Fried Cornbread Fritters

Fried cornbread

The Spruce

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Total: 20 mins
Servings: 5 to 6 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
562 Calories
39g Fat
48g Carbs
7g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 5 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 562
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 39g 50%
Saturated Fat 4g 20%
Cholesterol 37mg 12%
Sodium 388mg 17%
Total Carbohydrate 48g 17%
Dietary Fiber 4g 13%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 7g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 105mg 8%
Iron 3mg 14%
Potassium 185mg 4%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Also known as Johnnycakes or hoecakes, fried cornbread fritters are a staple side dish in the southern U.S. They look a bit like a cross between cornbread and a pancake, and they don't take much effort to whip up for a quick side dish. You can make them as big or as little as you like; however, keep in mind that the smaller fritters are much easier to flip.

Serve the fried cornbread fritters alongside chili, fried chicken, beans and greens, or any other Southern-inspired cuisine. 

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cornmeal

  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/4 cup self-rising flour

  • 1 cup water

  • 1/4 cup bacon drippings (or cooking oil)

  • 1/2 cup milk (or buttermilk)

  • 1 large egg

  • Neutral oil, for frying

  • Honey, for serving, optional

  • Salted butter, for serving, optional

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for cornbread
    The Spruce
  2. In a medium bowl, mix cornmeal, salt, self-rising flour, water, bacon drippings, milk, and egg to form a batter thick enough to drop out with a tablespoon.

    Mix ingredients for cornbread fritters
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  3. Heat a cast-iron skillet until it's hot but not smoking. Add oil and let it heat up. 

    Heat a cast iron skillet
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  4. Drop batter by the tablespoon into the skillet. Let it cook until the edges are bubbling and the center is set.

    Drop batter on skillet
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  5. Using a spatula, flip the fritters to cook on the other side. 

    Use spatula to flip fritters
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  6. Remove the fritters to a plate lined with a paper towel to drain excess oil. 

    Remove the cornbread and place on paper towel
    The Spruce
  7. Serve immediately with honey and butter, if desired.

Tips

  • The age-old question is whether or not to add sugar to the batter. Some foods just don't marry well with sweet cornbread. If you serve the cornbread with honey and butter, the batter can stand up to the sugar, but chili is better with a savory cornbread on the side. 
  • For a bit more texture, add 8 ounces of corn kernels to the cornbread fritter batter. 
  • If the skillet is too hot, the cornbread will brown on the outside and not be done on the inside.
  • If you're running short on time or don't have an ingredient in the pantry, you can make fried cornbread fritters using cornbread mix. 
  • Cornbread, fried or not, is a natural with chili, black-eyed peas, beans, fried fish, greens with smoked neck bones, stews, and gumbos.
  • Use a neutral-tasting oil with a lower smoke point for frying, such as canola or vegetable oil. 

Recipe Variations

  • Southwest Cornbread Fritters: Add a 4-ounce can of diced green chilis, a half-cup of diced onion, and 1 cup of shredded Cheddar cheese to the batter. 
  • Orange Cranberry Cornbread Fritters: Add 1 cup roughly chopped fresh cranberries and 1 tablespoon orange zest to the batter. 
  • Bacon Scallion Cornbread Fritters: Add six slices of chopped bacon, a 1/2 cup of sliced green onions, and 1/2 cup Cheddar cheese to the batter. 
  • Maple Cornbread Fritters: Replace the water with a half-cup milk and half-cup of pure maple syrup.