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Mealie Cake


Mealie Cake

This may or may not be authentic, and it may or may not be South African. I made it as part of our South African meal, and it went down very well indeed. The recipe is a cobble together of various versions found on the internet, and put through their paces in my kitchen. I have no note about where each version came from, except for a scribble saying this was largely based on Georgia’s. So Georgia, whoever and wherever you are, thank-you.


  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1¼ cup corn pulp (from 2 large cobs)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 40g butter
  • 40g sugar (This is pretty flexible, you can halve it is you don’t like too much sweetness, and you can increase it too)
  • Half teaspoon salt

Start with the corn cobs. Wash and cook them, then slice off the kernels into a bowl. (And no the world doesn’t end if you use frozen corn, but reduce the sugar, it makes everything a little sweeter.)


Blitz the cooked kernels until you get a smooth-ish paste.

Sift the flour, mix in the yeast and add the salt.

In a separate bowl, cream the eggs, butter and sugar.

Incorporate the mashed corn to the egg / butter / sugar mixture, and then add the flour / salt / yeast mixing until you get a smooth cake batter.

Pour the batter into a lined, or at least very well greased cake tin, 6” diameter, or you could use a small pudding bowl if you intend to steam it. Cover the cake with baking parchment or foil, and you are ready to cook.

You then have two options, you can steam it, or bake it. Steaming does make it lighter, but takes longer.

To Steam:

Get a large saucepan, and put something at the bottom upon to which to rest the pudding bowl / cake tin. Good choices are the discarded corn cobs, 3 forks laid across one another in a sort of star, tines pointing down, and crumpet / English muffin rings. Rest the pudding bowl on them, then fill the saucepan with water to about 2/3rds up the side of the bowl.

Cover with a tight fitting lid, bring the water to the boil and steam for about 2 hours. Check the water level every half hour or so, and top up if necessary. You do not want it to boil dry.

Test to see if it is cooked by pushing a skewer or toothpick into the middle of the cake. If it comes out clean, the cake is cooked.

To bake:

To bake the mealie cake, put the covered cake in its tin into a pre-heated oven, at 180 degrees centigrade, and cook for about 25-30 minutes. Test with the skewer / toothpick, as before.

Allow to cool, slice and eat.

Categories: Recipes

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2 replies

    1. Thanks for pointing that out. I will correct the post. After experimenting for best results, I used baking powder, not yeast. The baking powder quantity is given, where it states yeast in the method, it should read baking powder. Hope you enjoy it.

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