While her recipe rules as-is, I didn’t need quite so many cakes (we’re just two people and I couldn’t spend the entire day napping). I also made honey the only sweetener and added some vanilla and orange zest—both pair great with corn and together create a really rounded flavor profile.
What Is the Difference Between a Hoecake, a Johnny Cake & a Cornmeal Pancake?
So, there are a couple of reasons I am calling this recipe a cornmeal pancake and not a hoecake. One, I’m not from the South and I’m not interested in eating the lunch of any authentic recipes already on the internet. Second, everything I’ve read says that traditional hoecakes aren’t usually sweet and these puppies are definitely sweet, thanks to the addition of honey and orange zest.
Now, as far as I can tell, the only difference between a hoecake and a johnny cake is where you are from—with johnny cakes being more of a northern term. Weirdly, the National Park Service has a little article talking about it, with a beautiful recipe from 1796. Additionally, What’s Cooking America has some interesting history behind the potential origin of the name johnny cake.
Tips for Making the Perfect Honey & Cornmeal Pancakes
One of the reasons these pancakes come out so well is because we’re taking a maximalist approach to the ingredient list for an ultimate flavor combo. That means we’re using both cornmeal and fresh corn, whole milk and buttermilk, vanilla and orange. Beyond prepping your ingredients, there isn’t much to these little corn cakes. So the only thing you really need to pay attention to is the cooking.
Some folks will say you need a griddle or a castiron skillet, but I have gotten great results with butter and whatever pan I have lying around. The secret is to get the pan (or griddle) nice and hot, and then reduce the heat to a medium/medium-low before adding some butter. Cook the pancake on one side until the edges look dry and bubbles have form, then flip and voila! Buttery, corny goodness.
This quick recipe has become a favorite and we’ve enjoyed them both by the stack (with loads of butter and honey, or jam) and as a breakfast “sandwich”, shoving some eggs and sausage between two, like a real adult.
Looking for some different breakfast recipes? Here are some of my favorites: