Photo by Roxy Buil

Sweet Tamale Cakes

Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 4 servings

Have you ever been to a restaurant and ordered something you loved and thought to yourself, “I bet I can make this at home.”...  One of the dishes I’ve been meaning to try my hand at is the Sweet Corn Tamale Cake from Cheesecake Factory. I finally got around to making these this weekend and thought they came out EXACTLY like the real thing. This was probably the closest I’ve ever come to recreating a restaurant dish at home. I looked online for a few recipes and modified one that I thought sounded like it would turn out well, and I was not let down. All in all, it was a pretty simple dish, but a little tedious since you have to make three separate sauces. Totally worth the effort in my opinion.


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For the Tomatillo Salsa
  1. Chop up the tomatillo, pepper, green onion and cilantro. Dump all of the ingredients into a food processor and gently pulse to get a smoother consistency. Place the contents into a bowl and begin adding cumin, sugar and salt. Stir well, cover with plastic wrap and place the bowl in the fridge to chill until you’re ready to assemble the cakes.
For the Pico de Gallo
  1. Dice up the tomatoes and add to a small bowl. Mince the onions and peppers and add to the bowl. Next, finely chop the cilantro and add to the bowl along with the rest of the ingredients. Stir well, cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge to cool until you’re ready to assemble the dish.
For the Southwestern Sauce
  1. Add the mayo, ketchup, water and vinegar to a bowl. Whisk well to combine the sauces and remove any lumps. Next add in the paprika, cayenne powder, chili powder, salt and garlic clove and whisk to combine all of the ingredients. Cover and put in the fridge to chill.
For the Cakes
  1. Start out by preheating your oven to 400ºF. Thaw out the corn kernels. They don’t have to be completely thawed, just tender enough to where they’ll blend in the food processor. Add the corn and the water to a food processor and pulse until you have a coarse chop. Transfer the corn to a large mixing bowl and add in the butter. Blend well with a spatula. Next add in the corn flour and the regular flour, the salt and sugar and blend well. You should have a sticky consistency. If it feels too dry, add a little water. Spray a nonstick cookie sheet with cooking spray and begin forming the cakes. You should have a shape similar to a crab cake. Place the cakes down on the cookie sheet. Bake for 15 minutes and remove the tray from the oven to flip the cakes. Bake for another 10-15 minutes.
For the Garnish
  1. Spoon the tomatillo salsa along the bottom of your serving platter. Place the cakes over the tomatillo salsa and then top with the pico de gallo. Next drizzle a little of the southwestern sauce over the top of the cake. Cut the avocado into small chunks and place on top of the cakes. Dollop 1 tablespoon over each of the cakes and sprinkle the top with some fresh chopped cilantro.

Chef Notes

Recipe adapted from For more of my recipes visit:

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