There are a lot of really great fictional foods – Reptar Bars, roller-skating apple pies, and literally everything made by Willy Wonka (especially the three-course-meal chewing gum) – but my absolute favorite is the cornball.

It’s one of the many recurring jokes on Arrested Development (which is back from the dead in one week, hallelujah), and as far as fictional foods go, it’s really nothing special – just a dough made from a mix that’s deep fried in the hilariously dangerous Cornballer.

The reason it’s my favorite is because you can actually feasibly make them at home. My version is an amped up corn muffin that’s been baked, not fried, in cake pop pans so they still keep their ball shape.

Though this begs the question – if you don’t burn yourself while making it, is it still a cornball?


Yo soy loco por los cornballs!

Fresh Corn Jalapeno “Cornball” Muffins (40 of 750)

Adapted from  750 Best Muffin Recipes by Camilla Saulsbury

Makes 25 cornballs

  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil, divided
  • 1 1/3 cups fresh corn kernels (roughly 2 ears of corn)
  • 2 small jalapenos, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 milk
  • Pinch chipotle pepper and chili powder
  1. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. In a medium skillet, heat 1 tbsp of the oil over medium-high heat. Saute corn and jalapenos for 2 to 3 minutes or until tender-crisp. Remove from heat and let cool.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt, and spices.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together sugar, egg, milk, and remaining oil until well blended.
  5. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and stir until just blended.
  6. Divide the batter evenly among cake ball pan or muffin pan.
  7. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until tops are golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes, then transfer to the rack to cool.

If real cornballs taste like these, I could really understand why you would tolerate the excruciating burns caused by the Cornballer. These are so light and fluffy, and the bursts of fresh corn and jalapenos really take it over the top.

A word of caution – be careful when working with jalapenos. They will burn your hands and make your skin all tingly if you don’t use gloves (every damn time!) and you won’t realize it until later, after you’ve already rubbed your eyes. So I guess they really do count as cornballs, injuries and all.

I can just imagine eating these, piping hot, in a model home, while Lucille yells at me about my weight and GOB stuffs dead doves in the fridge.

Cornball batter

Cornball batter with real corn!