Copycat Chi-Chi’s Sweet Corn Cake
Apr 13, 2016, Updated Apr 18, 2020
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Copycat Chi-Chi’s Sweet Corn Cake tastes just like the restaurant. A wonderful side dish that will have you coming back for seconds.
Copycat Chi-Chi’s Sweet Corn Cake tastes just like the long gone restaurant.
Growing up my mom’s favorite restaurant was Chi-Chi’s. The problem though was that the closest one was over an hour from our small town. Going there was always a big treat, I still remember my sister and I eating so many chips and salsa before our meal that we wouldn’t even be hungry by the time they brought our food.
The one thing I always made room for was Chi-Chi’s sweet corn cake. In my humble opinion they never put enough on the plate, always just one tiny scoop. My whole family was sad when we heard the news of Chi-Chi’s closing and I kind of just forgot about the restaurant. One day in college my mom called with an excitement in her voice. She had found and made this sweet corn cake recipe that tasted just like Chi-Chi’s! I still have the email she sent me many years ago with the recipe attached. I ended up making it for my room mates one taco Tuesday and we all loved it! I still make it today when we have a Mexican fiesta night or Cinco de Mayo celebration.
What are they made of?
The ingredients used in this corn cake are masa harina, butter, corn, cornmeal, cream, sugar, baking powder and salt.
Can I use canned corn?
If possible I love using fresh corn off the cob. Thawed, frozen corn also works well and I have also made this with canned corn. Be sure to drain the canned corn well before mixing in the batter.
How to make from scratch
Scroll to the bottom for full printable recipe and ingredient list.
This recipe calls for masa harina, a Mexican corn flour. You can usually find it in the international section or even the flour aisle of the grocery store.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Mix butter until creamy. Add masa harina and water.
- Pulse corn in a food processor. Stir into butter mixture.
- Mix in cornmeal.
- In separate bowl mix sugar, salt, baking powder and cream.
- Stir sugar mixture into corn mixture and pour into 8 x 8 baking dish. Cover with foil.
- Place baking dish into a larger baking dish with hot water. This method is called a water bath and helps to cook but also keeps very moist.
Now that I can make my own copycat Chi-Chi’s sweet corn cake, I can dish myself out as much as I want. No more little teeny tiny scoops 🙂
How to store
This dish can be stored covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
- If you don’t have a food processor or blender, you can chop the corn in small pieces with a knife.
- Use ice cream scoop to scoop out rounded portions.
- Make sure to let it sit for 10 minutes before serving to complete the cooking process.
More side dishes
- Air Fryer Roasted Potatoes are a super easy side dish that pair well with just about anything.
- Fried Corn is a southern classic. Corn sauteed with bacon and onion.
- Fresh corn salad is one of my favorite summer dishes.
Copycat Chi-Chi's Sweet Corn Cake
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1/3 cup masa harina (Mexican corn flour)
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 1/2 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
- Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
- In a medium bowl, beat butter with a mixer until creamy. Add masa harina and water. Mix until well combined.
- Place corn in a blender or food processor and coarsely chop on low speed. You should still see pieces of corn.
- Stir chopped corn in the butter mixture. Add cornmeal and stir.
- In a separate bowl, mix sugar, cream, salt and baking powder.
- Pour sugar mixture in the butter mixture and stir.
- Pour mixture into an ungreased 8x8 baking dish. Cover with aluminum foil.
- Place the baking dish into a 13x9 glass baking dish filled 1/3 of the way up with hot water.
- Bake for 50-60 minutes or until cooked through. Remove from oven and take the 8x8 dish out of hot water bath and let sit for 10 minutes.
- Scoop out to serve.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.