Black-Eyed Pea Cakes Recipe

Delicious savory Black-Eyed Pea Cakes are the perfect Southern-inspired appetizer or side dish.

Black-eyed Pea Cakes Recipe shewearsmanyhats.com

This week we’re packing up our daughter for her second year in college, and getting our baby ready for his senior year in high school. Our time (and my brain) are stretched a bit too thin so I’ve been updating and cleaning up some older posts to share with you until I get back into my routine cooking schedule.

Our last week or so of summer break has been filled with snagging time in between the washing and packing and more washing to spend time together in our nuclear family unit before all of what the back-to-school schedule brings. This recipe for Black-Eyed Pea Cakes is one of the early recipes shared here back in February 2010. These crispy savory cakes are sneaky good. Let me tell you all about them.

Black-eyed peas and me, we go way back – truly one of my oldest comfort foods. A while back a trip to Grits and Groceries introduced me to Black-Eyed Pea Cakes, and whoa Nellie! Crazy good. They remind me of falafel, only slightly flattened, and better.

I purchased the Grits and Groceries cookbook, as well as a calendar packed with more recipes, but no Black-Eyed Pea Cake recipe to be found. After a quick search online, tons of recipes for this southern dish were found, but I didn’t have all the ingredients for any of the recipes that looked good, especially the one Ezra Pound Cake adapted from Martha Hall Foose’s “Screen Doors and Sweet Tea.” So I did what any southern-black-eyed-pea-lovin girl would do, I improvised, using what we had on hand. I was quite happy with the results. Quite happy indeed. And when served with Comeback Sauce they are out of this world! Be sure to check out our recipe for Comeback Sauce. It’s like our homemade version of Zaxby’s Zax Sauce.

To make these delectable drool-inducing little cakes, begin by warming drained black-eyed peas, while you prep the other ingredients. Saute the onion and garlic together in a little olive oil until softened. In a food processor, pulse about half of the black-eyed peas, bacon, onion, garlic, cilantro, basil, cumin, cayenne, and salt a few times until blended. But not too much! It doesn’t have to be totally smooth.

Black-eyed Pea Cakes Recipe shewearsmanyhats.com

Transfer mixture to a bowl and stir in the remaining whole black-eyed peas and heavy cream. Chill mixture until cool. This is an essential step. When it cools, the mixture stiffens so cakes can be formed, otherwise you’ll have floppy cakes that will fall apart when battered. And no one wants floppy cakes. That’s another thing I love about this recipe, you can make the mixture a couple of days ahead and refrigerate.

After the mixture has cooled, gently form the cakes and set aside. We made ours about 3-inches in diameter and 3/4-inches thick, but you can make them smaller if you’d like. Just be sure to adjust cooking time.

Black-eyed Pea Cakes Recipe shewearsmanyhats.com

Prepare three separate bowls for battering. Flour goes in the first one. Beat an egg with half and half together in the second one, and bread crumbs go in the third one.

Batter the cakes by coating first with flour, then the egg mixture and finish with the bread crumbs, being careful to keep the shape of the cake intact while battering. Set aside after coated.

Black-eyed Pea Cakes Recipe shewearsmanyhats.com

Line a plate or cooling rack with paper towels ready for cakes when cooked. Prepare the skillet by heating 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Fry cakes in small batches, cooking approximately 2-3 minutes on each side until golden brown. While frying the cake monitor the oil for overheating.

Black-eyed Pea Cakes Recipe shewearsmanyhats.com

Serve Black-Eyed Pea Cakes with a heaping serving of comeback sauce and be ready for everyone to come back for more!

Black-eyed Pea Cakes Recipe shewearsmanyhats.com

Black-Eyed Pea Cakes Recipe
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
A delicious savory dish made with black-eyed peas.
Author:
Recipe type: Appetizer
Serves: Makes about 8-12 cakes.
Ingredients
  • 2 15.8 oz. cans of black-eyed peas; drained
  • 1 slice of bacon; fried and crumbled
  • 4-8 tablespoons olive oil; divided
  • ½ cup onion; chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic; minced
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro leaves
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil leaves
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg
  • ⅓ cup half and half
  • 2 cups panko or fresh bread crumbs
Instructions
  1. Begin by warming the black-eyed peas, while you prep the other ingredients.
  2. Sauté the onion and garlic together in about 2 tablespoons of olive oil until softened.
  3. Add half of the black-eyed peas (about 1½ cups), bacon, onion, garlic, cilantro, basil, cumin, cayenne, salt to a food processor and pulse a few times until blended. Not too much. It doesn’t need to be totally smooth.
  4. Transfer mixture to a bowl and stir in the remaining black-eyed peas and heavy cream.
  5. Chill the mixture until cool – about an hour or so.
  6. After the mixture has cooled, gently form the cakes and set aside.
  7. Prepare 3 separate bowls for battering. Flour goes in the first one. Then beat an egg and the half and half together in the second one. And the bread crumbs go in the third one.
  8. Batter the cakes by coating first with flour, then the egg mixture and finish with the bread crumbs. Set aside after coated.
  9. Have a plate or cooling rack lined with paper towels ready for cakes when cooked.
  10. Prepare the skillet by heating 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat.
  11. Fry cakes in small batches, cooking approximately 2-3 minutes on each side until golden brown. Be sure to watch the oil for overheating, and, if needed, add additional oil or start with new oil if it gets too dark.
  12. Remove cakes, let cool on paper towel lined plate.
  13. Serve with Comeback Sauce.

 Originally posted February 2, 2010. Updated August 14, 2015.

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Comments

  1. 3

    Estela @ Weekly Bite says

    This looks delicious!! I’m always looking for new ways to eat black eyed peas.

    I always eat them the same old way… straight out of the can.

  2. 4

    Lori says

    It’s strange, but I just had the oddest craving the other day for black-eyed peas. You’ve just given me inspiration. Having fun checking out your blog! 😉

  3. 5

    says

    I just realized I’ve never had black-eyed peas! Those look really yummy.

    Whenever you mention your husband I think about the video and then I get the song in my head.

  4. 6

    says

    mmm…bush’s best, battered and fried. not much could be better. and who ever heard of frying up one slice of bacon? i don’t think it’s possible. :)

  5. 7

    says

    There is this amazing southern restaurant here in Seattle called Kingfish Cafe and they have black-eyed pea cakes too. And they sound about as good as the ones at Grits and Groceries and yours! Thanks!

  6. 9

    says

    Oooh, these look fantastic! And (relatively) easy. I just stumbled across your blog and I’ve been browsing though your recipes, everything looks delicious, I’ll be back :)

  7. 11

    Betty says

    What an unusual way to eat black eyed peas. When I saw the photo I first thought they were crab cakes. But when I put on my glasses and read your blog I was amazed that black eyed peas could look so interesting delicious. I’m going to try ’em.

  8. 16

    marytn says

    Looks great – I’d like just a little guidance on amounts on the ingredients in the comeback sauce though!

  9. 17

    Danielle Stroinski says

    These were so good! I made a homemade tomato soup and biscuits and really needed something else so this was it. Even my boys ate them. I didn’t have black eyed peas so I used what I had and they were amazing. Thank you for sharing these!

  10. 19

    Lara says

    I made these last week and am making them again today! They are SO good and easy. The cooling really is essential. Oh, and I used cornbread crumbs and left out the bacon since we have a vegetarian in the family. The Comeback Sauce is similar to a remoulade…really good also. I appreciated the fact that I made them with ingredients already on hand. Thanks for this adaptation!

  11. 20

    Valleycat1 says

    For frying it is better to use other oils like grape seed, corn or peanut oil. Or a mixture of one of those and olive oil. Olive oil has a much lower heat threshold.

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