Savory Masa Corn Cakes with Green Chile, Cheese, and Lime Crema

By • April 8, 2012 17 Comments

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Author Notes: I was introduced to the wonderful world of savory pancakes via Yotam Ottolenghi's Plenty. I grew up in Los Angeles, and am always seeking to expand my cooking repertoire with the Mexican flavors that infused my childhood. zindc

Food52 Review: WHO: Zindc is an avid home cook from Washington, DC.
WHAT: A savory corn cake that would feel at home in every meal of the day.
HOW: Stir up a quick batter, then make like you’re flipping pancakes; top with a bright lime crema.
WHY WE LOVE IT: We don’t have enough savory pancakes in our lives, and these ones -- studded with sweet corn, rounded out with sour cream, cilantro, and cumin -- are the perfect way to start changing that.
The Editors

Makes 12 to 14 cakes

Masa cakes

  • 1 cup masa harina
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups milk
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup corn kernels (fresh or frozen)
  • 1/2 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
  • 2 ounces chopped green chile (1/2 a small can) or 1 roasted, peeled, and chopped poblano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3 tablespoons chopped scallions
  • 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  1. Whisk together dry ingredients.
  2. Put eggs, 1 cup of milk, sour cream, oil and 3 tablespoons of the corn kernels in a blender and blend on high until liquified.
  3. Combine with dry ingredients and add enough of remaining 1 cup of milk until batter is coming together but still fairly thick.
  4. Stir in grated cheese, chopped green chile, cumin, scallions and cilantro.
  5. Spoon onto heated griddle and sprinkle 1tablespoon of corn kernels on each cake before turning.

Lime Crema

  • 1 cup sour cream
  • Zest and juice of 1 lime
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  1. Combine all ingredients and stir until combined. Serve with the finished corn cakes.

More Great Recipes: Pancakes|Rice & Grains|Vegetables|Breakfast & Brunch|Entrees

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Comments (17) Questions (0)


about 1 year ago zindc

I just heard from someone who is a manager at a hotel. He said that he had prepared this recipe for his hotel staff--close to 100 people--90% of whom are from Central America or Mexico. He reported that they LOVED them, and he is currently translating the recipe into Spanish for the many people who requested it. Now that's what I call validation!


about 1 year ago Jeannette

Just made these - delicious! Not to mention, pretty simple to make. Thanks!


about 1 year ago zindc

So glad you enjoyed them!


about 1 year ago bobbe

So glad to have this recipe and loved your story!


about 1 year ago Cafe42

Johnny Cakes! Add a little smoke salmon and some diced peperoncini to the base.and top with a garlic & lime sour cream/creme fraiche. Wife's favorite "appetizer".


about 1 year ago zindc

While I'm sure that your wife's recipe is delicious, mine has a very different flavor profile than a johnny cake because of the masa harina--plain cornmeal does not have the flavor of nixtamalized corn.


about 1 year ago elaine



about 1 year ago elaine

Is the corn cooked first if it's fresh?


about 1 year ago zindc

If the corn is young and sweet, there is no need to cook it first, just cut the kernels off the raw cob. The slight crunch of the fresh kernels that are lightly cooked while the cakes are in the pan, give a nice textural contrast. If you use frozen corn, it will have been blanched prior to freezing, so you won't get quite as much pop from the kernels. Maybe allow it to defrost before using in the recipe.


about 1 year ago JanetFL

Congratulations! Can't wait for our Olathe, Colorado, corn to come in!


about 1 year ago mstv

I made a half recipe of these for breakfast this morning, doubling the green chile, using pepper jack, chives for scallions, and just stirring the corn in at the end instead of sprinkling on top. Delicious! Skipped the lime crema but served with poached eggs.


about 1 year ago dymnyno

I can't resist the combination of green chile, cheese and lime.


about 1 year ago cookbookchick

Congratulations on being a finalist, zindc! Hooray for a new way to use summer corn!


about 1 year ago Kathleen | Hapa Nom Nom

Congrats! These look delicious - and how creative!


about 1 year ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

These look and sound so delicious! My family is going to love them. Not sure when we'll see corn at the farmers' market here in No. CA (I just got back from a long trip), but I can promise you, when I do, I'm going to be trying this recipe. And doesn't Crispini's clever suggestion to add chopped shrimp sound appealing, too? ;o)


over 3 years ago Crispini

I made these lovelies last night to raves from the guy contigent of the family. One of the attractions here is their delicious aroma while in the pan.The texture is very satisfying with the tooth of the surface and browned edges contrasting with the soft interior and the juicy corn kernels.
I converted them to gluten free by using Authentic Foods GF classical blend flour instead of wheat AP flour. And I also added some chopped shrimp- just poked the bits into the pancakes along with the corn kernels before flipping.
The lime crema added a bright contrast. A winner for a weeknight dinner!


over 3 years ago LE BEC FIN

this looks brilliant. I am intrigued to see what the texture will be like. Love all the components and the fact that there is grit and texture, creaminess and chew all layered in there. thx so much!