The other night, right before bedtime, Carlos got a craving for something sweet. After opening and closing the kitchen cabinets multiple times, he finally came to me with desperation in his eyes, “Isn’t there anything you can make me?”
I ended up making him a banana bread mug cake recipe I found on the internet. I personally love mug cakes but Carlos wasn’t impressed. When I served it to him he complained that it was more like a banana tamal than banana bread because of the texture. Inspiration struck and I vowed that I would see if I could make a tamal de elote in the microwave using this popular “mug cake” method.
This morning I finally had a chance to experiment. I nervously put the batter into the coffee mug, set the microwave to 3 minutes on high, crossed my fingers and hit “START.” After the microwave beeped, I pulled the mug out, inverted it onto a little plate and was super excited to see the texture was what I had hoped for. But how would it taste? I took a tentative bite and celebrated. Tamal de elote! From a microwave!
I let my older son try it and he declared it “really good.” When I made a second one just to double check my recipe, he ended up eating that one too. If you’re not familiar with tamles de elote (corn tamales), this “mug cake” tastes exactly like Chi-Chi’s sweet corn cake to me. Give it a try and tell me what you think!
5 Minute Microwave Tamal de Elote “Mug Cake”
3 tablespoons Maseca instant corn masa flour
2 tablespoons sugar
a pinch of salt
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup canned cream style sweet corn (I used Green Giant brand)
1 tablespoon melted unsalted butter
1 tablespoon 1% milk
1. Mix the dry ingredients in a small bowl with a fork. Make sure the measurements are exact and not rounded.
2. Mix the corn and melted butter. Add the milk and stir to combine.
3. Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture. Mix until combined.
4. Spray the inside of a regular sized micowave safe coffee mug with cooking spray. (You don’t need a tall coffee mug like you do for some “mug cake” recipes as the tamal doesn’t rise very much.)
5. Pour the batter into the mug. Micowave on high for 3 minutes. (Micowave time may vary depending on the type of microwave you have.)
6. Carefully remove the mug from the microwave and put a small plate on top. Flip upside down to invert the “tamal” (or corn cake) onto the plate. Serve and enjoy!
Serving suggestions: While great as is for a treat or dessert, you can serve with a little Salvadoran crema at breakfast or alongside a dinner as a side dish.