Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Daddy's Corn Cakes

Posted October 5, 2006

I can still hear the sizzle on the griddle and smell the sweet scent of maple syrup and melted butter. I can taste the tangy flavor of fresh squeezed orange juice. Sunday mornings were special in Morganton growing up. Once a month my father would comandeer the kitchen and whip up a batch of corn cakes. I always loved them better than pancakes and still do. They're messy. My father would splatter batter all over the place but he was meticulous about the recipe as he was with everything else in life and the final product was always perfection. Recently someone dropped off a hefty bag of cornmeal from Jack Dellinger's gristmill in the mountains at Bakersville. First, we made cornbread. It was the very best! Now it is time to make corn cakes. Thanks to my sister Miriam I have the coveted recipe. It comes from the old Southern Cookbook and the Commonwealth Club of Richmond. I hope you will try it and let me know how your corn cakes turned out. In the meantime, please share your own stories about magical meals as a child.


This is a famous corn cake served for breakfast with syrup or molasses or in other dishes:

2 cups of corn meal, water-ground
2 eggs
3 cups of milk
4 tablespoons melted butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder

Combine dry ingredients, add eggs, melted butter, and liquids. This should produce a thin batter. Cook on a medium hot greased grill. Cakes should be very thin, 4 inches in diameter, and have lacey edges. Six cakes are served to a portion.

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Bill Leslie