Hoecakes, also known as fried cornbread, is a classic that goes with almost anything! We have hoecakes year round with many different meals.

Hoecakes or Fried Cornbread

Hoecakes go with anything, but we love them best with soup or stew. This Homemade Vegetable Beef Soup is a favorite!


Hoecakes are a classic and have been around for many, many years. Plus, fried cornbread is so versatile. You can serve it with a hearty dish, like soup beans or you can have it for breakfast with butter and syrup. Hoecakes go with just about anything and they are only a few ingredients.


  • Self-rising cornmeal
  • Buttermilk
  • Egg
  • Salt
  • Oil, I use canola oil, olive oil or bacon grease


You can use regular milk to make these but they are best and authentic made with buttermilk. You can use whatever oil you prefer, bacon grease or lard.


Making hoecakes is really simple, and we have been making them for so long, we can make them in just a few minutes.


Step 1
Mix meal, milk, egg and salt together.

Step 2
Drop by spoonful into hot oil. Brown on one side, then turn and fry until golden brown on both sides.


If you can’t find self-rising cornmeal, here is our recipe on how to make your own!


If you have followed our site for any amount of time, then you know we love cornbread. It goes with any dish, and we have many different recipes. Here are a few of our favorites!

Hoecakes or Fried Cornbread


What is the difference between a hoecake and cornbread?

A hoecake is basically fried cornbread instead of baked. Hoecakes are fried like a pancake and can be served with syrup or honey or savory with collard greens or soup.

Are hoecakes and Johnny cakes the same thing?

Most are regional differences as in where they originated. The johnny cake originated in the Caribbean.

Are these fluffy like a pancake?

No, they are flat and crisp and don’t rise.


We store in an airtight container and heat for a few seconds in the microwave.


We enjoy hoecakes as a side to soup or stew or hearty dish. That is our favorite way to enjoy hoecakes. Some people enjoy them for breakfast with butter and syrup. They are wonderful both ways. Make them for breakfast and then serve what is left over with a a delicious crock pot soup that afternoon!

Sausage, Sauerkraut & Potatoes

Made in the crock pot, super simple and delicious!

Black-Eyed Pea Chili

Twist on a classic and so good! Made with sausage.

Beef Tips and Gravy

Very popular recipe with many great reviews!


This recipe makes about 10 hoecakes, depending on the size you make them. You can easily double this recipe!

Southern Cornmeal Hoecakes

Anne Walkup
Hoecakes are a southern staple! Only a few ingredients, delicious for breakfast, lunch or dinner. We love them both with a hearty soup or stew. Cornmeal cakes fried in a skillet.
4.80 from 50 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course bread
Cuisine American, southern
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.
Keyword cornbread, fried cornbread, hoecakes
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Recipe Rating


  1. Pamela Piers says:

    Authentic recipe is made with water.

    1. Actually, no it isn’t. That would be southern hot water cornbread, not southern hoecakes. There is a difference. 🙂

  2. Can I use almond milk and apple cider vinegar (mixed and set for 10 min) in place of the buttermilk?5 stars

    1. I have no idea if that would work, I have never made a buttermilk substitute with almond milk. Good Luck!

  3. Tracy Reed says:


    1. I’m sure your husband is referring to “lace cornbread.” We actually don’t have a recipe for it on the site, but just google it and you’ll find it. It’s similiar and very easy to prepare. Good luck!

  4. These hoe cakes which I made today were wonderful. First time they came out a little well done; but, they were still good. Normallymake fried cornmeal; but, will make these now instead. Thank you for putting this recipe up.5 stars

  5. Ed Dingler says:

    I know this recipe is for southern FRIED cornbread, I’m not supposed to eat fried foods anymore. I have modified many of my fried recipies to baked recipies. Can you give me some tips on how to bake these hoecakes? Thanks5 stars

    1. The Southern Lady says:

      I would just recommend making baked cornbread. Search “cornbread” using the search box, and over 10 cornbread recipes come up.

  6. Pamela Clark says:

    Hello Gm, I’m from the south of Savannah Georgia.
    My mom used to make them all the time. Just I never set and watch what all she did.
    I’m a cook love cooking trying to start my own little cook book my self
    Hope to get meet u one day. Maybe I can catch up with you one day.5 stars

  7. Carole Strawn says:

    Reading about and making your recipes is like a trip back home to Mississippi where I grew up. From there I moved to Kentucky where I was introduced to fried cornbread. It is so good! I worked at a small rural hospital in Appalachia and every Friday the food in the employee cafeteria was soup beans (pinto beans), fried potatoes, and fried cornbread. We always looked forward to it. Now that I live in Ohio, I’ve introduced my new husband to the delights of fried cornbread and he loves it. Southern cooking is the best comfort food.5 stars

    1. The Southern Lady says:

      Thank you so much for this wonderful comment! One side of our family is from Mississippi and the other from Kentucky.

  8. Just a question, is sugar (sweetener) a no-no in hoecakes? Mine spread or puff too much when cooking no matter the thickness of the batter.
    My mom flipped a ton of these when we were kids. I ate a million right out of the hot skillet with butter, grape jelly or both.

    1. The Southern Lady says:

      I have never added sugar to my fried cornbread.

  9. Is Maseca instant corn flour the flour you would use. Or is this the flour you would make up your self rising recipe. This flour I bought to make tortillas. Tried but didn’t work out.

    1. The Southern Lady says:

      There is no corn flour in this recipe. Hoecakes are made with self-rising cornmeal.

  10. This is exactly how my grandmother, mother and myself make them. We called the hoe-cakes.The only difference is we use bacon grease.

    1. Yes, yes, yes…always Bacon Grease!5 stars

  11. 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

    1. My best friend’s mom always made “biscuit bread” instead of biscuits. Its like cornbread, made in a skillet but with flour instead of cornmeal. It was great! I remember eating her Lima beans and biscuit bread after band practice on several occasions!5 stars

  12. 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

    1. The Southern Lady says:

      Wonderful!! So glad it was a hit!

    2. Deb Emrick says:

      Cant find the recipe on this site for using flour. Please direct me.

      1. The Southern Lady says:

        Not sure what you are asking, flour is not used in fried cornbread.

    3. Lana Hodges says:

      Hi Jennifer, I guess I’m missing something . I wanted to pin the hoecake recipe. It has been years since I have made these. Sometimes when you are alone, it becomes a problem cooking. You do inspire me to cook like I did when my family was still here. Thanks!!

      1. The Southern Lady says:

        There is a pin icon at the bottom of every recipe on this website. If you can’t see it, then you have an ad blocker don’t that is blocking you from seeing it.

  13. 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

    1. Can I use a box cornbread mix?? Or add to it? That’s all I have.

  14. Barbara Brokaw says:

    Absolutely onions make them so much better

  15. 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

    1. The Southern Lady says:

      WOW! You are so right about the grandchildren. So happy to hear that you all enjoy this recipe and thank you for your wonderful comment and rating. Happy to have you on the site.

      1. Hi there, if I can’t get self rising cornmeal how much baking powder would I use? Would that alter the amount of cornmeal needed? Thanks!

  16. 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.

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

    1. The Southern Lady says:

      You can use either. I usually use white, Kat.

  18. karen reed says:

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

    1. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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!

  21. 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

    1. 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

  22. 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

  23. 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

  24. 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

    1. 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.

  25. 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

    1. mike osborne says:

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

  26. 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

  27. Sandra Devine says:

    Ann Hardin, FAT is FATTENING. One gram of Fat equals 9 calories; One gram of carbohydrate equals 4 calories; and One gram of protein equals 4 calories. Corn is a carbohydrate. So, the major fattening agent in fried hoe cakes is the oil, or fat. No hurt feelings, I hope. :o)

  28. Richard Pla says:

    Great recipe! Tried it love it!5 stars

    1. 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.

  29. There is NO way to make Cornbread not fating. You just eat it and enjoy. Do not eat any other starchy food with the cornbread and you will be OK. I buy the Hushpuppy Mix and put in water to mix up the mix and fry them on my Iron Griddle or non-stick frying pan. I put just enough veggie oil, or margarine so the batter does not stick.

  30. liz duarte says:

    Is the oil for batter or frying the cakes?

    1. The Southern Lady says:

      For frying the cakes.

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

  32. 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

    1. Shirley Lindsey says:

      Absolutely right on the soup beans; must have cornbread; hoecakes or oven type.

  33. 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

    1. The Southern Lady says:

      Thank you so much Shari.

  34. 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

    1. The Southern Lady says:

      Thank you William. Happy you enjoy the recipes and happy to have you as part of the site.

  35. Twila Pritchett says:

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

    1. Ann Hardin says:

      Add 1 tbsp baking powder and 1 tsp baking soda (if using buttermilk) to the plain corn meal.

  36. 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. 🙂

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

  38. 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?

    1. The Southern Lady says:

      It’s called cornmeal mix here and Martha White has it, if you can find that brand.

  39. Margret are you talking about Corn Pudding??

  40. 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!!

  41. 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.

  42. Brenda Shuman says:

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

  43. 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.

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

  45. 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!

  46. Dale Clark says:

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

  47. 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!

    1. We always called them flitters as well! I’ve heard it’s the Scottish mountain term

  48. Great with pinto beans!!!

  49. 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!

  50. Michtrixie says:

    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

      1. 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.

  51. 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.

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

    1. Man,wish I had a dime for every sack of polk gathered in the spring.My mom thought it was a must have,and always froze plenty to have throughout the year!Alot of people don’t know what it is.

      1. I’m one of those without a clue. Poke salad and sawmill gravy and red gravy.

    2. I love me some good ole,”poke salet”already had me a good (mess) as we said when i was a kid growing up in north georgia,

      1. Anna Jane Collins says:

        Always took Mom to get her Poke Greens Location state of Missouri…

    3. I’m right there with ya!

  53. 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

  54. 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.

    1. Thank you Pat and welcome. Hope you will stop by often and enjoy the recipes. Happy to have you here.

  55. 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!

    1. 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.

      1. 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.