour, 2 cups yellow corn meal, 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 beaten egg, 1 cup buttermilk, and 1 stick melted butter.
First, whisk the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl, before adding the liquids and stirring thoroughly.
Transfer into a 9×13 inch baking dish, and bake for 45 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
What Are Some Variations Of Corn Cakes?
There are many ways to make this classic American dish.
Here are just a few:
Creamy Corn Cakes (aka Creamed Corn Cake)
These have all the goodness of regular corn cakes, plus cream cheese instead of sour cream.
They also get sprinkled with Parmesan cheese before baking, which gives them a nice crunch.
You could use cheddar in place of the parmesan if you prefer more cheesy flavor.
Cheese-Stuffed Corn Cakes
These take the creamy corn cake idea one step further by stuffing each corn cake with melted cheese before baking.
You can choose from several different cheeses like cheddar, mozzarella, or Swiss.
Salsa Stuffed Corn Cakes
For something spicy, try these stuffed corn cakes made with salsa instead of cheese.
You can serve them with tortilla chips on top for dipping.
Mexican Corn Cakes
If you want to go south of the border, why not give Mexican cuisine a try? These cakes have corn kernels mixed into the batter along with chiles peppers, so they taste extra hot.
If you don’t care about heat, you can leave out the chile powder and add fresh jalapeño pepper slices instead.
Cornmeal Crusted Corn Cakes
If you want to keep things simple, you could always bake your corn cakes plain without anything added.
But if you think that would be too boring, you can still jazz up your corn cakes by adding crumbled bacon or grated sharp cheddar cheese, both of which will provide plenty of additional flavor.
What Are Some Tips For Making The Perfect Corn Cake?
Corn cakes are easy to make, but they require a little bit of precision in order to get them just right.
Here are some tips that will help you out when preparing your next batch.
Know what type of pan you’re using
You need to use a 9-inch round baking dish or deep pie plate if you want a crispy outer layer while keeping the center soft and tender.
If you have a smaller 8-inch square baking dish, then you may end up with more of a casserole than a cake.
You also don’t want to go too big on this one because you won’t be able to fit all those kernels into the dish.
Instead, choose something between 9 inches and 10 inches wide so that you’ll still be able to fill the space without having to sacrifice the texture.
Crusty edges are not necessarily bad
If you prefer a crunchier outer edge, instead of going too far with the flour coating, just add another tablespoon of flour to the batter before pouring it into the baking dish.
That way, you’ll only coat the top surface of each corn cake and leave the sides uncoated.
It might seem like a lot of extra work, but it will ensure that every single corn cake has a nice crust.
When mixing together the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, salt, baking powder), try to avoid over-beating the mixture.
Overmixing usually makes the batter turn lumpy, which means that the flour gets packed down into the bottom of the bowl rather than being distributed evenly throughout the whole thing.
If you don’t beat it enough, there will be plenty of room left for the liquid to seep through the batter and create pockets of air bubbles on the surface.
Add water slowly
As soon as you start adding the liquid ingredients (milk, melted butter) to the flour mix, stop beating immediately.
As long as you keep stirring gently, the eggs will incorporate themselves easily without creating lumps.
You can even add the milk and other liquids first, since they tend to dissolve better than the butter anyway.
Use cold butter
Using cold butter helps to prevent curdling, especially if you’ve added heavy cream to the mix.
For the same reason, try to take care in measuring the butter.
Don’t cut it straight from the fridge — put it back in there until it melts completely.
Keep it cool
To speed up the process of cooling the wet ingredients, place them directly into the refrigerator after you finish whipping them together.
Once cooled, whisk well again to combine everything thoroughly.
How Do You Store Corn Cakes?
Corn cakes will keep in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks if they aren’t eaten right away.
If your corn cakes don’t have much moisture left after baking, wrap them individually in plastic wrap and then put them back into their original tin before storing them.
They shouldn’t go stale too fast because they freeze well.
What Are Some Common Mistakes People Make When Making Corn Cakes?
Corn cakes are very forgiving recipes — they’re not hard to make, but there are things that can go wrong along the way.
Here are some tips from my own experience in baking corn cakes:
Don’t overmix your batter.
If you mix too long, you will end up with dense corn cakes instead of light ones.
They won’t rise properly either if you don’t use enough liquid.
Make sure your oven temperature is correct.
I have burned corn cakes before because I didn’t realize how hot my oven was getting while I preheated it.
When the corn cakes were done baking, they had dried out around the edges.
Use fresh ingredients whenever possible.
Freshly picked corn kernels add so much more flavor than frozen corn.
You should also buy organic corn since pesticides aren’t always removed when the corn is processed into canned corn.
Don’t forget to wash off all the grit that sticks to the cob.
Bake them longer than necessary.
This may sound counter-intuitive, but corn cakes need time to cook through.
If you bake them too fast, they will turn out tough and dry.
I usually bake mine for about 25 minutes, then check the middle one by inserting a toothpick.
If it comes out clean, they’re ready to serve.
If they still seem underdone, keep cooking until they reach your desired level of doneness.
If you want to double this recipe, simply follow the same instructions for both batches.
However, you might find yourself running short on filling once you finish baking two batches of corn cakes.
It would be better to prepare extra corn cakes ahead of time and freeze them so you’ll always have plenty to share with family and friends.
- 1 Bowl
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup cornmeal
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 egg
- Spray cooking spray on a sizable griddle and heat it to medium-high.
- Combine the flour, sugar, cornmeal, baking soda, and salt in a sizable bowl. Make a well in the middle after thoroughly mixing with a fork.
- Mix the milk, honey, oil, and egg in a small bowl. Mixture should only be blended after being evenly poured over dry ingredients.
- For each corn cake, pour 1/4 cup batter onto the griddle. Cook for 2 minutes on each side, or until puffed, golden, and fully cooked.