Hoe cakes also known as Johnny cakes are essentially a cornmeal flatbread made out of cornmeal. Fried in bacon grease or oil and smothered in maple syrup or used to soak up savory sauces or gravy.
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Southern hoe cakes are a delicious and satisfying food that my family can't get enough of. They can be enjoyed on their own or as a side dish to a variety of southern favorites like my Slow Cooker Green Beans, Shake and Bake Pork Chops, or my Cube Steak with Onion Gravy.
Why this recipe works
I love the texture the cornmeal gives this hoecake recipe, frying them in a little bacon grease or oil gives them those delicious crispy edges everybody loves! These corn cakes only require a few ingredients and can be eaten any time of day with a side of my Country Breakfast Sausage and a drizzle of honey or maple syrup or as a savory side dish.
- Flour: All-purpose flour works best.
- Corn meal: Either yellow cornmeal or white cornmeal will work.
- Sugar: You can leave it out if you prefer.
- Buttermilk: You can use whole milk in a pinch or make your own buttermilk in the notes section
- Bacon Grease: Or oil to fry the cornmeal hoe cakes.
How to make Hoe Cakes
- Step 1: In a large bowl add the dry ingredients and whisk until combined.
- Step 2: Make a little well in the center and add the wet ingredients and mix until combined.
- Step 3: Heat a large skillet on medium-high heat add the bacon grease or oil to the hot skillet and drop the batter into small discs.
- Step 4: Cook until golden brown and flip finish cooking and serve!
- These are best served hot off the pan when the edges are crispy.
- The batter is supposed to be thick.
- I prefer to fry these in bacon grease, I just fry my bacon first then use that grease to fry these Johhny cakes.
- I love to use a cast-iron skillet for these but another heavy skillet or griddle will work just fine.
They have a few different names like Jonnycake, Hoe Cake, and Shawnee cake, they are little round cornmeal pancakes made with a combination of cornmeal and self-rising flour. Fried in bacon grease to get those delicious crispy edges that are enjoyed smothered in syrup or as a side dish to my Beef Chili.
Even though they look similar to traditional pancakes they are not the same. Pancakes are soft and fluffy and have a sweetness to the batter like my IHOP Pancakes. Johnny cakes are a form of cornbread made from a basic cornbread batter that's fried in bacon fat or oil to get those crispy edges.
You can use whole milk but I love the tanginess that buttermilk gives these southern hoecakes. You can make your own buttermilk with 1 cup of whole milk and 1 tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice. Let sit for 5 minutes.
More delicious breakfasts to try
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Southern Hoe Cakes (Johnny Cakes)
Hoe cakes also known as Johnny cakes are essentially a cornmeal flatbread made out of cornmeal and fried in bacon grease or oil and smothered in maple syrup or used to soak up savory sauces or gravy.
- 1 cup cornmeal
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- 1/3 cup water
- 1/3 cup melted butter, slightly cooled
- Vegetable oil or bacon grease for frying
- In a large mixing bowl add the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt and whisk together.
- Make a well in the center and add in the egg, buttermilk, water, and melted butter and mix until combined.
- Heat a couple of tablespoons of oil (I use bacon grease) in a 12-inch cast iron skillet or frying pan on medium-high heat.
- Scoop about 3 tablespoons of batter and drop into the frying pan, (I usually do 4 corncakes at a time)
- Fry each Hoe cake until the edges start to bubble, flip and fry for another couple minutes until golden brown.
- Remove and serve immediately with butter, and or syrup.
These are best served hot out of the pan when the edges are crispy. But you can keep them warm in a 375-degree oven for 10-15 minutes.
The batter is supposed to be thick, but if you prefer it a bit thinner add 1 tablespoon of water to thin it.
I prefer to fry these in bacon grease, I just fry my bacon first then use that grease to fry these Johhny cakes.
I love to use a cast-iron skillet for these but another heavy skillet or griddle will work just fine.
Buttermilk: Make your own buttermilk with 1 cup of whole milk and 1 tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice. Let sit for 5 minutes.
Amount Per Serving Calories 319Total Fat 16gSaturated Fat 8gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 7gCholesterol 91mgSodium 727mgCarbohydrates 38gFiber 2gSugar 6gProtein 7g
Nutrition Disclaimer: All information presented on this site is intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information shared on butteryourbiscuit.com should only be used as a general guideline.
Johnnycakes are an old tome Rhode Island favorite at breakfast with butter and maple syrup. Many May Breakfasts traditionally serve these. So good.
My mom would add kernels of corn to her batter. We poured Kari Syrup on them. Would this recipe work with a cup of corn?
Can’t wait to try! Thanks
You can certainly use cane syrup if you prefer. Depending on where you are from some people prefer Maple syrup, molasses, or even honey.
I have lived in the south my whole life. These are served with cane syrup not maple.