Corn Lunch Side Dish skillet Southern Summer Vegetarian

Sweet Corn Fritters




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Taking a forkful of corn fritters topped with sour cream and chives

My Sweet Corn Fritters, or fried corn cakes, are fresh corn folded into a light buttermilk and cheddar cheese batter, then fried in my cast iron skillet to crispy perfection!

A stack of buttermilk corn fritters on a small plate

Omg I could eat these yummy corn fritters all day long

The outside is crisp, and the inside is moist and sweet…we eat them with warm maple syrup for breakfast, straight from the fridge for a snack, and  definitely topped with sour cream with dinner.  I have to make sure to make a double batch next time because I  could seriously eat them all myself.

The Indigenous Americans were the first to make a version of corn fritters, and passed the idea along to early settlers.  We’ve been enjoying them ever since, especially in summer when corn is at its best.

sweet corn fritters on a platter with sour cream

What you’ll need to make tender crispy corn fritters:

  • fresh corn kernels ~ slice them right off the cob.  You can use frozen corn if necessary, but fresh is best.
  • self rising flour (or flour + baking powder) I love to keep this in the pantry, it makes things so easy.
  • cornmeal ~ yellow or white, I use yellow.
  • sugar (just a pinch brings out the natural sweetness of the corn)
  • shredded cheddar cheese ~ you can play around with this, use pepper jack or Parm if you like.
  • egg yolks ~ love the richness these add without the ‘eggy’ vibe.
  • cultured buttermilk ~ most every store carries this, and it keeps well, so buy it!
  • vegetable oil for (shallow) frying

corn on the cob in a green bowl

This is so easy to prepare, and quite forgiving, so eventually you won’t need a recipe at all to throw the batter together.  Once you can recognize the right consistency of the batter, you’ll do it by eye, no measuring needed.

You can prep or cook these fritters ahead of time

  • The batter is happy to sit at room temp while you get on with the rest of your meal.
  • You can also make the batter ahead and refrigerate it for up to a day. Loosen it with a little more buttermilk if it has gotten too thick.
  • You can cook the fritters ahead of time and then rewarm them in a 350F oven.
  • And finally you can freeze the cooked fritters, just reheat them in the oven or air fryer to keep them crispy.

Mixing up batter for sweet corn fritters

Of course sweet corn fritters cook in a cast iron skillet, what else?

Just coat the bottom of the pan with oil and get it nice and hot. Don’t crowd them, I do 4 at a time in my 10 inch skillet.  They only take a minute to a minute and a half on each side so it’s a quick process to cook them all up.

Frying sweet corn fritters in a cast iron skillet

Best oils for frying

The best oils for frying, whether you’re deep frying or pan frying are oils with a high smoke point such as:

  • Peanut oil
  • Soybean oil
  • Vegetable oil
  • Safflower oil
  • Canola oil
  • Corn oil
  • Cottonseed oil
  • Sunflower oil

Tips for shallow frying

  • Add oil to your pan to about 1/8-1/4 inch deep.
  • Make sure to heat the oil until it is quite hot, but not smoking.  Test it by touching a bit of batter to the surface of the oil, it should sizzle on contact.  If it doesn’t, keep heating it.
  • Don’t crowd your pan because this can lower the oil temperature and your fritters will absorb oil rather than crisp up. (Crowding your pan can make it difficult to flip the fritters too.)
  • Remove any stray bits from the oil as you add new batches of fritters because they will burn and turn the oil bitter.
  • Add extra oil as necessary to cook all the fritters.  Make sure to let it come to temperature before continuing.
  • Be sure to let your fritters drain on paper towels after cooking.

Draining sweet corn fritters on paper towlels

Awesome add-ins

Anything you add in to this batter should be very finely chopped so the fritters will hold together and not fall apart on you when you fry them.

  • finely minced Vidalia onion
  • thinly sliced green onions or chives
  • bacon bits
  • jalapeños, minced

A stack of corn fritters

Sweet corn is top of our menu in summer

One of my favorite ways to use peak season corn is in my creamy sweet corn salad, I just lightly steam it so it retains that wonderful crisp crunch.

Salads are a natural way to use corn, and my corn and cucumber salad has a sweet retro potluck vibe going on. For more pizzaz, try Mexican street corn potato salad, it’s spiced up south of the border style.

Right now is also prime Hatch chile season, so I pair them up in a sweet corn, Hatch chile and bacon salsa,everybody goes mad for it.

As August comes to a close I start to crave comforting soups, and the first one I make each fall is one I’ve been making for decades ~ corn and cheddar cheese chowder.  Sure, I can make it year round, but it’s never better than it is right now, with fresh summer corn.

Taking a forkful of corn fritters topped with sour cream and chives

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Taking a forkful of corn fritters topped with sour cream and chives
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5 from 4 votes

Sweet Corn Fritters

My Sweet Corn Fritters, or fried corn cakes, are fresh corn folded into a light buttermilk and cheddar cheese batter, then shallow fried in my cast iron skillet to crispy perfection!
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American Southern
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Yield 16 + fritters

Equipment

  • cast iron skillet

Ingredients

  • 3 cups fresh raw corn kernels (cut from about 4-5 ears)
  • 3/4 cup self rising flour (or all purpose flour + 1 1/4 tsp baking powder)
  • 1/4 cup yellow cornmeal (you can also use white cornmeal)
  • 1 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup (heaped) grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 extra large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • vegetable oil for shallow frying

Instructions

  • Put the corn, the flour, cornmeal, sugar, cheese, and salt in a large mixing bowl and toss well to combine.
  • Mix the yolks and buttermilk together with a fork and add to the bowl, stirring with a large spoon just until there is no dry flour left, don't over mix. Feel free to add a touch more buttermilk if your mixture is very dry. It should be quite thick.
  • Heat about 4 tablespoons or so of oil in a cast iron skillet. You want a good layer coating the bottom of the pan, about 1/8 to 1/4 inch deep. Heat the oil over medium to medium high heat until it is shimmering but not smoking. Test the oil by touching a bit of batter to the surface...it should sizzleon contact.
  • I use my 1 3/4 inch cookie scoop to scoop out the batter into the pan, then I lightly flatten it with an offset spatula. You can nudge any stray edges into place if you like, but some love those ragged edges, they get extra crispy! Each cake will be about 2 tablespoons of batter. Note: don't crowd the pan, 3 or 4 per batch is good.
  • Cook for about 1 1/2 minutes and gently flip whe golden, then cook another 1 to 1 1/2 minutes until crisp and golden on the second side. Drain on paper towels.
  • Serve hot with sour cream and chives. Makes approximately 17 fritters, but you can make more or less depending on size.

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13 Comments

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  • Reply
    Sue
    September 2, 2020 at 6:02 pm

    5 stars
    These fritters are so good! I made them on a camping trip and were an absolute hit with everyone. I will definitely be making these again and again. Great Recipe!

    • Reply
      Sue
      September 2, 2020 at 6:07 pm

      Camping makes everything taste better 🙂

  • Reply
    Becky
    September 2, 2020 at 9:25 am

    5 stars
    Sue, this is a really delicious recipe! Next time I make it, I may add some chopped green onion and a bit of Frank’s Louisiana Hot Sauce just to vary it a bit. The recipe does make a lot but I didn’t have much luck in reheating the fritters – they were a little bit oily- probably my fault in the frying step.

    • Reply
      Sue
      September 2, 2020 at 9:46 am

      Love Frank’s hot sauce 🙂 If your fritters were oily that’s likely due to the oil not being hot enough when you put them in, make sure they sizzle loudly when batter touches the oil. Also be sure to drain on paper towels after cooking. Hope this helps.

  • Reply
    Kathleen
    September 1, 2020 at 6:19 am

    5 stars
    Sue – THANK YOU for bringing this recipe to us. Made it Sunday night and could not believe how the corn was transformed into a new wonderful treat to eat in summer. These were absolutely delicious and enjoyed by even the reticent corn eaters in my house. A great way to use up the corn I tend to buy too much of!

  • Reply
    Rose
    August 27, 2020 at 11:42 am

    Hi Sue, do you think you can use DIY buttermilk in the recipe? You know, plant based milk with vinegar added to it? They look soooo delicious! Thanks!

  • Reply
    Knitgolfer
    August 26, 2020 at 8:20 am

    I see you have 1/2 cup sharp cheddar in the ingredients list, is this stirred in with the yolks & buttermilk?

    • Reply
      Sue
      August 26, 2020 at 8:50 am

      You can do it either way, but I toss it with the dry ingredients.

  • Reply
    Mimi F
    August 25, 2020 at 12:31 pm

    Sue, I love all you do but if I might suggest that I rarely have the time to read/scroll down through half a dozen photos and 2,000 words of text while jumping past a wild ride of ads to finally reach the recipe. Perhaps you could rein yourself in OR have a direct to recipe arrow.
    Thank you for your time and consideration.
    Mimi F

    • Reply
      Sue
      September 2, 2020 at 6:14 pm

      I do have a jump to recipe button, it’s right at the top!

  • Reply
    Karen Hilliard
    August 25, 2020 at 8:43 am

    I knew I’d love these, I did do a couple of things differently. I halved the recipe, used Jiffy mix, I used one whole egg, and canned corn since that’s all I had. These tasted great and my hubby loved them too! Will make these again, and instead of sugar I may try honey…
    Thank you!

  • Reply
    LINDA VILLALOBOS
    August 25, 2020 at 7:42 am

    5 stars
    These sound like a specialty in Costa Rica called chorreadas. The sweetness of the corn with sour cream is wonderful with a cafecito. Thanks for the reminder.

    • Reply
      Sue
      September 2, 2020 at 6:13 pm

      I’ll have to look those up!