Homemade Corn Dogs Recipe (Better than the Fair)

The best corn dogs can be made from scratch in your own kitchen using this simple Homemade Corn Dogs Recipe! Perfectly golden brown with just a touch of sweetness, these corn dogs are a delicious treat you can make at home at a fraction of the cost.

As a kid who did not love most processed foods (I was the weirdo asking for a homemade soup instead), corn dogs were the exception. There is something about a hot dog dipped in a delicious cornmeal batter and fried to a golden brown perfection. It is downright irresistible. I have so many good childhood memories surrounding these tasty treats including sleepovers with my cousins and trips to the fair.

Though I sometimes enjoyed store-bought corn dogs, nothing beat a fresh one made at the fair. To this day, I look forward to eating corn dogs at the “The Ex” (short for Canadian National Exhibition or CNE) which takes place in Toronto at the end of every summer. Similar to state fairs, county fairs, or carnivals, most people go to enjoy the games and rides. I am there for the food (no big surprise).

There’s no need to wait for state fair corn dogs or wait for that next trip to Disneyland to enjoy some Disneyland corn dogs. Making delicious corn dogs at home is easier than you think!

4 corn dogs on a wood platter lined with parchment paper served with two small bowls containing mustard and ketchup.

This homemade corn dog recipe is easy to do, uses ingredients you likely already have on hand, and produces the most delicious corn dogs, because nothing beats homemade!

The best part? In just 30 minutes you can have authentic fair food at home at fraction of the cost!

Choosing better ingredients for your Homemade Corn Dogs Recipe

Making corn dogs at home helps you control the ingredients you are putting into this recipe. This is especially important if you have dietary restrictions that may prohibit you from enjoying the corn dogs from your local fair.

Make healthier corn dogs.

Note I said healthier and not healthy. I mean, we are talking about deep fried battered hot dogs here so this isn’t exactly a health food. That said, you can definitely make some healthier choices when making these.

You can choose healthier-for-you hot dogs made with all-natural ingredients. Since you are in control, you can choose any kind of hot dogs you like. If you have dietary restrictions, you can choose all-beef, chicken hot dogs. or vegetarian ones.

You can also choose a healthier oil for frying the corn dogs. Taste of Home produced an article listing different oils that are good for frying, going beyond vegetable oil. The article compares oils like avocado oil, peanut oil, canola oil, and many others and is worth a read if you want to know more about frying oils to help choose the best quality oil you can find.

Make gluten free corn dogs.

It is incredibly easy to make a few swaps to the ingredients so this corn dogs recipe is gluten-free. By choosing to use a gluten-free flour and ensuring you buy gluten free hot dogs, you can have a perfect treat that works for those with gluten sensitivities.

Corn dogs served with bowls of ketchup and mustard served on a parchment lined wooden platter.

Ingredients in this Homemade Corn Dog Recipe

  • Hot dogs: This recipe uses a dozen hot dogs (so you will need a dozen wooden skewers as well. I opt for wooden skewers over popsicle sticks since they are far too wide for hot dogs). You can use your favorite hot dogs or opt for gluten free hot dogs for a gluten-free recipe.

  • Cornmeal: A finely ground yellow cornmeal works best for this recipe.

  • All purpose flour: Used in both the batter as well as to coat the hot dogs before they are dipped in the cornmeal mixture. The juicy hot dogs will be too slippery for the batter to stick onto them if you don’t roll them in some flour first. Don’t skip this step! I use all purpose flour but you can use a gluten free flour too.

  • Sugar and honey: Gives the batter that signature touch of sweetness that a good, classic corn dog should have.

  • Buttermilk: If you don’t have buttermilk on hand (I often don’t, to be honest), I like to use a homemade alternative made from mixing milk with lemon juice. See the notes section of the recipe card for instructions on how to do this.

  • Baking powder: a leavener to help the batter rise.

  • Salt

  • Egg: One large egg.

  • oil for frying

Note: Ingredient quantities and full recipe are in the recipe card at the end of this post.

How to make Homemade Corn Dogs

1. Prep the hot dogs: Pat the hot dogs dry using a paper towel and carefully insert skewers halfway into them. Place the 1/4 cup of flour in a shallow dish or shallow bowl and roll the hot dogs in it (this will help the batter stick).

2. Make the batter: In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (cornmeal, 1 cup of flour, baking powder, sugar and salt). Add the wet ingredients (milk, egg and honey) and whisk to combine everything. Pour batter into a tall glass. [I use a tall drinking glass that is taller then the hot dogs are.]

A photo collage showing 4 steps for preparing hot dogs and batter for corn dogs.

3. Heat the oil: Heat oil over medium to medium-high heat in a large pot wide enough to fit the skewered hot dogs. The oil should be about an inch in height to ensure most of the corn dogs are submerged.

4. Dip into the batter. Working with one hot dog a time, holding onto the skewer, dip the whole hot dog into the cup with the batter, ensuring it is well coated. Let excess batter drip back into the cup. Since you won’t be able to fry them up all at once due to the size of the pot, you should dip the hot dogs just before you add them to the oil.

5. Fry them up! Working in batches, carefully place the battered corn dogs into the heated oil. [Depending on the size of your pot, you will likely work with 2-3 corn dogs at a time to prevent them from touching and sticking together.] Fry corn dogs for a few minutes until they are golden brown. Be sure to turn them so that all sides cook evenly. Transfer the corn dogs to a paper towel-lined plate. Repeat with the remaining hot dogs.

A photo collage showing four steps for dipping and frying corn dogs with the first two photos showing the hot dog as it is being submerged into a glass of cornmeal batter, the third photo showing the hot dog covered in batter and the final photo showing the corn dog in hot oil in a large dutch oven.
Golden brown corn dogs set on a parchment lined wooden platter.

What to do with the excess batter?

Once you’re done making the corn dogs, you will have some batter left over. There are a few options for that extra batter.

Fry up the dough: You can simply fry up little scoops of the batter, kind of like hush puppies. These are delicious eaten as a side or you can sprinkle them with icing sugar or drizzle them with chocolate sauce for a dessert.

Use the leftover batter to dip veggies. You can make onion rings or simply batter veggies like broccoli and fry them.

Make pancakes. You can use the batter to make pancakes or johnny cakes.

Make deep fried mini candy bars. I haven’t tried these myself as I didn’t think of it until now. I’m going to have to rectify that in the future.

What to serve with a homemade corn dog

As far as I’m concerned, you can’t have a good corn dog without your favorite condiments to dip them in! Ketchup and yellow mustard are classics that go so well with a delicious corn dog. Corn dogs are perfect for dipping so feel free to enjoy them with your favorite sauce!

Corn dogs on a parchment lined wooden platter served with two dipping bowls filled with mustard and ketchup.

In addition to the corn dogs, I like to serve these up with french fries or tater tots.

How do you store and reheat corn dogs?

Once cooled completely, leftover corn dogs can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge. To reheat them, you can heat them up in an air fryer, in the oven, or even microwave them.

Can you freeze homemade corn dogs?

Yes, this homemade corn dogs recipe can be frozen. Once they are cooked and cooled completely, place them in a freezer safe bag or container.

I hope you enjoy this delicious recipe as much as I do! It is such a fun treat to indulge in from time to time!

-Cathy

A bitten corn dog showing the juicy hot dog inside set on top of a platter of corn dogs.

Looking for great sides to serve with this recipe? You may also like:

Homemade Tater Tots
Air Fryer Sweet Potato Fries
Baked Potato Wedges

4 corn dogs on a wood platter lined with parchment paper served with two small bowls containing mustard and ketchup.

Homemade Corn Dogs Recipe

Herbs and Flour
The best corn dogs can be made from scratch in your own kitchen using this simple Homemade Corn Dogs Recipe! Perfectly golden brown with just a touch of sweetness, these corn dogs are a delicious treat you can make at home at a fraction of the cost.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Servings 12
Calories 253 kcal

Equipment

  • 12 wooden skewers

Ingredients
  

  • 12 hot dogs cooked (gluten free for gf corn dogs)
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal finely ground yellow cornmeal works best for this recipe
  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour divided (use gluten free flour for gf corn dogs)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk*
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • oil for frying

Instructions
 

  • Pat the hot dogs dry using a paper towel and carefully insert skewers halfway into them.
  • Place the 1/4 cup of flour in a shallow dish or shallow bowl and roll the hot dogs in it (this will help the batter stick).
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, 1 cup of flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Add the milk, egg and honey and whisk to combine everything. Pour batter into a tall cup. [I use a tall drinking glass that is taller then the hot dogs are.]
  • Heat oil over medium to medium-high heat in a large pot wide enough to fit the skewered hot dogs. The oil should be about an inch in height to ensure most of the corn dogs are submerged.
  • Working with one hot dog a time, holding onto the skewer, dip the whole hot dog into the cup with the batter, ensuring it is well coated. Let excess batter drip back into the cup. Since you won't be able to fry them up all at once due to the size of the pot, you should dip the hot dogs just before you add them to the oil.
  • Working in batches, carefully place the battered corn dogs into the heated oil. [Depending on the size of your pot, you will likely work with 2-3 corn dogs at a time to prevent them from touching and sticking together.] Fry corn dogs for a few minutes until they are golden brown. Be sure to turn them so that all sides cook evenly. Transfer the corn dogs to a paper towel-lined plate. Repeat with the remaining hot dogs.

Notes

  • Note: nutritional Information is an estimate and does not include the oil for frying or account for the excess batter that remains. If accuracy is important to you, it is recommended you make your own calculations based on the specific ingredients you use.
  • *If you don’t have buttermilk at home, you can easily make an alternative at home using milk and lemon juice. To do this, add 2 1/4 tablespoons of lemon juice to 1 1/2 cups of milk and let it sit for 5 minutes.

Nutrition

Calories: 253kcalCarbohydrates: 35gProtein: 9gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0.002gCholesterol: 39mgSodium: 501mgPotassium: 171mgFiber: 2gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 72IUVitamin C: 0.1mgCalcium: 109mgIron: 2mg
Keyword cornmeal, hot dogs, kid friendly
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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