Sweet Corn Cakes (Tomalitos)

5 from 7 votes

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Sweet Corn Cakes, aka Tomalitos, are a sweet yet savory side to any Mexican feast. Creamy, bursting with flavor and easy to make!

Sweet Corn Cake also known as Corn Tamalitos in a casserole dish sprinkled with cilantro

Sweet Corn Cakes (Tomalitos)

These Sweet Corn Tomalitos taste just like the sweet corn cake at the Mexican restaurant, Chevy’s. I only ate there once, but I couldn’t get over how delicious this sweet side dish was, so I immediately searched through all my recipes and found something similar. This recipe is a combination of a recipe I had on hand and a few suggestions from the internet. It’s a hearty dish that adds bulk and tons of flavor to your dinner plate!

Sweet Corn Cake (Tamalitos) being spooned from a casserole dish

What are Tomalitos?

Tomalitos are mini corn cakes that can be eaten instead of tortillas, or in this recipe, eaten as a side dish, much like a casserole. It’s a popular dish in Central America. Tomalitos aren’t the same as tamales, since tamales are typically cooked with meat and sauce and eaten as a main meal. This recipe is generally eaten as a side dish. You can cook individual servings in corn husks or in small custard cups but I baked it in a larger dish to serve up family style. No matter how you serve it, these corn cakes are absolutely delicious!

A casserole dish of Sweet Corn Cake (Tamalitos) on a brightly colored placemat

What to Serve with Sweet Corn Tomalitos

This creamy corn side dish would pair perfectly with any of these delicious Mexican dishes:

More Corn Sides

Corn is one of those sweet sides that can taste more like dessert than a “veggie” and makes a delicious side to any meal. Try some of these sweet corn recipes for your next family dinner and see for yourself how easy they can be.

A casserole dish of Sweet Corn Cake (Tamalitos) on a brightly colored placemat

Sweet Corn Tomalitos (Corn Cake)

5 from 7 votes
Sweet Corn Cakes, aka Tomalitos, are a sweet yet savory side to any Mexican feast. Creamy, bursting with flavor and easy to make!
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 50 mins
Resting Time 10 mins
Total Time 1 hr 10 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Mexican/Spanish
Servings 6


  • Hand Mixer
  • 9×13 inch pan
  • 8×8 inch pan



  • In a medium bowl beat butter with a hand mixer until it is creamy. Add ⅓ cup cornmeal and water and until well blended. Using a food processor, process thawed corn, but leave chunky. Stir into the butter mixture.
  • In a separate bowl, mix cornmeal, sugar, cream, salt, and baking powder. Add to the cornmeal mixture and stir to combine. Pour batter into an ungreased 8×8 inch baking pan, casserole dish, or 6 custard cups if you want individual servings. Smooth batter and cover tightly with aluminum foil. Place pan into a 9×13 inch baking dish that is filled a third of the way with water. The corn cake is baked in the water bath to maintain moisture.
  • Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 50 to 60 minutes. Allow to cool for 10 minutes.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 244kcalCarbohydrates: 35gProtein: 4gFat: 11gSaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 27mgSodium: 168mgPotassium: 167mgFiber: 3gSugar: 13gVitamin A: 410IUVitamin C: 2.1mgCalcium: 20mgIron: 0.9mg

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About the author

Erica Walker

Erica lives in Boise, Idaho with her husband, Jared, an attorney, and her beautiful three girls. Beyond the world of recipes, she loves adventuring with everything from kayaking, to cruising, to snowboarding and taking the family along for the thrill ride.

More about Erica Walker

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  1. 5 stars
    Simple and easy to make using a food processor. This is my second day making this in a row the family and I love it. I melted some cheese on top and added canned diced jalapenos to the mix. Super moist and I love that I can save on using eggs because this recipe doesn’t use eggs

  2. 5 stars
    Looks good, have you tried making this in a steam convection combi oven, wondering if it will work the same but without the water bath?

  3. 5 stars
    My family and I loved this recipe! I just substituted the heavy whipping cream with coconut cream and it was soooooo delicious! Thanks for sharing this recipe!

  4. I have a question, you listed a third cup of cornmeal and then again a Fourth cup of cornmeal correct?.. One goes to the first set of instructions and the other goes to the second, same thing (Cornmeal) just divided correct? I am trying to make this recipe, sound delicious just want to make sure I have the right amounts and that I am reading instructions correctly.
    Thank you for sharing the recipe.

    1. Yes, that’s right. You use 1/3 cup cornmeal the first time cornmeal is mentioned, and then 1/4 cup the second time.

  5. 5 stars
    I know that this was a while ago and it seems that no one caught the mistake but here it goes. You statement “Add to corn flour mixture” is strange as you don’t list a “corn flour”. I think the correct terminology would be to say “Add to items from Instruction #1.
    Other than that, this sounds like a great food item that I am going to have to make.

  6. 5 stars
    I made this tonight and it was absolutely delicious! It’s been way too long since I’ve eaten at Chevys, and I’m pretty sure I’ve dreamt of their corn cake– I miss it that badly. This dish brought back all the good memories! The flavor was spot on. Mine came out a bit more crumbly than I remember; I may have overcooked it, or it may be because I substituted the heavy cream for whole milk. I also could not find the masa harina at my grocery store, but extra corn meal fit the bill. I feel like this dish is going to be essential everytime I make Mexican food from here on out! Thank you!

    1. So glad you liked it so much! The heavy cream definitely makes it more rich and creamy but whole milk works great if that’s what you have on hand. Thanks for the 5-stars!

    2. masa harina was not mentioned in the recipe.
      I thought masa harina was corn meal, possibly the
      grind would be different.

  7. THANK YOU so much for posting this recipe. Like you, I ate at Chevy’s only once. And, like you, the sweet corn tamalitos was the best thing on my plate. Dinner is done for tonight, but you bet yer boots I’m making this tomorrow! And your cheese enchiladas on homemade tortillas.