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Cornbread Hoe Cakes

A pan with pancakes and butter in it.


Cornbread Hoe Cakes

A pan with pancakes and butter in it.

A classic southern recipe. Southern Hoe Cakes or Johnny cakes as they are sometimes called are little cornmeal pancakes that are wonderfully crispy around the edges. Serve them warm and top them with butter for a delicious southern breakfast or treat any time of day.

  • Author: Gary Brock
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 10 min
  • Total Time: 20 min
  • Yield: 6-8 1x
  • Category: Breakfast, Breads
  • Method: Pan Frying
  • Cuisine: Southern


  • 1 cup self-rising flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose cornmeal
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar, optional
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/4 cup bacon drippings, vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter


  1. Line a rimmed baking sheet with paper towels and place a rack on top; set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt and sugar.
  3. Measure out the buttermilk and add to that the water and oil; blend well.
  4. Add eggs and mix well; combine with dry ingredients. 
  5. Heat oil and butter in a cast iron skillet over medium to medium high and drop batter by about 1/8 cup measures into the hot skillet to form small medallions.
  6. Fry until brown and crisp, turn and brown the other side. Remove and let drain on rack. Serve immediately

  7. When corn is at peak and in-season, add about 1 cup of corn cut and scraped off the cob. You’ll need about 1 large ear of corn.
  8. Add only enough buttermilk to make a stiff batter. You may not need the additional water.
  9. Pour into a screaming hot, well greased 8-inch cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Reduce heat and let brown underneath about 10 – 15 minutes.
  10. Run a metal egg turner underneath and turn to brown the other side. Can also bake in a well preheated 425 degree F oven for about 15 to 20 minutes (no turning needed).


Tip: If you spray the measuring cup with a bit of non-stick spray before scooping, the batter will slip right out. If you don’t happen to have that 1/8 cup measure, just do about 2 tablespoons of batter in one pile and push it around to form a medallion.

Jalapeno Cheese Fried Cornbread: Prepare as above, adding in 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese and 1/4 cup chopped pickled jalapeno. Spoon batter into pan, topping with whole slices of pickled jalapeno. Let set and turn.