Corn Pone

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

Editor's Note: Easy to make and tasty, too, this Corn Pone recipe is one that your family will love! The versatile dish can be served as a snack, side dish, or appetizer just about any time of the day. While you can certainly eat the corn pone on its own, you can also top it with honey, butter, or maple syrup for a truly delicious treat or snack. You can also serve this recipe with just about any main course, including this recipe for Boiled Virginia Ham by the recipe's author. As this recipe uses a number of ingredients you likely already have in your pantry, you can even make this corn pone recipe today!

Corn pone was a delicious equivalent of the ash cake and is legendary in our history. A beautiful poem was written by one of our early great poets, Paul Laurence Dunbar, entitled "When Mammy Says de Blessing and de Cone Pone’s Hot.” When there was need for a quick hot snack, we would light the cookstove and stir up some cornmeal and make a number of corn pones, sometimes adding cracklings to make them more interesting, but they were just as delicious plain.

The rather stiff batter would be shaped with both hands, fingers closed, to make a large egg shape — the shape of your hand. The pones were about 3 inches wide, and were placed an inch apart on a baking sheet. Baked in a fairly hot oven, when done they were golden brown in color and very crusty outside, which made them more delicious. We would cut them in half and butter them.

Makes4 pones, about 3 inches wide, 1½ inches high, and 4 inches long

Cooking MethodBaking



Kid FriendlyYes

OccasionFamily Get Together

Recipe CourseSnack


Type of DishCorn Bread


  • 2 cups water-ground white cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon Royal Baking Powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup cold water
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon melted lard or butter


  1. Sift the meal, baking powder, and salt into a mixing bowl. Add the water and milk. Stir well, add melted fat, and let the mixture rest for 10 minutes.

  2. Then take the batter and shape it into pones by cupping both hands together and patting it into form.

  3. Place each pone upon a baking sheet an inch apart from the others and bake in a preheated 375 degrees F oven for 15 to 20 minutes — no longer or the bread will dry out.


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