Sunday, February 23, 2014

Southern Corn Cakes

My mother would make corn cakes; in the morning and sometimes, for dinner.  I love the heartiness and the taste that is so different from pancakes and here in the South, corn cakes take center attraction over those.  Also known as Johnny Cakes or Hoe Cakes, which is even heavier like cornbread, these golden cakes have been around along time.  After breakfast, farmers would carry extra cakes into the fields to have something to snack on during their work day.  Typically they are served with maple syrup, which is how I served them this morning, but my Dad would pour molasses on his, which is really Southern!

I had a notion on how I could make these lighter and less gritty tasting...and it worked.  By heating the cornmeal with buttermilk in the microwave for 1 1/2 - 2 minutes, it definitely softened the grain and gave them the melt-in-your-mouth characteristic found in pancakes.  Along with fresh...and I mean fresh farm eggs that our builder's wife brought me yesterday, these corn cakes will definitely be made again and again in our home.

Southern Corn Cakes
Preheat oven to 200F-degrees and place a rack on top of a baking sheet.  When the temperature comes up, place this in the oven--it will keep your corn cakes hot while making more on the griddle.
In a 4 quart glass measure:

1 1/4 cups buttermilk (+1/2 cup more to mix with the eggs)
1 1/4 cups fine grind cornmeal
2 T unsalted butter
Mix the buttermilk, cornmeal and butter together.  Cover with plastic wrap or a silicon lid, as I did, and microwave for 1 minute.  Remove the plastic (or lid) and stir.  Microwave 30 seconds to 1 minute more until the mixture starts to solidify around the edges.

Notice how the edges look "thicker" 
Set aside while you mix the dry ingredients in a large glass bowl:

3/4 cup King Arthur all-purpose flour
2 T granulated sugar
1 3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt

In a 1 cup glass measure, whisk 2 large eggs with the remaining 1/2 cup of buttermilk.  Add to the cornmeal/buttermilk mixture, then pour into the dry ingredients and stir with a rubber spatula or dough whisk. Cover with a cloth towel and allow to set about 10 minutes.
Heat a griddle or large frying pan on top of a medium heat.  My mother would test if the griddle was hot enough by dipping her fingers in water and splashing the griddle; if it sizzles, it's ready!
Brush about 1 1/2 tsp. Vegetable Oil on the griddle and ladle the corn cake mixture onto it.  

When the edges look dry, flip the corn cakes.
Cook another 3 to 4 minutes, then remove them to the heating rack in the oven.  My mother didn't do this trick and consequently ate last:-( !
While the corn cakes were staying warm, I made two soft boiled eggs for hubby's breakfast.  Here's the trick for PERFECT soft boiled eggs.

Heat 1/2-inch of water in a covered saucepan to a boil, gently lower cold eggs into the pan (the pan size determines how many eggs you can do, not the water!)
Cover the pan and lower to a simmer.  Set timer for exactly 6 minutes.  When the timer goes off, shut off the heat and take the pan to the sink.  Next, run cold water over the eggs for 30 seconds.  Remove the eggs and dry with a paper towel.  I have this wonderful gadget that takes the tops off the egg without getting shell into it--Rosle Egg Topper.
All that was left to do was to heat maple syrup in the microwave for 1 minute and plate the rest of the breakfast.  I made hubby his favorite veggie sausage to complete this dish.
Our son-in-law gave us maple syrup from Ohio that is just wonderful! 
I love making breakfast; it is a great way to start a beautiful sunny day. Enjoy!



  1. What a wholesome breakfast! The eggs are perfectly boiled.

  2. I don't think I've ever had corn cakes but I know I would love them. Love soft boiled eggs...yum! What a wonderful breakfast!
    hugs, Linda

  3. Well yummy!! And toast soldiers just like my Mum used to make with boiled eggs!

  4. Mmmmmmmmm Susan, I could go for a couple of those corn cakes right now.
    stamping sue

  5. I'm anxious to try your recipe for the corn cakes---I think microwaving the cornmeal and buttermilk is sheer genius! I've ordered the Rosle egg topper from Sur La Table---sure beats whacking the egg with a knife and scooping out the egg along with a lot of shell! Hugs

  6. That's quite a breakfast!
    I have never tried corn cakes! They look delicious! I like your idea of making them lighter by softening the cornmeal. Great idea!