Southern Hoe Cakes are a delicious crispy fried cornmeal pancake. They can be served at any meal but, most commonly make their appearance at breakfast and brunch, drizzled with honey or maple syrup. They’re a classic delight, no matter how you choose to enjoy them.
Easy Southern Hoe Cakes Recipe
What is a Southern Hoe Cake? Hoe cakes are one of the most basic of Southern recipes. Sometimes called johnnycakes, the origin has been traced back as far as the civil war and even earlier by some food historians. They do differ a bit from New England johnnycakes, in that there’s leavening in the batter which gives them a more pancake-like puffed up appearance. Traditional johnnycakes are typically made without leavening, and the batter is moistened with boiling water. As with any dish, there are many variations based on region, tradition and the cook’s preference. You can read more about “jonnycakes” or johnnycakes here on Wikipedia. How to make simple Southern Hoe Cakes Recipe: (Scroll down for full printable recipe.)
- Dry Ingredients – In a medium size mixing bowl, whisk together cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
- Wet Ingredients – To the bowl add buttermilk, oil and eggs. Whisk together until thick, creamy and fully combined.
- Prepare Pan – Heat equal parts, oil and butter over medium-high heat in a large non stick pan or griddle. (Depending on size of pan, 1 Tbsp oil and 1 Tbsp butter.)
- Transfer Batter to Pan – Add approximately 1/4 – 1/3 cup batter forming into even size rounds.
- Cook – Cook in batches per the recipe until golden and puffed. Add additional oil and butter for each batch. Remove to a platter and keep warm.
- Serve hot topped with butter, honey or syrup.
How to Make the Best Southern Hoe Cakes Recipe
While these hoe cakes do contain flour along with cornmeal, the cornmeal flavor takes center stage which likens them to a type of fried cornbread pancake. They can be eaten for breakfast, with a pat of butter and a drizzle of honey or maple syrup. Likewise, they’re just as popular for dinner as a side dish. I’ve even seen hoe cakes topped with pulled pork barbecue, a drizzle of barbecue sauce and finished with coleslaw for a main course.
- Ingredients you’ll need to make this recipe for Southern Hoe Cakes from scratch: Finely ground yellow or white cornmeal, all purpose flour, granulated sugar, salt, baking powder. buttermilk, large eggs, butter and vegetable oil for frying.
- Kitchen tools you’ll need: Large bowl, nonstick skillet or griddle, measuring cups and spoons, turning spatula and whisk.
- This easy hoe cakes recipe can be made with self rising flour and self rising cornmeal in the same amounts. When doing so, just omit the baking powder and salt.
- Typically, hoe cakes aren’t terribly sweet. That said, you can make them sweeter or more savory, to suit your personal taste.
- These hoe cakes can be served with or without butter, drizzled with honey or maple syrup. They can also be topped with fruit such as fried apples or scrambled eggs, bacon or sausage.
- You may also like this recipe for old fashioned Hot Water Cornbread you can serve as a side dish at any meal.
- Store leftover hoe cakes in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat in the microwave in single serving portions or in a nonstick skillet on the stovetop.
More Southern Comfort Food Recipes to Make
I have a whole section in the recipe index of favorites from my Southern kitchen. It’s called Southern Comfort Food and you can browse that section here. A few popular recipes that remain fan favorites:
- Southern Fried Chicken is crispy and delicious
- Fluffy Southern Buttermilk Biscuits remain a fan favorite and a Pinterest rock star.
- Southern Style Mac and Cheese is gooey and easy to make.
- Southern Fried Cabbage is sautéed with bacon for added flavor.
- Homestyle Green Beans and Potatoes are a popular side dish to make all throughout the South.
- You’ll never go wrong when you serve a Hummingbird Cake for dessert.
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Helpful Kitchen Items:
Southern Hoe Cakes
- 1 cup yellow or white finely ground cornmeal
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 2-4 Tbsp granulated sugar adjust to taste
- 1 Tbsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup buttermilk (not fat free)
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil plus additional for frying
- 2 large eggs
- 2-4 Tbsp salted or unsalted butter for frying
- In a medium size mixing bowl, whisk together cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
- Add buttermilk, oil and eggs. Whisk together until thick, creamy and fully combined.
- Fry: Heat equal parts, oil and butter over medium-high heat in a large non stick pan or griddle. (Depending on size of pan, 1 Tbsp oil and 1 Tbsp butter.)
- Add approximately 1/4 – 1/3 cup batter forming into even size rounds. Cook in batches for about 2 minutes per side, or until golden and puffed. Add additional oil and butter for each batch. Remove to a platter and keep warm.
- Serve hot topped with butter, honey or syrup.