Cheesy Corn Mochi Cake

August  2, 2021
17 Ratings
Photo by Julia Gartland. Prop Stylist: Megan Hedgpeth. Food Stylist: Ericka Martins.
  • Prep time 20 minutes
  • Cook time 1 hour 5 minutes
  • makes one 8x8-inch pan
Author Notes

Cornbread is sooo 2020. This is the year of corn mochi cake! This snack slash appetizer slash dessert cake is dense and chewy, with a crackly cheese crust, and pops of sweet corn kernels running throughout. Mild chile flakes, like gochugaru or Aleppo pepper, add fragrance more than heat. If you don’t have either, use freshly ground black pepper instead. Mochi cake isn’t a cake in the same way as a fluffy angel’s food or a buttery pound cake—because there’s no worrying about precise leavening, measuring, whipping, or folding. I think of it more as a pudding thickened by glutinous sweet rice flour. This means there’s a lot of room to groove. Check out my off-script guide to mochi cake, then riff to your heart's content. Don’t know where to find glutinous sweet rice flour? Check your local Asian grocery or online. —Sohla El-Waylly

What You'll Need
Watch This Recipe
Cheesy Corn Mochi Cake
  • ¼ cups (57 grams) unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus more for the pan
  • 1 cup (80 grams) finely grated Pecorino
  • 1 teaspoon mild chile flakes, such as gochugaru or Aleppo
  • 5 to 6 corn cobs, shucked and silk removed
  • ¾ cups (170 grams) sour cream
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cups plus 2 tablespoons (124 grams) granulated sugar
  • teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 cups (254 grams) glutinous sweet rice flour, preferably Koda Farms Blue Star Mochiko
  1. Heat the oven to 350°F. Brush an 8x8-inch brownie pan with butter. In a small bowl, toss together the Pecorino and chile flakes. Transfer ½ cup of this mixture to a bowl and set aside for later. Coat the sides and bottom of the buttered pan with the remaining cheese mixture.
  2. Using a sharp knife, shave the corn kernels off the cobs. Measure out 2 cups of corn. (If you have a little extra, add it to the batter as well. This cake is forgiving.) Use the back of the knife to scrape any corn milk left in the shaved cobs and add it to kernels.
  3. In a blender, puree 1 cup of corn kernels with the sour cream and ¼ cup of the reserved cheese mixture until combined.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs and melted butter until smooth and creamy. Add the sugar, salt, and corn puree and whisk until combined. Add the rice flour and whisk until combined. Add the reserved 1 cup of corn kernels and, using a spatula, stir to combine.
  5. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Evenly sprinkle the remaining ¼ cup cheese mixture on top. Bake until deeply browned and the cake bounces back when gently pressed in the center, 55 to 65 minutes. Cool at least 15 minutes before inverting and serving. Store refrigerated in an airtight container for 3 to 4 days.

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  • Oaklandpat
Sohla El-Waylly is a Food52 Resident, sharing new riffable recipes every month that'll help you get creative in the kitchen. Watch her cook on YouTube in her new series, Off-Script With Sohla. Before she started developing fun recipes for home cooks, she worked as a chef in N.Y.C. and L.A., briefly owning a restaurant in Brooklyn with her husband and fellow chef, Ham El-Waylly. She lives in the East Village with Ham, their two dogs, and cat. Find out what else she's up to on Instagram @sohlae

19 Reviews

Mb November 6, 2023
This is so good. I made it for a work potluck, which was great because I could just keep eating this. Added crunchy salt and a bit of smoked paprika on the top. I used a tsp of baking powder, it puffed up initially but turned out flat like the photos so not sure it did all that much, the texture is nice and light though.
Gemma August 27, 2022
This is truely the cake of my dreams! Thank you Sohla for making something so perfect!

Followed recipe as written. Cake was very crispy at 55 min.
Oaklandpat September 30, 2021
This was so terrific that I want to make it again soon. However, now that fresh corn season is over, I'm wondering if anyone has tried it with frozen.
Koi September 29, 2021
I wasn’t sure what to expect from this recipe. Would it be sweet, savory, cake like, pudding like? The end result ended up being very similar to the corn cake you get at Mexican restaurants, both in flavor and texture. I really enjoyed it! It definitely sits very heavy so I wouldn’t make a full batch for 1 or even 2 people. It’ll be tough for my husband and I to finish in 3 days, despite how delicious it is.
emma August 25, 2021
I loved this so much!! Used 2 ears of corn for 2 cups of kernels, plain greek yogurt for sour cream, and a mixture of parmigiano and cheddar instead of pecorino. Most fabulous warm and falling apart, but the cooled pieces were my favorite part of lunch for the next few days. I love butter mochi and I love this squidgy texture, I was a little surprised at how thick the batter was b/c my usual butter mochi recipe is very runny, but it came out perfect. Thank you, Sohla!!
apnuyen August 15, 2022
I'm making this *literally* right now, but I wanted to echo that 2 ears of corn was enough for 2 cups of kernels! so 5-6 feels like overkill, unless your corn cobs are extra small lol mine were sort of average-to-large in size.

on the other hand, you can never have too much fresh corn
jdee August 23, 2021
This recipe is so tasty! Anytime I get a craving for cornbread I think I'll just make this.

Chiming in on corn amount - I only needed 3 ears of corn to get the 2 cups. I also only had cheddar cheese on hand so I used 100g of that instead of the pecorino. The flavor was great with cheddar! It wasn't as easy to spread evenly on the pan as a pecorino would have been and I think I should have added a bit more salt since my cheddar wouldn't have been as salty as a pecorino. So happy that this cake is flexible with substitutions though!
Elyn August 22, 2021
It is corn season! So I snagged six ears at the local Farmer's Market, and headed home to make this gorgeous butter corn mochi cake. It was fantastic - chewy, flavorful, with little sparks of hot pepper... I ate too much. My husband ate too many too. So I drove around town in the dark after a day of hurricane here, and passed slices out to all my friends, who later sent me messages about how much they loved them. This is good stuff! And I agree about it being the mother of many delicious flavors - next time I will try the coconut version.
CT August 21, 2021
Can I sub pecorino with another type of cheese?
JP August 16, 2021
I used 6 ears of fresh corn using one cup (+/-) for the puree and the rest in the batter. Delicious. Next time i might use a little bit more cheese in (to flour) the pan. Also made the fresh peach version. Also great.
Daniel C. August 16, 2021
I concur with others: I used far less corn than listed in the recipe. I bought six ears, extracted the kernels and milk, and kept the total of 2 cups for the cake. I had 4 cups of kernels left over, so I could have done with just 2 ears of corn.

Anyway, the cake turned out great. The scent of Pecorino and butter in the house was delightful, as was the cake's wonderful chew and cheesy crust. I, too, would use less sugar next time. I bought white corn in-season, so the cake didn't need that much sugar to suit my taste.
Lauren M. August 13, 2021
This is tasty, but I think I erred on a couple of things, and I think there's a typo in the recipe. My errors: I used a variety of corn that was super starchy -- no corn milk! -- and I used pre-grated Romano from my local bougie grocery. This meant that a cup was way more than 80 grams, so I went with the weight measurement (as I do generally) over volume. (I also wish we'd just rip off the bandaid and use all gram measurements all the time WE ARE READY FOR THIS AMERICA ok thx) The typo: I needed 1-1.5 cobs of corn to make 2 cups of kernels. I was starting to wonder if my corn had magical volume properties until I rewatched the video and saw she did not use 5-6 cobs, and also see some other comments noting this. I look forward to trying again with a less obscure corn variety and grating my own cheese, because I'm never sad about having "too much" butter mochi.
magelaine August 12, 2021
Sohla knocks it out of the park again! This recipe isn't too finicky and tastes like gooey, buttery, cornbread. In fact, I don't know if I can go back to eating cornbread after trying this recipe. I might add a little less sugar next time because the corn really elevates the sweetness, but otherwise, this is an amazing and easy recipe.
EmiBee August 11, 2021
As someone who loves a soft, sweet cornbread, I was delighted to try this recipe in mini-loaf form. In order to pair it with some picadillo, I just slightly reduced the sugar and added a tiny bit more flour to add more structure which worked very well, and the level of spice as listed is perfect. As Sohla promises, it is very adaptable. Do NOT skimp on the cheese crust!
stephen.p August 9, 2021
I made this recipe exactly as written: it was great, and I second reviewer reallyrosie that its flavour profile and texture strongly call to mind the interior of pao de queijo. The kind of gummy chewiness of these bars really is a delight.

Take heed: your own mileage may vary, but in my experience, the five to six ears of corn called for in the ingredients list is way, way more than ultimately needed here. (I wonder if this was not a typo?) You could easily get by with two or three ears. I had fully four cups of corn left over when this went into the oven.
Tracy M. August 7, 2021
Oh Sohla! This is tremendously exciting! I made 2 cheesy corn cakes, and one with raspberries and labneh. I am going to try freezing one so that I never run into a supply issue. I’m wondering about making one with less than the half cup of sugar; do you reckon I could replace the 1/2 c sugar with 1/4 sugar and 1/2 tsp baking powder? Alleyup!
reallyrosey August 6, 2021
Reminded me of a pao de queijo, but with more of a pudding texture. Sweet and savory. My whole family really loved this recipe. This is my new corn bread.
Arlene August 6, 2021
Your excitement about this recipe is contagious and I just had to make it today, and I am so glad I did. It was delicious. My hubby loved it also. I can’t wait to make other mochis. I had a hard time finding the sweet rice you used but found Bob’s Red Mill at my health food store and it worked well.
Cathy August 5, 2021
I made this using flying horse glutinous rice flour (1:1 sub by weight) and it turned out great!