Pancake Fridays: Cornbread Pancakes

Sometimes I am struck by how fast life seems to be flying by.

I was e-mailing with one of my oldest best friends yesterday and we were reminiscing about horrible middle school times we’d had together. That time some guy called us and our other best friend lesbians (we are not). Our anxiety surviving seven periods of high school, enduring high school P.E., worrying about whether we would get into college, wondering what college would be like. (I seem to recall my going away gift from said best friend was this book. Let me tell you, it set up alllll the wrong expectations.)

I’m making it sound like we did a lot of worrying. There were fun times too. But all the memories came flooding in a rush and I had to take a step back and be like, “really? I already graduated from college? Is this real life?”

Other times, I’m struck by cravings for cornbread. Like really, struck into a state of near paralysis, thinking, should I? Do I really dare make an entire loaf of cornbread right now to gratify myself? Because I cannot make half a batch, or even a cute little single serving muffin of cornbread. Because corn muffins are great once in a while, but I really like the thick chunky chunks of cornbread. You have to make that in a pan. And I only own large pans so I can’t make half a batch or my cornbread will be all thin and crackery crispy and blah. If I want crackers, I’ll make crackers.

So I decided to feed two cravings with one urge. Cornbread pancakes!

Easy to whip up, easy to cook, easy to eat. No oven required.

I like my pancakes cakey, but I like my cornbread gritty and full of cornmeal. In theory, my ideal cornbread would be ALL. CORNMEAL. No flour. In practice, it’s kind of gross. I’ve tried it. But still, I like at least a half and half ratio of cornmeal to flour.

These pancakes meet this requirement. They’re…I can’t believe I’m saying this…a little spongy. All that cornmeal makes these full of grit and texture, but also airy and fluffy, so there’s a slight resiliency when you bite down. Yes, my ideal cornbread pancakes might be so tender and so soft that when you dig your fork in, it crumbles, but these TASTE like excellent cornbread. And that’s the important part.

Plus, these are totally sturdy enough to eat alongside some fierce chili. Cassie mentioned how one of her taste-testers suggested dipping her crunchy crackly corn cookies in chili and if you can do that with cookies, you can most definitely do that with pancakes.

Especially delicious, golden, sturdy, slightly springy pancakes that taste like cornbread.

PS. If you are like me and generally like your pancakes plain, keep in mind this cute text from my boyfriend:

“Just had pancakes for lunch :)).. [They were] A-mazing!! They seemed even better than when I had them this morning, just the tiny bit of honey that was in there made them irresistible :)”

There you have it. If anything ever needed to be eaten with honey butter, this would be it. They will be irresistible.


From now on, I’m soaking all my cornmeal before baking. It was a tip I learned to make what is now my favorite from-scratch cornbread and I think it makes everything better–just a little silkier and more tender.

If you like your pancakes thinner (and perhaps want to make 12 instead of the odd 10 + a little leftover runt pancake that I made), add an extra 1/4 cup of milk or buttermilk.

I used part AP flour and part white whole wheat mainly because I didn’t want to use the yellow hue, but I think all white whole wheat or even part whole wheat would be great. If you are making these for a savory occasion (i.e. to accompany this chili), you can try leaving out half the sugar.

Pancake Fridays: Cornbread Pancakes

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 10 pancakes

Serving Size: per 1 pancake (calculated using almond milk)

Calories per serving: 107

Fat per serving: 3.5

Cornbread in pancake form! I soak the cornmeal a bit before I make the rest of the batter to help reduce the grittiness of the final product, although there's still plenty of grit and texture in these airy, flavorful cakes. Honey + butter are topping musts.


  • 3/4 cup cornmeal
  • 1 cup buttermilk (or make your own using 1 cup milk of your choice + 1 tablespoon white or apple cider vinegar)

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (can use white whole wheat)
  • 1/4 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • Oil, for greasing the pan


Combine the cornmeal and buttermilk and let sit for at least 15 minutes.

Set a large, greased frying pan or griddle over medium heat. Combine other dry ingredients and gently fold into cornmeal mixture, leaving it as lumpy as possible with no floury bits. Whisk in the egg and melted butter, again leaving it lumpy.

Ladle the batter into the pan 1/4 cup at a time. Pancakes should cook fairly quickly after the first round.


Adapted from my favorite cornbread and these.

Want more (corn)bread?

Best Cakey Cornbread
Easy Wheat Challah
White Whole Wheat Olive Oil Bread
Roasted Cherry Brownies
Oatmeal Peanut Butter Banana Bread

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65 thoughts on “Pancake Fridays: Cornbread Pancakes

  1. Susanne

    Earlier this week I had a bad craving for cornbread with blueberries for breakfast. I made it but for what I was expecting, the blueberry flavor just wasn’t strong enough. Then my mind became fixated on cornmeal pancakes with a blueberry topping.

    Somewhere in my mind I thought I had a vague notion that I had heard of cornmeal pancakes somewhere, but I knew I surely had never eaten them. Yours was the first recipe I found and decided to give it a go. I liked the part about soaking the cornmeal because I was feeling pretty lazy this morning and figured I could sit and try to wake up a bit more before I had to pay attention to cooking.

    The only substitutions I made was replacing the sugar with Truvia and sweetener since my husband is diabetic, and used pastry grind whole wheat flour because it acts more like AP flour.

    I’m more than a little picky about what makes a good pancake, and these turned out really, really well. I won’t even have to look for another cornmeal pancake recipe. My husband liked them a lot as too. They were the perfect thing to finally curb my cornbread and blueberry craving once I had some topped with a blueberry sauce. 😀

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  4. Nat

    I too love cornmeal! Mine didn’t turn out as light and fluffy as yours! Tasted great, so I’m not sure what I may have done different….

    1. erika Post author

      Oh no!! How did they turn out?

      One important thing to note is that buttermilk is essential to the recipe (you can’t sub regular milk for buttermilk because the acid reacts with leavening ingredients to create lift in the pancake).

      I’m glad you enjoyed the taste, but I hope we can get you some fluffy pancakes soon!! :)

  5. Kanan

    Hi Erika – what kind of cornmeal works best for these pancakes? Fine, medium or coarse ground? What cornmeal (brand + type) did you use for this recipe? Looks amazing!

    1. erika Post author

      Hi Kanan! I used Kroger’s generic brand of cornmeal which I believe is medium grind. Honestly, I think any kind would work in this recipe–I’ve only tried it with that one kind. I’d love it if you report back if you try a different kind :) Thanks for stopping by–hope you enjoy! :)

  6. Roberta

    Just made these for breakfast – delicious! Hubby says he loves them more than regular pancakes. Thank you!

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  8. Eden

    These look & sound incredible. I can not wait to make these & top them off with some vegan chilli (when you suggested putting chilli on them, my mouth started watering). Thank you for posting this. You have such great recipes! :)

  9. Mavis

    I happened across your site tonight and read some of the pancake recipes. I clicked the link for ‘Best Cakey Cornbread’ that was listed, but it said “Ooops…error” and had no recipe there. Thought I’d let you know as it looks to be a broken link. Mavis in Ontario, Canada.

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  14. the second serving

    These photos!!! Too perfect. Syrup dripping down. Very impressed! When I took pictures of pancakes, I cut them down the middle and thats when the photoshoot was over. Could. not. resist. These make me drool!!!

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  18. The Healthy Flavor

    These look thick, fat, fluffy and should be in my mouth right NOW! Yum!! I love cornmeal too and I also hated high school…it was honestly the worst time in my life, so I’ll take my 30’s any day, lol! :)

    1. erika Post author

      Hahaha yes I would definitely take college over high school any day! And even post-grad life over high school, I suppose. I can’t imagine what I did before driving!

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  20. jmcvl

    CornBread pancakes? This is new to me. I must try. Thank you so much for commenting on my blog!! It has lead me here and I love your blog also xxxx amazing find.

    1. erika Post author

      Thank you thank you Christina :) You’re right–I’m already deep into fall mode, but these are a perfect representation of the last of summer :)

    1. erika Post author

      Thank you Christine!! Omg I am off to read your latest blog post. It is looking absolutely phenomenal from these first few photos…

  21. Bam's Kitchen

    Time does fly and for me maybe a little faster than you.. ha ha or at least more years… I’m loving how light and fluffy and delicious these pancakes look with that syrup dripping off the edges. Yum!

    1. erika Post author

      Thanks Bam :) I have to say, I think a desk job is one of the fastest ways to speed the clock forward. Time has never gone by so fast!

    1. erika Post author

      Thank you so much! That means a lot to me, coming from someone who has such beautiful photos yourself! I’m really excited to read more from you–especially from a fellow Bay Area resident :)

  22. Bailey Bakes

    Ooo, neat idea! I have a bunch of leftover corn meal from those cinnamon shortbread cookies I did a while back. Perhaps pancakes for me and the hubby tomorrow morning? :) And thanks for the tip on soaking the cornmeal, I’d never heard of that!

    1. erika Post author

      Mmm I should do the opposite and use my leftover cornmeal to make your cookies! Great idea :) Let me know how they turn out if you try them!!

  23. gottagetbaked

    I know — it’s actually been FOURTEEN YEARS since I graduated high school. I can’t freaking believe it. Now that I’ve been out of school for the past five years and just a workin’ gal, time flies by even faster. And I, like you, often have intense cravings for cornbread. I don’t even have words for how perfect these pancakes look – how in the heck did you get them so thick and fluffy? Ah-mazing!

    1. erika Post author

      Haha oh noo…not looking forward to time flying even faster!! It’s already speeding by!

      I’m glad you understand my cornbread cravings :) And thank you for the pancake compliment! Thick and fluffy is always my goal–I’ve found that thick batters are definitely the way to go for that lovely, yummy effect!

    1. erika Post author

      Thank you! That would be thanks to my boyfriend for pouring–normally my “pour” photos are all crooked because I’m incapable of photographing and holding things at the same time. Ha.

  24. checy16

    These look delicious! I love cornbread and I love pancakes! I’ll have to try these out this weekend! Btw, I noticed you go to Rice. I went to UT for college! Are you from Texas originally?

    1. erika Post author

      Hi and thank you!! I looove both of those too (if you couldn’t tell haha)–we should be friends :)

      I’m actually from northern California originally, but I stayed in Houston to work after I graduated (gosh…only a few months ago!) How about you?

      Thanks for stopping by :)

      1. checy16

        Haha yes! Oh how funny. I live in the Bay Area now and go to grad school at UC Berkeley. Where in northern California are you from? Congrats on graduating! I have lots of friends that are from and live in Houston for work now. Btw, I love your photos! What do you use to take such beautiful pictures?

        1. erika Post author

          Oh wow I think my old roommate is studying some kind of engineering in grad school at Berkeley! I’m from the Bay Area haha, like half an hour south of SF :) That is so funny that we switched places. Although I see you’re originally from NM–where my current roommate is from! Where are your friends working in Houston?

          And THANK YOU!! I am a total photography noob, but thank you for the lovely compliment :) I use a Nikon 1

          1. checy16

            Haha, wow so many coincidences! Are you from South Bay? If you ever come to visit your family, maybe we can meet sometime and bake together! :) I think most of my friends work downtown? Unfortunately, I’ve never asked them. Most of them work for oil companies and one of my good friends is a nurse in Houston.

            1. erika Post author

              Yes we should!!! I’ll probably be back around Christmas so if you’ll still be there, we should keep in touch!

              And cool. I managed to escape working for oil and gas (software instead) but working downtown must be fun! There are apparently these underground tunnels under downtown that I’ve never seen…but they sound cool!

            2. checy16

              Awesome! I should be around since my parents ended up moving about 45 minutes away from me last year.
              What do you do exactly? Programming? Yeah, I’ve heard about those underground tunnels downtown. Guess they’re really useful when it gets super hot and humid in the summer. Even though I love Bay Area weather, I do miss the Texas heat sometimes.

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