Black-eyed Pea Cakes Recipe (2024)

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

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.

How to MakeBlack-Eyed Pea Cakes

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.

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-inchesin diameter and 3/4-inches thick, but you can make them smaller if you’d like. Just be sure to adjust cooking time.

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.

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.

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

Black-eyed Pea Cakes Recipe (7)

Black-Eyed Pea Cakes Recipe

Yield: 4

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

A delicious savory dish made with black-eyed peas.


  • 2 (15.8 oz.) cans of black-eyed peas; drained
  • 1 slice of bacon; fried and crumbled
  • 4-8 tablespoons olive oil; divided
  • 1/2 cup onion; chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic; minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup half and half
  • 2 cups panko or fresh bread crumbs


  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 1 1/2 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.


Makes about 8-12 cakes.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Facebook

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

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Black-eyed Pea Cakes Recipe (2024)


What does baking soda do for black-eyed peas? ›

If beans make you uncomfortably gassy, sprinkle a little baking soda into their soaking water. It will reduce the volume of gas produced by the legumes, plus, they will cook quicker. If you're even shorter on time, you may want to try some of our favorite recipes to make with a can of black beans.

Should black-eyed peas be soaked before cooking? ›

Do I need to soak black-eyed peas before cooking? Soaking black-eyed peas make the cooking process shorter. The ideal time for soaking any kind of bean in cold water is overnight or 8-10 hours. To speed up the process, try my favourite quick hot-soak method.

How many cups of water do you put in a bag of black-eyed peas? ›

For every 1 cup of dry peas, add 5 cups of water. Bring the peas and water to a boil and boil for 2 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat, cover it and let it stand for 2 hours.

How much cornstarch to thicken black-eyed peas? ›

If you want to thicken the black eyed pea soup/stew, mix 2 tablespoons of cornstarch and about a half cup or so of the bean liquid. Slowly pour in small amounts and stir in the hot pot until you achieve the best consistency. You may not require the entire amount.

Why won't my black-eyed peas soften? ›

There are three primary reasons why dried beans do not soften despite extensive cooking time: 1) they are old; 2) hard water; or 3) the presence of an acid. If you don't think your beans are old, then perhaps your water is the problem. Beans cooked in hard water will never soften properly.

How long to soak peas in baking soda? ›

Method. Put the marrowfat peas and bicarbonate of soda in a large heatproof bowl and cover with boiling water. Leave to soak for 12 hours or overnight.

How long do black-eyed peas take to cook? ›

Place beans in a large pot and cover them with 4 inches of chicken stock. Simmer, covered, for about 1 hour. Start checking after 45 minutes to see if they are tender and add more broth or water as necessary to keep them covered.

Can you overcook black-eyed peas? ›

Drain them the next day and bring them to a boil in cold water, then reduce the heat so the water barely simmers: dried black-eyed peas can overcook, and a rolling boil could cause them to break apart. Taste the peas often to check their doneness: They should be creamy but retain their shape.

Can black-eyed peas be soaked too long? ›

It is possible to soak beans for too long before cooking. Beans should soak for 8 to 10 hours overnight. If they are soaked for longer than 12 hours, they can lose their familiar flavor and become overly mushy. For the best result, refrain from soaking them for too long.

How do you know when black-eyed peas are done? ›

Be sure to test a black-eyed pea to make sure they are cooked thoroughly. A properly cooked black-eyed pea should be tender but still have a bite, not mushy. Canned black-eyed peas are best in recipes that don't require slow cooking or a long cook time, which can make them mushy.

What thickens black-eyed peas? ›

Smash more of the peas up against the inside of the pot again (this helps the broth thicken). Simmer for 10 minutes more. Check the consistency of the black-eyed peas: If they are not creamy enough for you, smash a few more peas. If the broth is too thick, thin out with a little more water.

Are black-eyed peas good for you? ›

The bottom line. Black-eyed peas are highly nutritious and associated with many impressive health benefits. In particular, they may help support weight loss, improve heart health, and promote digestive health. They're also versatile, delicious, and easy to incorporate into a number of recipes as part of a healthy diet.

What meat goes good with black-eyed peas? ›

- The lean and savory taste of grilled chicken or turkey complements the earthy flavors of black-eyed peas. - Smoked sausages, such as andouille or kielbasa, add a smoky and robust flavor that enhances the dish. - Tender and flavorful braised pork, like pork chops or pulled pork, goes wonderfully with black-eyed peas.

Can I use flour to thicken black-eyed peas? ›

If you would like less liquid in the peas, or a thicker sauce, reduce the water by half and/or add a tablespoon of flour to the sauteed onion to make a sort of paste before adding the liquids.

What thickens like cornstarch? ›

Here are five of the best cornstarch substitutes for all your thickening needs.
  • All-Purpose Flour. Yep, that's right — all-purpose flour is a very stable thickener. ...
  • Arrowroot Powder. ...
  • Potato Starch. ...
  • Rice Flour. ...
  • Tapioca Starch.
Jun 23, 2023

Does baking soda help reduce gas in beans? ›

A: The results are mixed on whether adding baking soda, either to the soaking water or while cooking beans, will help. Some people notice a small improvement; other notice no change. Soaking beans in plain water and then changing the water before cooking is just as likely to help.

How do you get rid of gas from black-eyed peas? ›

Simply place dried beans in a container, cover them with water and let them soak. They'll need to soak eight to 12 hours, but the key to eliminating the gas is draining and rinsing every three hours. Yup, you read that right. Drain, rinse and start soaking again every three hours.

How does baking soda relieve gas? ›

Baking soda can help neutralize stomach acid, which may relieve painful bloating. Try drinking an 8-ounce glass of water with 1/2 teaspoon of dissolved baking soda.

Does baking soda destroy nutrients in beans? ›

On the other side of the pH equation, the addition of an alkali such as baking soda will break down the cell structure of the beans. But use it sparingly—no more than1/8 teaspoon per pound of beans. Too much will destroy nutrients and result in mushy beans.

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