This Pan de elote is a moist and soft Mexican sweet corn cake that features comforting and classic flavors. Enjoy this simple cake as dessert or as a snack in the afternoon with your favorite drink.

Pan de elote is a Mexican sweet corn cake made of fresh corn, flour, milk, eggs, butter, cinnamon, and vanilla. It has a delicate sweet flavor and soft, moist texture.

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

The Mexican sweet corn cake is sold mostly as a street food. Vendors will offer this treat in small portions wrapped in plastic bags, warm and moist, ready to eat on the go.

Pan de elote is eaten mostly in the afternoon for la merienda (snack) served with atole, or café de olla, but also often offered in restaurants as a dessert drizzled with cajeta caramel on top.

Mexican corn cake Pan de elote cut into squares on a cutting board.

Ingredients

  • Corn kernels: The traditional recipe calls for fresh Mexican white corn on the cob. But since is not easy to find outside the country, you can substitute with any type of corn available to you, from fresh to canned.
  • Flour: For this recipe, we’re using rice flour because it adds a softer texture. This ingredient can be substituted with all-purpose flour or 1:1 of flour+cornstarch.
  • Milk: Use regular whole milk or 1 can of evaporated milk for a depth of flavor.
  • Eggs: I used 4 small eggs, each one weighing about 1.75oz (50g).
  • Butter: Use unsalted butter and make sure is nicely softened.
  • Sugar: I used white sugar.
  • Oil: Any mild flavored oil will work on this recipe, I used corn oil but sunflower or light olive oil are fine too.
  • Baking powder & baking soda: along with salt, those two ingredients make the cake nicely rise and become so fluffy.
  • Cinnamon & vanilla: For a comforting and hearty flavor and aroma.
Pan de elote ingredients labeled and displayed on a marble countertop.

Don’t forget to check out the printable recipe card below for full measurements!

How To Make Pan de Elote

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Butter and flour a 9-inch (21cm) baking pan and set aside.

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

A display of various preparation steps for pan de elote.

In a blender or food processor add corn (well-drained), vanilla extract, and milk. Blend for 1 or 2 minutes at high speed until nicely pureed.

Corn blended inside the blender.

In a mixing 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 in a bowl.

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

Butter and eggs fully mixed.

Add to the bowl the blended corn mixture and oil. Mix for half a minute. Add the flour mixture and, using a spatula, combine everything together.

Pan de elote batter on a bowl with a red spatula.

Place egg whites and salt in 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 to combine everything.

Top Tip: Do this step 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 center of the cake comes out clean and pan de elote is nicely browned on top.

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

Remove the pastel de elote from the oven and leave it to rest for 5 minutes on the countertop.

Run a knife around the edges, then carefully remove the cake from the baking dish and transfer it onto a cooling rack.

Pan de elote on a cooling rack.

Allow to slightly cool down then slice and serve. Read below some suggestions for serving this delicious corn cake!

Chef’s Notes

  • Make sure all the ingredients are at room temperature before making this recipe.
  • Remove the butter from the fridge at least one hour before starting, so it will nicely soften and be easier to combine with sugar.
  • If you want to use all-purpose flour to make this recipe, make sure to sift it twice to get rid of lumps and make it “airy”.
  • For best results, we strongly suggest using a kitchen scale instead of measuring with cups. You can find the metrics measurements below in the recipe card, click on the “metric” link to display them.

Why This Recipe Works

Some recipes for pan de elote ask 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!

How To Store

This Pan de elote Mexicano keeps well for up to 2 days at room temperature. Place leftovers in an airtight container or wrap them with cling film to prevent the cake from drying out.

You can store it for longer (up to 5 days) in the fridge or freeze it for up to 3 months nicely packed in resealable bags.

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, warm it up in the microwave for 1 to 2 minutes.

Pan de elote cut into squares. Seen from above.

FAQ

Is elote just corn?

Yes. Elote is just the way corn is called in Mexico and is used to make countless dishes, from savory to sweet. The same name can be also used as a shortcut for elote preparado, which is a snack made of corn on the cob with mayonnaise, cheese, etc.

What is pastel de elote?

Pastel de elote is a Mexican cake made of sweet corn, flour, eggs, and butter. It is similar to this pastel de elote recipe but usually is decorated with icing sugar or buttercream.

More Mexican Pan Recipes

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Video

Mexican Pan de Elote (sweet corn bread).

Pan de Elote (Mexican Corn Cake)

6 portions
Pan de elote is a delicious, fluffy, and moist Mexican sweet corn cake. A classic and simple dessert to enjoy for breakfast with coffee or as a dessert drizzled with caramel!
prep 20 minutes
cook 1 hour
total 1 hour 20 minutes

Equipment

  • 1 9-inch (21cm) square baking pan

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 your oven to 350°F (180°C).
  • Sift the rice flour, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon powder together.
  • Add corn to a blender along with vanilla extract and milk. Blend for 1 or 2 minutes at high speed until nicely pureed.
  • Add butter and sugar to a mixing bowl. Using an electric mixer beat for 5 minutes at high speed or until you’ll have a fluffy cream.
  • Add one yolk and mix until combined, then add the other 2 yolks one at a time and mix between additions.
  • Add to the bowl the blended corn mixture and oil. Mix for half a minute. Add the flour mixture and, using a spatula, combine everything together.
  • Place egg whites and salt on a clean medium bowl and mix at high speed until stiff peaks form.
  • Add egg whites to the bowl with batter and gently (with slow movements from down to up) fold to combine everything.
  • Place the batter on a greased and floured baking pan and use a spatula to level on top.

Bake

  • Bake from 50 to 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean and the corn cake is nicely browned on top.
  • Remove from the oven and leave the cake to rest for 5 minutes on the countertop.
  • Run a knife around the edges, then carefully remove the cake from the baking dish and transfer it onto a cooling rack.
  • Allow to slightly cool down then slice and serve warm.

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”.
  • Make sure all the ingredients are at room temperature before making this recipe.
Nutrition Information
Serving: 1 portion | 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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Maricruz Avalos Flores is a Mexican cook and photographer living in Italy where she shares authentic Mexican & Italian recipes that can be easily made at home using easy-to-find ingredients.

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Recipe Rating




9 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This was a delightful discovery! So soft and packed with flavor. The convenience of enjoying pan de elote at home made it even better! Can’t wait to have it again!

    1. Hi Daniela, honestly, I don’t know. You can try, I am sure it won’t come as fluffy as with rice flour but the taste will be great.

  2. 5 stars
    Thank you Maricruz, my pan de elote came out absolutely delicious and super soft with the perfect moisture texture. I was out of milk and used water because it was such a small amount that I thought I wouldn’t notice the difference and I was right.
    A 5 star recipe!

  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!

  4. 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.

  5. 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.