Updated: Apr 5
These scrumptious, homey griddle cakes are Southern comfort food at its simplest.
To skip to the printable recipe, click here.
Back in the day, two of my favorite Nashville meals were the barbecue and eggs at the Loveless Cafe and the Redneck Tacos at Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint, both of which involved mounds of delectable, porky goodness atop gorgeously griddled corn cakes.
These days we still do a decent amount of pork, but corn. . . not so much.
Recently, while admiring a framed print in our dining room featuring a corn cake on a plate of Southern-style deliciousness from yet another Nashville landmark, Monster Daddy and I decided it was time to reinvent the corn cake, paleo style.
As with many Southern staples, this recipe relies on bacon grease. You could swap the bacon grease out for coconut oil or ghee, but the cakes will lose some of that Southern charm. We like to make homemade, nitrate-free bacon from the most “natural” pork bellies we can find, but Pederson’s and Nature’s Rancher both make Whole30-approved bacon we love as well.
Regardless of the source, we cook our bacon on a big, rimmed baking sheet in the oven till mostly crispy, remove the bacon (to eat or store for later), and carefully pour the grease into a mason jar. If the grease cools on the pan, we’ll use a rubber spatula to scrape it into the jar. Once the jar is cool, we’ll store it in the fridge for use in all sorts of yumminess.
While, technically, anything cake-like cooked on a griddle could be called a griddle cake, texture and flavor play their parts in the distinction between these griddle cakes and a typical pancake. When I think of a pancake, I am looking for something tender, fluffy, and sweet. My perfect griddle cake, on the other hand, is just a bit mealy and little on the savory side. Traditional griddle cakes could be made with anything from cornmeal (or grits) to coarsely ground wheat kernels (like Cream of Wheat).
The combination of almond flour and bacon grease in this recipe yields that perfect corn-cake-esque texture; while the bacon grease, salt, pepper, and a touch of honey round out the flavor profile.
Whether topped with barbecue or peach preserves, these griddle cakes are a little taste of Nashville, no matter where you are.
Here's what you'll need:
⅓ cup bacon grease, melted (plus more for the griddle
1 ½ cups almond flour
½ cup cassava flour
1 T coconut flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
Several cranks black pepper (optional)
1 ¼ cups almond milk
1 tsp lemon juice
1 T honey
Here's what you'll do:
Thoroughly whisk together all ingredients in a medium sized bowl. Batter should be somewhat runny.
Preheat the griddle to med-high, and brush lightly with melted bacon grease.
Use a 3-T cookie scoop (if desired) to portion batter onto the preheated griddle, spacing cakes about an inch apart.
Cook cakes 2-5 minutes on each side, flipping when bubbles appear across the surface or sides and bottom appears to be set. Repeat with remaining batter.
Special tools needed:
Griddle (this is the one we use, but any griddle should be fine!)
For the printable recipe, click here.