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!
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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Sweet Corn Fritters
- cast iron skillet
- 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
- 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.