Introduction: HO, HO, HOECAKES . . .

About: I am a 82-year-old self-proclaimed Chef who has spent most of his life in the hotel/resort tourism industry. I have traveled up and down the east coast of the United States from New York to Key West, and fro...

With or without Bacon, Onions, & Grandma's Molasses . . .big or little, these gluten-free hoecakes are great any time of the day or night! Using one batch of batter, I made 2 hoecakes plain (just cornmeal, sugar (Stevia), baking powder, a little salt, buttermilk and eggs); 2 with some diced sweet onions added, 2 more with onions and crisp fresh bacon bits, and one big one for breakfast with bacon and molasses! The little ones (about 5" in diameter), with or without bacon and onions, can be used as sandwich "buns," or eaten as is), and the big ones make great substitutes for those buttermilk pancakes made with white flour!

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Step 1: INGREDIENTS *(4 Servings)

  1. 1-1/2 cups fine yellow cornmeal
  2. 1 TBS sugar or sugar substitute (I used Stevia)
  3. 1 teaspoon baking powder
  4. 1/2 teaspoon salt (I used Diamond Crystal Salt Sense).
  5. 1-1/3 cups reduced fat Buttermilk
  6. 1 large brown egg
  7. 3 TBS bacon fat (or cooking oil)
  8. 2 TBS diced sweet onion (optional)
  9. 2 TBS crumbled bacon (approximately 3 strips of thick bacon fried and crumbled) (also optional, but you will need the bacon fat if you want to use it instead of oil).
  10. 1 TBS Grandma's Unsulphured Molasses (optional, but I wouldn't enjoy my breakfast Hoecake without it).
  • *NOTE: I consider two small hoecakes (about 5" each in diameter) or one large one (about 8 or 9" in diameter) to be one serving.

NOTE: I like my hoecakes on the thin side. If you want thicker ones, use a little less Buttermilk; perhaps 1 cup instead of 1/3 cups.


  1. Fry the bacon in a cast iron skillet or heavy non-stick pan over medium-high heat, turning once after the first side has browned: continue to cook until the second side is nicely browned and crispy.
  2. Remove the bacon from the skillet and let it drain on paper towels.
  3. Remove the pan from the burner and allow it to cool (leave the bacon fat in the pan).
  4. While the pan is cooling, dice the onion and break the bacon into bits. Set aside.
  5. Blend together in a large bowl the dry ingredients (cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and salt).
  6. In a small bowl, beat the egg and buttermilk together until well blended.
  7. Pour the buttermilk mixture into the dry ingredients and whisk until completely blended.
  8. If the skillet that you fried the bacon in has cooled enough to handle, carefully pour the bacon fat into a small glass container and wipe the skillet clean with a paper towel (it doesn't hurt if you have a little bacon residue left in it).


  1. Place the skillet back on a stove burner and add 1 TBS of bacon grease; heat it over medium heat until the oil begins to shimmer a little.
  2. While the oil is heating, whisk the cornmeal/buttermilk mixture once again to reblend it.
  3. Using a 1/4 cup measuring device, drop 1/4 cup of the cornmeal mixture into the center of the pan once the oil is hot.
  4. Let it "fry" for a minute or two (probably two), or until bubbles being to appear in the batter; then flip it over and cook another couple of minutes, or until the 2nd side is also lightly browned.
  5. After I cooked the first two small hoecakes, I added a teaspoon of diced onion to each of the next two 1/4 cups of mixture and fried them as described above; removing them to paper towels.
  6. You can add a 2nd TBS of bacon grease if it appears to become necessary; just let it reheat before continuing.
  7. Preparatory to cooking the 3rd batch of two hoecakes, I added a teaspoon of onion and a teaspoon of bacon bits to each 1/4 cup of mixture; then fried them as above.
  8. Finally, and after cooking 6 small hoecakes, I added the last TBS of baking grease to the pan. While it was heating, I added 1 TBS of molasses and the remaining bacon bits to the remainder of the batter and gave it a final whisk.
  9. When the oil began to shimmer, I added all of the remaining batter (the equivalent of two small hoecakes) to the hot oil and fried it until each side was nicely browned.
  10. (If you have a griddle, you can grease it and probably drop six small scoops on it at one time).
  11. After each batch is cooked, remove it from the pan or griddle and let it rest on a plate covered with paper towels (or,if you are planning to serve them all at one time, place them on a rack in an oven preheated to 200 degrees).
  • Obviously, if you want to use the batter to make 8 small hoecakes (4 servings of two), you can do so; or, if you wish to make 4 large pancake-like hoecakes you do this, too!

Step 4: TIME TO EAT . . .

I accompanied my pancake-sized hoecake (made with bacon and molasses) with a fried egg for breakfast yesterday morning. Then, for lunch, I grilled a smoked sausage; topped it with some tasty Dijon mustard, and made a sandwich using two of the onion-flavored small "cakes."

The options with this recipe are almost endless. You can mix almost any ingredient into the batter; fresh fruit is especially good - and you can serve your gluten-free "pancakes" with a variety of toppings. Try them!

Bon appétit


I have evaluated the nutrition of this recipe to the best of my ability using the MyFitnessPal Recipe Analyzer. One serving (2 small hoecakes) without any onions, bacon, or molasses, contains about 328 calories. Diced sweet onion barely increases the amount of calories per serving, however, if you use both bacon and onion, you will have about 383 calories per serving, and I estimate that one large hoecake with bacon and molasses contains about 425 calories. Eggs and sausage are not included in this estimate.

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