Image: Michael Novak

[Editor’s Note: Sweedeedee is temporarily closed due to COVID-19. But these corn cakes are still delicious. Please check Sweedeedee's homepage for updates or to buy a gift certificate.]

Exactly a year ago, Portland Monthly published a meticulous, waistline-expanding survey of our pancake landscape: 18 of the most reputable flapjacks, hotcakes, and Dutch babies within city limits. There were many contenders worth their syrup, from Southwest’s storied Original Pancake House to old-school Brooklyn institution Sanborn’s. But none stacked up to the corn cakes at N Albina Avenue brunch favorite, Sweedeedee.

Hearty, with terrific loft and a moist cornmeal bite, they come sided with lacey-edged eggs, braised collard greens, crispy bacon, and maple syrup. The beauty of these toasty, golden cakes—which chef-owner Eloise Augustyn based on a Joy of Cooking recipe she emboldened with sour cream, buttermilk, and whipped egg whites—is that they’re equally at home in a savory breakfast with pork chops as they are with sweet maple syrup and powdered sugar. Most important, now you don’t have to battle Sweedeedee’s brunch mob for a taste of Portland’s best pancakes.

Sweedeedee’s Corn Cakes

Serves 5 (3 pancakes per person)

  • cups medium grind cornmeal
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking power
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 1½ cups buttermilk
  • 1½ cups sour cream
  • ⅓ cup butter, melted and cooled

PREPARE THE BATTER Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl. In another medium bowl, whisk together egg yolks, buttermilk, sour cream, and melted butter. In a stand mixer, or using a hand mixer and bowl, whisk egg whites at medium-high speed until stiff peaks form, about a minute or two. Add the wet ingredients to the dry, and fold with a rubber spatula to incorporate. Gently fold in the beaten egg whites.

COOK THE CORN CAKES Heat a griddle or cast-iron skillet over medium-low heat. Working in batches, swirl a pat of butter around the skillet and ladle out ½ cup batter for each pancake. Cook until the tops begin to bubble and the bottom is nicely browned, about 2 minutes. (Cook times may vary depending on the power of your stovetop.) Flip and griddle until cooked through, about 1½ minutes longer. Serve with butter and maple syrup or honey. For the full Sweedeedee experience, add fried eggs, crispy bacon, and braised collard greens.

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