Ma’s steamed mielie cake

Ma’s steamed mielie cake

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  • 16
  • Easy
  • 20 minutes
  • 1 ½ hours

“We’d wake up on a Saturday to the smell of this cake. My grandmother would steam it in a pot on a gas cylinder outside the door, and just when the cake is about done, you start to smell the cake. We would run outside with a plate and wait for a slice. If there was ever something that tasted like home, it’s this mielie cake.” – Tahila Pillay


  • 250 g butter, plus extra for serving
  • 250 g sugar
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 4 large free-range eggs
  • ½ cup milk
  • 8 cobs sweetcorn, grated
  • 240 g flour, sifted
  • 2 t baking powder

Cooking Instructions

1. Cream together the butter, sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time until well combined.

2. Add the milk and grated corn and mix until well combined.

3. Mix in the flour and baking powder.

4. Pour the batter into a 22 cm lined round baking tin that fits into a large saucepan. Cover with foil.

5. Place the baking dish on a trivet inside the saucepan. Pour water into the bottom of the pan, making sure the water does not touch the baking dish.

6. Place the lid on the pot and steam over medium heat for 1 ½ hours, or until cooked through. Serve hot with butter.

Find more cake recipes here. 

Videography: Kevashan Moodley and Romy Wilson
Photography: Tahila Pillay
Food assistant: Sophia-Maria Eygelaar 

Tahila Pillay Recipe by: Tahila Pillay
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Tahila Pillay (@Tahila.daisy) is a professionally trained chef and content creator. She’s best-known for her body and skin positivity content, but is also passionate about recipes that reflect her heritage.

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