Good, in-season summer corn is so incredibly sweet, I love to come up with creative ways to highlight it as a dessert. These easy doughnuts (read: no yeast required) come together quickly and are such a delicious bite of summer. Toss them in confectioners’ sugar or cinnamon sugar for a classic finish, or dunk them in whipped cream or a sauce made from fresh summer berries—blueberries make a particularly perfect pairing!
Heat 3 to 4 inches of oil in a medium pot until the oil registers 350 degrees F on a deep-fry thermometer. Line a baking sheet with paper towels.
Whisk the flour, cornmeal, granulated sugar, baking powder, salt and nutmeg together in a medium bowl. Add the buttermilk, butter, eggs, honey and vanilla and mix first with a whisk, then with a silicone spatula as the mixture combines and becomes thicker. Fold in the corn kernels if using.
Place a generous amount of confectioners' sugar in a shallow bowl. Working in batches, drop 1 heaping tablespoon of batter into the hot oil (a small cookie scoop makes a rounder doughnut, but you can also use 2 spoons to drop in the batter). Drop in 3 to 5 doughnuts at a time, depending on the exact size of your pot. Fry until they are deeply golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes.
Remove the doughnuts from the oil using a slotted spoon and drain on the paper towels. While they’re still hot, toss them in the confectioners' sugar to coat and transfer to a serving bowl or platter. Repeat with the remaining batter—frying, draining and dredging in confectioners' sugar—until you’ve fried all of the dough. Serve immediately.