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What’s the Difference Between Creamed Corn and Sweet Corn?

When you’re at the canned sweet corn shelf in the grocery store, you’d be forgiven for feeling a little confused over which kind of corn you need for your recipe and nutritional needs or whether there’s even a difference.

When it comes to creamed corn and whole kernel sweet corn, they look very different but are they so different inside, and can one be used to replace the other?

In short, the main difference between creamed corn and whole kernel sweet corn is the consistency and the way its consumed, with the drained ingredient of sweet corn being just corn kernels, whereas the water in canned creamed corn is thickened with starch and consumed as a whole.

But this isn’t all, so read on to find out much more, and see my head-to-head comparison between canned creamed corn and whole kernel corn to find out the difference between the two when it comes to ingredients, uses, and nutrition.

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Ingredients Comparision

The best way to determine the difference between two food products is by comparing the ingredients.

To keep things as consistent as possible, I’ve compared the same popular brand of corn (Del Monte) for each kind of corn product. Please note, ingredients may vary slightly between brands, and some no-added salt and/or sugar alternatives are available.

When comparing the two products, the biggest difference is the main ingredient of a can of sweet corn is corn kernels, then water and salt. In contrast, the main ingredient of creamed corn is water, then corn kernels, corn starch, sugar, and salt.

With canned sweet corn, the water, salt (and in some cases sugar) are drained away from the corn before eating, whereas all of the ingredients of creamed corn, including the water, sugar, and salt, are consumed together.

Creamed corn has added corn starch to thicken the liquid around the corn, and this helps to give it a creamy consistency.

Typical Canned Creamed Corn IngredientsTypical Canned Sweet Corn Ingredients

Water, Corn, Modified Foods Starch (Corn), Sugar, Salt.

Corn, Water, Salt.
creamed style corn on the left and canned sweet corn on the right to show the difference between the two

Creamed Corn Vs. Regular Corn Uses

Canned creamed corn and canned sweet corn kernels are both useful pantry additions that you can use in many dishes and as a substitute for the fresh version.

Although there are some dishes where creamed and sweet corn kernels both work as well as each other, some dishes are best with a specific kind of corn.

For example, creamed corn doesn’t work well in situations where the creamy texture clashes with other ingredients, such as salads, but it does work really well in soups.

It’s also worth pointing out that because of the texture, creamed corn is better in cooking, baking, or served warm as a side dish, and it doesn’t work so well served cold, whereas sweet corn kernels have a texture that is just as good cold as they are hot.

Main Uses of Creamed Corn

Creamed corn is best in:

  • Soups and casseroles where a thicker consistency is required
  • Quiches
  • Fritters
  • Cream corn bake and pasta bake
  • Baking (such as cupcakes & cornbread)

Regular sweet corn kernels can also be used in many of these recipes too, but you might need extra ingredients to make textures more creamy, depending on the recipe.

Main Uses of Sweet Corn

Sweet Corn Kernels are best for?

  • Salads (can be eaten cold from the can)
  • Salsa recipes
  • Bakes and pasta bakes
  • As a side dish
  • Any corn dish where you can’t have the extra water that you get in creamed corn.

Creamed Corn Vs. Sweet Corn Nutritional Comparison

Calorie Comparison

Because the creamed corn I compared contains extra ingredients like sugar and corn starch which cannot be drained away (unlike canned sweetcorn kernels), creamed corn is slightly lower in calories than canned sweet corn.

A serving of creamed corn or canned sweet corn is half a cup, and per serving, creamed corn contains ten calories more than regular sweet corn.

Corn TypeCalories Per Serving (Half Cup)
Canned Creamed Corn70kcal
Canned Whole Kernel Corn60kcal

Nutritional Comparison

When you look at the main nutritional categories to compare canned creamed corn and canned sweet corn, you can see there’s not much difference between the two.

Per serving, canned sweet corn contains 1g fewer carbs than creamed corn, 1g more dietary fiber, and slightly less sodium, making the whole kernel option the healthier choice, although the difference is minimal.

Nutrition TypeCanned Creamed Corn (Per Serving)Canned Whole Kernel Corn (Per Serving)
of Which are Sugars7g7g
Dietary Fiber1g2g
of Which is Saturated Fat0g0g
Sodium/Salt340mg (14% Daily Intake)320mg (14% Daily Intake)

Vitamins & Minerals Comparison

When it comes to the main vitamins and minerals found in canned sweet corn and creamed corn, they both contain the same daily value percentages.

However, some nutrients may be found in higher levels in regular sweet corn because the corn content is higher, whereas creamed corn is diluted with water.

Below is the nutritional detail for both kinds of Del Monte corn for information:

Vitamin/Mineral TypeCanned Creamed Corn Daily Value %Canned Whole Kernel Corn Daily Value %

Best for Flavor/Texture

To find out which is the public favorite between creamed corn and regular sweet corn, we need to carry out a poll over a wide demographic of voters.

Please help us out by voting for your favorite kind of corn, and once you vote, the winner so far will be revealed (no personal information is required to vote).

Which do you prefer?

Best for Price

If you like to budget when you shop, you might like to know which is cheaper – creamed canned corn or canned sweet corn kernels.

The table below shows price comparisons between some popular corn brands for each kind of corn:

Corn Type & BrandCan Size & CostCost per Ounce
Del Monte Creamed Corn14.75oz / $1.328.9¢
Del Monte Whole Kernel Cream15.25oz / $1.328.7¢
Great Value (Walmart) Cream Style Corn14.75oz / $0.543.7¢
Great Value (Walmart) Sweet Whole Kernel Corn14.5oz / $0.543.7¢
Libby’s Cream Style Corn14.75oz / $0.865.8¢
Libby’s Sweet Whole Kernel Corn15.25oz / $0.865.6¢

Based on this information, there’s only a nominal difference between the cost of creamed corn and the cost of sweet corn kernels per ounce, but in more cases, you get slightly more sweet corn for your money than the creamed version.

It’s also worth pointing out that you get more corn in a can of sweet corn than in a can of creamed corn with a higher water to corn ratio.

Please note that prices are based on averages and may fluctuate over time, depending on the store where you buy them and promotional offers.


So we’ve now compared all categories and found out the differences between creamed corn and canned, and here’s a summary of those differences:

  • Canned creamed corn is eaten as a whole, whereas canned sweet corn is drained of water and any other contents such as sugar and salt.
  • Creamed corn is better in dishes such as soups and casseroles, whereas sweet corn kernels are better in salads or side dishes.
  • Canned sweet corn kernels are slightly lower in calories, carbs, and sodium yet higher in fiber than creamed corn.
  • You get slightly more sweet corn kernels per weight for some canned corn brands than you do with creamed corn.

More Creamed Corn Vs. Regular Corn FAQs

What is canned creamed corn?

Canned creamed corn is sweet corn kernels in water thickened with corn starch to give it a creamy texture. Most brands also add sugar and salt to the creamy corn to prevent it from tasting too bland.

Does canned creamed corn have any dairy?

Canned creamed corn gets its creamy texture from added starch which thickens the water the corn is canned in, so it doesn’t contain any dairy. Some recipes to make your own creamed corn may include dairy products such as cream, to get a creamier texture.

Related Articles

I hope this article has helped you to find the information you were looking for; you might also find the following articles helpful too:

Canned Corn Vs. Frozen (Which is Best?)

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References Used for this Article

To ensure the nutritional information used in this article is accurate, I have used data from USDA FoodData Central; the link below contains the source information:

USDA Corn Nutritional Information