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Ute McGillivray’s Beer Battered Corn Fritters

Ute McGillivray’s Beer Battered Corn Fritters

A Breath of Snow and Ashes

“I’ll go and have a bit of a blether with him, aye?”  Roger touched her back in brief affection.  “He could maybe use a sympathetic ear.”

“That and a stiff drink?”  She nodded toward the house, where Robin McGillivray was visible through the open door, pouring what she assumed to be whisky for a select circle of friends.

“I imagine he will have manage that for himself,” Roger replied dryly.  He left her, making his way around the convivial group by the fire.  He disappeared in the dark, but then she saw the door of the cooper’s shop open, and Roger silhouetted briefly against the glow from within, his tall form blocking the light before vanishing inside.

“Wanna drink, Mama!”  Jemmy was wriggling like a tadpole, trying to get down.  She set him on the ground, and he was off like a shot, nearly upsetting a stout lady with a platter of corn fritters.

Diana Gabaldon, A Breath of Snow and Ashes, (Chapter 6 – Ambush)

Ute may be an over protective mother with vicious tendencies, but boy can she also lay a table.

Being German, I imagine she used a lot of beer in the kitchen.  Doesn’t happen much around here, but beer gone flat can be used to add rich malty flavour to everything from beef stew to these corn fritters.  We may pour it down the drain, but that would have been sacrilege to dear Ute.

No flat beer around?  No worries!  Crack open a new one, and let’s make some fritters!


(Click on the title below for a printable version of the recipe.)

Ute McGillivray’s Beer Battered Corn Fritters

:Light, crispy fritters that would do the old German bag proud

Yield:  2-3 dozen Fritters

  • Sweet Corn Kernels (fresh, frozen or canned) – 2 Cups (see notes)
  • All-Purpose Flour – 1 Cup
  • Cornmeal – ⅓ Cup
  • Onion, finely chopped – 2 Tble
  • Sugar – 1 Tble
  • Baking Powder – 1 tsp
  • Kosher Salt – ½ tsp
  • Cayenne – ¼ tsp
  • Egg – 1
  • Beer – 1 Cup (I used a Scottish Ale)
  • Vegetable Oil for frying

Combine the corn, flour, cornmeal, onion, sugar, baking powder, salt and cayenne in a medium bowl.  Whisk the egg into the beer, then add to the dry ingredients.  Stir well to combine.

Heat 2” of vegetable oil to 375° F  in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat. Carefully drop spoonfuls of batter into the hot oil and fry until puffed and golden, turning halfway through, 2-3 minutes.

Remove with a slotted spoon, drain on paper towels and sprinkle with salt.  Repeat until all the batter is fried.

Serve, slightly cooled, drizzled with honey and cayenne or some sweet chili sauce if desired.


  • Cut the kernels from 2 medium-sized fresh cobs of corn.  Blanch in boiling salted water for 3 minutes, then drain and cool in an ice bath.  Drain again and allow to air dry slightly before using in the recipe.  Thawed frozen corn or drained can corn can be used as is.

beer battered corn fritters



  1. Jolene Hawkins
    October 8, 2012 at 10:31 am

    Know what I am making tomorrow night…….mmmmm

    • Theresa
      October 16, 2012 at 7:25 am

      I hope you liked them, Jolene!

  2. The Mom Chef
    October 8, 2012 at 11:14 am

    Did you just call Ute an old bag?? 🙂 These look amazing. Whenever one of us (usually me) leaves any amount of beer in a bottle, we call it beer abuse. It’s good to see that it can serve another purpose. These look delicious.

    • Theresa
      October 8, 2012 at 11:20 am

      I did! I ran out of complimentary adjectives. 🙂

  3. Nadya Muray
    October 8, 2012 at 2:01 pm

    A little late for Thanksgiving dinner but they’ll do very well with the leftover turkey for tomorrows supper, they look delicious…..

    • Theresa
      October 16, 2012 at 7:24 am

      I hope they went down well with the leftover turkey, Nadya!

  4. denizb33
    October 10, 2012 at 5:58 am

    Yum! I’d so love a cookbook of all these recipes…

    • Theresa
      October 16, 2012 at 7:24 am

      I’m working on it, Deniz!

  5. Mindy Reed
    October 15, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    Made these today… Loved them Of course!! I fully expected to since I have loved EVERYTHING I have ever made from you!!

    • Theresa
      October 16, 2012 at 7:24 am

      Oh, Mindy! Comments like that make me smile from ear to ear. 😀

  6. Shari
    October 24, 2012 at 7:49 pm

    mmmm this is definitely on my list to try

  7. sunshineyness
    October 27, 2012 at 2:21 pm

    On a whim I took the chicken I was going to make with the fritters for dinner and used the leftover batter, coated it and baked the chicken. It turned out great! I served it with blue cheese dressing on the side.

    • Theresa
      October 27, 2012 at 8:04 pm

      That’s sounds delicious! And totally something Mrs. Bug would have done!

  8. Lisa
    April 27, 2014 at 10:33 am

    Making these later today with a fresh pork picnic. These corn fritters look amazing! Will let you know if I do you proud 🙂

  9. Lisa
    April 28, 2014 at 5:18 am

    Next morning….

    These were truly delicious!!

    I did add a little extra onion, a pinch of dill, and some garlic powder. I let the batter sit for about a 1/2 hour before frying to let the cornmeal soften. And after frying I sprinkled them with course sea salt and a little parmigiana cheese.

    It was hard to stop eating them, but I managed to save my dignity and half the fritters.

    Great recipe! It is going into my ‘Favorites’!

    • Theresa
      April 28, 2014 at 9:54 am

      I’m so glad you liked them, Lisa! Your additions sound verra nice!

  10. Tanja
    June 7, 2014 at 5:48 am

    As a German I must remark that beer isn’t used very often for cooking purposes. We only use it to make “Bierteig” (“beerdough” literally translated) or barbecue marinades.
    This recipe contains “Bierteig” and I love it! I also love corn! I will definitely give it a shot this weekend.


  11. Anne
    August 12, 2014 at 11:07 am

    These look delicious. I’m just wondering if ‘cornmeal’ is the same as cornflour here? (Ireland) Will definitely give them a go!

    • Theresa
      August 12, 2014 at 12:34 pm

      Corn flour is not the same and will not work. Cornmeal is the same as polenta, which you should be able to find in stores.

    • Anne
      August 13, 2014 at 12:55 am

      Ok, I will get some polenta so! Thanks for the reply and for saving me from a cooking disaster. Looking forward to trying these- they look delicious!!

  12. Creggan
    August 13, 2014 at 12:58 am

    I have all the ingredients for this except the beer but I’d really like to try making them. Is there something I could substitute for the beer?

    • Theresa
      August 13, 2014 at 5:19 am

      You can substitute soda water for the beer.

  13. Merry Miller Moon
    August 18, 2014 at 6:11 am

    Hey Theresa-

    Just wanted to let you know that the sweet chili sauce recipe link that you have, once you click on it, says she has removed the recipe because it is now in her book. Just wanted to let you know so you can maybe make an update. BUMMER! I was going to make it with these! 🙂

    • Theresa
      August 18, 2014 at 6:53 am

      Merry, that recipe is available in one of my e-cookbooks. The link in the post takes you to Amazon. No update will be forthcoming.

    • Merry Miller Moon
      August 18, 2014 at 6:58 am

      Theresa-thanks for the update. I don’t use e devices. So, will have to find another recipe for that chilli sauce. Thank you.

  14. Dee White
    August 23, 2014 at 4:36 pm

    Even though it’s miserably hot this August on the west coast of Florida I had to try these. I just had the urge for something different. I rarely fry. They were delicious! Well worth slaving over a hot stove. 🙂
    Hubby and I weren’t the only ones who loved them. We have some spoiled pet birds– Indian Ringnecks who beg every time they see us sit down to dinner. I gave them each a small, cooled piece. Didn’t hear another squawk out of them the rest of the meal. They were so careful to eat every scrap and not drop a crumb. haha. They rarely get such unhealthy (for birds) treats. We won’t talk about the calories for us humans, right?

  15. Lisa DeGroff
    February 20, 2016 at 5:07 pm

    Having no idea what a corn fritter actually is, is it something like a hush puppy in taste and texture?

    • Theresa
      February 21, 2016 at 6:08 am

      I’ve never actually had a hush puppy, but I would assume they’re close, based on the ingredient list.

    • Merry
      February 22, 2016 at 6:02 am

      I made these and they are absolutely delicious! Even my husband who never eats corn, gobbled them up and wanted more. No, they don’t taste like or look like hush puppies at all. Hush puppies are kind of gritty, and dense, these taste like deep fried corn.

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