My Nr.1 Easy Mealie Bread Recipe

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Mealie Bread  (Corn Bread ) is essentially bread made from maize pulp and without or a combination of flour, butter, eggs and sugar. This simple Mealie Bread recipe evokes the fondest childhood memories. Whenever I think of mealie bread I think of the mealie plants we once grew. I think of their suede-like leaves, stripy ears and hair-like silks that my younger sister and I pretend played as moustaches. Most vivid is the characteristic dulcet smell of the milky liquid contained within the maize kernels. A smell that will always remind me of Amma by her blue enamel dish cutting maize kernels off the cob in preparation for her mealie bread. This image will always have a sentimental place in my thoughts – since I spent many evenings and school holidays in my childhood together with my sisters, Amma and my father sowing or harvesting our mealies, shelling them or roasting them on the open fire, eating boiled mealies with butter, participating in Amma’s homemade samp project or enjoying Amma’s mealie bread with mixed fruit jam! This Mealie Bread recipe is steamed not baked.

mealie bread recipe

Is It  Mealie Bread Recipe Or Mealie Cake Recipe?

Although the term ‘bread’ is often associated with yeast-based dough- there are several non-yeast breads. Much like soda bread – mealie bread is also one such bread that relies on baking powder as a raising agent rather than yeast but adopts the name bread despite its cake-like texture. Amma was fond of making mealie bread from the abundant mealie produce from our gardens. She would make a large steamed mealie bread and with the excess batter, she would make smaller ones in her queen cake tray – typical of Amma – not a drop wasted!

mealie cake recipe

Mealie Bread…Like Amma Used To Make It

Amma’s mealie bread was made by steaming a batter of mealie pulp, flour, margarine, eggs, sugar and baking powder. The excess batter was used to make mini-baked versions of this maize treat. Amma used a knife to remove the kernels off the mealie cob and then grind it to a pulp in her orange mincer. She would use the mealie cobs to prop the mealie bread in the steaming pot. This ingenious structural device also resulted in a sweet aroma of mealies wafting through the house as the mealie bread steamed.

Although mealie bread can be baked it is best prepared steamed. This gentle cooking method cooks the maize without it resulting in a rubbery texture. This recipe is cake-like using equivalent maize pulp and flour. For a less dense mealie cake reduce the flour content by replacing it with the equivalent amount of mealie pulp.

mealie cake with sweet corn


Amma’s Mealie Bread Recipe


Easy Mealie Bread Recipe

Easy Mealie Bread Recipe

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Recipe by Ms Pillay Difficulty: Medium


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This quintessential South African treat is made from grated maize and gently steamed for a soft tea-time treat.

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  • 1 cup 1 cake flour

  • cup mealie pulp (from 2 large mealies) or sweet corn

  • 2 teaspoons 2 baking powder

  • 2 2 eggs

  • 40 grams 40 butter

  • 40 grams 40 sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon 1/2 salt


  • Wash and prepare the mealies. Use a knife to extract the kernels off the mealie cob. Blend until a smooth paste-like texture forms. Set aside.
  • Sift the flour and baking powder. Add salt. In a separate bowl cream the eggs butter and sugar.
  • Combine the mealie pulp with the egg mixture then add to the flour to form a smooth cake-like batter.
  • Place in a lined cake pan then cover in foil or baking paper. Tie securely with a piece of string or rubber bands. Place in a pot with three-quarters of water. Or in a steam pot. If using a regular pot use the mealie cobs as props to support the cake pan. Cover and allow to steam for 2-3 hours on medium heat. Every 20-30 minutes check the water level. If low add a little boiled water this will maintain the temperature in the pot – helping to cook the mealie bread evenly.
  • After 2 hours use a toothpick to test of cooked. If the toothpick is clear of batter then the mealie cake is cooked if not leave until it is cooked. Allow cooling then slice.
  • Serve with butter or jam or as desired…with a cup of tea.

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