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My best Southern Corn Pudding is farm to table fare, accompanying everything from grilled steak to the Thanksgiving dinner turkey!
Holiday dinners are not the only meals deserved of a great side dish. Right now, seasonal ingredients like corn keep my summer dinner menu lively and fresh, and with only a few minutes of prep required to garner that perfect side dish!
The start of any solid southern corn pudding recipe is a combination of fresh corn, cream-style corn, sour cream, butter, and eggs. Flour, sugar, Kosher salt, and black pepper round out the ingredients.
Baked until gorgeously golden brown, spoonsful of ‘creamy corn pudding bliss’ grace the dinner table in this classic southern dish. If serving as part of a holiday meal, it compliments everything from holiday ham and turkey to squash casserole, to a swank sweet potato casserole!
Ingredients That Go Into This Recipe
This sweet corn pudding recipe employs farm to table ingredients. Jot them down and place into your wallet or glove box for when you hit your farmers market. Simple ingredients are what make this easy recipe a repeat performer and a family favorite!
- Whole kernel corn – Fresh corn will lend additional sweetness to the finished dish, however it is fine to use canned or frozen corn if fresh is not in season. For frozen corn, thaw in advance and drain well.
- Creamed corn – Canned cream-style corn is a non-negotiable ingredient in this recipe as it creates a velvety texture, a sweeter pudding, and adds the necessary moisture to prevent any chance of the pudding drying or crumbling.
- Eggs and whole milk – Help the pudding achieve a custard-like texture.
- Sour cream – Adds unmatched richness while also imparting tangy notes.
- Butter – Always melt the butter before adding to the mix. I use salted, but unsalted works just as well.
- All-purpose flour
- Granulated sugar
- Kosher salt
- Black pepper
Substitutions and Variations
- Shredded cheddar, white cheddar, Colby, pepper jack – or another flavor of cheese just levels this whole casserole up.
- Brown butter sauteed onion – the unmistakable flavor of brown butter gives this a pleasantly nutty and luxe taste.
- Jalapeños or Mild green chilis – if you ‘do’ heat, you know…and a pinch of cayenne will get you there, too!
- Chopped tomato – I almost always add for a pop of color and a touch of sweetness.
- Green onion – adds that charisma to the look of this dish by adding color.
- Cooked, crumbled chorizo or bacon – sprinkle on top just before putting in the oven to bake.
- Chives, thyme, or marjoram – garnish post-bake or stir them into the batter for the subtle earthiness they impart.
Kitchen Hack: Safely Cut Corn from The Cob!
If you are using fresh corn, here’s a little trick for safely cutting it from the cob, and without kernels flying everywhere…
- Grab a Bundt pan and place it on a dampened kitchen towel.
- Grab a sharp kitchen knife.
- Insert the pointed end of the corn ear into the hole in the middle of the Bundt.
- Start at the top with your knife and cut straight down.
- The dampened towel keeps the Bundt from sliding.
- The hole in the pan keeps the ear stabilized.
- The corn kernels catch in the belly of the Bundt pan with minimal mess all over your counter.
Fresh Corn vs Frozen: Which Is Better?
Either! Always go fresh when available, but both frozen corn and canned corn will work in this method.
I make a point of freezing fresh corn for later use by cutting the kernels from the cob and placing into freezer-safe food storage bags or containers. Frozen, the corn keeps for three months!
To grill corn for a sweet and smoky corn pudding, pull each husk back one at a time. Remove the silk and replace each husk one at a time. Place on a smoking hot grill and allow the husks AND a good number of kernels to char and smoke. Cool and remove the burnt husks. Cut from the cob. Use immediately or freeze up to 3 months. Think Thanksgiving!
Corn Pudding vs Corn Casserole: Are These the Same?
Corn Pudding is not the same dish as corn casserole, which specifies a box of corn muffin mix among its ingredients and has a moist “cornbread-like” texture.
Corn pudding is a creamy, custard-like side dish that originated in the American South. It is made with stewed corn, butter, milk, and often a thickening agent such as flour. Corn pudding can be served all year round, but it is especially popular during Thanksgiving.
Can Corn Pudding Be Made Ahead?
YES! This is what’s wonderful about this casserole aside from it tasting so fantastic.
This recipe can be assembled, wrapped with plastic film, then placed into the refrigerator by up to two days before baking.
Step By Step Instructions
1: Cut the kernels from the corn cobs. You can elect to cut straight away or grill the corn first to get some caramelization and char marks going. If you grill the corn first, allow it to cool sufficiently before cutting it. See my tips above for grilling ears of corn. It’s at this step I save out about 1/4-cup of the kernels for garnishing the casserole at the end. It just looks pretty!
2: In a small bowl, lightly beat 4 large eggs. I like to take this time also to allow the sour cream to come up to room temperature and the 2 tablespoons of butter that I’ve melted to cool slightly.
3: Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter 9-inch souffle or 8 x 8-inch casserole dish using 1 tablespoon of the butter. This should be softened for easy greasing. Have at the ready a roasting pan large enough to fit the casserole dish for assembling a bain marie. Place a clean dish towel in the roasting pan and then the buttered baking dish.
4: Alternatively, butter 6 to 8 ramekins for individual corn puddings. Again, have at the ready a roasting pan large enough to fit all of the ramekins ensuring they will bake at least 1-inch apart. At this point, fill a kettle with water and bring it to a boil. Set all aside.
3: In a large mixing bowl, combine 2 cups of corn kernels, a 15-ounce can of cream-style corn, 2 tablespoons of melted butter, the eggs, 3 tablespoons flour, a heaping tablespoonful of sour cream, 1/2 cup of whole milk, 2 to 3 tablespoons of granulated sugar, 1 teaspoon of Kosher salt, and a healthy pinch of black pepper.
4: Use a spatula to fold everything together. I generally go with a textured pudding, however there is the option for a custard-like pudding, too. Optional Custard Style Pudding: add half of the mixture to a blender, and pulse until very smooth. Return to bowl with original mixture, and re-incorporate.
5. Load the corn mixture into the souffle, casserole, or ramekins.
6. Strictly optional, however if you desire to add additional ingredients from my list of variations above, do so now. Here I am adding a combination of chopped tomato, green onion, and fresh thyme leaves, about a tablespoon of each.
7. I also add a dusting of paprika, Kosher salt, and more black pepper. Think color, texture, flavor. Add what resonates with your eaters or opt to add nothing at all.
8. Create the bain marie by pouring in enough boiling water to fill the roaster within 2-inches from the top(s) of the souffle/casserole/ramekins. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes. Casserole is fully cooked when custard is mostly set, and center is only somewhat jiggly.
9. Once removed from the oven, allow the casserole to stand for 5 minutes before serving.
10. Garnish with any kernels of corn you may have set aside, fresh herbs, or just the way it is!
How to Serve Corn Pudding
- Choose a pretty baking dish from which to serve the pudding directly.
- Sprinkle with fresh thyme or chives or another chopped fresh herb just before serving.
- If making individual servings, line salad plates with paper napkins and place fully baked puddings atop the napkins. Ramekins will not slide off.
Prefer Individual Servings Instead?
This recipe makes enough pudding to fill 6 to 8 ramekins for individual servings. I like to assemble individual servings when I am entertaining, but also when I am meal-prepping for the week. This way, with everybody in my house eating at different times, I need only reheat a little versus an entire casserole.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days or in the freezer for up to two months.
Jenny’s Recipe Pro Tips
- Melting the butter makes it distribute more evenly when mixed with the other wet ingredients.
- Partially cooling the melted butter ensures the eggs will not curdle and helps to avoid a lumpy-textured pudding.
- Use fresh corn if possible. If you do use canned or frozen corn, make sure to drain it very well to prevent your corn pudding from becoming soggy.
- Save a handful of corn kernels for scattering over a fully baked casserole for visual appeal!
Corn Pudding is not the same dish as corn casserole. Corn pudding can best be described as soufflé-esque or custard-like in texture, while corn casserole uses a flour and cornmeal ready-mix, making it similar in texture to cornbread.
Corn pudding is a super popular Southern side dish. Also sometimes referred to as corn pie, this dish is legit soul food.
Yes. Reheat in the microwave or cover the leftovers in the baking dish with foil and pop into a 325°F oven until heated through.
More Corn and Cornmeal Recipes You’ll Love
Southern Corn Pudding
- 2 cups (save out 1/4 cup for garnish if desired) whole kernel corn fresh is best; frozen or canned both fine as long as thoroughly thawed/very well drained; see my tips for grilling fresh corn also
- 1 (15-ounce) can cream-style corn
- 3 tablespoons butter divided, 2 tablespoon melted and cooled, 1 tablespoon softened
- 4 large eggs
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 heaping tablespoon sour cream
- ½ cup whole milk may substitute heavy cream
- 2-3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt or to taste
- pinch black pepper or to taste
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter 9-inch round souffle, 8 x 8-inch casserole dish, or 6 to 8 ramekins using the tablespoon of softened butter. Create step one of a bain marie by first laying a clean dish towel in the bottom of a roasting pan large enough to accommodate the one which will be used for the pudding. In the case of ramekins, ensure they are at least 1-inch apart. Set the souffle/casserole/ramekins being used for the pudding on top of the towel. The towel ensures nothing will slide while in the water.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients. Use a wire whisk to ensure all is incorporated very well. Optional: add half of the mixture into a blender, mixing on high 45 seconds or until very smooth. Return to bowl with remaining mixture, and re-whisk to incorporate. This step produces a very silky, custard-like pudding once fully baked.
- Pour into the prepared souffle/casserole/ramekins. Load into your preheated oven. If adding additional ingredients from the list of variations above, do so now. Complete the bain marie by pouring enough boiling water from the side to fill the roaster within 2-inches from the top(s) of the souffle/casserole/ramekins. Tip: I find this is easiest done by pulling the rack out halfway, placing the roaster on the rack, then pushing it back in SLOWLY after the water has been added.
- Bake for 40 to 50 minutes. Casserole is fully cooked when custard is mostly set and center is only somewhat jiggly. The pudding will continue to set even after it is removed from the bain marie. DO THIS CAREFULLY. A set of canning jar tongs or kitchen tongs with rubberized tips work well for ramekins, rubberized potholders for a casserole dish or souffle.
- Removed from the bain marie, allow the casserole to rest 5 to 10 minutes. If you set aside a handful of corn kernels to garnish the casserole, scatter them. Serve with freshly snipped chives or thyme leaves also scattered on top or other garnish if desired. See my suggestions above for variations to this method for ideas.
The nutrition value can vary depending on what product(s) you use. The information below is an estimate. Always use a calorie counter you are familiar with.
Please note that table salt and iodized salt are NOT substitutions for Kosher salt. Do not deviate unless otherwise specified.