Cooking With Confidence
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Breakfast/Brunch, Main Dishes, Pork, Stuffing Stuff

Stuffed Corn Cakes

by Nick

There is a certain pancake that has been following Betsy and I around lately.  The breakfast dish is centered around light and fluffy corn cakes that are stuffed with delicious things.

Most recently, we tried them out at The Village Smithy in Carbondale.

While The Village Smithy claims to be the creator of the breakfast dish, a copy of it can also be found at the famous Pancake Pantry in Nashville.

In other words, this dish gets around.

So I figured it might as well make its debut on Macheesmo.

I was very scared to make this dish. Some breakfast institutions make it and I would hate to not do it justice.

When Betsy (official corn cake taste-tester) took her first bite, she proclaimed: “Yours are better.”

‘Nuff said.

Yield
Makes 6-8 pancakes
Prep Time
Total Time

Just a moment please...

Print Recipe Bacon Stuffed Corn Cakes

Ingredients

  • Corn Cake Mixture:
  • 1 1/2 cups fine or medium ground cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups boiling water
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil plus some for cooking
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • Filling:
  • 4 large strips bacon, diced
  • 3-4 scallions, minced
  • 1 cup shredded cheese
  • Maple Syrup, for serving
  • Salsa, for serving

Directions

1) Stir together cornmeal and salt. Add boiling water and stir. Let sit for 5-10 minutes so water can absorb.

2) Stir in milk, olive oil, and egg into batter. Let rest while you make filling.

3) Bake bacon until crispy at 350 degrees. Dice or crumble the bacon and stir in with diced scallions and grated cheese.

4) To make cakes, add a drizzle of oil to a griddle or large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add 1/4 cup of the cornmeal batter.

5) Immediately top batter with a small handful of the bacon filling. Spoon another 1/4 cup of batter over the top of the filling so it mostly covers the filling. It's okay if it doesn't cover everything.

6) Let cook for 3-4 minutes or until the edges are firm around the cake.

7) Flip cake and cook for another few minutes until they are cooked through.

8) Serve cakes immediately with maple syrup or salsa!

Corn cakes roughly adapted from a Bittman recipe.

Corn Cakes

I really struggled over what kind of cake to make for this. Betsy actually had some cakes leftover from when we went to The Village Smithy and I inspected them pretty closely.  I think they use a cornmeal/flour blend for their cakes.

Ultimately, I decided to go a slightly different route and use a 100% cornmeal mix that ended up being wonderful.

basics

No flour needed.

The recipe I ended up with is one that I adapted from a Bittman recipe (I added an egg and subtracted some other stuff).

Being the cocky cook that I am, I didn’t even read the full recipe before starting it.  I just stirred my milk straight into my cornmeal.

Needless to say that this didn’t work.  I ended up with a very thick paste that would not be good in pancake form.

I was about to write Mr. Bittman a mean letter, but then I actually read the recipe and step one was to add 1 1/2 cups of boiling water to the cornmeal.

That made MUCH more sense.

My only gripe is that there should’ve been a line for boiling water in the original recipe, but still my fault for not reading.

Anyway, stir your cornmeal and salt together and then pour in your hot water.  Stir and let this sit for 5-10 minutes so all the water gets absorbed.

water

Polenta basically.

Then you can stir in your milk, olive oil, and egg and your batter will be just about perfect.

It should be a pretty thin batter so if it looks too thick, feel free to add a bit more milk.

much better

Much better consistency.

The Filling

I kept my filling simple: bacon, scallions, grated cheese.

If you wanted a veggie version you could skip the bacon and add in some green chiles or something.

In any event, just cook the bacon until it’s very crispy.  I like to cook mine in a 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes.  See my how to cook perfect bacon post for more info on that.

Then just stir all your filling ingredients together!

filling

Yum.

Making the Cakes

I was not positive that I would be able to fill these successfully.  I had a few different methods that I was going to try, but luckily the first method worked like a charm.

Here’s what you do.

Heat a griddle or large skillet over medium heat with a drizzle of oil.  Then add in 1/4 cup (1/3 would make a really big cake) of corn cake batter.

Immediately top the cake batter with a small handfull of the filling mixture.  It’s okay if it spills over a bit.

Press down on the filling a bit to get it kind of sunk into the pancake.

starting

I was skeptical…

As soon as your filling is in place, add another 1/4 cup (or 1/3 cup) of batter to the top of the filling.

It’s okay if the batter doesn’t completely cover the filling but try to get it to mostly cover it.

topped

Another 1/4 cup on top.

Let this cook for about 4 minutes until the edges of the cake are really nice and firm.

Then give it a flip!

flipped

Flip it!

Cook the cake for another three minutes or so on the second side and serve these up as soon as possible!

Serving the Cakes

There’s two delicious ways to serve these bad boys.

First, you can go the entirely savory route. These are savory cakes so you could serve them with hot sauce or salsa and be all set.

Personally, I like to mix a little sweet with my savory so I like maple syrup.

syrup

I like the sweet.

As you can see from the cross section, the cakes are incredibly light and the filling is right in the middle.

I was actually shocked at how well these came out!

bite

So good!

I was surprised that Betsy thought my version was better but then after trying it, I had to agree with her.

These were darn near perfect!

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11 comments on “Stuffed Corn Cakes

  1. yum, yum, yum. These are not too far removed from Guatamalan gorditas, which I also saw in Mexico. I didn’t eat them there because eating street food in Mexico is dicey for Gringa tummies, but I was SO tempted. Had them when I lived in LA, though.

  2. Yum! These sound great. And they’d make my southern roots very happy :). We’re going to try them for dinner tonight as we’ve already made your yogurt pancakes for breakfast and my hubby’s making NickRibs for lunch as we “speak.”.

  3. These look awesome, but I have to say I rarely add a line for water when I write a recipe.

    or oil, salt, or pepper.

    I guess what I’m saying is that I am a lazy recipe writer.

  4. Hi Nick. These sound wonderful, and I’m wondering what happens to the 1 T of sugar listed in the ingredients and not in the how-to part of the recipe. Does it get mixed in with the cornmeal mixture – my best guess? I’m going to try them tonight anyway, but if you can clarify I’d appreciate it.

    1. Yea. It just gets stirred in after you soak the cornmeal in water. Honestly, you could leave it out even… it just gives the final cakes a very tiny bit of sweetness.

    1. Sorry for the delay! I think the answer is yes.. it could be baked into a casserole of sorts. Not sure on timing, but I would stack it in an 8×8 baking dish and bake it at 350 until the edges were brown and the center was set. If you try it, report back!

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