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    Easy Hoe Cakes Recipe (Johnny Cakes)

    Published April 15, 2020. This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

    After you taste one these easy to make cornmeal Hoe Cakes, you’ll forget all about ever wanting to eat pancakes again.

    We make pretty epic breakfasts every morning to start off the day.  I often make omelettes and almost always have bacon on the menu as well.

    cornmeal cakes with butter maple

    Hoe Cakes

    Hoe Cakes are a classic southern staple and essentially their version of the pancake.  In its simplest form they consist of the following ingredients:

    • Cornmeal
    • Salt
    • Hot Water

    Just like any classic recipe, hoe cakes are considered peasant food.  They were created based on what ingredients were readily available, and what they could afford.  If you fast forward to current times, hoe cakes are often made with the addition of butter, eggs, flour, and sugar to further enhance the flavor.

    Is It the Same as a Johnny Cake

    Hoe cakes are the exact same as a Johnny Cake.  Johnny Cakes were founded in the Northeast portion of the United States, and to be more exact, New England.  In fact, Johnny Cakes were around before hoe cakes as they are dated back to the 18th century.

    They were later adopted by the south and given their own name.

    How to Make Them

    Follow these easy instructions to make this recipe:

    In a large bowl mix together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, sugar, and salt.

    Adding dry ingredients to a large bowl

    In a separate bowl whisk the eggs, buttermilk, melted butter, and water until combined.

    mixing together dry ingredients in a bowl

    Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and gently whisk just until combined.

    mixing together a hoe cake batter in a bowl

    Add a ½ cup to ¾ cup of batter to a griddle, frying pan or cast-iron skillet in oil or melted butter and cook for 3-4 minutes per side or until light and fluffy and cooked throughout.

    cooking a johnny cake in some butter in a skillet

    What to Serve them With

    Just like any typical breakfast recipe, here are a few things these would go great with:

    Recipe Chef Notes + Tips

    Make-Ahead: You can make these up to 1 hour ahead of time.  Keep warm wrapped in foil and in the oven at 175° before serving.

    How to Reheat: Place on a pan wrapped in foil and heat in the oven at 350° for 6-8 minutes or until hot.  You can also heat in the microwave.

    How to Store: Place covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.  Cover and freeze for up to 2 months.  Thaw in the refrigerator for 1 day, or until unfrozen, before reheating.

    It is best to use finely ground cornmeal, but you can extend that to a medium or coarse ground as well.

    To further enhance the flavor of these hoe cakes, I would absolutely advise using rendered bacon fat instead of butter.

    You can absolutely use milk in place of the buttermilk.

    If you want to make your own buttermilk, simply mix 1 tablespoon of white distilled vinegar or lemon juice with 1 cup of milk.

    You can also cook the hoe cakes in butter instead of oil.

    johnny cakes on a plate served with fruit

    More Breakfast Recipes

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    Let's Cook - Chef Billy Parisi

    Video

    Easy Hoe Cakes Recipe (Johnny Cakes)

    5 from 3 votes
    After you taste one these easy to make cornmeal Hoe Cakes with syrup, you’ll forget all about ever wanting to eat pancakes again.
    Servings: 8
    Prep Time: 5 minutes
    Cook Time: 15 minutes

    Ingredients 

    • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 ½ cups fine cornmeal
    • 2 tablespoons sugar
    • 1 tablespoon baking powder
    • ½ teaspoon sea salt
    • 3 large eggs
    • ¼ cup melted unsalted butter
    • 1 cup buttermilk
    • 2/3 cup water
    • Oil for cooking

    Instructions

    • In a large bowl mix together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt and set aside.
    • In a separate large bowl whisk together the eggs, butter, buttermilk, and water until combined.
    • Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients in gently whisk just until combined.
    • Pour the oil into a large frying pan, cast-iron skillet or griddle over medium-low heat and pour in a ½ cup to ¾ cup of the batter and cook as many at a time as possible without touching each other in the pan,
    • Cook for 3-4 minutes per side or until light and fluffy and cooked throughout.
    • Serve with fresh berries, butter, and maple syrup.

    Notes

    Chef Notes:
    • Make-Ahead: You can make these up to 1 hour ahead of time. Keep warm wrapped in foil and in the oven at 175° before serving.
     
    • How to Reheat: Place on a pan wrapped in foil and heat in the oven at 350° for 6-8 minutes or until hot. You can also heat in the microwave.
     
    • How to Store: Place covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Cover and freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw in the refrigerator for 1 day, or until unfrozen, before reheating.
     
    • It is best to use finely ground cornmeal, but you can extend that to a medium or coarse ground as well.
     
    • To further enhance the flavor of these hoe cakes, I would absolutely advise using rendered bacon fat instead of butter.
     
    • You can absolutely use milk in place of the buttermilk.
     
    • If you want to make your own buttermilk, simply mix 1 tablespoon of white distilled vinegar or lemon juice with 1 cup of milk.
     
    • You can also cook the hoe cakes in butter instead of oil.

    Nutrition

    Calories: 306kcalCarbohydrates: 45gProtein: 8gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 80mgSodium: 255mgPotassium: 336mgFiber: 3gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 316IUCalcium: 116mgIron: 2mg
    Course: Breakfast
    Cuisine: American