Say Say's Masa Fruit Cake Recipe

Jul 09, 2022

Who says you can't eat cake for breakfast?


You know when you find that one recipe that just works, and it becomes something you make every week without fail because you don't really ever want to go without it? That's this recipe for me, and I'm so overjoyed to see so many of you enjoying it and recreating your own versions of the masa fruit cake, too.


If you haven't had masa before, no fear. It can be intimidating to introduce new foods/grains to your plate, but masa is truly such a versatile, easy to digest, risk-free flour. In fact, the process of making masa harina, nixtamalization, is actually the traditional way of preparing corn. 


Nixtamalization was invented over 3,500 years ago by Mesoamerican civilizations. It involves soaking dried corn kernels in a solution of calcium hydroxide (aka lime) and water. First the corn kernels, which are typically dried field corn, not sweet corn, are soaked in a solution of limestone (calcium hydroxide, also called "cal" or pickling lime) and water. This corn-lime mixture (called nixtamal) is then boiled for several hours, which makes it easy to peel off the external shell of the corn, and then soaked. The soaked corn is then washed and ground into a dough. The resulting dough is the fresh masa, which can be used to make tortillas, tamales, etc. 


Or, the dough can be dehydrated into masa harina flour to store for future use! This is the flour that we will be using in this recipe. 


The process of nixtamalization results in:

  • Significantly increased bioavailability of Vitamin B3 content (1)
  • Higher levels of bioavailable calcium (Ca) (2), especially relative to most other phosphate (P) rich grains
  • Significantly reduced phytic acid content (3), increasing overall nutrient availability via less anti-nutrients
  • Significantly reduced mycotoxin level (up to 90% reduction!) (4)
  • An easier to digest end product, since a lot of the starch is broken down
  • A lower fat version of corn, since masa flour contains less fat and fiber than the corn grain itself (5

Masa Harina is also naturally gluten free!

Rather than unnecessarily fearing corn or grains, understanding traditional preparation methods (like nixtamalization) is so empowering and freeing! 


I recommend using the King Arthur Masa Harina, it comes out best for me! The Bob's Red Mill Masa Harina also works. King Arthur is a white corn flour, and the Bob's is a yellow corn, so the color will vary slightly, and the texture turns out slightly different, too. Both great! 


Say Say's Masa Harina Fruit Cake


  • 230 grams of Organic Masa Harina
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • Dash of salt
  • 2 pastured eggs
  • 160 grams pure maple syrup
  • 2 cups of buttermilk (or any milk, but buttermilk makes it the best)
  • 60 grams of pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Fruit to your heart's desire (blueberries & cherries are our favorite addition, about 200-300 grams)
  • Sugar + Ceylon cinnamon mix for dusting (about 1 tbsp each) 
  • Butter, ghee or coconut oil to coat pan



  • Combine dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl
  • Whisk eggs in a separate bowl and then whisk in the milk, pumpkin, and vanilla
  • Pour wet mixture into dry ingredients and mix well
  • Let batter sit for 1 hour and smile as you anticipate the outcome
  • Preheat oven to 350 F
  • Add enough butter or coconut oil to coat an 8 inch pie pan (about 1 tsp) & let sit in the oven for a few minutes so the fat can melt, then spread the butter or coconut oil across the base of the pan and all sides
  • Stir in the fruit to the batter 
  • Pour batter into the pie pan, spreading evenly out, and then gently and kindly dust with the sugar & cinnamon mixture
  • Bake for about 50-65 minutes, until a fork comes out clean
  • Allow to cool, then slice into 12 pie pieces and store in the fridge for up to 4 days, or the freezer for up to 1 month


Macros per 1 slice of 12:

  • 4 protein (can add more via collagen powder)
  • 30 carbs (will vary depending on fruit type and amount)
  • 2 fat (will vary by milk used slightly) 


My current favorite way to enjoy the masa cake is to slice a piece into 3 thinner slices, and heat those up on a buttery skillet for breakfast. Topped with some more maple syrup, with a little dab of Greek or Skyr yogurt, side of eggs and a milky coffee... the best breakfast ever! Hope you enjoy!

Xo, Sarah