May 3

Copycat Chi-Chi’s Mexican Sweet Corn Cake

Mexican Sweet Corn Cake

It was a sad, sad day in the Kuczykowski household when Chi-Chi's closed their doors. Pre-kids, I think my husband and I dined there almost as often as Olive Garden.

My regular Friday night feast consisted of a small dish of cheese con queso as an appetizer, followed by a beef chimichanga with extra Mexican sweet corn cake on the side, please and thank you, all washed down with one of their amazing frozen wild berry margaritas. My mouth is watering just thinking about it!

Though I've tried many times, I have yet to recreate Chi-Chi's delicious wild berry margarita... but I did happen upon a Mexican sweet corn cake recipe a couple of years ago. Overall, it's a pretty simple and easy recipe -- although it does take about an hour to bake, relegating it to being one of those special occasion side dishes.

Cinco de Mayo qualifies as one of those special occasions in my book!

Masa Harina Corn Flour

You probably have most of the ingredients in your pantry and refrigerator already, but one you'll likely need to pick up is masa harina, i.e. corn flour. I found it in the hispanic section at Walmart, so you shouldn't have any trouble tracking it down.

Mexican Sweet Corn Cake Water Bath

The key to the tender texture is baking the corn cake batter in a water bath. Don't be intimidated -- it's really very simple. You just need to spread the batter in an 8"x8" baking dish and cover it with aluminum foil. Place this dish inside a 9"x13" baking dish and pour about three cups of water around it.

Copycat Chi-Chi's Mexican Sweet Corn Cake

I like to use my small 1" cookie scoop for cute little portions a la Chi-Chi's. You'll get about 8-10 small side servings from this recipe!

Copycat Chi-Chi’s Mexican Sweet Corn Cake

Serving Size: 8-10 servings as a side dish

Copycat Chi-Chi’s Mexican Sweet Corn Cake


  • 1/2 cup salted butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup masa harina
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 cups frozen corn, thawed
  • 1/4 cup cornmeal
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Whip the butter with a hand mixer until creamy. Add masa harina and water and blend well until thoroughly combined.
  3. Place the thawed corn in a blender or food processor and pulse a few times. You still want to have some whole chunks of corn left. Add the chopped corn and cornmeal to the masa harina mixture and mix together well.
  4. In a separate bowl combine sugar, cream, salt and baking powder. Pour this mixture into the corn mixture and blend thoroughly.
  5. Spread the mixture evenly in an 8"x8" baking dish. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and place this dish inside a 9"x13" baking dish. Pour about 3 cups of water into the larger baking dish to form a water bath.
  6. Bake at 375 degrees for 50-60 minutes, until the corn cake is cooked through. Remove from the oven and remove the smaller dish from the larger one. Let the corn cake stand for 10 minutes before serving.

adapted from Top Secret Restaurant Recipes

If you're looking for a fabulous entree to pair this delicious Mexican corn cake with, you can't go wrong with my slow cooker beef barbacoa. Add another side of coconut milk rice, and you'll have an easy two nights' worth of dinners -- cook once, eat twice!

Walmart Moms Disclosure

by Tara | 3 comments

  • monica

    Thank you for the recipe. My husband and I loved Chi-Chi's and especially the corn cake. I will definitely try to make this for an upcoming meal.

  • elo

    This is the second time I've made it and after cooking like it said for an hour it was not cooked. I took the foil off and cranked it to 450 for another 30 minutes. It is good

  • TeaJae

    I was a Chi Chi fan too. I loved that place. If someone could make a copy cat recipes for their seafood chimichangas (my favorite) Id be so happy.

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