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3.9 from 19 votes

Mexican Sweet Cornbread (Tomalito)

This sweet cornbread is soft and moist from steaming in the oven, and dotted with corn. Guaranteed to be a big hit with the kids at the table!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time2 hrs
Total Time2 hrs 20 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: cornbread, tomalito
Servings: 16 squares
Calories: 130kcal
Author: Susan Pridmore


  • 6 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup 2% milk
  • 1/2 cup masa harina
  • 1/2 cup fine or medium cornmeal
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 cups fresh or frozen corn, divided


  • Preheat oven to 325˚F. Butter an 8" X 8" baking dish, and heat up 2 quarts of water in the microwave or on the stove.
  • Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until smooth and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the milk and mix well.
  • Whisk together the masa harina, cornmeal, baking powder and salt. Add to the butter-sugar-milk mixture.
  • Puree half of the corn in the bowl of a food processor, fitted with a metal blade. Add to the rest of the ingredients, along with the other half of the corn kernels.
  • Pour the mixture into the baking dish and cover with foil. Place in a 9" X 13" baking dish and add the hot water to the larger dish, about 1/3 up the sides of the smaller dish.
  • Bake for 90 minutes. Remove the foil, and bake until the tomalito cake is firm, about 20 - 30 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.
  • This dish is also great reheated.


This is slightly modified from the book Top Secret Restaurant Recipes. I've made this in a single baking dish and in cupcake tins. Both worked great, but only bake the cupcakes for 1 hour before removing the foil.
Calories were calculated using the VeryWell Fit nutrition calculator for 16 servings.


Calories: 130kcal