What is a Hoecake

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What is a Hoecake

Nothing smells better than Hoecakes cooking in the morning, or any time of day for that matter! A towering stack of Hoecakes served with melting butter and maple syrup makes everyone happy! Paula has always loved preparing these delicious cornmeal cakes for her family and friends. Over the years they have become a signature dish from Paula’s kitchen and one that all patrons who visit The Lady and Son’s Restaurant can enjoy on their visit to Savannah. Paula’s Hoecakes are served with every meal and provide a delicious “Welcome to the South.”

Hoecakes have served as a staple food for many years and have been given a multitude of names. Originally they were made from ground Indian corn and cooked on hot stones over a campfire. The name some Native Americans gave them was “jonican” and many regions now call them Johnny Cakes.  Another name they have been given is “corn pone” referring to the ground cornmeal they are made from, or, when cooked over an open campfire where there were ashes, “Ash cakes.” However, here in the South, the thin flat bread cakes were originally cooked on the face of a planting hoe held over an open flame. The hoes used by field hands had a wider face and were a perfect surface for cooking these flat bread cakes. Consequently, the name, “Hoecakes” was born!

Through the years we have thankfully abandoned cooking with a garden hoe, but one of Paula’s prized possessions is the cast iron Hoecake pan she inherited from her Grandmother Paul. She cooks her Hoecakes, as well as biscuits on this treasured pan. Paula has warm memories of cooking with her grandmother on the very pan she now uses to cook hoecakes for her grandson, Jack.  Don’t worry though, if you don’t have a hoecake pan, these amazing cakes can also be made in a hot cast iron skillet or on a griddle. Sometimes on a griddle, the edges will cook with a bit of a lacy effect, and some people call them “Lacy Cakes.”

No matter what you call them, Hoecakes are a wonderful, easy treat for any family. You can have them at home or even on a camp out! All you need is a skillet and a fire.

Recipe Links:
Okra Laced Hoecakes
Lace Hoecake Cornbread

Read More From Kitchen Basics.

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Leave a Comment

Reader Comments:


They are very good. I am a southern bell too

By Ann Carden on July 20, 2013


I make them a bit more savory with spices like garlic, basil, and sometimes add cheese in them. My kids love them better than polenta!

By Anonymous on July 17, 2013


I make these more savory by adding spices like garlic, basil, oregano, thyme, and celery seed. Sometimes I add cheese to them too. I can't make them fast enough to keep up with the kids demands.

By Amey on July 17, 2013


What we called hoecakes was a huge bisquit that you fried in a cast iron skillet. My dad would then cut it in slices and we ate that with Johnny Fair syrup. Sometimes that was all breakfast consisted of and we were grateful.

By Marion Jackson on July 17, 2013


I met u the first time I was in your restaurant. What a charming ...down to earth person. You put my "Sunny's sunshine cake on your show a thrilled.my family and friends so! Thanks for being u! Sunny

By Sunny on July 15, 2013


Wood love to see your show but I cant afford the tickets. Passing through Georgia and I'm ga eat Yat the Lady and Sons tonight at 3. Hope I see oYou.

By liz brewster on July 14, 2013


Paula, My prayers are with you and your family. You are a good good person. I'm sorry you and your family have had to go thru all this, but you will come out on top. God Bless you.

By Trudy wallace on July 13, 2013


I think this thing the press has done to you is shameful!!! Hang in there this too shall pass. I am so happy to have found this page it is wonderful.

By Virginia L. Walker on July 13, 2013


Hi Paula; We will be down in September with a bus tour called Windmill tours. We can't wait to visit your resturant and try a hoecake. See you then.

By darlene yoder-jewett on July 13, 2013


Loved your tv shows.I would like to see recipes for diabetics. Hope you will post a few. Thanks,Eva

By Eva Myrick. on July 12, 2013


Have never been to your restaurant in Georgia. I will get there someday soon. Love ya Paula smile

By Susan Dowling on July 12, 2013


Being a California native, these are begging for salsa, sour cream, and guaquamolehttp://www.pauladeen.com/system/index.php?S=0&C=modules&M=rating&P=edit_entry_form&rating_id=161233&show_empties=no

By alexis on July 12, 2013


i love your show i love tour food. i hope you get another show. you are freakin awesome. and your boys are the bomb. love you paula. keep your head you....you are loved world wide.

By corrie lawson on July 12, 2013


To Pat Joseph. I loved your post. Did you know Mort and Marilyn Savell of Chipley? They attended Bonnett Pond Church. I am married to their youngest son, Dale. Still own their property on Hard Labor Road. It's a small world!

By Sandi Savell on July 12, 2013


mom was from ala. we eat then a lot growing up , dad eat them but never really like them as he didn.t like cornmeal much .we ate them a lot with homemade veg. soup over them , or like extra cornbread with just plan milk and raw onion ? still make and eat then now and always think of mom when I do

By Anonymous on July 12, 2013


I will be making these tomorrow morning I can not wait. They look sooooooo good love u Paula keep it up. U are the lady

By Anonymous on July 12, 2013


Love you, Paula Deen, think you are getting a rotten deal. Maggie

By Maggie on July 12, 2013


My great aunt who used to live by herself in Georgia, tending her own garden until she was really quite old, used to make us hoecakes every day when we would stay with her! Such good memories. They were DELICIOUS, I have never had anything like that since she passed.

By Faith on July 12, 2013


Cant wait to try the hoecakes. My mom had a great cast iron skellet but the house burned in January of 2013 and we lost it. That skellet was 40+years old.Made the best fried chicken. Now will have to find one. will let you know how the hoe cakes turn out. Love you and your family Pauline

By pauline roble on July 12, 2013


I know you are very busy!! But could you recommend a great stock pot, one that I can do my family spaghetti recipe in. It has to cook all day on medium heat and I just can not find one that will not start sticking after about 1 hour of cooking. The same goes for my home made BBQ sauce, pinto beans and salsa. Would like 18 - 20 Qt

By Tanya McElhannon on July 12, 2013

since a little girl, one of my fondest memories is of visits to my grandparents’ and watching grandma cook hoecakes and fried apples on an old wood stove. to this day, i regularly make them myself ... always remembering grandma and the wonderful scents that came from her kitchen. life has certainly changed since then and some of it not for the best. hoecakes and fried apples (among other things) for the “grand” sunday breakfast help bring back a sense of slowing life to a more pleasureable pace ... at least for a little while.

By shirley krueger on November 24, 2010

the caddo tribe of oklahoma had a similar bread recipe, ‘Top Bread”, cooked the same way, i have been trying to find the recipe with no luck so far, my ex’s granma parton used to make top bread. lila m. parton, neah bay, wa

By lila m. parton on November 12, 2010

i remember as a little girl my grandmother cooking hoe cakes on a wood stove . she always had a few left over which she put in the pie safe and when i got home from school ihad a snack of them with onion or syrup .those were the days

By anne lester on July 20, 2010

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