Cooking with Maizena

This is only my third installment of Two's-day, but I have to say that I am really enjoying itSo much so that today I'm giving you three delicious recipes to enjoy!


Atole is another tasty milk-based hot beverage.  Unlike ChampurradoAtole is usually thickened with cornstarch.  (Sometimes it is thickened with rice flour or oats.)   There are a great number of ways to prepare atole, but today I'm sharing the way my abuelita (grandma) prepared Atole.  (This is also the easiest way!)

My kids love to drink Atole as soon as the weather begins to cool.  It is especially popular during the Holiday season.

Maizena is the brand name of one of the leading cornstarch products in Mexico.  There are two presentations of Maizena

The boxed Maizena is plain (regular) cornstarch, that I use for cakes, cookies and sauces.  And the little packages are flavored cornstarch used to prepare Atole.  There are many flavors available including vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, coconut and cajeta.  Each packet yields 5 cups of delicious Atole.

Atole de Maizena


  • 5 cups milk
  • 1 packet flavored Maizena
  • 1/4 cup sugar

Heat 4 cups of the milk in a 2-quart saucepan over medium heat.

While the milk is heating, dissolve the contents of the flavored Maizena packet in the remaining one cup of milk.  Set aside.

When the milk is very warm,  whisk in the milk/cornstarch mixture and the sugar.  Continue heating for 3 to 4 minutes, until the milk has thickened slightly.  Turn off the stove, and let the Atole set for 5 minutes. 

Serve warm.  Enjoy!!!



I grew up watching Bill Cosby's pudding commercials and I constantly bugged my grandmother to make me some pudding.  Whenever we would go grocery shopping, I would stand next to the boxed pudding mixes with my saddest face, hoping to convince Gramm to make me some PUDDING!!!  One day, she picked up a box and noticed that it had directions.  She did not like to prepare anything that needed directions.  She was offended by any product that assumed she didn't know how to cook. 

She put the box back in it's place and told me to follow her.  We ended up in the "Hispanic Foods" aisle.  She grabbed a box that contained 3 packets of flavored Maizena, tossed it into the shopping cart and grumbled in Spanish that no box could teach her how to cook.

Once at home, I helped Gramm put away the groceries, all the while thinking, "When am I going to get my pudding?"

Gramm grabbed the box of Maizena and took out one chocolate flavored packet.  She poured the contents into a saucepan, along with milk, sugar and a couple of egg yolks.  I had no idea what Gramm was making, but it was distracting me from my pudding craving.  Then magically, or so I thought, all of that "stuff" that Gramm threw into her saucepan turned into chocolate pudding.

I still use Gramm's pudding recipe to make pudding for my kids.  And its a great filling for tarts, pies and even empanadas!

Maizen Pudding


  • 1 packet flavored Maizena
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 to 3 egg yolks*

In a medium saucepan, whisk all of the ingredients together until well combined.

Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thicken.  Remove from heat.  Immediately place a piece of plastic wrap directly on top of the pudding.  (This is to prevent that yucky skin from forming.)  Let cool to room temperature; refrigerate atleast one hour before serving.

To serve, spoon desired amount of pudding into a cute little cup.  Top with a dollop or two of whipped cream.  Enjoy!!!


Very Easy Banana Cream Pie

My favorite pie is Banana Cream Pie.  Its probably one of the easiest pies to assemble.  Here is my recipe for this tempting dessert!

Banana Cream Pie

  • 1 package Maria's Cookies
  • 1/3 cup of butter, melted
  • 3 ripe bananas
  • Vanilla Pudding (I use the Maizena pudding recipe)
  • Whipped cream or Whipped Topping

Grind all of the Maria's cookies in a food processor or a blender.  (I place the cookies in a large ziploc bag and let the kids have some fun with the rolling pin!)

In a medium bowl, combine the cookie crumbs with the melted butter.  Press mixture firmly onto bottom and sides of a 9-inch pie plate. Refrigerate until ready to use.

If you haven't done so already, prepare the Vanilla Pudding; let cool to room temperature.

Slice the bananas and layer them along the bottom of the prepared pie crust.

Spoon the cooled Vanilla Pudding over the banana slices.

Top pie with whipped cream or whipped topping.


*Note:  For a creamy pudding I use 2 egg yolks, but for pie or empanada filling I use 3 egg yolks.

With Love,
Leslie Limon


  1. Thanks for the recipes Leslie! We wondered why so many products here don't have basic cooking instructions—your story about your Grandmother solved the mystery. All of these sound great! I am going to get Lynn to try the Atole soon with soy milk. One question, when does the sugar go in? Also want to try the pudding with soy milk too. Will let you know how they come out.


  2. I can't wait to hear how the atole turns out with soy milk! To answer your question, you add the sugar when you whisk in the Maizena that was dissolved in milk. (I added it to the directions. Thank you!)

  3. We don't drink cow milk in our house. Substitute soy or rice milk. Soy works better for hot things than rice. Both taste great cold.

  4. Ok Leslie I know I always come here and scream and freak out about how great your food is - but this bannana creme pie? - is making me salivate - right here in front of my laptop like a pregnant freak.

    And you make your own pudding? That's bad ass.

  5. Interesting -- flavored cornstarch! I've been wanting to make something with a maria crust. yum! i'm assuming you use the vanilla flavored corn starch to make the banana pudding?

  6. Alice, this is a fun easy pie and the Maria cookie crust is delish! And yes, I used the vanilla flavored Maizena!

  7. Leslie, I've tried a few of your recipes with wonderful results (caldo de pollo, arroz con leche, enchiladas de papa, etc.). This weekend I made this easy but delicious banana cream pie. It came together really quick and it tasted great. When winter started I loaded up on some maizena and I found banana flavored maizena at my local grocery store so I used it because I didn't have vanilla it worked out great. Thank you so much for posting all these great recipes.

  8. Thank you, Leslie, for your Atole recipe! I had it for the first time at my El Salvadoran friend's house at Christmas in the US. Now I'm living in Spain but have been craving it for a while. I just tried to prepare it on my own and ended up with a goopy blob of corn starch (I definitely did not have the correct measurements since I was using the box corn starch and eying the proportions...). Muchas gracias :)

  9. I can't tell you how excited I am about your food blog.  My Mexican husband is of no help.  And, I am not sure if he knows how to translate some of the things I am looking for so it is hard to get help from his mom.  BUT, look at you!  You have gone and shown me how to make pudding.  I have found little premade Dannon (or some other brand) of chocolate and vanilla puddings at one of the big box stores in San Juan de Los Lagos.  But, being able to make it will be great!  Especially your pies. YUM!

    Can't wait to go through the rest of your recipes.  AND, I know I will be able to find all the ingredients!  That is a welcome change!
    Thanks for posting everything!

  10. Thanks for the recipes! I picked up the strawberry maizena at the store the other day and didn't really know what to do with, as I'd never seen it before (I live in the Southeastern US). I ended up making a strawberry banana cream pie using your recipe and the strawberry maizena made into pudding (again, using your recipe). I used vanilla wafers made into the cookie crumb crust, since they're easy to find here. Everyone loved the pie! It was devoured in no time! Thanks for the great tips and recipes using maizena -- I'll be making it again! :)

  11. Oh, my gosh, I love this blog entry! So many wonderful ideas.

  12. Did you learn how much to use, when using the box?? I'm trying to make it from the box.

  13. Hi. For the atole, can you tell me what's the measurement when using the maizena from the box?? Thanks.

  14. Hi Lila!
    If memory serves me correctly, you need 4 tablespoons of unflavored maizena.