Fresh corn fritters are crispy and golden on the outside, and soft and loaded with juicy corn on the inside. A sweet and savory fritter with just the right amount of jalapeño is perfect for breakfast, as a snack, or dinner!

Corn fritters piled high on a white rectangular plate.

If you’ve never had one, it must now be your mission to make one. Because honestly, there is nothing better than a hot fried crisp fritter filled with deliciously sweet corn, then topped with a fresh cooling dollop of sour cream. Except maybe a plate of them.

About these corn fritters

Made popular in the southern United States, old-fashioned corn fritters can be formed into dough balls or pancake-like disks, however you’d prefer. They’re such a customizable snack because it’s essentially a base of a bit of fried dough, then you add whatever ingredients you like!

This recipe showcases your corn, whether it’s fresh from the farm or some you’ve had frozen since the summer. It’s a great budget-friendly year-round recipe because the other ingredients included are basic pantry staples.

They’re a super simple one bowl recipe that makes them a quick go-to for an after school snack, or a crowd-pleasing appetizer when hosting a gathering or game night. You can also make lots and freeze some for later which is a big time saver.

Although they’re best made and eaten immediately, you can make the batter a few hours ahead of time and fry when you’re ready. Top with a dollop of sour cream and added optional heat from the jalapeño to kick it up a notch. Once you join this fritter loving club, there is no turning back! You’ll definitely want to try zucchini fritters, too!

Overhead view of corn fritters drizzled with sour cream.

What makes these a fritter?

Fritters are balls of fried dough. You can make them plain or showcase a particular ingredient. Think banana fritters, veggie fritters, apple fritters, potato fritters, you get the idea. Some are sweet, some are savory and some, like this old fashioned corn fritter recipe, are both.

Ingredients

  • Whole Milk – You can substitute with cream or half and half for a richer batter.
  • Eggs – You’ll need 2 large eggs, they bind the fritters together.
  • All-Purpose Flour – It’s the basis of most fried fritters. The flour gives them a nice fried dough texture.
  • Cornmeal – Cornmeal adds great texture to the fritters and adds depth to the corn flavor.
  • Granulated Sugar – Gives a subtle sweetness, which draws out the natural sweetness of the corn nicely.
  • Baking Powder – Gives a bit of a rise to the dough. Do not swap with baking soda, which gives it an aftertaste and won’t have the same leavening effect.
  • Kosher Salt – Salt balances out the flavors. If you like more, add more.
  • Corn Kernels – You can use fresh, frozen, or canned corn for this recipe. We recommend fresh for the best flavor and texture!
  • Jalapeño Pepper – The pepper adds subtle heat and depth the the flavor. If you don’t like any heat at all, leave it out.
  • Green Onions – Otherwise known as scallions, green onions add a subtle onion flavor. You could also use chives if you prefer.
  • Vegetable Oil or Grapeseed Oil – For frying, you need an oil with a high smoke point, and either of these work really well.
Overhead view of ingredients including corn kernels, green onion, jalapeno, egg.

How to Make Corn Fritters

In a large bowl, whisk together milk and eggs.

Wet ingredients in a white mixing bowl.

Stir in flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, salt, corn, jalapeño, and green onions.

Corn, green onions, jalapeno, flour and other ingredients in a white mixing bowl.

Mix until just combined.

Uncooked corn fritter batter in a white mixing bowl.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add batter by ¼ cupfuls.

Uncooked corn fritters on a white skillet.

Fry on each side or until golden brown. Place on a paper towel after frying to drain excess grease. Continue with batches until all the batter is used. 

Cooked and golden brown corn pancakes on a white skillet.

Tip: To keep the first batches warm, preheat the oven to 200°F and place on a baking sheet in oven to keep warm.

How to make these corn fritters your own

  • For a Mexican style fritter, keep the jalapeños, add some cheddar or pepper jack cheese and finish with a squeeze of lime juice and a sprinkle of cilantro.
  • If you’re wanting to eat a stack as a meal, for a meatless option, serve with a side of eggs or serve with a runny egg on top like these savory pancakes.
  • For a meat option. serve on the side of chicken or fish, or with a couple of slices of candied bacon.
  • Crumble up some cooked bacon and add 1/2 cup to the batter.
  • The shape of the fritter is a personal preference. Some like it round which is done by dropping the dough directly in the oil right from the spoon. For this option, you’ll probably need more oil. To create a flat fritter, you’ll just need to use your hand to press down before dropping it in the oil. We prefer the flat fritters not only because they look like pancakes, but also because the cook more quickly and don’t fall apart as easily.
  • To serve as a hands-free appetizer, opt for the dough ball shape and serve with a side of toothpicks.
Corn fritters on a plate with sour cream and green onions.

Top them!

You can of course top these with nearly anything, but here are some of our favorite ideas:

  • Sour cream
  • Greek yogurt
  • Chives
  • Chopped green onions
  • Maple syrup
  • Honey
  • Garlic aioli

FAQs

Can you eat corn fritters cold?

For sure! Hot off the pan fritters of course have that wonderful crispy texture, but cold fritters the next day is a great grab and go snack. There’s no law against it, so you do you!

Why are my corn fritters soggy?

This could be because they were stacked too close together once fried, causing a steam effect. It’s best to place them individually on a cooking rack so that the air circulates evenly.
Another reason could be too much flour. If you perhaps used more than instructed, the ratio may have been off and too much flour leads to too much oil absorption.
Using canned or frozen corn that hasn’t been drained or dried, may also be the culprit. Using fresh corn is a way to work around this.

Overhead view of fritters drizzled with sour cream and sprinkled with green onions.

Storage Suggestions

Once completely cooled, they will keep in the fridge in an airtight container or Ziploc bag for up to 3 days or the freezer for up to 3 months. To freeze individual fritters that won’t freeze in clumps, keep them on a baking sheet and flash freeze them just to get them solid. Then add them to the airtight container.

Reheating Tips

If frozen, thaw at room temperature for an hour before reheating. You can reheat them in the microwave for a quick bite, but they won’t be crispy. To get back the crispy texture, reheat in the oven, the air fryer or a toaster oven.

Corn fritters piled high on a white rectangular plate.

Get the Recipe: Easy Corn Fritters

Fresh corn fritters are crispy and golden on the outside, and soft and loaded with juicy corn on the inside. A sweet and savory fritter with just the right amount of jalapeño is perfect for breakfast, as a snack, or dinner!
5 from 1 vote

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels from 3 ears corn
  • 1/2 medium jalapeño pepper seeded and minced (optional) (1 tablespoon)
  • ¼ cup finely chopped green onions
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil or grapeseed oil for frying

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, whisk together milk and eggs. Stir in flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, salt, corn, jalapeno, and green onions. Mix until just combined.
  • Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add batter by ¼ cupfuls. Fry 4-5 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Place on a paper towel after frying to drain any grease. Continue with batches until all the batter is used.
  • If desired, preheat oven to 200°F and place cooked fritters on a baking sheet in oven to keep warm.

Notes

  • If desired, add ½ cup cooked crumbled bacon to batter.
Serving: 2fritters, Calories: 315kcal, Carbohydrates: 44g, Protein: 8g, Fat: 13g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 57mg, Sodium: 783mg, Potassium: 239mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 6g, Vitamin A: 202IU, Vitamin C: 3mg, Calcium: 159mg, Iron: 2mg