DFB Exclusive! 2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Recipe: Sweet Corn Cheesecake from the Mexico Marketplace

AAAAAH!! I am so excited to share this DFB exclusive!

We may have closed the books on the 2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival, but we’re still reliving the memories of one of the best Festivals we remember from recent years! And, NO JOKE, I get emails, tweets, facebook messages, what-have-you EVERY SINGLE DAY from readers asking me for the recipe for the Sweet Corn Cheesecake, the dessert item featured at this year’s Mexico Marketplace Booth.

Sweet Corn Cheesecake

Sweet Corn Cheesecake

The sweet, rich, creamy dessert was the perfect marriage of the familiar and the unexpected for our readers, and everyone’s all about figuring out how to make it at home.

Sweet Corn Cheesecake -- Cross Section

Sweet Corn Cheesecake — Cross Section

Well, the wait is over! Thanks to the super generous and ever accommodating Chef Gerardo Gonzalez (a.k.a. Chef Jerry), who oversees all of the restaurants in the Mexico Pavilion (and who I may have bugged a little incessantly about giving me this recipe…and the one for the amazing Crema de Elote at La Hacienda de San Angel…still waiting on that one, Chef Jerry…), for sharing it with us and allowing us to print it for you lot!

Sweet Corn Cheesecake

2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival, Mexico Marketplace Booth

Serves 8-12

Ingredients:

For the Crust:
1 pound crushed graham crackers (2 cups worked for us when we tried the recipe)
1 stick (4 oz) unsalted butter

For the Cheesecake Filling:
1 8 oz package of cream cheese, at room temperature
1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
1 can (12oz) evaporated milk
2 cans (12 oz each) sweet corn, drained of excess liquid
6 tablespoons (3 oz) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 eggs

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 335° F.

To Make the Crust:
1. Spray an 8-inch springform pan with cooking spray.

2. Melt butter. Mix with the graham crackers and press into the bottom of the pan, covering the bottom and sides. Set aside.

To Make the Cheesecake Filling:
1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat cream cheese and butter until fully combined and soft.

2. Add sweetened condensed milk, scraping down sides to make sure the mixture is fully blended.

3. Add eggs, one at a time, scraping down sides after each addition to make sure the mixture is fully blended.

4. Add in evaporated milk a little at a time, scraping the bowl down often.

5. Add corn to the mixture. Blend all ingredients and pour into the springform pan.

6. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until just set.

7. Cool cheesecake until it reaches room temperature. Chill for at least 2 hours before serving.

Woo-hoo! You’re welcome!

Will you be making this delicious Sweet Corn Cheesecake this holiday season or just because it’s Tuesday? ;-) Leave us a comment and tell us your thoughts!

Comments

  1. Glenn says

    Thank you for this! The sweet corn cheesecake was a surprise hit for me, and I’ve been looking for this recipe.

    Gotta try this during the upcoming holiday season!

  2. Gene Speroni says

    Thank You SOOOOO much for the Sweet Corn Cheesecake Recipe! I know, I KNOW!!! I asked and asked and you messaged me to wait and I did and You Came Through!!! Thanks Again!

  3. Caren says

    This recipe clearly calls for whole-kernel corn, but I don’t remember corn kernels in the cheesecake. Am I remembering something else?

  4. Barbara says

    I will be making this in a gluten-free crust. Looks absolutely delectable. I’ve met Chef Jerry….he’s one talented chef. Thanks for twisting his arm for the recipe.

  5. Sarah says

    Cool- thanks for this one! This is the one item my husband mentioned wanting to try when we were at Food and Wine in October, and for some reason he chose not to get it while we were there. He’s so excited that I can try to make it at home now.

    @ Gloria- I’m assuming they’re talking about whole kernel corn based on the fact they said to drain it. You can’t really do that with the cream style. Hopefully AJ will check in to clarify.

  6. MrFreshy says

    OMG! Yes! This was one of the most memorable things about my day at the fest this year. I am making this tomorrow. And every day after that. :P

  7. MrFreshy says

    It looks like the recipe forgot to mention the topping that was on it. Obviously you can see whipped cream, but from the picture, you can see a bit of what looks like Cajeta on it, and I am pretty sure that is what was on mine. Definitely adds to the depth of flavor.

  8. Krista says

    This was one of the highlights for me this year at the festival so I am so excited to have this recipe. Already planning to make it for friends!

  9. Maureen says

    Thanks so much for the recipe! I’ve never made a cheesecake, but I will try this! It was funny, at the Food and Wine Festival, we bought the Premium passes, and all the cast members at the stations would ask “have you tried the sweetcorn cheesecake in Mexico?”. My husband and I were like “noooooo” and they all insisted we give it a try. So glad we listened to them, because it was so good! It was a real surprise, because it just didn’t sound that great. Between this and the carrot cake-I think I have Christmas covered!

  10. Barbara C. says

    I also question the use of whole kernels, the cheesecake was sooo smooth, there weren’t any kernels in it that I remember either. I wonder if we have to puree the kernels first.

  11. Justine says

    I made this today (it’s actually in the oven now) I used premade crusts 6 minus one big and I had lots of leftover filling I think if I make it again I’ll only use one can of corn

  12. Tami says

    I just made this but blended the corn because the one Disney had for sure did not have whole kernels in it. It still didn’t taste the same. It was no where as sweet. The recipe for the topping is needed and something in the filling has to be missing from what it written.

  13. Sharon says

    What is being used for the topping? Both the “cream” and the glaze? We weren’t there this year so didn’t get to try it in person.

  14. Diane says

    I didn’t have the pleasure of tasting this at Food and Wine,so I had nothing to measure against. My cheesecake turned out to have a pleasant custard- like texture. I pureed the corn beforehand and added some vanilla. It took 70 minutes to bake. I used an almond flour crust. This cheesecake would benefit from some type of topping to enhance flavor and appearance. It was mild and not overly ” corn” tasting. Husband said ” keep the recipe” and he is not a cheesecake fan!

  15. Kristin says

    thanks so much for publishing this! I made it for Christmas dinner, though, and I have to say, it isn’t quite the same as what I had at the Festival. As a couple other people have mentioned, it contains whole corn kernels, which the Festival’s didn’t. I tried it anyway as written, but those whole kernels were a turn-off for a couple people. I plan on puréeing them, probably in the evaporated milk, next time. Also, for me, the baking time was not enough. It says 45- an hour, I went for an hour and 5 minutes and it was still runny when cut into, and I never have an issue with my oven not being hot enough. I also had a heck of a time finding an 8 inch pan, and the cheapie I finally found leaked at very first use, so I’d love to see a version of this recipe for a more standard-sized springform pan. All in all, though, I’m glad to have this recipe as a starting point, it’ll just need some tweaking to get to the deliciousness we had in Epcot.

  16. ann says

    We made this and after 1 hour and 10 minutes it was still very liquidy. The topping can be dulce de leche, instead of making your own. I will try it again, but needs to be baked a very long time

  17. Melisende says

    Well, I made this for a dinner party and wish I had read the comments regarding the corn because it was a complete disaster. I had to run out and get a cake from the bakery at the last minute. First off, there is WAY too much filling for an 8 inch pan so it was running all over. Second, I put in whole kernel corn and should have known better. I didn’t have this at Epcot but I should have figured it would be a creamy filling and not have lumps of corn kernels all through it. And there’s a LOT of kernels.
    The filling was liquid as could be (I messed up the egg adding step and put in all 3 at once so that could have been a problem) and was in no way done after 60 minutes. I finally took it out of the oven after 2 hours because I figured it if wasn’t hard by then, I’d toss it. The top was much too dark by then. Anyway, it did harden when cool – it was so solid and dense I could lift it up like a cake. I set it out just for fun and only a couple people dared to try it.
    I would check that recipe again and ask about pureeing the corn and what else needs to be added.

  18. says

    Thanks to all of you for your feedback. We hope that it’s helpful to anyone who attempts the recipe at home. Because we were provided the recipe by La Hacienda’s chef, we wanted to print it exactly the way he provided it. However, it looks like it may need a tweak or two for the home kitchen. We’re going to take this one back to the drawing board. Look for an updated post with a recipe that is more of an interpretation of the original, tested for the home kitchen, in the near future! As always, thanks to ALL of you for reading Disney Food Blog!

  19. Michelle says

    I did it this past weekend following exactly what the recipe states but it def didn’t have the creamy cheesecake texture as the actual one from Epcot. Theirs did not have the corn kernels that u can see or eat. It was almost like a pudding/cheesecake texture smooth and velvety. Flavor wise it was delicious but texture it wasn’t at all like the one Sold in Epcot, sorry.

  20. Kimberly says

    I think… and I could be wrong… that everyone (including me, the first time I tried!) is missing a key word here.

    5. Add corn to the mixture. *BLEND* all ingredients and pour into the springform pan.

    If you use a blender for this step, it WILL come out smooth in texture. I recommend straining it if you don’t have a commercial or Vitamix/Blendtec blender.

    The bake time is still under at that temp for me, but I’ll try to experiment with it a bit more.

    Also, La Lechera (Nestle) is a great dulce de leche to top this with. I found it in the international foods aisle. Just warm it a little to thin it, and it’s an excellent substitute for the cajeta.

    I hope this helps someone!

  21. says

    Kimberly — Thanks SO much for offering your input! I still have it on my to do list to test this one and get a step-by-step recipe post out there. This is so helpful!

  22. Michelle Malquist says

    I made this tonight and tried a few things based on the above comments.

    !. I used sweet cream style corn. I used two 15 oz cans and drained both of them until most of the thick cream was removed.

    2. I put the corn in my food processor and blended it until pretty smooth.

    3. Once i put the corn in a measure cup I had 12 oz volume not weight.

    4. I also added 1 tsp of vanilla.

    5. I used a 10in spring form pan.

    6. I cooked it for the recommended 1 hour and it was still not set, so I cooked it for another 15 min for a total of 1 hour and 15 min. It was still not fully set up when I took it out, but it did continue to set after I pulled it out.

    7. Made whipped cream and served it with a dollop of whipped cream with Cajeta.

    Was very creamy and very YUMMY!

  23. says

    I ordered this at the festival and have been wanting to make it ever since. I let my kids and my brothers taste mine and all jumped in line to get their own. Hands down one of our favorite things we enjoyed!

  24. Dawn Adinolfe says

    PEOPLE read the instructions it says to BLEND ENTIRE MIXTURE then you wont have whole pieces of corn and I also would strain through a China cap

  25. says

    I wish I had read these reviews before I made this. The flavor was good but the whole kernel corn was a texture & sight turn off, also after 1 hr the cheesecake was still wobbly so I cooked in intervals of 15 min….an extra 30 min it was done! It looks awesome, its just the corn that’s a turnoff!! The directions said to blend but I read it as combine well not blender, blend!!

  26. machel Morton says

    Made this today. Pureed the corn and added 1tsp vanilla. Baked way longer that stated, probably 1- hour 45 min. Taste was good but the texture was more of an egg custard. Not sure what happened. :(

  27. Gigi says

    Made a first attempt today without realizing that ‘blend’ meant ‘PUREE’. I can confirm that there is waaaay too much filling for an 8″ pan. Will use a 10″ next time (plus I’m thinking if it isn’t quite so thick that might help with the baking time issue as well)… I went straight out to the store and have procured another batch of ingredients, and will update my comment when I see how that goes.

  28. Kelly says

    Am making it right now in a 10″ springform pan. The batter is thin, it leaked from the pan, but I read it as blend the kernels and the texture looks OK. I’m using a water bath and plan to check it at 45 minutes and again after 60. Have made dulce de leche and will add it to whipped cream and use the rest as a drizzle. Fingers crossed!

  29. Kelly says

    I just tried it and it’s delicious. I baked it for an hour and fifteen minutes and pulled it when it was still wobbly in the middle. The top was a bit like brûléed sugar but the whipped cream fixed that just fine. Next time, the only thing I’ll do differently is reduce the amount of graham crackers, as the crust was too thick. Thanks for the recipe, I’m bringing it to my mom’s for Easter dessert tomorrow.

  30. Gigi says

    Okay, finally getting around to writing an updated review…

    Crust: First, don’t be alarmed that a bag of Keebler graham cracker crumbs is only 13.5 oz. – use the regular amount of butter (I prefer it a bit saltier so I used salted kerrygold instead of unsalted, but I’m sure either would be fine), and melt it completely before stirring in the crumbs.

    I used a 9″ springform pan (8″ was too small to fit all the filling, and 10″ was too big and made for a pretty shallow end product), sprayed with olive oil cooking spray, and poured the crumb mixture right in. Use a flexible silicone spatula to press crumbs up the side of the pan first, then press the rest down firmly. (I didn’t this time, but I’m thinking next time I’ll carefully tamp down the bottom using a carefully- centered, smaller-than-9″ saucepan to get the crust nice and firmly packed.)

    Note on the corn: this time I used two cans of sweet corn, drained and then pureed in a commerical-grade blender and then pressed through a metal mesh sieve with a flexible silicone spatula to remove the fibrous hull material. (I saved the canning liquid and stirred a little into the blender carafe afterward, to make sure I was getting as much as I could out of the bottom of the pitcher, but be aware that this filling already has viscosity issues so I recommend using as little of the liquid as possible.) From the two cans, I had a slightly heaping quarter cup of pulp to dispose of at the end of it all, but the puree was silky smooth. I did this two days ahead, since I discovered I had used up the graham crumbs and had to hit the store for more before proceeding with the actual recipe, but I just covered the bowl with a bit of press&seal wrap and stuck it in the fridge, and it was fine. Next time, to avoid the slight “canned” flavor, I’ll probably use a similar weight of thawed frozen corn.

    Filling: You can _soften,_not_melt_ the cream cheese and butter in the microwave (separately!) before starting, but watch the cream cheese closely so it doesn’t develop hot spots. I used an aftermarket beater for my 5qt. Artisan Kitchenaid that had a silicone edge blade on one side, so I didn’t have to fret about scraping down the bowl, which was nice.

    Cream the butter and cheese, then add the sweetened condensed milk, the eggs one at a time (crack onto a saucer to make sure you don’t accidentally lose any bits of shell, and add to the mixer from there), and the evaporated milk, remembering to shake up the evap. milk before opening as there as some solids at the bottom that you don’t wanna miss out on). Lastly, pour in the corn puree, make sure all is well combined. Et voila! Ready to pour into the waiting springform.

    My oven is always spot on, and at 335°F, it took 75 minutes for mine to get “just set” (which means still a bit rippley if the middle if you tap the side, but not straight liquid like when you poured it in there…), but I was honestly just worried that I’d burn the top edge of the crust if I left it go longer, though it easily could have. I’ll endeavor to make by crust sides slightly shorter next time, and then add another 15 onto the baking time and be perfectly content with the result. When I took it out of the oven, I set it on top of the burner with the oven vent, and waited about 30 minutes before turning off the oven so it would get a bit more love from underneath as it cooled down. I think it helped. Certainly didn’t hurt.

    Once it finishes cooling I’ll transfer it to the fridge, and my dinner party tomorrow night shall be a triumph!

    Hope this helps some!

  31. says

    Gigi — This is absolutely wonderful! Thank you for taking the time to come back and share your experience with us. I know it will be helpful to all the home cooks out there.

  32. Gigi says

    My pleasure, Brooke. I did finally cut into it yesterday with my friend Jesse who is a chef, and have a few more notes….

    The crust is fairly crumbly and thick when made according to the recipe above. I’ll be continuing to search for a recipe with a better finished texture and undate again when I discover the Goldilocks Award winner (just right!), but just be aware that with this recipe, any bits of crust that stick up above the filling *will* probably fall onto the surface when liberating it from the springform.

    Placing the whole shebang on top of the oven vent after it came out of the oven worked well, though as an addendum I ended up getting distracted for a bit so it sat the vent with the oven on for about an hour. Also, I placed a conveniently at-hand decorative metal electric stove burner cover on top before getting pulled away, so that probably helped hold the heat inside the cheesecake itself while it finished up.

    All that said, the texture of the filling was perfectly set, and I got to impress my friend who spends waay more time in the kitchen than I do.

    She told be she has a crust recipe that uses pretzel crumbs, so I’ll be trying that out on the next trial run, too!

    All in all, I think that this is an ideal recipe for making into individual-sized portions like they serve at the fest. The filling is rich and creamy, but a bit soft for clean cutting edges when you go to serve it, unless maybe you half freeze it first?

  33. Gigi says

    Mea culpa on the various spelling/grammatical errors. Typed too fast and didn’t read back through thoroughly enough.

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