Grandma’s Famous Hoecakes

I’m about to share with you the easiest and most scrumptious southern recipe ever – the southern hoecake. My family can’t seem to get enough of Grandma’s Famous Hoecakes. These hoecakes are so crispy and good.

Platter of Grandma's Famous Hoe-Cakes

My maternal grandma had a stroke when I was a toddler and she passed away when I was 17.  Most of my memories are of her tucked up in bed. But, she was the perfect grandma! I could sit and talk to her for hours. 

Grandma always ate her main meal at lunch. For the evening meal, she would usually have a couple of hoecakes and a glass of buttermilk. I didn’t cook much while I was growing up but I did learn how to make those little cakes for grandma.

Southern lore has it that hoecakes were originally cooked outdoors, over a fire, on a garden hoe. That was way before my time, but sounds doable to me! 

Grandma's Hoe-Cakes - Fried Cornbread

These Hoecakes Have Only Two Ingredients

You can find several different variations of the southern hoecake. However, our family recipe has two simple ingredients – self-rising cornmeal mix and water. 

Yep. That’s all, folks. But, oh, are they tasty. They are cooked in a little oil (well, a bit more oil makes them, oh, so crispy, just the way we like them). 

I have a large family – 16 so far. My family gets together every Sunday and shares Sunday dinner right after church. That means I usually make dessert and a few of the dishes on Saturdays. 

Sometimes, I make hoecakes when I get home from church while the casseroles are being reheated, etc.  And I make a huge platter full.


This is one of those recipes that has never had any measurements whatsoever.  But, it’s really easy once you get the hang of it. Note:  Sometimes, just like when making pancakes or crepes, you have to toss the first one. For some strange reason, it just does not want to turn out.

Grandma’s Famous Hoecakes

To make hoecakes, you will need two cups of self-rising cornmeal mix and one to 1-1/4 cups water. I use cornmeal mix because it has flour, baking powder, and salt mixed in. 

Cornmeal Mix for Hoecakes

The batter needs to be slightly thinner than pancake batter. You don’t want it to be so thin that it separates while cooking, but you don’t want a thick batter either.

Hoecake Batter

These hoecakes cook in just a couple of minutes and you want a good crunch. We like crispy sides – lacy is what we call it.

You’ll also need oil for frying. You can use any oil that has a high smoke point. Vegetable oil, canola oil or peanut oil works just fine. 

Heat about ¼ cup of oil in a non-stick skillet on med/high. You’ll want to make these in batches so you will probably need to add more oil as you go. 

When the oil is heated, pour a scant ¼ cup of the cornmeal mixture into the skillet, making several cakes, but not overcrowding. 

frying hoecakes in a pan

When the hoecakes begin bubbling and the edges start to crisp up, turn and cook the other side. Drain on paper towels. Keep warm until they are all cooked.

My southern son-in-law loves these hoecakes.  Even my Yankee (NY) son-in-law loves them.  My grandsons also love these. They all try and find the crispiest, laciest ones.  

And every time I make these, I think of my beloved grandma.  Here’s to you, grandma!

Grandma’s Famous Hoecakes

Grandma’s Famous Hoecakes

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

Grandma's hoe-cakes are always a hit! These crispy little cakes are easy to make with just 2 ingredients.


  • 2 cups self-rising cornmeal mix
  • 1 to 1-1/4 cups water
  • 1/4 cup oil (peanut or canola) for frying


    1. Heat about ¼ cup of oil in a non-stick skillet on med/high heat.
    2. When the oil is heated, pour a scant ¼ cup of the cornmeal mixture into a large skillet, making several cakes. Don't overcrowd the skillet.
    3. When the cakes begin to bubble and the edges start to crisp up, turn and cook the other side. Drain on paper towels. Keep warm until all the hoecakes are cooked.


You will need to add oil as needed because the hoe-cakes are cooked in batches.

Nutrition Information
Yield 10 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 82 Total Fat 1g Saturated Fat 0g Trans Fat 0g Unsaturated Fat 1g Cholesterol 0mg Sodium 305mg Carbohydrates 17g Net Carbohydrates 0g Fiber 2g Sugar 0g Sugar Alcohols 0g Protein 2g

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About Alli

Southern, Morning Person, Jesus Girl, Frugal Party Planner, Writer/Blogger, Mom, Nana, Wife, Beach Bum Wannabe - Let's Have a Party!


  1. Not from the south, way up north in Maine, but my grandma used to make these, too! I don’t have a recipe, so thank you for posting! 🙂 Stopping by from SITS and so glad I did!

    • I love Maine. One Christmas, we packed up all the kids and headed to Maine, in search of snow. We only got a few flurries. We stayed in Ellsworth and went skiing at a nearby resort. And ate at a restaurant called Helen’s so many times, because we loved it so much, that we almost became regulars. I still dream of those grouper sandwiches and homemade onion rings.

      Hope you enjoy the hoe cakes!

  2. I LOVED THIS!!! I took off Friday to be with daddy and mama….Perfect timing for this post! Mom and I both cried!!! Loved It!

    • I’m glad you liked it! Linda called me last night to tell me she had read it, also. What fond memories I cherish of growing up with grandma and with you! Love ya, girl!

  3. Hey,
    Thanks so much for sharing this recipe! These Hoe Cakes look fantastic! I love that these are so versatile and that you left room to play around with the recipe!


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