Corn dogs have never gotten old for me.
I know that might sound silly, but I seriously still love this cornbread-encased meat on a stick.
Granted, anything served on a stick is always appealing to me, but I digress.
As a kid, this kind of food meant one thing for me: It was all about the baseball games.
Instead of ordering loaded nachos or other classics from the snack stand on game day, I would always beg my mom to get me a corn dog.
I have a confession: I was a super picky eater as a child. I mean it.
Can you tell there’s a common theme here? Ketchup was basically a food group for me.
Obviously that’s where the corn dogs came in. I mean, if there’s anything better than ketchup to dip them in, you tell me. They were the perfect ketchup delivery vehicle.
Now, I present to you a homemade take on this childhood classic that’s a little more grown up. You’re going to love these two- or three-bite handheld muffins.
This recipe is basically just like the classic corn dog, without the stick. It doesn’t come from the freezer section of the grocery store, or your local sporting event or funfair. And depending on the ingredients you choose, it can be made entirely free of gluten and dairy.
This is a total upgrade, and these little guys offer an irresistible combination of sweet and savory.
The cornbread recipe that I like to use to make these muffins is one of my go-to’s, because it’s so simple with delicious results. It’s not super sweet with a moist texture, the ideal complement to the savory flavor of the hot dogs. And cornmeal is a naturally gluten-free flour, perfect for this recipe!
Not only are these sure to be a hit with the kids, they will totally appeal to the adults at your next gathering as well. Serve them with a selection of ketchup, mustard, and barbecue sauce, or get a little more creative with a homemade garlic aioli and spicy Sriracha dip.
This recipe is totally adaptable, and that’s why it’s so much fun to switch up the dips. And you can have fun with the meaty flavor of these as well. I’ll tell you more about that at the end of this article, so be sure to read all the way through for my suggestions!
This is the perfect kind of finger food, and it isn’t even fried. That’s right, these savory muffins are baked, so there’s no messy cleanup to deal with, no hot oil, and no sacrificing flavor in exchange for a healthier calorie load.
If you want to serve this recipe for dinner, it’s a great option for a fun weeknight meal, or movie night in front of the TV. You can also serve them up as snacks, or put out a platter along with the other finger food appetizers at your next big gathering or holiday party.
I recommend pinning this recipe for tailgating season as well, because it’s always a winner that’s perfect for nibbling on game day.
My biggest piece of advice if you’re concerned with food allergies and intolerances when you’re cooking for friends and family is to be sure to read those food labels. Check the labels on the hot dogs when you’re at the grocery store to make sure that they are gluten free, and dairy free.
Sometimes the meat can contain fillers and hidden ingredients that are made with milk and wheat, so you want to be sure to double-check if you are sticking to the gluten-free and dairy-free aspects of the recipe.Print
These corn dog muffins are sweet, savory, and oh-so-devourable. You can make this recipe for dinner, but it also works for an afternoon snack.
- 1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp canola oil, divided
- 1 cup cornmeal
- 1 cup all purpose gluten-free flour
- 2 Tbsp light brown sugar
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk (or alternative milk like soy or coconut)
- 4 hot dogs
- Preheat oven to 350˚F. Brush each well of a 12-cup muffin pan with about 1 tablespoon of canola oil total, and set aside.
- Stir together cornmeal, flour, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.
- In a separate medium bowl, stir the egg, milk, and the remaining teaspoon of canola oil together until combined.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until well combined, being sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl well.
- Fill muffin cups about 1/2 to 2/3 full.
- Cut hot dogs into thirds. Place a piece of hot dog into the center of each cup.
- Bake for 20-22 minutes, or until cornbread is lightly browned and a toothpick inserted near the center of the muffin comes out clean.
- Let cool for about 5 minutes in the pan. Run a knife around the edges of each to loosen before removing from pan. Serve immediately with your choice of dipping sauces.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Category: Appetizers
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: Snacks
Keywords: savory muffins, corn dog, corn dog muffin, gluten free, dairy free
Cooking By the Numbers…
Step 1 – Measure Out All Ingredients
Measure out all of the ingredients as listed on the ingredients list.
When selecting your hot dogs, make sure to check the label to make sure they are dairy-free and gluten-free.
Step 2 – Make Batter
Add the cornmeal, flour, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt to a large bowl. Stir to combine.
If you find that your brown sugar has hardened, check out our tips for storage and softening here. And make sure to break up any lumps before you proceed with the recipe.
In a separate medium bowl, add the egg, milk, and remaining teaspoon of oil. Stir to combine.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and stir until well combined.
Make sure that you scrape down the sides and bottom with a spatula so everything is incorporated well.
Fill the muffin cups about ½ to ⅔ of the way full. An ice cream scoop can help with portioning, so you can fill each cup with approximately the same amount of batter.
Step 3 – Prep Hot Dogs
Cut each hot dog into thirds.
Place a piece into the batter in the center of each cup, so they are standing upright.
Step 4 – Bake
Bake for 20-22 minutes. The cornbread should be lightly browned, and a toothpick inserted near the center should come out clean. Make sure you don’t poke through the hot dog to test.
Let cool in the pan for about 5 minutes, then run a knife around the edges to loosen.
Remove from the pan and serve immediately with ketchup and mustard, or your favorite sauces for dipping.
How Can I Change Things Up with This Recipe?
Aside from serving these corn dog muffins with different dips, you can change up the hot dog flavor as well for a fresh take.
I like to use the ones that are made with jalapeno or other spicy flavors, for a bit of a kick.
You can even choose a different kind of hot dog meat like chicken or turkey if you want to lighten things up, or switch to a vegetarian version to keep it meat free. Keep in mind that whatever you choose should be fully cooked before adding pieces to the pan and baking.
If you need some more ideas for your next party or game day spread be sure to check out our roundup of wild and crazy hot dog recipes for grilling season. I can’t wait to try the Mexican mole and kimchi options!
Need even more appetizer inspiration served in individual formats? Try these delectable homemade options:
What sauce will you dip these corn dog muffins in? Tell us in the comments below. And be sure to come back to rate the recipe as soon as you try it!
Photos by Meghan Yager, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published on March 25, 2013. Last updated: May 19, 2023 at 13:54 pm. With additional writing and editing by Allison Sidhu.
Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Meghan Yager
Meghan Yager is a food addict turned food and travel writer with a love for creating uncomplicated, gourmet recipes and devouring anything the world serves up. As the author of the food and travel blog Cake 'n Knife, Meghan focuses on unique foodie experiences from around the world to right at home in your own kitchen.