Brazilian Sweet Corn Cake
Out of all the things to make with fresh corn, Sweet Corn Cake might be my favorite! It is a breeze to make and goes great with a cup of coffee.
Corn cakes are a staple in Brazilian cuisine, especially during the winter festivities.
There are probably more corn cake recipes than there are people in Brazil. The variations include cakes made of fubá (cornmeal), fresh corn, canned corn, with coconut, with cheese, with guava, and so on. You could eat a different corn cake every day and never get sick of it!
Today I’m sharing one of my favorites. It is super moist, sweet and full of corn flavor! And while the recipe asks for coconut (both coconut milk and shredded coconut), the flavor is a lot more subtle than you would think.
The best thing about this cake is how easy it is to make it! It’s a dump-and-blend and no mixer needed, as most Brazilian cakes use the blender instead.
You will find that the hardest part is to wait for it to cool! It’s like I can hear my grandma telling me that eating hot cake will give me a stomach ache.
It does take a huge amount of self control not to tear into this cake as soon as it comes out of the oven. The smell is inebriating! But if you can brave through it, do it! Resist! I guarantee you will be rewarded with better flavor and texture.
Brazilian Corn Cake VS Cornbread
The day I made this cake for the first time, Tim got home from work and, upon seeing it on the kitchen island, went straight for a bite.
“Mmmm, cornbread?” *bites* “No. What is it?“
And that got me thinking: are they similar? What are the main differences?
Cornbread, as we have in Brazil, is called Broa de Milho. Unlike American cornbread, it is made with a combination of cornmeal and rye or wheat flour, and leavened with yeast (rather than baking powder or baking soda).
So is what we Brazilians call corn cake the equivalent of the American cornbread? To me, not quite. While the texture can be similar, it is much sweeter, to the point that Tim immediately knew something was different when he bit into it.
This is the type of cake that I like to eat on a lazy afternoon, served with a cup of coffee. But if you make this and feel compelled to eat it as you would cornbread – with chili, for example – don’t let me stop you! It will be delicious either way!
Buying fresh corn
I have yet to meet someone who doesn’t get all giddy about fresh corn season! And while eating fresh corn is awesome, buying it can be quite daunting.
Corn, once harvested, begins to dry out. When you pull back the husks and expose the kernels, you speed up this process. And then, if you toss the unwanted ears back onto the pile, you risk pissing off your fellow shoppers and vendors.
So how do you choose the best cobs?
- Look for husks that are bright green, wrapped tightly against the corn and slightly damp. Leave behind husks that are starting to turn yellow or that feel dry!
- Check the husk for little brown holes. Those are worm holes and should be avoided.
- Look for tassels (that cute little fluff thing sticking up out of the top) that are brown or golden, and sticky to the touch. If they are dry or black, then the corn is old.
- Feel the kernels through the husk by giving the ear a good squeeze from the bottom up. It should feel plump and filled out from end to end. If you can feel holes where the kernels should be, then skip that ear and choose another.
Once you have your corn, store them wrapped tightly in a plastic bag, in the refrigerator, so they don’t dry out. If you don’t plan on eating them within 3 or 4 days, consider freezing them.
How to make Sweet Corn Cake
Making this cake is so easy! It will take less than one hour from start to finish (depending on your oven, of course), and I am including the time it takes to shave the kernels off the cobs.
- Start by shaving the corn off the cobs. If you don’t have access to fresh corn, canned or frozen corn work just fine!
- Blend the kernels with the milk until smooth. Then, add the remaining ingredients and blend to combine. The batter will be very liquid, but that is normal!
- Pour into a greased and floured 10-inch cake pan, and bake at 350 degrees F for about 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- Let it cool slightly, flip onto cooling rack and cool to room temperature. It is then ready to be devoured!
Storing Sweet Corn Cake
This cake will stay fresh, covered, for a few days at room temperature.
If it’s not completely gone in 2-3 days, you should refrigerate it, and there it will stay good for up to a week!
Can I freeze Brazilian Corn Cake?
Yes, this cake freezes well for 2-3 months. I like to freeze individual slices, that way, when I’m craving corn cake, all I gotta do is take the amount of servings I need and allow it to thaw at room temperature.
- 2 1/2 cups corn kernels (aprox 3 ears)
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- 2 cups cornmeal
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 3/4 cup oil
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup shredded coconut (unsweetened)
- Pinch of salt
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and adjust the oven rack to the middle position. Butter and flour a 10-inch angel food cake pan. Reserve.
- Combine the corn kernels and the milk in the jar of a blender and blend until smooth.
- Add the coconut milk, cornmeal, sugar, oil, eggs, coconut and salt. Pulse until combined.
- Add the baking powder and pulse one or two times, just to incorporate into the batter.
- Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan, and bake for 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs.
- Remove from the oven and immediately run a thin knife around the edges to loosen it. Let it cool slightly, about 20 minutes, then turn the cake into a cooling rack to finish cooling.
- Slice and serve! Enjoy!
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Nutrition Information:Serving Size: 1 slice
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 400