This is my copycat recipe of an amazing Sweet Corn Tamale Cake from Tijuana Taxi Cab Company, a local Tex-Mex restaurant here in south Florida. These cakes are perfectly balanced with a cornbread-like texture and delicious sweet corn. The combinations of flavors when plated with the sauces take this dish over the top! You get the tartness of the Salsa Verde, the sweetness of the corn tamale cake with the heat from the spicy mayo and the bright freshness of the Pico de Gallo. It’s just a perfect bite.
Pulse 1 cup of corn in a food processor to break up the kernels slightly. Add the heavy cream, butter and water and pulse to create a thick, wet mixture. In a separate bowl, whisk to combine the dry ingredients – corn flour, maseca, granulated sugar, baking powder and salt.
Add the wet mixture into the mixing bowl with the remaining 1/2 cup of sweet corn. Fold all the ingredients together with a spatula until well combined, but not over mixed. If the mixture is too dry, add a teaspoon or two of water to the mixture. Allow the mixture to rest 10-15 minutes. Measure 1/4 cup portion and form flat patties with your hands. Patties should be about 1/2 thick.
Heat a wide bottom heavy skillet over medium heat and add a few tablespoons of oil to the skillet. Place the patties on the skillet and cook 3-5 minutes or until browned, flip and cook the other side 3 minutes or until browned. Repeat process until all patties have been cooked.
I used store bought Herdez Mild Salsa Verde and it worked perfectly. Salsa Verde isn’t a family favorite sauce so I don’t make it from scratch. The tart flavor works extremely well here so don’t leave it out. To make the Spicy Mayo, combine about a cup of good Mayonnaise, 3 tablespoons sriracha and a good squeeze of fresh lime juice in a mason jar.
Layer some Salsa Verde on the bottom of your plate, place a Sweet Corn Tamale Cake on top, drizzle with Spicy Mayo and garnish with Pico de Gallo, Guacamole, sour cream and cilantro leaves. The Cilantro Lime Sauce from my Shrimp Tacos with Cilantro Lime Slaw would also be great on these tamale cakes.
Sweet Corn Tamale Cakes
My version of Tijuana Taxi Cab Company's Sweet Corn Tamale Cakes. This copycat recipe is close to perfect and strikes the right balance of flavors – a little sweet, a little tangy and spicy with a bright pop of freshness. The perfect appetizer for your next Taco Tuesday or Cinco de Mayo party.
Sweet Corn Tamale Cakes
- 1 ½ cups sweet corn kernels, fresh or frozen (thawed), divided
- ½ cup heavy whipping cream
- ½ cup butter, unsalted and room temperature
- ¾ cup yellow corn flour
- ½ cup maseca
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt (prefer Diamond brand)
- 2 Tablespoons water
- 1 cup mayonnaise (prefer Duke's)
- 3 Tablespoons Sriracha
- juice from half a lime
Other Ingredients for Assembly
- canola oil for pan frying
- store bought Salsa Verde
- Pico de Gallo
- fresh cilantro
Making the Sweet Corn Tamale Cakes
Pulse 1 cup of sweet corn in a food processor to break up the kernels. Add the heavy cream, butter and water and pulse to combine.
In a mixing bowl, whisk to combine the yellow corn flour, maseca, sugar, baking powder and salt.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and the remaining 1/2 cup of corn. Fold just until combined. Allow the mixture to rest 10-15 minutes.
Use a 1/4 cup measurement to evenly scoop mixture and hand form patties.
Heat a wide skillet over medium heat and add a few tablespoons of canola oil to the skillet. Pan fry each patty for 3-5 minutes or until golden brown. Flip and cook for 3 minutes on the other side until golden brown. Repeat steps until all tamale cakes are cooked.
Note: Tamale cakes can fall apart if you flip them or move them before they develop a crust on the bottom. Gently flip with a wide pancake spatula to support the tamale cake.
Loosely cover with foil and keep warm in a 180°F oven until ready to assemble.
Making the Spicy Mayo
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl, mason jar or Pyrex measuring cup.
Note: To obtain thin drizzle lines over the tamale cake, add the prepared mayo to a Ziploc bag, seal. Snip the corner just before plating and drizzle a thin line over the cakes.
Assembling the Sweet Corn Tamale Cakes
Drizzle a little Salsa Verde sauce on the bottom. Store bought works perfectly.
Place the Sweet Corn Tamale Cake on top. Drizzle with the Spicy Mayo sauce.
Top with Pico de Gallo, Guacamole and sour cream. Garnish with cilantro leaves.
Makes about 6 corn cakes, depending on size.
Cilantro Lime Sauce would also be a great topping.