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Southern-style cornmeal pancakes are a delicious way to start the day. Add a homemade blueberry jalapeño sauce for a sweet kick to breakfast!
Pancakes are part of our weekly routine, so I often find myself looking for ways to expand beyond classic buttermilk pancakes.
I’ve been making cornbread a lot more lately, so it was only a matter of time before the cornmeal ended up in our pancakes as well.
Cornmeal pancakes, also known as hoe cakes or johnny cakes, are a staple of Southern cooking.
They’re cooked in melted butter for a crisp outside and soft interior, and the extra heartiness from the cornmeal makes them perfect for someone who wants a little more substantial pancake.
Add a simple homemade blueberry sauce and you’re set up for breakfast success!
Ingredients for cornmeal pancakes
Cornmeal pancakes are quite easy to make using common ingredients.
Self-rising flour – Self-rising flour is a great shortcut for making pancakes. I keep it on hand just in case we run out of regular flour.
Cornmeal – Both white and yellow cornmeal will work in this recipe.
Use a medium grind for the best texture; coarse ground cornmeal will have larger pieces and will not cook as well in pancake batter.
If you only have coarse ground on hand, you can blitz it in a food processor to grind it more finely.
Sugar – A small amount of sugar is added for sweetness. You can also use maple syrup instead, adding it with the wet ingredients.
Baking powder – Even though self-rising flour has baking powder, I add a little more baking powder in this recipe due to the addition of the cornmeal.
Buttermilk – Buttermilk is my go-to for pancakes of all kinds. You can swap in regular milk if you prefer.
Eggs – Use two large eggs. If your eggs are a different size, don’t worry about increasing or decreasing the quantity.
Butter – Butter is added both to the pancake batter and the pan for cooking.
While you might be tempted, don’t skimp on the butter for this recipe.
The flavor just won’t be the same, and you won’t get the nice crisp exterior if you decide to use a canola spray instead of butter.
Even if you use a nonstick pan, you’ll want that extra butter!
Ingredients for blueberry jalapeño sauce
If you choose the make the sauce as well, you’ll need:
- Blueberries, fresh or frozen
- Lemon juice
How to make cornmeal pancakes
In a large bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar, and baking powder.
Whisk together the buttermilk and eggs, then pour into the dry ingredients and stir until blended but not completely smooth. Lumps in pancake batter is fine!
Let the batter rest for about 30 minutes. You can make the blueberry sauce during this time.
Resting the batter allows the flour and cornmeal to absorb the liquid, giving you fluffier pancakes than if you cook them right after mixing.
Once the batter has rested, place a 10-inch saute or frying pan over medium heat.
Stir the melted butter into the pancake batter.
Add a small amount of butter to the frying pan, swirling the pan to melt the butter and coat the pan.
Scoop batter using a 1/4-cup scoop into the pan, repeating as allowed for pan size. You should be able to get 3 pancakes on the pan.
Cook until the edges look dry and bubbles are appearing on the surface, then flip and cook the pancakes on the other side until golden brown.
Remove pancakes to a plate and place in the microwave or a low oven to keep warm.
Repeat the butter and batter process until all of the batter has been used.
Drizzle the pancakes with maple syrup, molasses, or sorghum syrup, or the blueberry jalapeño sauce below.
How to make blueberry jalapeño sauce
The blueberry jalapeño sauce comes together quite easily, requiring minimal hands-on cooking. If you’ve made jam before, you’ve basically already made a sauce, just cooked longer!
Feel free to adjust the sauce to your tastes, adding more or less sugar or jalapeño.
To make the sauce, combine the blueberries, sugar, jalapeño, and lemon juice in a small saucepan.
Set the pan over medium heat.
Cook, stirring occasionally, letting the sugar dissolve and the blueberries get soft.
As the blueberries soften, gently mash them with the back of the spoon to release more juices.
Cook for about 5 minutes, until slightly reduced and thickened.
Remove from heat, or let simmer on very low heat while you cook the pancakes.
More pancake recipes
If you love pancakes, you’ve got to try these other recipes!
You’ll love these cornmeal pancakes for breakfast or brunch! You can even add whole corn kernels to make them a bit more savory and add them to your dinner repertoire.
Cornmeal Pancakes with Blueberry Jalapeño Sauce
- 1 cup self-rising flour
- 1 cup cornmeal
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 2 large eggs
- 4 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled, plus more butter for the pan
For the Sauce
- 1 1/2 cups blueberries
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 jalapeño, diced
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- In a large bowl, stir together self-rising flour, cornmeal, sugar, and baking powder.
- In another bowl whisk together buttermilk and eggs until blended, then pour into dry mixture. Let batter rest while you make the sauce.
- In a small saucepan set over medium heat, combine blueberries, sugar, jalapeño, and lemon juice and stir well.
- Cook for about 5 minutes, mashing the blueberries with your spoon or a potato masher to release juices, leaving some blueberries whole if you like. Let simmer gently while you cook the pancakes.
- To make the pancakes, warm a skillet or griddle over medium heat. When warm, add a small amount of butter to the pan and swirl to coat.
- Stir the 4 tablespoons melted butter into the batter. Scoop 1/4 cup of batter and drop it into the prepared pan, repeating as allowed for pan size.
- Cook until edges are dry and bubbles appear (2-3 minutes), then flip and cook an additional 2-3 minutes, until golden. Remove to a plate and repeat until all batter is used, adding butter to the pan between each batch.
- Serve with warm blueberry jalapeño sauce. Leftover sauce can be stored in the fridge and reheated as needed.