Pan de Elote (Mexican Sweet Corn Cake)

Pan de elote is a delicious, fluffy and moist Mexican sweet corn cake. A classic and simple dessert to enjoy at any weekday meal or to eat at breakfast with café de olla!

Pan de elote squares piled.

What is pan de elote?

Pan de elote is a Mexican sweet corn cake made traditionally with fresh corn. It has a moist texture and sweet flavor and it can also be known as pastel de elote.

The recipe has some variations from family to family, some people like to add condensed milk, and others prefer using evaporated milk, cream, or just regular milk. 

Pastel de elote (aka pan de elote) cut into squares and placed on parchment paper (seen from above).

Let me tell you that making your own pan de elote in Mexico is not that common. This cake is pretty much like any other street food that you can find on almost every corner.

You’ll find this sweet bread being sold in small portions wrapped in plastic bags, warm and moist, ready to eat in the morning with café de olla, in the afternoon for la merienda (snack) with atole, or just served as a dessert drizzled with cajeta caramel on top.

Some recipes for pan de elote say to add everything to a blender, then place the batter on a baking pan and bake. As tempting and easy as it sounds, our recipe is not made like that.

I tried several recipes, and every time I made it with that “easy” method I ended with a batter too dense, and the result after baking was just not as I remember pan de elote in Mexico.

So, our recipe takes time to make, but I assure you that it will result in a soft, moist, and super fluffy Mexican sweet corn cake so delicious that this will become your favorite recipe ever!

A close up on Mexican sweet corn cake

What Type of Corn to Use

The traditional recipe calls for fresh Mexican corn on the cob, the white kind you find in Mexico. Unfortunately, for me, as for many people, finding that type of corn is not so easy.

So, for this recipe, we will use canned sweet corn. But let me tell you that if you are lucky enough to find fresh corn on the cob, go with it!

I did it once with the fresh yellow corn I can find here where I live, and it came out delicious!

Corn on the cob on a wooden white surface.

Ingredients you will need

  • 3 cups drained canned corn kernels (490-500g)
  • 1 cup rice flour (160g)
  • ⅔ cup sugar (135g)
  • 4 small eggs 
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 stick unsalted butter (4oz, 115g)
  • ¼ cup whole milk (60ml)
  • 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Ingredients for this pastel de elote are easily available in many countries. Just remember that everything has to be at room temperature before starting with the recipe.

I have made this recipe either measuring the ingredients with a kitchen scale and I can’t stress enough to recommend you also use one.

Anyway, I also included the measures in US cups in the recipe card below, so click on the “metric” option to see them.

Pan de elote ingredients labeled and displayed on a marble countertop.

About The Flour

  • I used rice flour for this recipe because it gives this cake a super fluffy texture while staying moist.
  • If you don’t have rice flour you can substitute it with all-purpose flour, just sift it twice to get rid of lumps and make it “airy”. The texture will change slightly, but it will yield a delicious pan de elote anyway.

The step by step recipe

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Butter and flour a square baking pan about 8 or 9-inch (21cm).

Sift the rice flour, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon powder together. Set aside. Separate white eggs and yolks.

A display of preparation steps for pan de elote.

In a blender or food processor add corn (well drained), vanilla extract, and milk. Process for 1 or 2 minutes at high and then set aside.

Corn blended inside the blender.

In a mixer bowl add softened butter and sugar. Using an electric mixer beat for 5 minutes at high speed or until you’ll have a fluffy cream.

Mixing sugar and butter on a bowl.

Add one yolk and mix until combined, then add the other 2 yolks one at a time and mix between additions. Pour in the oil and mix to combine.

Butter and eggs fully mixed.

Add to the bowl the flour mixture and mix. Then, add the corn mixture and combine everything with a spatula.

Pan de elote batter on bowl.

Place egg whites and salt on a clean medium bowl and beat with your electric mixer at high speed until stiff peaks form.

The eggs beaten until stiff peaks formed.

Add egg whites to the bowl with batter and gently fold in to combine everything.

Do it with slow movements from down to up, so the egg whites won’t deflate.

The batter ready on a bowl.

Place the batter on the baking pan you prepared before and use a spatula to level on top.

The batter inside the baking dish, levelled and ready to bake.

Bake from 50 to 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean and the cake is nicely browned on top.

The Mexican corn cake baked and still on the baking dish.

Remove the corn cake from the oven and leave it to rest for 5 minutes on the countertop.

Then carefully remove it from the baking dish and transfer it onto a cooling rack.

Pan de elote on a cooling rack.

How To Store

Place leftovers in a plastic or glass container lined with a kitchen paper towel (or parchment paper).

Leave it a room temperature for up to 2 days. Or store in the fridge for up to 4 days.

Remember this is a moist cake, so it won’t last as much as a regular cake. Be very careful and take in mind also room temperature, if it’s too hot, I don’t recommend leaving the cake on the countertop, so place it in the fridge instead.

If you don’t want to eat it cold, reheat it in the microwave for 1 to 2 minutes.

Pastel de elote on a cooling rack.

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Mexican Pan de Elote (sweet corn bread).

Pan de Elote (Mexican Corn Cake)

author Maricruz
Pan de elote is a delicious, fluffy, and moist Mexican sweet corn cake. A classic and simple dessert to enjoy at any weekday meal or to eat at breakfast!
prep 20 minutes
cook 1 hour
total 1 hour 20 minutes
serving 6

Ingredients 

  • 3 cups canned corn kernels (drained)
  • 1 cup rice flour (read notes)
  • cup sugar
  • 4 small eggs (whites and yolks separated)
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 stick unsalted butter (4oz, softened)
  • ¼ cup whole milk
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon powder
  • ¼ tsp salt

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Butter and flour a square baking pan about 8 or 9-inch (21cm).
  • Sift the rice flour, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon powder together. Set aside.
  • In a blender or food processor add corn, vanilla extract, and milk. Process for 1 or 2 minutes at high and then set aside.
  • In a mixer bowl add butter and sugar.
  • Beat for 5 minutes at high speed or until you’ll have a fluffy and pale cream.
  • Add one yolk and mix until combined, then add the other 2 yolks one at a time and mix between additions.
  • Pour in the oil and mix to combine.
  • Add to the bowl the flour mixture and mix.
  • Add the corn mixture and combine everything with a spatula.
  • Place egg whites and salt on a clean medium bowl, beat with your electric mixer at high until sift peaks form.
  • Add egg whites to the bowl with batter and gently fold in to combine everything. *Make slow movements from down to up, so the egg whites won’t deflate*.
  • Place the batter on the baking pan you prepared before and use a spatula to level on top.
  • Bake from 50 to 60 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted in the middle comes out clean and the cake is browned on top.
  • Remove pan de elote from the oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes on the countertop.
  • Carefully remove the cake from the baking dish and place it on a cooling rack.
  • Cut it into squares and serve.

Notes

  • I used rice flour for this recipe because it gives to this cake a nice fluffy texture while staying moist.
  • If you don’t have rice flour you can substitute it with all-purpose flour, just sift it twice to get rid of lumps and make it “airy”.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 485kcal | Carbohydrates: 61g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 110mg | Sodium: 519mg | Potassium: 253mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 26g | Vitamin A: 1052IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 101mg | Iron: 1mg
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Recipe Rating




5 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    LO-VED! loved it, loved it, loved it! It was amazingly soft and fluffy, not dry, nor too moist, just perfect. Made it the same day I made camarones diabla with your recipe and I wasn’t disappointed at all!, thank you so much for the wonderful recipes.

  2. 5 stars
    This is the best recipe for pan de elote I’ve made. It comes out REALLY fluffy and moist, not dense at all. I’ve made the recipe twice following the instructions and with the exact amount of ingredients and both times was perfect.
    I have this page bookmarked and every time someone ask for “my” pan de elote recipe I send the link. Thank you so much for writing this recipe for anyone who want to enjoy this pastel.

  3. 5 stars
    This recipe is a keeper. I made it yesterday and was a bit skeptical because I0’ve made so many recipes and they all yield a dense cake, too moist to my liking that they even seems a pudding, not a cake.
    Yet I decided to try it and I was so glad I did. The cake is fluffy as it’s suppose to be, it’s slightly moist and if eating while is still warm, is heavenly delicious!
    Best corn cake ever!