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These golden Apple Corn Hot Cakes are perfectly crisp on the outside and fluffy on the inside. They’re an easy dinner idea for busy weeknights that goes with many kinds of toppings!
These apple corn hot cakes are everything you want on a busy weeknight. They’re golden and crisp on the outside, tender and fluffy on the inside, and have the perfect amount of flavor. Plus, they’re easy to make and ready in about 35 minutes. Studded with diced apples and melty cheddar cheese, these are essentially fancied-up corn cakes.
During the summer I love making griddle cakes with garden zucchini and fresh corn, but during the colder months, these savory hot cakes are my go-to. They go wonderfully with a steaming bowl of soup or can be served on their own like a stack of savory pancakes.
Why You’ll Love this Hot Cakes Recipe
- Easy. If you can dice a peeled apple and mix up some ingredients, you can make these hot cakes. They are fried in a bit of oil on the stovetop until golden.
- Flavorful. Spiced with cumin and smoked paprika, each bite of these griddle cakes has the ideal amount of flavor. The spices are complemented by tender cooked apples and a nice amount of cheddar cheese!
- Crisp and fluffy. Cutting into one of these cakes you’ll hear a slight crunch breaking through the exterior, before reaching the fluffy insides. The texture of these hot cakes is just perfect!
- Flexible. You can use different kinds of cheese and serve these with all sorts of toppings. I often serve them with an assortment of fixings so that everyone can assemble their preferred combo.
What Are Hot Cakes?
There are a few different definitions of hot cakes. For some, hot cakes is another word for pancakes. If you found this post searching for pancakes then I have some truly stellar pancake recipes to try! We love these fluffy old-fashioned pancakes and these pumpkin pancakes in particular.
Another definition of hot cakes is small savory “cakes” that you fry up on the griddle, the same as you would pancakes. Hot cakes are usually thicker than pancakes and ideally have a crisp exterior and fluffy insides. You can add savory mix-ins like cooked veggies, cheese, and fresh herbs to create your preferred flavor combo.
Here’s a quick overview of what you’ll need to make these savory hot cakes, along with my notes. Be sure to scroll down to the recipe card for specific amounts.
- Butter – I recommend using unsalted butter so that you can control the amount of sodium.
- Apple – You’ll need one apple for these hot cakes. Any kind of apple works, but I prefer ones that will hold their shape when cooked. More on that below.
- Onion – Use a sweet yellow onion.
- Yellow cornmeal
- All purpose flour – Don’t use any other kind of flour or it will impact the texture of the hot cakes.
- Leaving agents – Baking powder and baking soda. You will need both.
- Spices – Ground cumin and smoked paprika.
- Salt and pepper – Use kosher salt so that you don’t accidentally over-salt your food.
- Milk – Any kind of unflavored milk works.
- Cheese – I use shredded cheddar cheese, but you could also use a Mexican blend, Monterrey jack cheese, or shredded low-moisture mozzarella cheese.
- Vegetable oil – For frying your hot cakes. You can also use olive oil.
- Sour cream – For serving. You can also add a wide variety of other toppings, which I’ll outline below.
What Kind of Apples Should I Use?
I prefer ones that hold their shape when cooked so that I don’t end up with a more applesauce-like texture. Here are some of the best apples that hold their shape when cooked:
- Granny Smith – Juicy and crisp. These apples are tarter than other varieties.
- Braeburn – Crisp with lots of apple flavor.
- Cortland – A good balance of sweet and tart.
- Honeycrisp – As the name implies, this apple is more sweet than tart.
- Crispin – Also known as Matsu apples.
- Northern Spy – These you usually find at apple orchards and farmers’ markets.
How to Make Apple Corn Hot Cakes
Are you ready to make some savory hot cakes studded with corn and diced apple? Here’s how to do it:
- Prep your tools. You will use this to keep your hot cakes warm. Heat your oven to 200F and place a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper in the oven. Also line a plate with paper towels and set aside.
- Cook the apple and onion. Melt the butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Sauté the apple and onion for 4-5 minutes, until the onion has softened. Set aside to cool.
- Combine dry ingredients. In a large bowl mix the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, cumin, paprika, salt and pepper. Make a well in the center. Set aside.
- Mix and add wet ingredients. In a small bowl combine the milk, cheese, and eggs. Mix well, then pour into the well you made in the dry ingredients. Stir briefly, then add the the cooled apples and onion. Mix well until no dry bits of batter are left.
- Cook. Heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When the oil is hot, cook the hotcakes. Add 1/4 cup of batter at a time. Cook for 2-3 minutes, then use a spatula to flip the hotcakes and cook for another 3-4 minutes, until both sides are golden and cooked through.
- Drain & Keep Warm. Briefly place the just cooked hot cakes on your paper towel lined plate to remove any excess oil. Then transfer them to the prepared baking sheet lined with parchment paper to keep warm in the oven.
- Work in batches. You will need to cook the hot cakes in batches. Add additional oil 1 tablespoon at a time if needed. You’ll want a small amount of oil in the pan for frying up each batch.
- Serve. You can serve these with sour cream, salsas, more cheese, and other toppings. More on that below.
Tips for Success
This hot cakes recipe is pretty easy, but it never hurts to have a few tips:
- Don’t make your hot cakes too big. I use about 1/4 cup of batter per hot cake. You could probably get away with 1/3 cup, but don’t use more than that amount or you’ll end up with hot cakes that are too large to cook through before the outsides burn.
- Test for doneness. The easiest way to tell if these hot cakes are done is to make a small crack in the center of one side. So after both sides are golden, use the corner of your spatula to make a tiny crack and peek inside. If you don’t see any wet batter, then hot cakes are done. Serve “crack side down” and no one will be the wiser.
- Keep warm. I recommend using your oven as described in the recipe to keep the hot cakes warm while you cook them all. Not 100% necessary, but makes things easier if you want to serve them all at once.
How to Serve These Hot Cakes
These griddle cakes go with lots of toppings and sides! Here are some of my favorite ideas:
- Sour cream – You could also use Mexican crema.
- More Cheese – Sprinkle extra shredded cheese on top.
- Salsa – Pico de gallo and salsa macha both go well with savory hot cakes.
- Ranch Taco Sauce – For a tangy-creamy option, try some spicy ranch taco sauce.
On the Side
Here I’m a big fan of hot bowls of soup to go with these hot cakes. You can even pick them up with your hands and dunk them into your bowl of soup before taking a big bite.
Storing and Reheating Leftovers
Let your hot cakes cool to room temperature then store as follows:
- Fridge – Place them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
- Freezer – Place a piece of parchment paper between each hot cake to prevent sticking, then put them in an airtight freezer-safe container. They will keep for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating.
To reheat your hot cakes:
- Microwave – Place them on a microwave-safe plate and zap them in the microwave until warmed through (about 1 minute, depending on how many you are reheating).
- Oven – Another option is an oven preheated to 350F where you can warm many cakes at once until they reach your desired temperature. Place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and usually about 8-10 minutes does the trick.
- Stovetop – You can also warm about 1 teaspoon of olive oil in a skillet and warm the cakes over medium-low heat until they reach your desired temperature. Warm only 2-3 at a time, depending on the size of your skillet, so that you are reheating them in a single layer.
Apple Corn Hot Cakes
These golden Apple Corn Hot Cakes are perfectly crisp on the outside and fluffy on the inside. An easy dinner idea for busy weeknights and that goes with many different toppings.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 25 minutes
- Total Time: 35 minutes
- Yield: 8-9 hot cakes
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: American
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1 medium apple, peeled, cored and finely chopped
- 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
- 3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 3/4 cup milk
- 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 2 eggs
- Vegetable oil for frying
- For serving: sour cream, salsa, more cheese and other fixings
Prep your tools. You will use this to keep your hot cakes warm. Heat your oven to 200F and place a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper in the oven. Also line a plate with paper towels and set aside.
Cook apple and onion. Melt the butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Sauté the apple and onion for 4-5 minutes, until the onion has softened. Set aside to cool.
Mix dry ingredients. In a large bowl mix the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, cumin, paprika, salt and pepper. Make a well in the center. Set aside.
Combine and add wet ingredients. In a small bowl combine the milk, cheese, and eggs. Mix well, then pour into the well you made in the dry ingredients. Stir briefly, then add the cooled apples and onion. Mix well until no dry bits of batter are left.
Cook. Heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When the oil is hot, cook the hotcakes. Add 1/4 cup of batter at a time. Cook for 2-3 minutes, then flip the hot cakes and cook for another 3-4 minutes, until both sides are golden and cooked through.
Drain & Keep Warm. Briefly place the just cooked hot cakes on your paper towel lined plate to remove any excess oil. Then transfer them to the prepared baking sheet lined with parchment paper to keep warm in the oven.
Work in batches. You will need to cook the hot cakes in batches. Add additional oil 1 tablespoon at a time if needed. You’ll want a small amount of oil in the pan for frying up each batch.
Serve. You can serve these hot cakes with sour cream or your preferred fixings.
Keywords: hot cakes, griddle cakes, corn cakes