If you love corn, then my family’s Southern Corn Pudding recipe is definitely for you. Moist and fluffy, it’s perfection in every bite. And, it’s easy to prepare with fresh, available ingredients – no canned creamed corn or boxed cornbread mix here. Plus, our Corn Pudding recipe dates back generations, so it’s tried and true for sure. I include detailed instructions – and a video – along with my grandmother’s tips that ensure it comes out perfect, every time.

cooked corn pudding in a glass dish, with a portion removed

Southern Corn Pudding Recipe

This savory Southern Corn Pudding was one of my mom’s fabulous signature dishes. The recipe came from her mother Bessie (or Nama to her grandchildren), and was served regularly at both casual and more formal gatherings. In fact, it’s a perfect Thanksgiving side dish. Exploding with pure sweet corn flavor, it’s definitely a crowd pleaser, too. I started making it as a teenager, and still make it several times a year. I never seem to have any leftovers when I serve it!

What is corn pudding?

Corn Pudding is a traditional southern dish in which corn is baked in an egg, milk and butter mixture. You’ll find dozens and dozens of corn pudding recipes in cookbooks and on the Internet (including from Paula Deen, Ina Garten and Nigella Lawson, among others), some of which call for canned creamed corn and/or boxed cornbread mix. Not Nama’s recipe – which calls for only fresh ingredients.

cooked corn pudding in a glass dish with a portion removed

Corn Pudding Recipe Ingredients

Our family recipe has just a few ingredients – all fresh and most likely already in your refrigerator/freezer and pantry:

  • Corn kernels – you can use fresh or frozen (thawed and patted dry)
  • Large eggs
  • Granulated sugar
  • All-purpose flour, preferably unbleached
  • Table salt
  • Salted butter – can use unsalted, just increase the table salt a bit
  • Whole milk – I wouldn’t use anything with less fat; it will contain more water and therefore would be more likely to result in a watery pudding

Side note: some corn pudding recipes call for thickening the pudding with cornstarch, but Nama figured out that starch in the corn itself provides a natural thickener. A small amount of flour ensures it reaches just the right consistency.

How to Make Corn Pudding

You’ll be amazed at how easy this corn pudding is to make!

  1. Prep ingredients and oven.
    Bring all ingredients to room temperature. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Blend base ingredients.
    Place eggs, corn, sugar, flour and salt in a blender or food processor and pulse until mixture has a hash-like consistency (you should still have some whole corn kernels). Spoon into a 7-by-11 inch glass baking dish.
  3. Melt butter.
    Place butter in a microwave-safe dish and heat in microwave just until melted; set aside to cool.
  4. Scald milk; add to corn mixture.
    In a small saucepan, heat milk over medium-high heat until it begins to steam and show small bubbles, but isn’t yet at a full boil (this is also referred to as “scalded” milk). Remove milk from heat and let cool slightly, then gently stir into pudding, mixing well.
    shows scalded milk - steaming and bubbling but not at a full boil
  5. Add butter.
    Pour melted butter evenly over top of pudding; don’t stir!
    person pouring butter on top of corn mixture for corn pudding
  6. Place in baking dish, with water bath (aka bain marie).
    Place dish in a larger baking dish with a 1/2 to 1-inch gap between the sides of the two pans. Place on center rack in oven. Carefully pour hot water into the outer dish, until water reaches around halfway up the sides of the pudding dish.
    Corn pudding inside baking dish in oven with person pouring water into second outer baking dish
  7. Bake; stir 2 to 3 times (optional).
    Bake for around 1 hour. For a more rustic texture, stir pudding from the bottom 2 to 3 times during baking. (Not stirring results in a smoother look and feel.) Pudding is done when set (it can still be a big wiggly in the center).
  8. Remove from oven.
    Remove pudding from oven and water bath; let sit for around 5 minutes before serving.

How do I know when corn pudding is done?

Corn pudding is done when it’s set – that is, it’s firm to the touch around the edges. It can still be a bit jiggly in the middle (when you gently move the pan). It will finish cooking while it sets.

What to Serve with Southern Corn Pudding

Corn pudding is extremely versatile and can be served with almost any entrée. Here are some suggestions:

Storing This Recipe for Corn Pudding

Baked corn pudding can be covered and stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Bring to room temperature before covering with foil and reheating in a 325-degree oven.

Can I freeze corn pudding?

Yes, you can freeze corn pudding, but be aware that, when reheated, it might be a bit watery. Cool baked pudding, wrap well, and refrigerate. When cold, freeze for up to 1 month. Thaw in the refrigerator before reheating.

Corn Pudding Recipe FAQ

Is corn pudding a southern thing?

Yes, corn pudding is very southern. There are debates as to where it actually originated – some believe it’s an updated version of American Indian corn pone, others insist it started in England. No matter where it began, today it’s viewed as Southern dish – especially by people in the south!

Why is my corn pudding watery?

If corn pudding cooks too quickly, the eggs can curdle and the solids separate from the liquid – resulting in a watery pudding. When this happens, leave pudding in the oven for a few more minutes, then take out and let it sit at room temperature for 3 to 5 minutes. Stir, then let it sit a minute or two more; stir again and let sit another 3 to 5 minutes. This should get rid of most, if not all, of the water.

Why is it called corn pudding?

Again, theories behind the name of this dish vary. However, everyone seems to agree on one point – “pudding” describes its texture, which is custard-like, and was originally coined by the British. (In England, custards are referred to as puddings.)

What’s the difference between corn pudding and cornbread?

Corn pudding is very different from cornbread. (I have recipes for both dishes that were passed down to me by the same grandmother, Nama.) Corn pudding is more custard-like; cornbread is basically a quick bread made with cornmeal and sometimes includes corn kernels or creamed corn.

Watch the video!

Pin this recipe now to save for later

cooked corn pudding with a spoon, formatted for sharing

Other side dishes you might like

Print
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
cooked corn pudding in a glass dish, with a portion removed

Corn Pudding Recipe

Moist, fluffy and soufflé-like, Southern Corn Pudding is perfection in every bite. Easy to prepare, too, with fresh, available ingredients – no canned corn or boxed cornbread mix. Plus, our Corn Pudding recipe dates back generations, so it’s definitely tried and true!

  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Ingredients

Scale
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 cups corn, fresh or frozen (thawed and patted dry)
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, preferably unbleached
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter
  • 2 cups whole milk

Instructions

  1. Bring all ingredients to room temperature.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Place eggs, corn, sugar, flour and salt in a blender or food processor and pulse until mixture has a hash-like consistency (you should still have some whole corn kernels). Spoon into a 7-by-11 inch glass baking dish.
  4. Melt butter in microwave; set aside to cool.
  5. In a small saucepan, heat milk over medium-high heat until it begins to steam and show small bubbles, but isn’t yet at a full boil (this is also referred to as “scalded” milk). Remove milk from heat and let cool slightly, then gently stir into pudding, mixing well.
  6. Pour melted butter evenly over top of pudding; don’t stir!
  7. Place dish in a larger baking dish with a 1/2 to 1-inch gap between the sides of the two pans. Place on center rack in oven.
  8. Carefully pour hot water into the outer dish, until water reaches around halfway up the sides of the pudding dish.
  9. Bake for around 1 hour. For a more rustic texture, stir pudding from the bottom 2 to 3 times during baking. (Not stirring results in a smoother look and feel.) Pudding is done when set (it can still be a big wiggly in the center).
  10. Remove pudding from oven and water bath; let sit for around 5 minutes before serving. (If your pudding comes out watery or runny, see Tip below from my grandmother to fix.)

Notes

Gluten free: Use gluten free flour blend.

Make ahead: Corn Pudding can be prepared and baked earlier in the day, covered and stored in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before covering with foil and reheating in a 325 degree oven.

Tip if cooked pudding is watery: If pudding cooks too quickly, the eggs can curdle and the solids separate from the liquid – resulting in a watery pudding. When this happens, leave pudding in the oven for a few more minutes, then take out and let it sit for 3 to 5 minutes. Stir, then let it sit a minute or two more; stir again and let sit another 3 to 5 minutes. This should get rid of most, if not all, of the water.

How to cut corn kernels off the cob: Place a small bowl upside down in the middle of a large mixing bowl. Set the cob of corn on top of the small bowl, flat side down (break off the end if needed). Starting at the top of the cob, slightly angle a sharp knife toward the cob and cut downward, scraping the kernels off. The larger bowl will catch the kernels (and milky juices) and keep them from flying all over the counter.

  • Author: From “A Well-Seasoned Kitchen®” by Sally Clayton and Lee Clayton Roper
  • Category: side dish
  • Method: baking
  • Cuisine: Southern

Keywords: corn, side dish, thanksgiving

cooked corn pudding in a glass dish, with a portion removed

Share This With The World

About the author

Hi, I'm Lee.

I am inspired by my mother, Sally’s, love of cooking and entertaining to gather friends and family together over great meals and conversation. In fact, I held my first dinner party at the age of 16. Throughout the years, I haves provided recipes, menu advice and cooking tips to friends seeking uncomplicated and delicious ideas for home entertaining.


Related Posts


Sign up for recipes, tips & more!
Join the club

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe rating