Zucchini Hoecakes - The Southern Lady Cooks

Southern Zucchini hoecakes are a great way to use up that extra zucchini in the garden during summer months. I love simple recipes and these zucchini hoecakes are addictive and so easy to make.   I tried to eat them all by myself.   You can serve zucchini hoecakes with any meal or as an appetizer.  We love them just as a snack with chunky salsa for dipping.  A great way to get your children to eat zucchini, too.  You might like to check out our recipe for tomato zucchini salad while you are here.

Southern Zucchini hoecakes simple ingredients:

Zucchini, shredded or grated



Self-rising cornmeal

Cayenne (Optional)

Cooking Oil

Bacon drippings (Optional)

Each time I post a recipe with self rising cornmeal I get many responses from people saying they don’t have any or can’t find. You can easily make your own. It’s super easy to make and nice to have on hand for many recipes. Click here for this handy tip!

We always have a lot of zucchini and these hoecakes are easy and delicious. Wonderful addition to any summer meal! Great for entertaining as these are wonderful appetizers.

Zucchini Hoecakes - The Southern Lady Cooks


Zucchini Hoecakes - The Southern Lady Cooks

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Southern Zucchini Hoecakes

This recipe for Southern Zucchini Hoecakes is super easy and a great way to use up that garden zucchini. 
Course: Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Zucchini Hoecakes


  • 1 cup zucchini shredded or grated
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup self-rising cornmeal
  • Pinch of cayenne Optional
  • 3/4 cup oil I used Canola
  • 1 teaspoon bacon drippings Optional


  • Blend zucchini, buttermilk, cornmeal, salt and cayenne in a large bowl with a spoon.
  • Heat oil and drippings in skillet until hot.
  • Drop spoonful of mixture into hot oil. (I used an ice cream scoop).
  • Cook on one side until brown and crispy, turn, flatten with spatula and cook on the other side. Remove and drain on paper towels.


You could add chili peppers or onions to these, too, but we like them this way. I would probably add an egg if I added more ingredients.
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Recipe Rating


  1. like your idea to squeeze excess water….thnx for sharing

  2. Hi, I’d like to make these hoecakes tonight. I never heard of rising corn meal. So at the store I only found in small bags white corn meal. Is it ok to use the white cornmeal?

    1. The Southern Lady says:

      Yes, it is o.k. to do that.

  3. thank you for this recipe!!! with grilled shrimp and homemade tater salad! I was born and raised in Louisville! Will definitely be back to peruse your recipes, loved the crock pot section!

    1. The Southern Lady says:

      So happy to have you on the site, Jacque, and always happy to meet another Kentuckian! I hope you enjoy the recipes.

  4. Wanda BENHAM says:

    Does any one have the biscuit type hoecake recipe? Squeezed off the dough, rolled, patted about 11/2 in thick. Placed in iron skillet and cooked on top of stove! So good and the smell was unbelievable!?

  5. do u peal the zucchin?

    1. The Southern Lady says:

      No, you just grate it.

  6. Love these but we used alot more grated zucchini πŸ™‚

  7. Valerie Williams says:

    I make these all the time. I find that squeezing the shredded zucchini in a clean tea towel gets the excess water out. I do add an egg to mine, and some Old Bay.

  8. Can you use reg milk or sour milk instead of buttermilk.

  9. Raul molina jr says:

    every thing is awsome!!!!

  10. Linda Mullins says:

    These are great made with yellow squash too.

  11. Hoecakes were made by slaves on the edge of the field for their midday meal. They would take the corn meal and mix it up and bake it on the blades of their hoes over an open fire. That is why they are called hoecakes.

    1. Jan Gulley says:

      I learned some history. I sure did not know this about Hoecakes.

  12. I added a very finely chopped jalapeno from the garden instead of the pinch of cayenne. They came out light, crispy and good without the need of an egg or anything.

  13. I thought hoecakes were just pancakes to put syrup on. These look really delicious. I guess you can sneak a little zucchini in most any recipe πŸ™‚ I learned something today…Thanks

  14. We don’t have self rising corn meal here, is there a way to make regular corn meal work?

    1. Linda, Add 1 tablespoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 3/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons regular cornmeal together to make self-rising cornmeal.

      1. Thank-you so much for the prompt answer, can’t wait to make these

  15. Christy McCall says:

    I was so excited to see this recipe because I’ve got some zucchini I don’t know what to do with. I do have 2 questions. What is the difference between shredded and grated zucchini? I just have regular cornmeal. Can I add something to it to make it self-rising?

    1. Hi Christy, Add 1 tablespoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 3/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons regular cornmeal together to make self-rising cornmeal. Shredded is like little strips and grated is more like finely chopped. Either will work. I just use a hand grater and grate on the big side.

  16. I can’t believe I have never had these before…they sound great.