A Spicy Perspective

Corn Nuggets (Fritters)

Old-Fashioned Corn Nuggets Recipe – Crunchy and delicious fried corn fritters are easy to make and perfect to serve with your favorite dipping sauces!

Close view plate piled high with crispy golden brown corn nuggets.

Why We Love This Classic Recipe

Here we have old-fashioned fair food at its finest! Golden brown and crispy on the outside, soft and sweet on the inside, corn fritters are always a carnival favorite.

But why wait for just that tiny bit of the year when the fair is in town? With this easy homemade corn nuggets recipe, you can make crunchy and tender deep-fried fritters anytime! Fry up a batch in just over an hour from start to finish, and serve with your favorite dipping sauces for snack time or as a fun appetizer.

What is the difference between corn fritters and hush puppies?

Both corn nuggets and hushpuppies are made with deep-fried corn batters. Corn fritters have a lighter texture than hush puppies, and are loaded with sweet and spicy flavor. The texture of hush puppies comes from rustic yellow cornmeal blended into the flour mixture. Corn fritters are usually made without cornmeal, but have drained corn kernels (or sometimes creamed corn) mixed into the batter.

Close view of corn fritters, one fritter open to expose the kernels.

Ingredients You Need

  • All-purpose flour – or gluten-free flour, if you prefer
  • Sugar – refined white, coconut sugar, or another granulated sugar substitute
  • Baking powder – to get just the right fluffy “rise” and texture
  • Spices – salt, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper (optional)
  • Half and half – the best choice for a thick batter
  • Eggs – large, for a smooth and rich batter
  • Shortening – melted
  • Corn kernels – can be fresh, frozen, or canned and drained
  • Fry oil – peanut, canola, or vegetable oil are the best options
Bowl of batter ingredients in a mixing bowl, being combined with wire whisk.

How to Make Fried Corn Nuggets

First, set out a large mixing bowl. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper. Mix well. 

Stir in the half-and-half, eggs, and melted shortening. Mix until smooth.

Loose wet batter with whisk in a mixing bowl.

Then fold in the corn kernels.

Whisking in corn kernels into the batter in the mixing bowl.

Mix until well combined.

Then cover the batter and place it in the refrigerator for at least one hour.

Get the Complete (Printable) Old-Fashioned Corn Fritters Recipe Below. Enjoy!

Blue spatula folding corn kernels into the mixing bowl with batter.

Once the batter is well chilled, place a large pot (or large deep skillet) over medium heat. Attach a cooking thermometer to the side of the pot and fill with 2 inches of oil. Set a plate near the stovetop, and line it with paper towels, to absorb the excess grease from the cooked nuggets.

Once the oil reaches 370°F, take the corn batter out of the refrigerator. Use a spoon (or cookie scoop) to portion out 2 tablespoon dollops of batter.

Pro Tip: If you own a deep fryer, this is a great time to use it!

Hand using small ice cream scoop to show scoopful of corn fritter batter to camera.

Working in small batches, gently drop spoonfuls of the corn mixture into the hot oil. The temperature will drop to around 350°F. Adjust the burner as needed to keep the temperature around 350.

Fry the corn nuggets for approximately 3 to 5 minutes. They should be gold into dark gold on the outside.

Cast iron pot with hot oil, thermometer clipped on the side. Deep frying several corn nuggets.

Use a skimmer or slotted spoon to move them to the holding plate. Cut one open to make sure it is tender, but fully cooked on the inside. Adjust the temperature and cooking time as needed and continue frying in small batches.

Plate piled high with golden crispy old fashioned corn nuggets

Serving Suggestions

Serve the corn nuggets warm as is, or with dipping sauce(s) on the side. There really is no wrong way to dunk these little delights… Here are just a few ideas to get you going:

Or whatever dips you dig!

Close up view finished corn fritters on a plate, stacked in a large pile.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are my corn fritters soggy?

Typically when fried food comes out soggy it is because the oil was not quite hot enough. I always suggest using a clip-on thermometer to keep a constant eye on the heat and make sure it stays at 350 degrees.

Also note that as you add the cold batter to the fry oil, the oil temperature reduces. Therefore take care to not overcrowd the pot!

Why are my fritters falling apart?

Refrigerate the batter for the full hour so that it firms up a bit. To make this classic corn nuggets recipe it is essential that the batter be cold to hold its shape when it hits the hot oil. And again, that oil needs to be a solid 350 degrees to properly fry the old-fashioned corn fritters.

How long do leftovers keep well?

The old-fashioned corn fritters taste best fresh and hot. But you can keep them in the fridge for up to a day or so. I recommend that you briefly reheat in the air fryer if you’ve got one.

Hand holding corn nugget to camera, open to show corn kernels inside.

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5 from 3 votes
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Corn Nuggets (Fritters)

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Chill Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Crunchy and delicious fried corn fritters are easy to make and perfect to serve with your favorite nuggets dipping sauces!
Servings: 60 nuggets

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Set out a large mixing bowl. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper. Mix well.
  • Stir in the half-and-half, eggs, and melted shortening. Mix until smooth. Then fold in the corn kernels, mixing until well combined.
  • Cover the batter and place in the refrigerator for at least one hour.
  • Once the batter is well chilled, place a large pot over medium heat. Attach a cooking thermometer to the side of the pot and fill with 2 inches of frying oil. Set a plate near the stovetop and line it with paper towels.
  • Once the oil reaches 370°F, take the batter out of the refrigerator. Use a spoon (or cookie scoop) to portion out 2 tablespoon dollops of batter. Working in small batches, gently drop them in the hot oil. The temperature will drop to around 350°F. Adjust the burner as needed to keep the temperature around 350.
  • Fry the corn nuggets for approximately 3 to 5 minutes. They should be gold into dark gold on the outside. Use a skimmer or slotted spoon to move them to the holding plate. Cut one open to make sure it is tender, but fully cooked on the inside. Adjust the temperature and cooking time as needed and continue frying in small batches.
  • Serve the corn nuggets warm as is, or with dipping sauce on the side.

Video

Notes

Dip Ideas: Comeback Sauce, Remoulade, Marinara, Ranch Dressing
The fritters taste best fresh and hot. But you can keep them in the fridge for up to a day or so. I recommend that you briefly reheat in the air fryer if you’ve got one.

Nutrition

Serving: 1pc, Calories: 29kcal, Carbohydrates: 4g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 1g, Saturated Fat: 0.4g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 0.4g, Trans Fat: 0.1g, Cholesterol: 6mg, Sodium: 98mg, Potassium: 34mg, Fiber: 0.3g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 25IU, Vitamin C: 0.2mg, Calcium: 10mg, Iron: 0.2mg
Course: Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine: American, Southern
Author: Sommer Collier

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6 comments on “Corn Nuggets (Fritters)”

  1. SO yummy!! The whole fam loved these nuggets!

  2. Can you use grilled corn-on-the-cob?

  3. Thank you so much for sharing this awesome corn nuggets fritters recipe! It’s really easy to make and it tasted so delicious! Highly recommended!

  4. These have so much flavor and remind me of good southern cooking!

  5. Pingback: Pepite Di Mais (frittelle) - Una Prospettiva Piccante - RicetteTop.com