If you like biscuits, you’re guaranteed to love this rare but delectable recipe for southern hoe cake.
Hoe cake (also known as a Johnny cake) seems to be a rather elusive recipe, even among southerners. Apart from my own, I have only one friend whose family still makes it. Even among us though, the variations are vast. His family makes their cornmeal hoe cakes using cornmeal and buttermilk, as seems to be the custom among recipes found on the web. While this style of generally resembles a , a is typically fluffier and doesn’t include . Meanwhile, my family’s version uses flour and produces a bread that looks like buttermilk biscuits, but with a lighter and fluffier texture and crispy coating.
Either way you look at it, hoe cake is revered by those who know of it. I am sure its origin sprang forth much like the rest of our classic southern dishes – too little time and too few ingredients. While it is a simple food to make, it will easily take over the starring role at your dinner table.
I can honestly say that this is a rare recipe for Southern hoe cakes, having searched and not found it anywhere online. I do hope you will try it and guarantee that if you like biscuits, you’ll love our southern hoe cake recipe. Serve your hoe cake as a side dish with maple syrup, apple butter, or butter with a drizzle of honey or sprinkle of sugar. It tastes best accompanying your favorite Southern-style main meal. I recommend fried chicken, chicken and gravy (use the hoe cake to soak up the gravy, yum), North Alabama-style pulled BBQ chicken, or pork chops.
- Self-rising flour. If you don’t have self rising flour where you are, go here for the formula of how to make your own.
- Vegetable shortening
- Whole milk
Helpful Kitchen Tools
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Pour a thin layer of vegetable oil into the bottom of a cake pan.
This is where the old folks use a cast iron skillet like you would make cornbread. However, at the time of this tutorial, Mama had yet to hand down a cast iron skillet to me so I figured a cake pan with a wee bit of wear on it is just as good. Either way, you’re going to add enough oil to cover the bottom of your cake pan and then stick it in the oven while it preheats.
Add one cup of milk to your and stir with a spoon until all wet.
It should look like this.
You can add about a quarter of a cup more of milk if need be, but what we are aiming for here is soupy biscuit batter.
All that brown is the crispy bread. This is SO GOOD!
Cut it any way you choose, add some apple butter and dig in!
- If you want to make this southern hoe cake a savory side dish like , you can easily add in jalapenos, grated cheese, or chopped fried bacon with a drop of .
- If you have leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to four days.
- Otherwise, you can freeze hoe cake in a sealed container or bag for up to three months.
- When you need to reheat the hoe cake, it’s best to place the slices on a baking sheet in a 350-degree oven for five to 10 minutes.
What do you serve with hoe cake?
Serve your hoe cake as a side dish with maple syrup, apple butter, or butter with a drizzle of honey or sprinkle of sugar. It tastes best accompanying your favorite Southern-style main meal. I recommend fried chicken, chicken and gravy (use the hoe cake to soak up the gravy, yum), North Alabama-style pulled BBQ chicken, or pork chops.
Where does the name hoe cake come from?
Just like there are a few variations of hoe cake recipes, there are some variations in the explanation of how it got its name. It appears to have first been recognized in print in 1745, according to the Oxford Dictionary. But others have pointed out that the term hoe was used for cooking and it was similar to a griddle. And that my friends seems to be where the term hoe cake (or should it be ?) got its name.
Can you make hoe cake gluten-free?
Yes, you can easily make this southern hoe cake recipe gluten-free. Just simply use gluten-free self-rising flour instead and follow the below instructions.
- 2 cups self-rising flour
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
- Preheat oven to 425. Pour a thin layer of oil to cover the bottom of an eight-inch round cake pan and place it in the oven to heat.
- Cut shortening into the flour well. Pour milk in and stir until wet.
- Pour into the well-heated pan and bake for fifteen to twenty minutes or until browned.
- Invert onto plate.