Paula Deen’s Hoecakes

"Want to make a Hoe Cake? Follow directions below except have a nice clean garden hoe and a large roaring fire. Rub some lard on the hoe, then heat it in the fire. Place the flattened dough on the heated hoe and hold it against the fire and bake it without burning it. Try it and see if you can do it. It is a challenge. Or, do as my grandmother did and bake it in a pie pan and make someone in your house feel special." Cliff Lowe

Bill was in Savannah in 2003 visiting with the Savannah Tourism Bureau to set up a convention when they took him to Paula Deen’s restaurant, The Lady and Sons, for lunch.  He was lucky to meet Paula and she autographed her cookbook, “The Lady and Sons Savannah Country Cookbook” for him (me!)

It’s an awesome cookbook that I really love, filled with many wonderful recipes.  Bill mentioned that the hoecakes were delicious; I saw the recipe in the cookbook and knew I had to try it! 

Later, we both enjoyed the incredible buffet at The Lady and Sons ~ great Southern veggie dishes such as collard greens and black eyed peas, tomato-stewed okra, lima beans, the best fried chicken you’d ever want to eat, desserts to die for such as key lime pie, peach cobbler, gooey butter cakes; and of course, her delicious hoecakes.  If you’re ever in Savannah, be sure to go there ~ the price is right also!

Hoecakes are easy to make even if you don’t have an open fire and a hoe near you at the moment!  Any skillet works well but, especially an iron skillet on your stove is excellent for this hoe cake recipe I’m about to give you. 

Hoe cakes, Johnny cakes, journey cake, Shawnee cake, corn pone and batter cake.  They’re all regional names but it’s all the same finished product.  The journey cake version comes from being easily prepared, carried and eaten by travelers.  Native American probably taught the Pilgrims how to make Johnny cakes.  And the stories go on and on…
Here’s Paula’s recipe:



1 cup self-rising flour
1 cup self-rising cornmeal
2 eggs
1 tablespoon sugar
¾ cup buttermilk
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon water
¼ cup vegetable oil or bacon grease
Oil or butter for frying


Mix all ingredients well except for frying oil.
Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat.
Drop mixture by tablespoonfuls into hot skillet.
Use approximately 2 tablespoons batter per hoecake.
Brown until crisp; turn and brown on other side.
Drain on paper towels.
Leftover batter will keep in refrigerator for up to 2 days.
Makes about 17 cakes.

Pam’s note:  If you do not have self-rising flour or self-rising cornmeal, substitute as follows ~ 1 cup flour (cornmeal), 1¼ teaspoon baking powder, 1/8 teaspoon salt.  Serve with honey, syrup, molasses or applesauce or just butter.

Try them, you’ll love them!


  1. Wow Bill is lucky meeting Paula Deen! I make a few of her recipes, but I always have to adjust it for us. I've had to make "Johnny cakes" for Maranda's school Thanksgiving Feast. They always had an authentic meal what they would of had at the original feast. So we'd have shrimp, lobster, venison, goose, duck, and wild turkey, and ate outside eating off from non plastic dishware and used cloth napkins. subject here!

    So would a "tiny skillet" work making these? :D Yours sound good I'll have to try them!!! I'm posting a Paula Deen recipe soon, and Brenda posted one today!

  2. I want to eat at Paula Deen's restaurant badly! I just love her!

    This recipe looks great!!

  3. Self rising cornmeal, yet another thing I have never heard of! Must have a look around but I suspect this is an American 'thing'. Diane

  4. Hoe cakes! Southern deliciousness. I grew up on them.

    Have a good weekend.


  5.'s like a cornmeal biscuit?
    Meeting PD would be a gas. Hope to go to her restaurant one day...for now, I look at their website. He hee. Thanks for sharing, and boy, aren't you lucky to have that signed cookbook?

  6. Popped in to say hi! I've always wanted to go there!

  7. I think I'd opt for using a skillet rather than a hoe ;)

  8. Oh! I never had is something that I'd love to try :-)

  9. They look good, and what a long history they have! That had to be the best, meeting Paula Deen, fun times!

  10. Oooh, these look wonderful Pam! I will have to try these soon!

  11. Popping in to get caught up a bit - lots of really terrific recipes going on as always Pam! I definitely want to put that mushroom strudel a couple of posts down on the menu soon, yum!

  12. I love Paula Deen. She just seems like such a nice person, and her food is great! I have tried a few of her recipes, and they have always been delicious.

    These cakes sound great too! I have never had them but will have to try. Just glad I don't have to cook them on a

  13. I would love to go to Paula's restaurant some day. I'm not typically a fan of all her butter, but for a once in a while thing, her food is admittedly delicious!

    THese hoecakes sound good!

  14. Lyndsey, the school does a great thing with the Thanksgiving feast and your Johnny cakes were a perfect thing for Miaranda to take. What a feast! That definitely wouldn't happen outside here at that time of year. Interesting and a great way for the students to celebrate! The tiny skillet would work fine, just take a little longer.

    Autumn @Good Eats Girl, I hope you get to go there, it's really nice with great food and gift shop.

    Food, Fun and Life in the Charente, it probably is an American thing. I've never used it, just use the substitution I mentioned in the note.

    Debbi Does Dinner Healthy, she does. Bill said she was very energetic as well as her sons, all very friendly!

  15. You know, I've seen her make these acouple of times on her shows. I don't know why I've never tried them.

  16. Adventures in Domestic Cooking, thanks and have a good weekend!

    From the Kitchen, lucky you! Bet they were great. I'd never had them until hearing about them from Bill.

    Corgidogmama, they are a cross between corn bread and a biscuit, like if you would fry cornbread and often treated sort of like a pancake when topped with syrup, fruit, etc. PD was no where in sight the day I was there, boo hoo! It's a great place though, lots of fun and good food.

    The Blonde Duck, nice to see you and I hope you go to Savannah and visit her restaurant!

    Lynda, me too! Don't think I'll be using a hoe!

    Juliana, great! They're a little different and fun.

    Dishesdone, yes! Just wish I could have met her; she's a fun lady for sure!

    Catherine, thanks and have a good weekend!

    Martha (MM), thanks so much! The mushroom strudel is absolutely delicious and I will be making it again one of these days for company, maybe even with a bit of sausage added!

    Raina, yes! Paula is the best and a riot to be around, I'm sure. LOL, right with the hoe!

    Joanne, she definitely has a thing for butter. The day she deep fried butter was the ultimate! LOL! Her food is really great at the restaurant!

    Italians Do Eat Better, grazie!

  17. Carla and Michael, they're something a little different to try and good. Have a great weekend!

  18. Pretty interesting story about these cakes but sounds great after all! Hope you're having a great weekend, Pam.
    Blessings, Kristy

  19. how nice he got to meet Paula Deen, that must have been a highlight of the trip! Hoecakes sound intersting...I would have to go buy a hoe..

  20. Paula Deen; what fun that must have been. Love her!

  21. My Little Space, thanks! Here's wishing you a great day today!

    Chef Dennis: Yes, I'm sure it was a highlight! Hoe cakes are delicious and here's wishing you happy shopping for the hoe!

    Sage, I'm sure it was fun as she was so energetic and friendly. I love her too! Thanks!

  22. How cool that he met Paula! And that you ate at her restaurant - everything sounds delicious! And so do these hoecakes!

  23. Little Penelope discovered the counter this weekend and had herself a few nibbles of pancakes.

  24. Cinnamon-Girl, yes! He thought it was pretty cool! Loved her restaurant in its great location, downtown just off the squares.

    Esme, LOL!!! Jinx, a black cat we had years ago jumped on the counter and ate some little powdered sugar donuts. His face was covered with the white sugar and he looked so innocent. From then on, he could smell them a mile away and we still laugh about it. So watch out for your pancakes!

  25. I guess being from Texas I love this story, and of course I love love my hoecakes! I might just have to try to make them when we go camping! I think my group of friends would get a kick out of it!

  26. Chef E, they'd be a great thing to make when you go camping! Thanks, glad you liked it!

  27. My mom used to make these when I was a kid...we didn't know they were called hoe cakes. We just called them fried corn bread...hehe! Yours look just super :)

  28. Julie, fried corn bread works for me! They are delicious, for sure! Thanks!


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You know, nobody can ever cook as good as your mama. Paula Deen
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