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 know as pastel de elote.

The recipe has some variations from family to family, some people like to add condensed milk, 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 at almost every corner.

You’ll find this sweet bread being sold in small portions wrapped in plastic bags, warm and moist, ready to eat it 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.

Easy as a cake

Some recipes for pan de elote say to add everything on 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 somehow-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 yellow corn I can find here in Italy, and it came out delicious!

Corn on the cob on a wooden white surface.

About the flour

I used rice flour for this recipe because it gives to this cake a very fluffy texture while staying moist. If you don’t have rice flour you can sub 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 still result in a delicious pan de elote anyway.

Ingredients you will need

Ingredients for this pastel de elote are very simple. Just remember to allow them to reach 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.

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

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 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 time and mixing 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, beat with your electric mixer at high until sift peaks form.

The eggs beaten until sift peaks formed.

Add egg whites to the bowl with batter and gently fold in to combine everything. Make slow movements from down to up, so the eggs 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 tooth pick inserted in the middle comes out clean and the cake is lightly browned on top.

The 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 place it on 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 fridge for up to 4 days.

Remember this is a moist cake, so it won’t last as much as other cakes. Be very careful and take in mind also room temperature, if it’s too hot, I don’t recommend leaving the cake in the countertop, so place it in the fridge instead. If you don’t want to eat it cold, reheat it in the microwave from 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

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
No ratings yet
Print Pin Rate
Servings: 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 -4 oz unsalted butter (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 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 time and mixing 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 eggs 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, then carefully remove it from the baking dish and place it on a cooling rack.

notes

I used rice flour for this recipe because it gives to this cake a very fluffy texture while staying moist. If you don’t have rice flour you can sub with all purpose flour, just sift it twice to get rid of lumps and make it “airy”.
Nutrition
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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