I’ll show you how to make homemade creamed corn from fresh corn on the cob. This homemade cream corn recipe is made without cream, butter or milk – so it’s vegan too!
Keep reading to learn how to make cream-style corn that is delicious, and better than the canned version!
Corn season in the United States lasts from May to September depending on what state you’re in. This is a perfect time of year to find fresh sweet corn at your local farmers market.
Another fun way to get your hands on some fresh corn is by going to a u-pick. To see if you’re lucky enough to live near one, try a Google Maps search for “corn u-pick near me”.
Nothing says summer like swirling hot corn on the cob in a stick of butter does it? I’m drooling over here!
But let’s not stop at corn on the cob, how about some other side dishes made with fresh corn.
Cue my homemade creamed corn, also known as cream-style corn or just cream corn. Sure, you can buy canned cream corn, but making it from scratch is pretty darned satisfying.
You may also be surprised to hear that you don’t need cream, heavy cream, or milk to make creamed corn. Nope, this homemade creamed corn recipe is naturally vegan because of something called “corn milk”.
Corn milk is a sweet starchy liquid inside every kernel of corn. It kinda looks like watered down milk. With enough whole corn kernels you can even make and drink corn milk. True story, it’s a thing.
To make this easy homemade creamed corn we are going to puree the corn kernels a little, which will release some sweet corn milk into the pot.
Let’s get started!
Ingredients to Make Homemade Creamed Corn
You only need 4 simple ingredients to make the homemade version of cream corn.
1. Fresh Corn on the Cob (Sweet Corn)
For the best results, start with good corn. Make sure the ears of corn that you buy are not dried out. If you peel back the husk a little and the kernels at the top of the corn cob are dry or shriveled, don’t buy it.
Look for corn that has pale green husks, without brown spots. If the husks are a little dry this can be OK so long as the kernels inside are still plump. If the outside of the husks are dry, shriveled and starting to turn brown, it indicates that they corn is less fresh.
And as an FYI, you can make homemade creamed corn with frozen corn and I explain how below.
2. White Sugar
Creamed corn is a little sweet. The sweeter and fresher the corn you start with, the less sugar you’ll need to add. That’s why I recommend only adding a little bit of sugar to the corn and tasting first before adding more.
You’ll need 1 to 3 teaspoons of sugar to sweeten 3 cups of corn kernels.
Exactly how much sugar is all a matter of personal preference. Start with just 1 teaspoon of sugar, then taste the final product before adding more.
I use half a teaspoon of ordinary table salt. Add a little more if it’s needed after you taste it.
I’ll show you have to make a slurry out of corn starch and cold water that you’ll use to thicken the creamed corn as the final step.
I prefer minimal ingredients in my cooking and did test this recipe without cornstarch. But it did not have the creamy texture you want in cream corn. It was a bit watery. Cornstarch fixed this.
How to Make Creamed Corn
Step 1: Shuck and boil the cobs of corn
Bring a large pot of water to boil on the stove.
While the water is heating up, shuck 4 whole ears of corn. Be sure to remove any little hairs.
Carefully place the whole corn cobs into the boiling water and boil for just 3 minutes.
Use tongs to remove the cobs from the water. Place them on a plate to cool off for a few minutes.
Step 2: Remove the kernels from the cob
The easiest way to remove the corn kernels is with a solid cutting board and large sharp knife.
Stand the cob of corn vertically on the cutting board, holding it at the top. Slice vertically from top to bottom all the way around the ear of corn.
Measure the corn kernels, you’ll need 3 cups for this recipe.
Step 3: Make a cornstarch slurry
We’ll use a slurry made of cornstarch and water to thicken the cream corn. Add a quarter cup of cold water and 2 tablespoons of cornstarch to a small or medium glass jar. Replace the lid and shake it vigorously until the cornstarch is dissolved.
Set aside the slurry.
Step 4: Combine the ingredients
Place the 3 cups of whole corn kernels into a small pot and stir in 1 teaspoon of sugar, half a teaspoon salt and one and a half cups of water.
Now grab your immersion blender and give the corn mixture between three and six quick pulses. The goal is not to fully puree all the corn. Stop pulsing when it looks like about 50% of the corn kernels are smashed and 50% are still whole.
Bring the mixture to a low simmer over medium heat. Once simmering, maintain that simmer and slowly pour in your cornstarch slurry while stirring continuously. Stop pouring the slurry when the cream corn reaches your desired consistency.
Remove from heat and it’s done! This recipe yields 2 3/4 cups of cream corn.
Homemade creamed corn can be served immediately or stored in an airtight container in your fridge. Reheat briefly on the stovetop or in the microwave.
How to Serve Cream Corn
Cream corn is a classic side dish on any holiday table: Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter. Trust me, you’ll impress your guests when you tell them you made it from scratch!
Unfortunately corn isn’t in season around those holidays. So if making creamed corn for Thanksgiving dinner you’ll need to use frozen corn.
Cream-style corn also pairs very well with pork – especially BBQ! It’s a delicious side dish for pulled pork, ribs, pork chops or pork tenderloin! And the summer months are an ideal time of year for BBQ!
This easy creamed corn recipe also makes a delicious vegetable side dish for a Farm-to-Table Thanksgiving Dinner btw.
How to Make Cream Corn with Frozen Corn
The process for making cream corn with frozen corn is almost the same as with fresh corn.
- 3 cups of frozen corn kernels, thawed
- 1.5 cups water
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp white sugar
- Cornstarch slurry: 1/4 cup cold water + 2 tbsp cornstarch
Step by Step Instructions
Be sure to thaw the corn kernels first. You’ll need 3 cups of thawed corn kernels.
- Combine the thawed kernels, water, salt and sugar in a medium pot. Simmer for three minutes.
- While it simmers, make your cornstarch slurry. Combine the cold water and cornstarch in a jar with a lid. Shake vigorously until combined. Set aside.
- Once the corn mixture has been simmering for 3 minutes, use an immersion blender to quickly pulse the corn mixture 3 times in the pot.
- While continuing to simmer, slowly pour the slurry into the corn mixture while stirring. If you’d like the corn kernels a bit more blended, give another pulse of your immersion blender until it reaches your desired texture.
- Now taste it, does it need more sugar? Depending on how sweet the corn was to start with you may find it needs a little more sugar. Add more salt only if needed by taste.
- Remove from heat and serve.
Frequently Asked Questions
How to freeze fresh corn?
Yes you can freeze fresh corn on the cob for eating all winter long. Simply shuck then boil the corn cobs for 3 to 5 minutes like you usually do.
Use a sharp knife to carefully slice all the corn kernels off the cob. Fill freezer bags with the corn kernels, remove as much air as you can then seal and lay flat in your freezer.
Frozen corn will last longer before getting freezer burn if you have a vacuum sealer to remove all the air from the freezer bags.
Does homemade cream corn taste the same as canned creamed corn?
I find that my homemade recipe tastes very similar to the canned version. Part of this is because of the simple ingredients. I don’t use cream, butter or herbs to alter the flavor of a basic cream corn. The texture of homemade cream corn is also very much like canned cream corn.
How to Make Creamed Corn from Fresh Corn (Homemade Recipe)
- 4 ears of corn on the cob (3 cups of corn kernels)
- 1-3 tsp white sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- Bring a large pot of water to boil on the stove.While the water is heating up, shuck 4 whole ears of corn. Be sure to remove any little hairs.Carefully place the whole corn cobs into the boiling water and boil for just 3 minutes.Use tongs to remove the cobs from the water. Place them on a plate to cool off for a few minutes.
- Remove the corn kernels from the cobs. Stand the cob of corn vertically on the cutting board, holding it at the top. Slice vertically from top to bottom all the way around the ear of corn.
- Make a slurry to thicken the corn. Add a quarter cup of cold water and 2 tablespoons of cornstarch to a small or medium glass jar. Replace the lid and shake it vigorously until the cornstarch is dissolved. Set aside
- Place the 3 cups of whole corn kernels into a small pot and stir in 1 teaspoon of sugar, half a teaspoon salt and one and a half cups of water.Now grab your immersion blender and give the corn mixture between three and six quick pulses. The goal is not to fully puree all the corn. Stop pulsing when it looks like about 50% of the corn kernels are smashed and 50% are still whole.Bring the mixture to a low simmer over medium heat. Once simmering, maintain that simmer and slowly pour in your cornstarch slurry while stirring continuously. Stop pouring the slurry when the cream corn reaches your desired consistency.
- Remove from heat and it’s done! This recipe yields 2 3/4 cups of cream corn.