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Corn Cakes are easy to make and a delicious way to enjoy fresh corn in the peak of summer (and can be made all year long with frozen corn). Thin rounds of rich corn cake batter are fried in a slick of olive oil until crispy on the outside and tender in the middle, with the sweet crunch of corn in every bite.
It started with 6 ears of corn in our CSA share and a need for inspiration. Fresh corn polenta crossed my mind, but I'm still trying to convince Keith that polenta is really delicious. He's not so sure. So I decided to give this corn cake recipe a try instead.
Growing up, my Granny would often make what she called 'corn meal mush' for breakfast. The next day she would fry the leftovers into thick pancakes until the edges were golden and crunchy, then top them with globs of butter and a river of maple syrup. I didn't mind.
Because they don't have flour or baking powder, these Corn Cakes remind me of that childhood treat (and also of Pupusas), but a savory version of it, topped with sweet cherry tomatoes, buttery avocado and crisp kernels of raw corn. (They would also be great topped with a fried or poached egg for breakfast!) And, as it turns out, Keith loves them too - not quite polenta, but reminiscent of it. I think it was those crispy edges that won him over.
Use your imagination when it comes to toppings for these corn cakes - savory, spicy or sweet. You'll find them amenable to most anything you can dream up. (And don't forget to make Corn Stock with your bare corn cobs!)
More Delicious Corn Recipes
- Corn Salad (A fresh, sweet crunchy salad to make when sweet corn is at it's summer peak!)
- Corn Maque Choux (An easy, tasty recipe for the Southern classic.)
- Mexican Corn on the Cob (Recipe from a New York Times acclaimed restaurant!)
How to Make Corn Cakes
Step 1: In a small sauce pan over medium heat, combine milk, butter and cornmeal. Cook and stir just until butter has melted; set aside to cool.
Step 2: In a medium bowl, stir together cornmeal, corn flour, salt and sugar until combined. Stir in shredded cheese. Pour milk mixture over and stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes.
Step 3: Add oil to a hot skillet and scoop out ¼-cupfuls of corn cake batter, flattening into ½-inch thick rounds with a spatula. Cook until crispy on the outside and cooked through in the middle, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Serve topped with cherry tomatoes, diced avocado, kernels of fresh corn and fresh oregano leaves.
For the Corn Cakes
- 1 cup whole milk
- ½ cup fresh corn kernels about one ear of corn
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup medium grind cornmeal 132g
- ½ cup masa harina (corn flour) 58g
- 1 teaspoon pure cane sugar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 ounces mozzarella shredded
- 2 tablespoons olive oil divided
- 1 large avocado diced
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes halved
- ½ cup fresh corn kernels about one ear of corn
- ¼ cup fresh oregano leaves or fresh cilantro leaves
To make the batter for Corn Cakes:
- Heat milk, fresh corn kernels and butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, just until butter is melted. Remove from heat and cool.
- In a medium bowl, combine cornmeal, masa flour, sugar, and mozzarella. Pour cooled milk mixture over cornmeal mixture and stir until just combined. Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes.
When you're ready to fry the Corn Cakes:
- Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a medium skillet until hot. Scoop 4 ¼-cup portions of batter into pan. Using a spatula, pat into ½-inch thick circles. Cook 3 to 4 minutes on each side, or until golden brown and cooked through. Repeat with remaining batter.
- Divide corn cakes among 4 serving plates. Divide toppings equally among plates and serve.
Molly Kumar says
These look Fabulous Marissa and love the colorful toppings. Gotta try soon - Yummmmmmm!
Thank you so much, Molly!
Karen (Back Road Journal) says
Your corn cakes look delicious...how could you resist having more than one.
haha, woman after my own heart! 😉 Thank you, Karen!
These are a great lunch option! They look great!
Yes! Quick, easy and so good!
I've been on a corn kick lately, so I want to embrace as many recipes as possible (I know frozen corn is available year round, but that's a different kind of fun). Anyway, I'm also a huge fan of cornmeal/polenta, so I'm pleased you combined both these things. Needless to say the corn cakes look and sound super delicious!
Thanks so much, Ben! I hope you'll give them a try!
Kelsie | the itsy-bitsy kitchen says
These look FABULOUS and I'm so hungry right now looking at your pics. I want like a dozen slathered in butter!
haha, love it! Thanks, Kelsie!
David @ Spiced says
Oh, those crispy edges would convince me, too! (Although, to be fair, once I heard 'corn cakes' I probably wouldn't need much convincing!) These sound delicious. And I love how you topped 'em with tomatoes + avocados. This sounds like an easy but unique meal for a busy night!
Guy after my own heart, David! Thanks so much!
Mary Ann | The Beach House Kitchen says
So many things to love about summer Marissa and fresh sweet corn is absolutely one of them! These corn cakes will definitely need to be whipped up shortly at our house! They look delicious!
I love to hear that, Mary Ann! Thank you!
Dorothy Dunton says
Hi Marissa! These look divine! I just bought fresh corn today and I'm thinking I will make these! Your summery toppings are perfect!
Hi Dorothy! So perfect!! Thank you, my friend!
I love making (and eating!) corn cakes! But with cheese? And that beautiful summer topping??? Oh, my. I want these NOW!
The cheese does add that extra 'something'! Sometimes I use smoked mozzarella too! Thanks so much, Liz!
Cook With Nisha says
Great idea!! Tasty Brunch Option 🙂
Yes! Love these topped with a poached egg! Thank you, Nisha!
Cheyanne @ No Spoon Necessary says
I am beyond obsessed with fresh corn, Marissa! It's one of my absolute favorite things about the summer season. And if you need a taste tester for that fresh corn Polenta, I will gladly take Keith's place!! 😉 Now on to these corn cakes - DELICIOUS! Loving that crispy exterior and the fresh corn topping! This is summer on a plate! Pinning! Cheers!
You crack me up! I'm with you on soft polenta - SO good. And I agree - fresh corn is so versatile!
This looks like a perfect meal for any time of day!
House in Tillford says
This looks like a yummy, fresh brunch option! Also, love the images on your blog- so crisp!
That's so sweet of you to say, thank you!
Holy moly these look so good! I wish you could see the chills on my legs. My husband would totally go for the egg on top. Doing this next time. xo
Thanks so much for the inspiration, Melissa! We'll be making these often...