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Chi-Chi's Sweet Corn Cake copycat recipe by Todd Wilbur
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Chi-Chi's Sweet Corn Cake


Score: 5.00. Votes: 5
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Chi-Chi's cofounder Marno McDermott named his restaurant chain after his wife Chi Chi. He claims the name is quite memorable as it translates in Spanish into something like "hooters" in English. The Minneapolis Star quoted McDermott in 1977 shortly after the first Chi-Chi's opened in Richfield, Minneapolis, "English-speaking patrons remember it because it's catchy. And the Spanish-speaking customers are amused. Either way, it doesn't hurt business."

One of the side dishes included with several of the entrees at Chi-Chi's is the Sweet Corn Cake. It's sort of like cornbread, but much softer, almost like corn pudding. You'll find it goes well with just about any Mexican dish. The recipe requires a bain marie, or water bath—a baking technique commonly used to keep custards from cracking or curdling. This is done by baking the corn cake in another larger pan filled with a little hot water.

Try more of my Chi-Chi's copycat recipes here.

Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup masa harina
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen corn, thawed
  • 1/4 cup cornmeal
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • Do This
    • Restaurant/Brand
      Chi-Chi's
    • Instructions

      1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

      2. Blend the butter in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until creamy. Add the masa harina and water to the butter and beat until well combined

      3. Put the defrosted corn into a blender or food processor and, with short pulses, coarsely chop the corn on low speed. You want to leave several whole kernels of corn. Stir the chopped corn into the butter and masa harina mixture. Add the cornmeal to the mixture. Combine.

      4. In another medium bowl, mix together the sugar, cream, salt, and baking powder. When the ingredients are well blended, pour the mixture into the other bowl and stir everything together by hand.

      5. Pour the corn batter into an ungreased 8x8-inch baking pan. Smooth the surface of the batter with the spatula. Cover the pan with aluminum foil. Place this pan into a 13x9-inch pan filled one-third of the way up with hot water. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until the corn cake is cooked through.

      6. When the corn cake is done, remove the small pan from the larger pan and let it sit for at least 10 minutes. To serve, scoop out each portion with an ice cream scoop or rounded spoon.

      Serves 8 to 10 as a side dish.

Reviews
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Score: 5.00. Votes: 5
Rating of votes (5)
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Theresa Watson
Jan 31, 2021, 13:47

OMG! I can no longer find the packets of Sweet Corn Cake, so I tried this one....it was spot on! I even tried the recipe using a cup of canned creamed corn, just as delicious. Thank you!

San Diego Fan
Jul 29, 2005, 22:00

I cant make enough of this!!! You should really buy this recipe if you enjoy the real thing - this clone is all but too close to the real thing. Who needs Chi Chi's when you have this recipe!! :)

I'm Todd Wilbur,
Chronic Food Hacker

For 30 years I've been deconstructing America's most iconic brand-name foods to make the best original clone recipes for you to use at home. Welcome to my lab.

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