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Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

1745, American English, said to be so called because it originally was baked on the broad thin blade of a cotton-field hoe (n.).

Usage examples of "hoe-cake".

Here and there lies a fragment of hoe-cake or a bit of an old blanket that has been forgotten.

Her corn-cake, in all its varieties of hoe-cake, dodgers, muffins, and other species too numerous to mention, was a sublime mystery to all less practised compounders.

I found my education at Jonesville in the art of baking a hoe-cake now came in good play, both for myself and companions.