Homemade Cream-Style Corn

Homemade cream-style corn in a bowl with bread

The Spruce

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Total: 20 mins
Servings: 4 to 6 servings

There are so many ways to enjoy fresh corn on the cob, whether you steam it, grill it, roast, or eat it straight off the cob, uncooked (Yes, you can do this—it's basically like eating any other raw veggie). However, this recipe for cream-style corn is homemade and naturally sweet when made with seasonal corn. The recipe is made with fresh corn scraped from the cobs, butter, half-and-half, and simple seasonings you've likely got on hand. If the corn is very fresh and in season, you can skip the granulated sugar—you won't need it. Simply scrape the corn off the cob with a knife, including the milk (aka the juices from the corn).

This cream-style corn is a delicious dish, and it is so easy to prepare. If you're looking for something to do with fresh corn, try it—your family will love it. If you really enjoy corn, you can certainly just eat this on its own, but it's great served alongside fried chicken, coleslaw, or maybe even some scalloped potatoes. Cream-style corn is undoubtedly a comfort food, and it's one of those dishes whose simplicity belies its deliciousness. It's also that much more rewarding when you make it yourself.

Ingredients

  • 6 ears fresh corn
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon flour (blended with 1 tablespoon water)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup milk (or half-and-half)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for cream-style corn
    The Spruce
  2. Remove the husks and silk from the ears of corn and rinse well. Cut about 1 inch or so off of the top of each ear to make a flat end. Stand an ear on its flat end on a wide plate and, with a sharp knife, cut downward through several rows. Don't cut too close to the cob; cut the kernels about 3/4 of the way through. Once the kernels are cut from the cob, scrape the corn with the back of the knife to get all of the "milk" and pulp.

    Corn cut off the cob on a cutting board
    The Spruce
  3. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat.

    Butter melting in a skillet
    The Spruce
  4. Add the corn and juices, 3 tablespoons of water, and sugar. Cook, stirring, until the corn is tender.

    Corn kernels cooking in a saucepan with water and sugar
    The Spruce
  5. Stir in flour and water mixture, salt, and pepper, blending well. Continue cooking, stirring, for 2 minutes.

    Corn kernels in a saucepan with seasoning and flour
    The Spruce
  6. Gradually add the milk, stirring constantly. Cook for about 2 minutes longer. Do not let the mixture boil.

    Corn kernels and milk in saucepan
    The Spruce
  7. Serve and enjoy.

Tips

  • Fresh-picked corn will be the sweetest and most flavorful, and it will be lower in starch.
  • If you can't use the fresh corn immediately after picking (or purchasing from the local farmers market), refrigerate it in its husks.
  • If the husks have been removed, parboil the corn on the cobs for a minute or two and then refrigerate them for up to three days. The heat will keep the sugar from turning to starch.

Variations

  • If you need to make this without milk and butter, you could make this recipe with a plant-based butter and plant-based milk such as oat, soy, or almond, but it may not thicken as much and get as "creamy" as regular full-fat cow's milk. You may need to add a little bit more flour to the pan if you are using a nondairy milk. Experiment until you reach the desired consistency. Even if it's not perfect, it will still taste good.
  • Feel free to add seasonings that taste good with corn if you'd like to liven this dish up a little bit. A 1/2 teaspoon of paprika or cumin would work, and so would a dash (or more) of cayenne pepper. The sweetness of corn is a good foil for the heat of peppers.