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Hoecakes or fried cornbread is a Southern favorite.

Southern Cornmeal Hoecakes

I have always called this fried cornbread and my family loves it. These little cakes, according to some sources, got their name because slaves used to cook them in the fields on a garden hoe.  They would carry the ingredients with them and make hoecakes for their lunch. Serve hoecakes with any meal.  I eat them for a snack in the afternoons if I have any made up.  They are great with milk.  They are wonderful with syrup over them, too!  Fried cornbread will soon become a family favorite to serve with any meal.

Ingredients for Recipe:

1 1/2 cups self-rising cornmeal

2/3 cups buttermilk or can use regular milk, too

1 egg

1/2 teaspoon salt

2/3 cup oil (I use canola oil) for cooking

Mix meal, milk, egg and salt together.  Drop by spoonful into hot oil.  Brown on one side then turn and fry until golden brown on both sides.

Serve with butter.  Some people eat these like pancakes with syrup.  They are good with any meal and great with collard greens!  Enjoy!

Print Recipe
4.98 from 34 votes

Southern Cornmeal Hoecakes

This Southern Fried Cornbread, also known as hoecakes is a classic. These can go with any meal or enjoy for breakfast with syrup! 
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: bread
Cuisine: American, southern
Keyword: cornbread, fried cornbread, hoecakes
Servings: 10 cakes


  • 1 1/2 cups self-rising cornmeal
  • 2/3 cups buttermilk or can use regular milk too
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup oil I use canola oil for cooking


  • Mix meal, milk, egg and salt together. Drop by spoonful into hot oil. Brown on one side then turn and fry until golden brown on both sides.

You might like to check out these bread recipes, too: 
Southern Cornmeal Hushpuppies
Southern Hot Water Cornbread
Southern Spoon Bread
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Southern Cornmeal Hoecakes

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  1. Beverly Sholte says:

    Do you have a recipe for “hoecakeks” made from flour. I have made the fried cakes as well but what I have had mostly was cakes made with flour similar to biscuits but cooked in a large cake.4 stars

  2. Not exactly like we made them in our house growing up in NC …. but better! I didn’t have self-rising cornmeal and they don’t carry it where I now live, but I found a recipe for it on this site that worked perfectly.5 stars

  3. Gail bannister says:

    This is the way to make good fried corn bread, or hoe cakes. I always use sweet milk and white self rising corn meal. I live in ky and have made these for 58 years of our marriage. Kids, grand kids love them. By the way ,best corn meal is sunflower if one can get it.5 stars

  4. Barbara Brokaw says:

    Absolutely onions make them so much better

  5. I love these. I am NOT a ‘picky’ eater but grandchildren LOVE them and when you can get them jumping up and down at just the mention of the words, YOU GOT A WINNER. THANKS5 stars

  6. The Southern Lady says:

    I always make them the way they are written, which is how my family likes them. You can always try to leave the salt out.

  7. Stupid question….. Do I use white or yellow cornmeal?

  8. Can this mixture be saved in fridge or made and frozen? Too much for just my husband and me.

    • The Southern Lady says:

      I have made it and kept it in the fridge for a couple days but I have not tried freezing it, Karen. You could cut the mixture in half for the two of you. You could freeze the hoecakes and reheat I would think.

  9. Ann Merrifield says:

    This is how both of my grandmothers made theirs…and therefore taught their children and grandchildren. I was grown before I ever used self rising cornmeal.5 stars

  10. Ann Merrifield says:

    Love your Website! So many recipes are straight off my grandmother’s table! I find the comments entertaining and informative. Keep up the good work!

  11. I am from louisiana, been eating hoecakes for 60 years, also make regular cornbread on TOP of the stove in a cast iron skillet,it’s best made in bacon grease ,but usually use canola oil because of the health benefits, stove top cornbread is not as dry. takes 17 minutes for the cornbread to make,,,,biscuits are easy to make on top of the stove too.lastly i can not have salt so i use baking powder with no salt in it,,,found it at…i like ur page5 stars

    • I am from Louisiana, my Mamma made these often. They are very good with syrup, turnips greens, and beans. I make cornbread with bacon drippings in a cast iron skillet in the oven. Love my down home cooking!5 stars

  12. Ran across your recipe the other day and have made these three times since…sudden family fave! We make homemade butter in a jar with heavy whipping cream and I substitute the milk for what is yielded once the butter has separated. It’s really delicious and a great way to utilize all ingredients. Also, adding shredded sharp cheddar is a good way to zhuzh up the recipe. Delicious! Many thanks.5 stars

  13. Last week, I was watching the Food Network, and a show called Best Thing I Ever Ate was on. Valerie Bertinellii was on, and raving about this new thing she had discovered at a restaurant in CA…HOECAKES!!!! Apparently she had eaten one with butter and maple syrup, and swore it was food from the gods. The chef at the restaurant said they will put anything and everything in and on their hoecakes. I had a good laugh. BTW, I have left KY long ago, but I still have hoecakes weekly.5 stars

  14. I was raised in California, so these are new to me. They are soooo good! I will be making these again for sure! There are so many things on your blog I want to make… better yet try them straight from your kitchen to my plate! But I guess I will settle with on my own. Thanks from our family of 6 🙂5 stars

    • The Southern Lady says:

      Thank you so much Joy. So happy you are enjoying the recipes and happy to have you on the site. Have a wonderful weekend.

  15. I don’t use cooking oil that has been hydrogenated anymore. I put butter in them and cook them on a lower heat in butter. I like them better that way, anyway. I’ve used the Martha White Self-Rising Corn Meal Mix for years and the recipe on the bag. This one is good, too, but with butter. Being from Kentucky, I grew up on cornbread, but never loved it and appreciated it until I was grown. I like fried cornbread better than oven baked. I get it too dry in the oven. My aunt always fried hers and hers was the best cornbread there ever was. Hers had love cooked in it.5 stars

    • mike osborne says:

      my Granny made this she called it fried cornbread it is great crumbled in a large glass of Buttermilk

  16. Thank you so much for not adding flour to this recipe. This is exactly how I make hoecakes and cornbread and both come out crispy on the outside and soft and cake like on the inside.5 stars

  17. Great recipe! Tried it love it!5 stars

    • Valerie Lunsford-Winbush says:

      Lisa, I found self-rising corn meal in Food Lion, which is a grocery store chain in the Southeastern U.S. Gold Medal and Moss are two makers of it. I hope this helps. Good luck in your search.

  18. liz duarte says:

    Is the oil for batter or frying the cakes?

  19. If you really want to add some unexpected flavor to them, add about a tablespoon of Italian bread crumbs to the cornmeal – delish!

  20. I love cornbread, especially with butter slathered all over it! My family loves the fried corncakes the best! We also love to crumble up our cornbread in a bowl of milk! One thing you have to fix with soup beans is cornbread, be it fried or baked!!! No better eating!5 stars

  21. shari midkiff says:

    Im so glad i found this.i grew up on this and my husbands family thought i was crazy.even though they loved it!! now i can show them we where not the only ones !!! love your site.5 stars

  22. William Gillaspie says:

    Made these today for breakfast and they were good plain with butter, brought back memories of boyhood in Alabama. Thanks for your The Southern Lady blog with so many good recipes.5 stars

  23. These so good..remember my grandma. N Georgia doing these…..5 stars

  24. Shawnna duplechian says:


  25. Twila Pritchett says:

    I don’t have self rising corn meal, just plain, is there something I need to add to make this?

  26. I grew up on this as well as pone bread, regular corn bread. I have had it with onions in it. This is what us Southerners grew up on. Real good with soup beans, fried potatoes, greens and all that good food. Glad to find this posted so others can see what good food is like. 🙂

  27. I make them with bacon grease, hot water, and cornmeal. There is nothing better than fried cornbread, turnip greens, and pickled beets!

  28. violet gaither says:

    I keep seeing recipes that use self-rising cornmeal. I’ve never seen self-rising cornmeal in the grocery. What could be used as a replacement?

  29. Margret are you talking about Corn Pudding??

  30. When I was a kid I stayed with my grandparents in the summer, my grandmother made them several times a week with beans, meatloaf almost anything, and that occasional times when I thought it was awesome that we would have “Campbell’s” vegetable beef soup!!! Thought it was the best supper in the world….lol Thanks for the memories!!

  31. I follow box instructions and add one can of whole kernel corn. Make twice as many muffins. I also cook them in cupcake papers less clean up. My family loves these.

  32. Brenda Shuman says:

    I love the hoecake cornbread, try adding onions in the batter before you fry it.

  33. The Southern Lady says:

    I don’t have a recipe like this on my site, Margaret. It must have been somewhere else. I never use cornbread mix.

  34. Very good with black eyed peas! A family tradition for New Years Day.

  35. Just discovered this website- so glad I did! Born and raised in KY now living in Houston. My mom made “hoecakes” often. Try them with cracklins and for a real treat, add onion and eat them with fried fish and slaw- kind of like a flat hushpuppy!

  36. Dale Clark says:

    In L A we use plain cornmeal water salt peanut oil thats it. 1/4 in oil in pan. Dothan Al.

  37. Lesia L. A. E. H. says:

    This is how we always made them too. Called them flitters, sure fritters were the more proper word. They are awesome. Yum yum yummy!

  38. These would be fantastic with chili and soups!

  39. Now u talkin!!

  40. Great with pinto beans!!!

  41. Nancy Hetzell says:

    Saw your recipe for the southern hoecakes. We had them on a regular basis with everything. I don’t remember my mother or grandmother ever measuring anything, just mixing in the milk until it “looked right”. One thing I do remember tho… my mother could make them at my grandmother’s house and my grandmother could make them- same kitchen, same everything and they would turn out different. Still just as good. Think I’ll make some soon too!

  42. I made these last night for my husband and myself. I absolutely loved them but I didn’t think my husband was that impressed as he really didn’t say anything. However, tonight when I was cooking smothered pork chops with gravy, mashed potatoes and sweet creamed peas, he asked if I was going to make that good fried cornbread I had made last night. So, of course, I made them again! They are delicious and remind me of what my mother used to make when I was a child. I even had two of the leftovers from last night for breakfast this morning covered in butter and syrup with a glass of milk. MMMMMMGOOD! Thanks for another great recipe!5 stars

    • So happy you are enjoying this recipe.

      • Another tradition is to put cornbread in milk. My Daddy loved to break up any type of cornbread, bakes, corn pone, corn cakes in to a large glass and pour cold milk over the bread. This weekend my daughter and I at the Dock Side Seafood Restaurant in Beaufort, S.C. This place make the best baked cornbread I have ever eaten, it is moist and light. My husband said it tasted more like cake, I tried to get the recipe, but they would not share. They served another bread that was long and narrow which was so light it melted in your mouth. They would not share that recipe either.

  43. When I want a fast bread I make hoecakes. Chopped onion and green bell pepper really tops off the flavor and if I have it on hand,shredded cheddar cheese to.

  44. Lets see how many real southerners are on here,love these hoecakes with some good ole poke salad

  45. Bonnie Butler says:

    Lordy, these hoecakes bring back so many memories! MyMammaw and my Mama made these all the time! Pinto beans and hoecakes were the best Saturday night meal in the world, unless you had neckbones, collards and hoecakes! And then there were pigs feet, collards and hoecakes! Yes, I am a GRIT! (girl raised in the south!).5 stars

  46. Pat VanBoskerck says:

    Just found you on FB and have enjoyed all. I too grew up on fried cornbread and pintos. Still love them today. Mother made “hoecakes” like a biscuit, except fried it on the stove in a small amount of grease. She made cakes like the fried cornbread and sometimes flattened it out to fit the whole big pan. Loved those with breakfast foods. Can’t beat cornbread with homemade soup and chili too. Rather have cb than crackers.
    Love this site.

  47. Debbie Bishop says:

    I’ve eaten these all my life. We call them Fried Cornbread. They are so good and so very simple to make, I can’t imagine anyone even needing a recipe for them. We simply pour the cornmeal in a big bowl, add an egg and stir in the milk till it “looks right”! LOL. I sent a huge pot of Pinto Beans cooked with ham and lots of fried cornbread to Louisville to help feed the homeless there on Friday. They came back and said the homeless enjoyed your beans but they raved about that “fried cornbread”! Guess the fried cornbread was a treat for them, its a staple at my house with pinto beans although its sometimes baked in the oven in my precious Moma’s old iron skillet. Yum Yum I prefer the baked myself. PS….I met your sweet daughter-in-law at the Ronald McDonald House a few months back, we talked about you and she had nothing but sweet things to say about you. My church stills prepares and serves supper there the third monday of each month. Its a blessing for me to be able to help those in need as much as I can. You never know when you might be the one in need. Happy 2012, hope it has wonderful blessings for you!

    • Hi Debbie, I call it fried cornbread, too, but some people call it hoecakes as well. You said you cannot imagine anyone wanting a recipe. You could if you had this blog. lol. I have people ask me how to fry an egg. There are so many young people out there that know nothing about cooking at all. Just today, someone asked what is the difference in white gravy, sawmill gravy and redeye gravy. I get questions like this every day and about how to cook stuff we have known for years. I grew up on pinto beans and cornbread. My mother did not cook in anything but iron skillets. I like the baked cornbread better, too. Thanks for coming by. I enjoyed reading your comment. My daughter-in-law, Sarah, is a jewel. Happy New Year to you and yours and thank you for being a fan of my site.

      • Julie Bromley says:

        I’m a Texas gal raised by an Alabama grandmother who made hoecakes all the time. Monday was laundry day and she always had a big pot of pinto beans on the stove cooking and would mix up some hoecake batter and set me to cooking them for lunch. I still have my grandmothers iron skillets.

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