Crispy Corn Fritters

Warm crunchy outside with pops of corn kernels inside along with seasonings and scallions. This easy Corn Fritters recipe can be an appetizer, snack, side dish and sometimes even a dessert!

stack of fried corn fritters with scallions


 

What are Fritters?

Fritters, despite their slightly funny name, are a glorious category of food. Technically, they are a fried pastry of sorts that uses a bit of batter or breading and folds in either sweet or savory fillings. Sort of like hush puppies.

I think of fritters as being quintessential Southern food, but they very much universal and can be found in most cultures. The ingredients and techniques might vary slightly, but the basic idea remains the same.

Sometimes fruit, like apples or peaches are folded in, fried, and then coated in a glaze to make something akin to a doughnut. When it comes to the savory, everything is fair game. Different meats, vegetables, cheese and sometimes seafood are used to flavor savory fritter recipes.

Fried Corn Fritters are most frequently served with chili in my household, but they can also be a great side dish or appetizer for just about any meal. The batter can be prepared ahead of time, with a quick fry right before serving.

They are a great way to use up leftover corn, and there are so many ways you can customize these corn cakes to make them your own.

corn fritters on a wire rack draining

Ingredients

The ingredient list is pretty straightforward of kitchen staples. There are also several fun variations below, so keep reading!

  • Dry ingredients– flour, salt, baking powder to make them fluffy and light and sugar to balance it all.
  • Wet ingredients- Egg as a binder, whole milk (I strongly advise using whole opposed to a low fat option), melted unsalted butter (omit additional salt if you use salted butter)
  • Corn & Scallions– These are the base and flavor. You can use fresh corn, defrosted frozen corn or canned corn. Scallions (green onions) add a light onion flavor, but chives are another option. Sweet corn is preferred
  • Seasoning– The seasoning is what sets this recipe apart from others. Cumin and white pepper are the secret ingredients.
  • Oil For Frying– Vegetable, canola, safflower and peanut oil are the best bets.

Lastly, the toppings and sauce. I like to dunk mine in chili, fry sauce or even a nice garlic aioli, but most folks like good old sour cream. Also feel free to top with additional scallions, bacon, honey or agave nectar and Maldon sea salt.

corn fritters on a white plate with scallions garnish

How to Make Corn Fritters

The trick to a delicious fritter is to not overwork the batter. To prevent this we whisk together wet and dry ingredients separately and then combine until just blend.

The next step is letting the batter rest. I even put mine in the fridge for a few minutes to let it chill. This helps hold the batter together in a nice little bundle while frying.

Next, you fry! Fritters generally don’t have the prettiest of shapes, but they are perfect in their imperfection, so don’t put a lot of pressure on yourself. Just plop them in hot oil and let it do its thing.

Drain on a wire rack over a paper towel lined plate or baking sheet. This allows the excess oil to drain rather than pool and make your crispy fritters soggy.

corn fritter cooling on a wire rack

How to Fry Corn Fritters

Now I know that frying at home can be intimidating and sometimes tedious, but I promise you won’t feel that way with this recipe. There are two simple things to keep in mind.

First off, you will need a wide, heavy bottom frying pan. The heavy bottom will ensure even heat and cooking while the wide diameter will allow you to cook more fritters more quickly without crowding them.

Be cautious with how much is going into the pan at once. Crowding the pan or cooking too many fritters at a time will lower the temperature of the oil. Without the right temp, you won’t get that heavenly golden brown.

If there are too many in the pan, this can also allow things to steam when you really want them to fry. Again, this will affect that crunchy crispy exterior you are trying to achieve.

You also want to use a neutral oil with high smoke point, meaning it won’t flavor the fritters, nor will it burn them. By all means, use a deep fry thermometer to monitor the temperature of the oil.

Place corn fitters on a plate lined with paper towels to drain off the excess oil. This is a great way to help prevent them from becoming soggy.

fried corn fritters in a stack

Variations

The sky is the limit on flavor variations for these classic munchies. Here are some of our favorites.

  • Diced jalapeno
  • Cooked & crumbled bacon
  • Chopped cilantro
  • Diced ham
  • Diced pimentos
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Sharp cheddar cheese
  • Diced green bell pepper
  • Shredded carrot
  • Shredded zucchini
  • Shredded cheese
  • Crushed red pepper flakes
  • Parmesan cheese
  • White onion or red onion
close up of corn fritter

Storage, Make Ahead & Freezing

Storage: If you do have leftovers of this corn fritters recipe, allow them to cool completely and store in an airtight container or plastic bag for up to five days. Reheat in a the oven at 300 for 10 minutes or in a little bit of oil in a frying pan. Microwaving will make them chewy.

Make Ahead: Any fried food is best enjoyed fresh and hot, so I don’t recommend this as a make ahead dish, although you can make the batter and place it in the fridge until you are ready to fry. Just give it a quick stir to evenly distribute the corn and scallions.

Freezing: Crispy corn fritters do freeze well and for up to 3 months. Go ahead and re-fry them while frozen instead of waiting to defrost. You can also place them in the Air Fryer at this stage. I’ve found that 6 minutes at 350°F does the trick, but this will vary based on your machine and size of the fritter itself.

crispy corn fritters for pinterest

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close up of corn fritters
stack of corn fritters

Crispy Corn Fritter Recipe

4.59 from 17 votes
Crispy fritter batter with pops of corn and a hint of scallion. Perfect as a side dish, serving w/ chili or even as a dessert with honey!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 14 fritters

Ingredients

Instructions

  • In a large bowl whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, cumin, sugar and ground white pepper.
  • In a second mixing bowl bowl, combine wet ingredients including egg, milk and butter.
  • Mix dry ingredients with wet ingredients until just combined. Much like pancakes, you do not want to over beat.
  • Fold in corn and scallions. Allow batter to sit for 15 minutes, preferably chilled.
  • Heat 1/4 inch of vegetable oil in skillet over medium-high heat to 325°F-350°F.
  • Spoon approximately 1 heaping tablespoon of batter into hot oil. Fry for about 2-3 minutes, turning halfway. Fritters will be a golden brown.
  • Remove to a wire rack suspended over a paper towel lined baking sheet to drain. If you are making a large batch I recommend keeping them warm in the oven while frying.
  • If you've tried this recipe, make sure to come back and let us know how it was in the comments or ratings.

Nutrition

Calories: 116 kcal, Carbohydrates: 18 g, Protein: 3 g, Fat: 3 g, Saturated Fat: 1 g, Cholesterol: 33 mg, Sodium: 505 mg, Potassium: 160 mg, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 2 g, Vitamin A: 140 IU, Vitamin C: 0.9 mg, Calcium: 39 mg, Iron: 1.1 mg
Author: Jessica Formicola
Calories: 116
Course: Appetizer, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: corn fritters
Did you make this recipe?I’d love to see your recipes – snap a picture and mention @savoryexperiments or tag #savoryexperiments!
corn fritters on a wire rack
Jessica Formicola in her ktichen

About the Author

Jessica Formicola

Jessica the mom, wife and chef behind Savory Experiments. You might see her on the Emmy- nominated TV show Plate It! or on bookshelves as a cookbook author. Jessica is a Le Cordon Bleu certified recipe developer and regularly contributed to Parade, Better Homes & Gardens, The Daily Meal and more!

Read More About Jessica

4.59 from 17 votes (13 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating




Questions and Reviews

  1. 3 stars
    I’ll be honest – the recipes was great, really tasty and my grandchildren asked fr more.
    The only tiny niggle to this and other blogs is that when I look for a recipes, I do not want to plough through pagesand pages of opinions to get to the ingredients and method pages and pages further down.
    Surely the whole idea of having a cooking blog is to cut to the chase of what we’re cooking?

    1. Hi Lynda, I’m glad you liked the recipe. I’d be happy to answer that question for you. The idea of having a cooking blog is to make money to support my family, this is my work and my business. In order to get paid, I have to have pageviews and advertising. In order to have ads, I have to have a good amount of content (recommended 500 words +) and to be seen since I am not food network, Google recommends 1000+ words to rank in searches. So all of the stuff you don’t seem to like is so I can feed my kids and pay the bills. If you don’t care to support small businesses, there is a “jump to recipe” button right at the top that will take you right to the recipe and skip all of the stuff you apparently don’t like. I’m really glad you liked the recipe and it is disappointed that you rated it low purely because you didn’t really like what I have to do to stay relevant in my industry. That negatively impacts my ability to rank and make an income.

      1. 5 stars
        FWIW, I love the stories before the recipe. I always have. (Old school blogging!) It feels like sitting around in someone’s kitchen (maybe being given a small job) while you chat.
        It’s not hard to hit the jump to the recipe button and let those of us who love storytelling read the story, the history, the other options to change up the recipes (so many good ideas!), the reason not to crowd a pan, so much great info up there.

  2. 5 stars
    These were legit the best corn fritters I’ve ever made.
    I grated half a small red onion and chopped 2 pieces of ham and added that. Sooo good and golden and crunchy. Yum!