Pan de Elote (Mexican Cornbread)

April 30, 2021
13 Ratings
  • Prep time 10 minutes
  • Cook time 40 minutes
  • Serves 8
Author Notes

Pan de elote—Mexican cornbread or corn cake—is very different from typical American cornbread. The batter is a wet mixture with very little flour and sweetened condensed milk instead of sugar. I believe anything that calls for a can of sweetened condensed milk MUST be good.

Sweetened condensed milk is used in many Central and South American desserts. Adding sugar to condensed milk—which is simply milk with its water content partially evaporated—helps extend its shelf life, allowing this ingredient to sit in your pantry for years until it's needed for a recipe just like this one. Sugar also helps thicken the condensed milk, which adds an exceptionally moist texture and sweet, concentrated milky flavor to baked goods like tres leches cake and key lime pie.

After it's baked, pan de elote benefits enormously from cooling in the pan for several hours before slicing and serving. This will help the cornbread "settle" into itself and achieve the ideal balance of density, fluff, and just a hint of crumbliness.

I first tried pan de elote at a roadside stand on one of my first trips to Monterrey, Mexico. Vendors were selling sheets of it for practically nothing. Try this Mexican cornbread at the peak of the summer corn season for maximum flavor. —mpittsm

Test Kitchen Notes

I really liked this. It's just sweet and salty enough to be interesting, and super-easy to make. —Stephanie Bourgeois

What You'll Need
Watch This Recipe
Pan de Elote (Mexican Cornbread)
  • 3 cups fresh corn kernels
  • 1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F.
  2. Beat the eggs in a small bowl and set aside.
  3. Add the corn kernels, milk, butter and vanilla extract to a blender or food processor, and purée until mostly smooth. If you like the presentation of whole kernels, set aside about 1/4 cup before puréeing.
  4. Once the mixture is mostly smooth, add the eggs and pulse 5 or 6 times. Add the rest of the ingredients, and purée until well-incorporated. Fold in the reserved corn kernels (if using).
  5. Butter a 9 x 13 pan, pour in the batter, and bake for about 40 minutes, or until golden brown.
  6. Remove the pan de elote from the oven, and allow to cool in the pan for at least 20 minutes before slicing and serving. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • lana
  • Abra Nava-Billings
    Abra Nava-Billings
  • Maria Saenz
    Maria Saenz
  • jxc
  • Terry A.
    Terry A.

23 Reviews

lana December 10, 2022
simple to execute, very tasty, our new favorite bring to a party food.
foreignspell September 30, 2022
what do you think would be the best AP sub to make it gluten free? thank you!!
epicureanodyssey September 30, 2022
I’d probably use Bob’s Red Mill or King Arthur gluten free flour.
TalesToTell March 22, 2023
Pati Jinich uses rice flour in her version. She calls it Blissful Corn Torte, I think, and you can find it on her website.
Elisa August 18, 2022
What made a difference (at least for me)
Beat the eggs until very fluffy then proceeded to incorporate the flour (in to the eggs) little by little, then the rest of the batter. It very simple to make and my kids loved it.
maritf November 27, 2021
I need help! We’ve tried three times and the bread never comes out fluffy. It comes out dense but soft, kind of like chocolate fudge brownie. Any ideas why?
HalfPint April 21, 2022
Maybe too late but,

Based on the ingredients and amounts. This bread is not going to be fluffy. Think of it as more of a spoon bread.
Abra N. January 14, 2021
This recipe came out sooo good! I made them as cupcakes and they came out just like the ones at Maque Bakery in Mexico City! Mmm delicioso!
adrirramos December 11, 2020
This recipe is really good. Super fluffy and delicious. And I’m mexican so definitely can say this is a good mexican corn bread ❤️
Maria S. May 17, 2020
I love it.
MJ March 15, 2020
Can I use canned corn?
epicureanodyssey March 15, 2020
If fresh corn is not available, I’d use frozen corn.
jxc March 6, 2020
So happy that this tasted just like the ones we had in Mexico City just last week. I used thawed frozen corn (w some whole kernels set aside) and thought it came out fine; can't wait to try it w fresh corn. It took 65 min for the top to turn golden brown; the texture was fine, but the outer edges were tending towards overbaked. Also, baked some of the batter in paper cupcake liners for 40min. They were done perfectly except that much of the corn bread stuck to the paper. Next time, I am tempted to reduce the condensed milk a bit (my husband says "don't!") and maybe include some fine ground corn meal. We are so happy with this recipe.
Terry A. July 21, 2018
I just made this and popped it in the oven. Am wondering if you can freeze leftovers?
Thank you.
Jessica M. May 30, 2016
I've made this both with frozen(thawed) and fresh.. Nothing beats the fresh kernels but it still comes out very delicious with frozen... Very moist!
whitebreads March 14, 2015
Wondering if you could sub thawed frozen corn kernels? Fresh corn is unfortunately months away in New England....
Deborah G. July 28, 2015
Yes you can! IDK if you have a Trader Joes in your area, but they have a frozen super sweet cut white corn that I like to use, if not any frozen corn will do ...defrost it first.
Lenny D. December 29, 2019
The Trader Joe's corn is great for this recipe. Makes it super sweet and moist.
Karlita December 17, 2013
i have done it but in the middle is not right i gonna take it back in the oven for another 10 min, and the weird thing was golden outside :S well never done bread in my life lol so maybe with practice i get better :D very nice the recipe by the way perfect sweetness :D
Peggy E. August 5, 2012
Had a market in San Isidro Tx, thought it was wonderful. Can't hardly wait to try this one.
Tanks so much.

danielmtz August 3, 2011
I made this recipe and have to say it was DELICIOUS! thanks for sharing
epicureanodyssey August 3, 2011
Your recipes are right up my alley! Thanks for sharing!
mpittsm August 3, 2011
Thanks! I hope you try some of them :) and I also have a website,