Habanero Honey Sweet Corn Cake


This habanero honey sweet corn cake is spicy, sweet, savory, dense, moist, and very addictive! I also had no idea what to call this, as it's not really a cake, but it's also not a pie, or a pudding, or a custard, so I ended up with "cake" since it's inspired by sweet Mexican corn cake. No matter what you call this, it's phenomenal! Garnish with fresh fruit and top with crème fraiche, sour cream, Mexican crema, or whipped cream and freshly grated lime zest.

Prep Time:
10 mins
Cook Time:
45 mins
Total Time:
55 mins
1 9-inch corn cake

The combination of sweet and spicy is nothing new when it comes to enjoying fresh summer corn, but this time we're utilizing that incredible combo in a cake. Well, at least we're calling it a "cake." To be honest, that was simply the name I settled on after deciding it wasn't really a pie, pudding, spoon bread, or custard. Plus, it was inspired by Mexican-style sweet corn cake, even though the texture isn't quite the same, and it's significantly less sweet.

Most traditional corn cake recipes call for an entire can of sweetened condensed milk, which makes sense if you're using corn that has almost no natural sweetness, and that was the case when the original recipe was developed. But, today's sweet corn is sweet, I mean it's right in the name, so for me that's just too much sugar, and the reason I reworked the recipe, using just the right amount of honey instead.

That covers the sweet, but what about the heat? Well, if you use an entire habanero like I did, this will be spicy. Maybe very spicy, so consider yourselves warned. The good news is that sweet will cancel out heat on the palate, so just as you're thinking you may have made a big mistake, the fire dies down, only to be rekindled with the next bite. This is delicious, and exciting to eat. So, whether you go full strength, or take the coward's way out and use just half a pepper, I really do hope you give this easy, and very addictive "cake" a try soon.

a round corn cake in a ceramic baking dish with a wedge cut out
Chef John


  • 2 cups fresh corn kernels

  • 1 habanero pepper, seeded and diced

  • 2 large eggs

  • cup water

  • cup honey

  • cup all-purpose flour

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, melted

  • cup cornmeal

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • ½ teaspoon baking powder


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Generously butter a 9-inch pie dish.

  2. Combine fresh corn kernels, habanero pepper, eggs, water, and honey in a bowl. Puree with an immersion blender until almost smooth. Add flour, melted butter, cornmeal, salt, and baking powder; whisk until combined.

  3. Transfer mixture into the greased pie dish. Shake gently to settle mixture into the dish.

  4. Bake in the center of the preheated oven until golden brown and a wooden skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, 45 to 55 minutes. Let cool until warm or room temperature before serving.

    Habanero Honey Sweet Corn Cake
    Habanero Honey Sweet Corn Cake.

Chef's Notes:

3 ears of fresh corn will yield 2 rounded cups of corn kernels. You can use frozen corn for this, but I do prefer fresh.

Warm honey in a microwave until pourable, if needed, prior to adding to the corn mixture.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

255 Calories
13g Fat
32g Carbs
5g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 8
Calories 255
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 13g 17%
Saturated Fat 8g 39%
Cholesterol 77mg 26%
Sodium 297mg 13%
Total Carbohydrate 32g 11%
Dietary Fiber 2g 6%
Protein 5g
Potassium 154mg 3%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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