Mini Corn Dogs {a Sonic knock-off, perhaps?!}

Once upon a time, there was a girl from Canada who traveled to Idaho for college. While there she was introduced to some wonderful things, including her best friends, her husband and a place called Sonic….lovingly referred to as Mecca. She would make frequent trips there always being sure to order corn dogs and/or onion rings and diet cherry limeade. Happy hour was always a favorite. Then after the first two years of college, this girl needed to reduce her intake because she had gained the freshmen fifteen and then some. So, she did, but still craved Sonic a lot. Then she moved away to Oregon–a land with the closest Sonic 250 miles away. That was a sad day. But sometimes, she will make this recipe and be flooded with memories.

Ha! I like writing in the 3rd person apparently! I tell ya, all the stories I have about food stem back to college. I remember countless times that my two best friends {and roommates} would eat at Sonic and always order the same items- corn dogs, onion rings and diet cherry limeade. Sometimes, we’d go a little crazy and order the tots too. {Anyone having a Napoleon Dynamite moment right now? Just me? Ok.} Yeah. Those were good times. Our sophomore year we got a little smarter and decided to have “Sonic Sundays” and always make a weekly trip. This plus the 2 or 3 other times a week we’d hit up Sonic was probably a big reason I gained so much weight. But, c’mon–happy hour is a college student’s best friend. Where else was I supposed to eat? McDonalds? Burger King? Do they even have corn dogs on their menus? NO.

So in honor of Sonic, and because there isn’t one in my 250 mile vicinity, I made some of my own. I think these are a pretty darn close replica too….from what I can remember how they tasted… it’s been too long! *tear* The thing about their corn dogs is the coating has a sweet taste with a nice balance of crunch and cornmealiness. So that’s what I went for in making this batter. I really enjoyed making these and certainly had my fair share. If you love Sonic, I’d recommend making these and telling me what you think. Even if they don’t end up tasting the same, it’s a pretty darn good corn dog as is.

Try to find a higher quality corn bread mix that is on the sweeter side. I used Marie Callendar’s corn bread mix that I got from Costco–have I mentioned that I LOVE Costco? I could live in that store. Also, when you coat your hot dogs first in corn starch before you dip them in the batter, made sure you dust or wipe off as much as you can with your fingers. Too much corn starch means the batter won’t stick. I think those are the only tips you need.

Have fun frying! Kids go crazy for these! {My 11 year old nephew was over when I made my first batch and he couldn’t get enough. And funny story is he kept saying “this reminds me of something….” over and over. Finally before he left he was like “These taste just like Sonics! Have you ever had a corn dog there?” HA! Have I had a corn dog there?! Puh-lease! We just single handedly kept that Sonic in business for two years}

Mini Corn Dogs
yield: 16
Print This Recipe Print This Recipe

1-16 oz. package Hot Dogs {8 wieners}
3/4 cup dry cornbread mix {I used Marie Callendar’s from Costco}
4 tablespoons corn starch+ extra for coating
6 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup all purpose unbleached flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 cup whole milk
1 egg
canola or peanut oil for frying

Pour oil into fryer or pot and heat to 375 degrees.

Cut hot dogs in half and push small stick 3/4 way into it. {Wooden skewers cut it half or small popsicle sticks work just fine.} Coat hot dogs in corn starch and dust or wipe off with your finger to get a thin, even coating. {Too much cornstarch means the batter won’t stick!} Set aside.

In large bowl, stir all dry ingredients together in a bowl. Create a well in the middle and pour in egg and milk. Stir slowly until batter is thick and mixed evenly. Slowly dip a prepared hot dog into the batter and hold it there about 5 seconds. Very slowly remove hot dog from batter to keep it coated entirely. If you can start to see parts of the hot dog as you remove it from the bowl, spoon more batter over to coat entirely. Rotate coated hot dog over bowl to remove any excess batter and then slowly and carefully drop into hot oil. Fry 4-6 minutes, rotating occasionally for an even fry until batter is a deep golden color and the hot dog is hot.

You can fry as many corn dogs as you like per batch as long as the temperature does not drop below 350 degrees.

Serve immediately with ketchup and mustard.


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  1. Fun! I also live in a Sonic-free area and have only ever been to one once on a business trip to Arkansas. They need to branch out! I never even tried the tots or the corn dogs! I didn’t know. Dang.

  2. If you can believe it our Sonic closed exactly 2, I repeat TWO, months prior to our moving here. What is a girl supposed to do? Especially since we had been Sonic-free for 4 1/2 years prior to that… we were in Alaska so our closest Sonic was in, umm Washington or Idaho, yeah the over 2000 mile trip kinda keep Sonic at a minimum (plus my husband hates Sonic… what is WRONG with that man?! I love him in spite of it!!)

    So once I think these corndogs are on the menu for this week. They should be the perfect pick-me-up for a teenager having foot surgery!

    Thanks! (now if only you had a recipe for diet cherry limeade!!)

    • Peggy, that’s so funny because my husband hates Sonic too! What is wrong with them?

    • Peggy, my friend’s parents managed a Sonic when we were teenagers, so I’ve got the scoop for your Cherry Limeade! All it is: Sprite, Cherry Syrup (grenadine from the liquor store is perfect), fresh lime juice to taste, and marachino cherries to garnish.

      When I’m making them for a crowd, I juice my limes into a small pitcher and add enough cherry syrup to sweeten it to taste. I put a small measure of this juice/syrup mix in the bottom of each serving glass and top off with cold white soda (Sierra Mist or 7up will work too). If you want to slice up the lime hulls to toss into the glasses with the marachino cherries, feel free!

      As for Diet…just use diet soda. I’m betting there’s sugar-free cherry syrup out there but I’ve never used it myself.

      Enjoy!! 😀

  3. Ahhh, the memories!!! This post brought me back to the good ol’ days. 🙂 These look scrumptious!

    PS Do you remember when the Sonic in Rexburg had the 18 month onion-ring drought? Everytime we’d go there, they would be like “we just ran out.” Yeah right- you’ve been out of Onion rings for years! The nerve . . .

    • HAHAHA! I thought it was a conspiracy! And you are totally right! They always would say “aww shucks….we just ran out”. Riiiiiiight. You ‘ran out’.

  4. You what’s funny? You say you kept them in business… well they just went out of business! I can’t wait to try this recipe!

    • NO WAY! That is too funny, Bonnie!

  5. lol.. That is a funny story. I live in a sonic free area myself too and never been crazy about the cron dogs 🙂

  6. Cool recipe! I used to love these as a kid!

  7. You’ve made my day with this post! I grew up in AR with a Sonic on every corner, now in WY it’s about 250 miles to the nearest Sonic. I miss it so! I tried to recreate their onion rings with Panko and they were okay but not quite the same.

  8. Wow! These look scrumptious! And probably healthier than the real ones. Or at least, I’ll tell myself that. 😉

  9. Ummm, if you are still in Hood River, there is a Sonic approx. 47 miles from you.
    From: Hood River, OR
    To: 850 SE 192nd Ave, Vancouver, WA 98683-9510
    1. Start out going NORTHEAST on PARK ST toward EUGENE ST.0.03 mi00:00:13
    2. PARK ST becomes 9TH ST.0.13 mi00:00:37
    3. Turn RIGHT onto STATE ST.0.38 mi00:01:13
    4. Turn LEFT onto 2ND ST.0.24 mi00:00:55
    5. Merge onto I-84 W via the ramp on the LEFT toward PORTLAND.18.63 mi00:18:01
    6. Merge onto US-30/WA-NA-PA ST via EXIT 44 toward CASCADE LOCKS.1.58 mi00:03:50
    7. Turn LEFT.0.02 mi00:00:15
    8. Turn LEFT onto BRIDGE OF THE GODS (Portions toll) (Crossing into WASHINGTON).0.62 mi00:03:22
    9. Turn LEFT onto WA-14/EVERGREEN HWY. Continue to follow WA-14 W.31.09 mi00:37:04
    10. Take the SE 192ND AVE exit, EXIT 10.0.26 mi00:00:29
    11. Turn RIGHT onto SE 192ND AVE.2.24 mi00:04:13
    Total: 55.23 mi

    • WOW! I can’t believe there’s one that close! All this time everyone has been telling me otherwise! Thank you so much for letting me know! Now, I’m probably going to be visiting that sonic bi-weekly!

  10. I’ve never been to Sonic but have had Corn Dogs from State Fair and I LOVE it! Thanks for posting this recipe,I don’t own a fryer, so not sure whether I can make this by frying them in a pan. :-/

  11. Yeah, these were yummy. My grandson had one and said with great feeling: “Grandma, I feel so sorry for you,” because he thought I’d say I couldn’t have any. But I could see this was important to try! Yummmmm…

  12. I’m so glad I found you & this Sonic recipe, added bonus was the Cherry Limeade!! High-5!! I grew up in central Texas where Sonics were just about at every corner and the servers back in the 70s/80s used to bring your food tray while on roller skates. Ahh, those were the days! I’m in Illinois now and while I’ve heard from local Chicago family that Sonic’s branched out, I’m still a Texan girl @heart and while the calendar says March/Spring Break, the outdoor temperature is playing tricks on me and I don’t leave the house without layers of winter clothes… and wishing I was a snowbird, for sure!! THe move’s only been since November, and I’m missing San Antonio & Dallas!!

  13. I have never and will never like the food from Sonic. I just don’t understand why their burgers have to be so dreadfully awful; hamburgers are so easy to make haha. However, many people appear to like the place (as I can see from the comments and this post). I do like their limeades and slushes (although they are just loads of ice with a little bit of flavored juice :D). I like corndogs, though, and would love to try out this recipe with homemade cornbread mix. YUM! Thanks for sharing this recipe.

  14. Hi Lauren!!! My kids love corndogs…I wanna try doing this corn dog recipes of yours but we dont have the dry cornbread mix in my place. Do you have any other alternative for me to try? Thanks so much for sharing your recipes to us!

    Always 🙂


  15. I tried this recipe today and loved it , thank you!



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