Native American Corn Cookies

Native American Corn Cookies
April 27, 2017 Kimberlie

Native American Corn Cookies

Native American Corn Cookies, The Finer Cookie.

Corn Cookies are a type of sugar cookie that when baked in the springtime, celebrate nature and the sun's energy. Maize represents vitality according to the native corn clans of the high Sonoran Desert in Arizona (Navaho, Hopi and Yaqui tribes, et al.). Traditionally, you'll find these cookies at Fiesta del Sol events in February and March. Bake yourself a batch and lounge in the shade with a handful of zesty lemon, spiced cinnamon and toasted corn cookies. Enjoy them for their crispy, satisfying nature. Native American Corn Cookies make special treats for the season. Your family will clamour for a second batch. Leave me your comments below.

Thanks to The Splendid Table and E. Barrie Kavasch for this recipe. You'll enjoy her book Enduring Harvests: Native American Foods and Festivals for Every Season.

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  • Makes 45 cookies

    Ingredients for Corn Cookies

  • 1 cup (7 ounces/198 grams) granulated white sugar
  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces/113.5 grams) butter (room temperature)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup (4.4 ounces/125 grams) white flour
  • 1/2 cup (2.15 ounces/61 grams) cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon ground
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest (zest of one lemon)
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • Ingredients for Cinnamon Lemon Sugar

  • 1/2 cup (3.5 ounces/98 grams) granulated white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest (zest from one lemon)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Mise en Place Corn Cookie Dough

  • Bring butter to room temperature. See How to Cream Butter and Sugar for more information about the role of butter in your cookies.
    native american corn cookies the finer cookie

    So helpful to mise en place the cookie dough.

  • Measure sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer or a hand mixer.
  • Crack the egg into a small bowl and add the vanilla.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the white flour, cornmeal, cinnamon, baking powder and salt.
    native american corn cookies the finer cookie cookies the finer cookie

    Dry ingredients include corn meal and cinnamon.

  • Zest two lemons. Add the zest of one of the lemons to the dry ingredients. Distribute the zest evenly with your fingertips. Set aside the zest of the second lemon. Read here for more information about zesting lemons.
  • Line two baking trays with parchment or a baking liner.

Mix the Corn Cookie Dough

  • Add the butter to the sugar and cream together until the mixture is light in color and fluffy looking.
    native american corn cookies the finer cookie

    Cream butter and sugar for proper texture.

  • Add the egg and vanilla to the creamed mixture. Beat until fully incorporated and well aerated.
  • Add the dry ingredients and mix just until combined.
  • Refrigerate for 2-3 hours until firm.

Bake the Corn Cookies

  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
  • Combine the zest from the second lemon with the cinnamon and sugar. Pour the topping onto a small tray or plate and set aside.
    native american corn cookies the finer cookie

    Add zested lemon to the cinnamon sugar mixture. You’ll roll the cookie dough in thsi mixture before baking.

  • Remove the cookie dough from the fridge and form 1/2 inch round balls. OR weigh the dough into about 13 gram portions and roll each out into an even ball.
  • Roll each ball into the cinnamon and sugar coating and place about 15 on each tray.
    native american corn cookies the finer cookie

    Roll the cookie dough in cinnamon, sugar, and lemon zest.

  • native american corn cookies the finer cookie

    The cookies ready for the oven.

  • Bake for 10-13 minutes, until golden brown. They're finished when firm to the touch.
    native american corn cookies the finer cookie

    Cookies are baked and still warm.

  • Cook completely on a rack and store in a dry place. They should last about 1 month in an air tight container.
    native american corn cookies the finer cookie

    Native American Corn Cookies, The Finer Cookie.


  1. Terri 4 weeks ago

    Very interesting – I have never heard of corn cookies! I imagine they would taste similar to cornbread, which I love, but in cookie form. Yum – will be trying these!

    • Author
      Kimberlie 4 weeks ago

      Cornbread is more of a cake, whereas these cookies are crunchy. All about the texture.

  2. Marisa 4 weeks ago

    These native American corn cookies are completely new to me but they look incredibly delicious. Kim, your photography is always so gorgeous!!! 🙂

    • Author
      Kimberlie 4 weeks ago

      Thanks Marisa.

  3. Sean 4 weeks ago

    What a lovely and unique looking recipe. I’ve never made cookies with cornmeal before but I’m pretty interested now. The zest added to the dough is exactly my kind of thing too (plus I bet it balances the flavours out nicely).

    • Author
      Kimberlie 4 weeks ago

      Thanks Sean. Cornmeal makes cookies crunchier. I hope you try them out.

  4. Judy 4 weeks ago

    You say to add an egg, but the ingredient list does not show an egg????

    • Author
      Kimberlie 4 weeks ago

      Hi Julie, thanks for letting me know. The error has been corrected. Really appreciate you saying.

  5. Diane 4 weeks ago

    Oh Kim, Kim… how can I lose weight with your recipes? Just tried those. The lemon zest combined with cinnamon is delicious. The crunchie side of the cornmeal makes those cookies a must and not only in spring.

    • Author
      Kimberlie 4 weeks ago

      Thanks Diane. I feel the same about these cookies. Happy you like them.

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