Black Cherry Cornmeal Pancakes, a simple homemade cornmeal pancake (or “hoecake”) recipe made with cornmeal and served with a cherry drizzling sauce. Tasty summer morning treat!

a stack of cornmeal pancakes, or hoecakes, with cherry sauce and a drizzle of maple syrup

Love cornmeal pancakes? Love fresh summer cherries? Combine them into a flavorful weekend morning treat in this cherry cornmeal pancake recipe.

Here are 3 reasons you should make cherry cornmeal pancakes:

  • A simple from-scratch recipe that can be easily whipped up on lazy Sunday mornings
  • Great with a simple black cherry compote, but also with whatever seasonal fruit you have on hand
  • Easy to freeze and then reheat on a pan or by popping in the toaster on busy mornings

👉 Ready to learn how to make cherry cornmeal pancakes from scratch? Let's do it!


🍒 Ingredients

  • Cornmeal: Made from ground dried corn, it can be used in pancakes to add a grainy and sweet corn flavor
  • Flour: We used all-purpose flour, but spelt flour can also be used to make these corncakes gluten free
  • Sugar: Granulated sugar rounds out the flavor of the cakes and helps them fluff when cooking
  • Baking soda: Helps the pancakes rise and become soft and fluffy
  • Salt: Helps add flavor and helps pancakes rise and become soft
  • Eggs: Helps combine ingredients and add moisture
  • Milk: Adds moisture to mix all ingredients; can use any traditional milk or a thick plant-based alternative like oat milk
  • Oil or butter: To coat the pan; butter adds great flavor
  • Cherry syrup ingredients: Black cherries and a touch of maple syrup (or other liquid sweetener) make up the sauce
a stack of pancakes with cherries on top on a white table with flowers and maple syrup

🥣 How to make (step-by-step photos)

1️⃣ Step One: Make black cherry sauce

The first step is to make the black cherry sauce! To do this, first wash the cherries and cut them in half to remove the seeds.

Then in a medium sauce pan, heat pitted cherries and brown sugar over medium-low heat until the cherries begin to soften and release their natural juices, and the sugar dissolves (this takes about 10 minutes).

Let the sauce simmer until it starts to thicken and resemble a syrup consistency, then remove the sauce from heat and set aside while you make the corncakes.

a closeup of cherries and brown sugar in a white saucepan

2️⃣ Step Two: Make cornmeal pancake batter

In a large mixing bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, baking soda, and salt and whisk until all ingredients are well combined.

a hand mixing pancake batter on a blue table with cherries and flowers

Then add eggs and milk to the dry ingredient mixture and whisk it well. Then drizzle milk while stirring the batter until it’s thoroughly mixed and has a thick consistency.

a hand pouring milk into a mixing bowl with flour, eggs, sugar, and salt for pancakes

3️⃣ Step Three: Cook the cornmeal pancakes

Now it’s time to cook! Heat a pancake griddle over medium-high heat (you’ll know it’s ready when water sizzles when it’s dripped on the pan).

Add butter or oil and coat the pan evenly, then add about 1/2 cup of the cornmeal pancake batter to the griddle.

Let cook until the top of the batter begins to dry and bubble, which is about 3 minutes. Then flip the pancakes and cook the other side about 1 minute more.

Repeat this until all of the batter is used, which makes about 8 pancakes.

two hoecakes on a black cast iron skillet with cherries and flowers on a white table

4️⃣ Step Four: Serve cherry cornmeal cakes

It’s finally time to serve! Place your desired number of pancakes on a plate and top with a drizzle of the black cherry sauce. Then enjoy!


🧊 How to store

This hoecakes recipe is great for leftovers! Here’s how to store your leftover pancakes:

  1. Refrigerator storage: Store leftover cornmeal pancakes in an airtight bag or container in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days
  2. Freezer storage: Store corncakes in the freezer in a freezer-friendly bag for up to 1 month; to thaw, simply remove and let sit for 20 minutes before reheating on a griddle or place frozen corncakes directly into a toaster for easy thawing and cooking.

👩‍🍳 Pancake cooking tips

  • The best pancakes always start on a hot griddle. Have you noticed that your first pancake is so-so, your second is good, but your third is great? It somehow took me years to figure out that the hotter the pan, the better the cake. The key to great pancakes from the start is to preheat your griddle to medium-high heat before making your first cake.
  • You need quality mixes or corn flour. I’m not here to hate on pancake mixes, in fact I cook with them regularly. For this recipe, however, I started from scratch with Bob’s Red Mill Corn Flour.
  • You need a good pancake griddle. While a pan or cast iron skillet will do the trick, the best pancakes always came from a great pan. We love GreenPan's pancake griddle.
a stack of pancakes with cherries and a gold fork on a blue plate

🥞 More seasonal pancake recipes

Want more seasonal sweet breakfast recipes? We've got you covered:

Black Cherry Cornmeal Pancakes (Hoecakes)

Black Cherry Cornmeal Pancakes, or cornmeal "hoecakes" topped with fresh black cherry sauce. Also called johnny cakes, these hotcakes are a southern food breakfast and brunch classic!
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Ingredients

CORNMEAL PANCAKE INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 ¼ cups milk, or plant-based milk or water
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, or 1 pat butter

BLACK CHERRY SAUCE INGREDIENTS

  • 4 cups black cherries, pitted and cut in half
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup, or honey, agave or brown sugar

Instructions 

  • Make black cherry sauce: In a medium pan, heat pitted cherries and brown sugar over medium-low heat until the cherries soften and release their liquids and the sugar is dissolves, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit until cornmeal pancakes are done.
  • Make cornmeal pancake mix: Mix together cornmeal flour, all-purpose flour, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl until well combined. Next, add eggs and about half of the milk to the dry ingredient mixture and whisk well. Add the remaining milk slowly until the batter is thoroughly mixed, but still thick.
  • Cook cornmeal pancakes: Heat a pancake griddle over medium-high heat until water sizzles when dripped on the pan. Add your oil or butter to the pan, making sure to coat the pan evenly. Next, add about 1/2 cup of the hoecake batter to the pan and let cook until the top of the batter begins to dry and bubble, about 3 minutes. Flip and cook the other side about one minute more and set aside until all pancakes are cooked.
  • Serve pancakes with cherry sauce: When ready to serve, add desired cornmeal pancakes to a plate and drizzle with black cherry sauce.

Notes

  • For thicker pancakes: For a thicker pancake, make batter and let sit a few minutes before pouring on griddle. Or alternatively, pour milk in slowly until batter is mixed well but still thick. A thicker batter means a thicker pancake.
  • Tools needed: glass mixing bowls, whisk, pancake pan, small sauce pan
  • Prep ahead: Make cherry sauce up to three days ahead of time and store in the refrigerator until ready to serve. You can heat the cherry sauce in a sauce pan for 1 minute before serving.
  • Leftovers and storage: Pancakes can be stored in a airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days, or in a freezer-friendly bag in the freezer for up to one month. Store cherry sauce in a glass jar in the refrigerator for up to one week.
  • Nutrition notes: Nutrition information is estimation using all cherry sauce in the recipe, though you will likely use much less (so the nutrition information may be less than is listed here, depending on how much sauce you use).

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1serving (1 pancake with sauce), Calories: 310kcal, Carbohydrates: 50g, Protein: 8g, Fat: 9g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Trans Fat: 0.4g, Cholesterol: 45mg, Sodium: 534mg, Potassium: 319mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 19g, Vitamin A: 1115IU, Vitamin C: 8mg, Calcium: 115mg, Iron: 2mg

UPDATE: This recipe was originally published in June 2019 and was updated for clarity in August 2022.