Polenta Cakes (Mexican Breakfast Recipe)

5 from 6 votes

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Polenta Cakes are pan-fried goodness sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar. This Mexican breakfast recipe is sweet, buttery, and delicious. 

close up image of polenta cakes with bacon

Once you try polenta for breakfast, you will have a new favorite dish. Pair it with some crispy bacon and a drizzle of maple syrup, and you will have a meal made for a king! It’s that good and will please those picky eaters too.

Polenta is so versatile and can be made by grilling, baking, or frying it. If you’ve never tried it before, it’s ground cornmeal that has been boiled with water or stock. You can eat it right out of the package or cook it. I don’t know if I have ever found something so easy to adapt. Oh, and the best part is you can eat it hot or cold

Breakfast is seriously one of my favorite meals because there are so many tasty recipes out there. Try out my Grits Ham and Cheese Cups, Quiche Lorraine, or my Italian Sausage Gouda Spinach Strata next time you are trying to add some pizzazz to your breakfast.

If you are craving something sweet, be sure to reach for my Red Velvet Pancakes Recipe. It’s basically food heaven, and you aren’t going to want to miss it.

Mexican breakfast on a plate

Ingredients For Polenta Cakes:

To view the entire list of ingredients and amounts needed, please see the printable recipe card located at the bottom of this post.

  • Polenta – I prefer the packaged Traditional because when time is short, this is easy! You can also make your own and cut into squares. If making your own polenta, cook per package instructions and pour into a greased 8×8″ square dish and allow to cool, then refrigerate for at least 2 hours to harden. Cut into squares and follow instructions below.
  • Cinnamon – Not only does adding some cinnamon to the dish give you flavor, but it’s also good for you too. It’s known to be anti-inflammatory and an antioxidant too. So, it’s the ideal addition to these polenta cakes.
  • Sugar – You will need a couple of tablespoons of sugar, and it’s the right amount to give a beautiful sweetness to the dish. You can certainly adjust the amount if you want it sweeter. 
  • Butter – The butter is a must because it’s what gives the exterior of the polenta cakes the crispy. You could also swap it for your favorite oil or ghee if you would rather.

How To Make This Mexican Breakfast Recipe:

1. Prepare the polenta. 

Use a sharp knife to slice it into 8-12 pieces. Make 2-3 pieces per serving. 

Add the cinnamon and sugar to a small bowl and mix well. 

Take a paper towel and dab it on each piece of polenta. Then dust them with cinnamon and sugar evenly. 

2. Pan-Fry.

Using a non-stick skillet, melt the butter. Use medium-low heat, so it doesn’t cook too fast. Then cook both sides until they become a light golden brown color and have a slight crunch.

3.  Add toppings and enjoy.

Drizzle the pan drippings on top or add some warmed maple syrup. It pairs well with some slices of crisp bacon or some fresh fruit too. 

overhead image of a mexican breakfast plate with polenta cakes, bacon, and fruit


  • Don’t use too high of heat. It’s vital that you use medium-low heat, or it is likely to burn rather quickly.
  • Don’t overcook. Because it’s completely cooked straight out of the package, there is no need to try to cook it for too long. The goal is to brown the outside of it and leave the creamy interior. Overcooking will cause it to be dry and not as tasty.
  • Makes good leftovers. If you end up with some leftovers, you can keep them in an airtight container for up to 5 days. To reheat, pop it in the microwave for a minute or so. OR reheat it in a skillet with a little bit of melted butter. You can also eat it cold, right out of the fridge if you want!
  • Swap the sugar. For a deeper sweetness, swap the white sugar for brown sugar when making the polenta cakes. So delicious!
  • Use flavored syrups. Instead of traditional maple syrup, you can always use strawberry, blueberry, or even honey to add a new twist. 
Cooked polenta cakes on a plate
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Polenta Cakes (Mexican Breakfast Recipe)

5 from 6 votes
Polenta Cakes are pan-fried goodness sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar. This Mexican breakfast recipe is sweet, buttery, and delicious.
Servings: 4 servings
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 8 minutes
Total: 13 minutes


  • 24 oz San Gennaro Traditional Polenta (cooked/packaged, See Note 1)
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp butter


  • pan drippings or maple syrup


  • Slice the polenta into 8-12 pieces for 2-3 per person. In a small bowl mix the cinnamon and sugar.
  • Using a paper towel, dry any excess water on each polenta slice and dust evenly on each side with the cinnamon sugar mixture.
  • In a non-stick skillet over medium low heat melt the butter and cook each slice on both sides until light golden brown and crisp to your liking.
  • Top it off with pan drippings or warm maple syrup. I typically serve alongside crisp bacon and some sliced fruit for a filling breakfast.


  1. If making your own polenta, cook per package instructions and pour into a greased 8×8″ square dish and allow to cool, then refrigerate for at least 2 hours to harden. Cut into squares and follow instructions above. 


Calories: 514kcal | Carbohydrates: 81g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 45mg | Sodium: 154mg | Potassium: 125mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 695IU | Calcium: 55mg | Iron: 1.1mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

Course: Breakfast, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Have You Made This Recipe? Let Me Know on InstagramTag @keviniscooking or tag me #keviniscooking!


Whether in the kitchen or on the grill, you’ll find me cooking American favorites with a love for BBQ, Mexican and Tex Mex. I’m passionate about making tasty food because life’s too short to be bland!

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  1. 5 stars
    I can’t wait to give them a try. I recently tried them on my vacation to Cancun and loved them. Can’t wait to try them at home.

  2. 5 stars
    I’ve never heard of these but was sold with the idea of sprinkling them with cinnamon and sugar! I always have my eyes peeled for quick, tasty breakfast ideas like this one!

  3. I’ve been doing this for years for my girls.
    They just love it. Now I’m doing it for my grandchildren.
    It’s a favourite in our home.

    This is my first time on your blog.
    I like what I see so I’m subscribing.

    1. That’s so great, thanks for letting me know Charlie! Looking forward to interacting with you here on the site. Hope you enjoy!

  4. Well it’s not that “foodies” should be turning their noses up because it’s not from scratch. This is misleading. Cooking in many coutries (as it still is in Italy and France where I have lived) is to nourish your body. Packages like that one usually have a lot of preservatives and other non natural goodness so you should always read the package or buy from scratch (aka nature) if you aren’t sure what you are eating 😉 Who cares about snotty people I want to be healthy.