Easy Crispy Grit Cakes are a classic southern grits recipe baked until golden and crispy. Thick cheese grit cakes are a perfect accompaniment for an appetizer, with breakfast, or as dinner side dish!

a stack of cheese grit cakes with fresh parsley sprinkled on

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We love to serve grits at our house because they are a naturally gluten free comfort food the whole family enjoys. Arm yourself with the best grits recipe, and you can transform it into a variety of dishes such as cheesy grits casserole, spoon bread, or even make Instant Pot grits for a quicker version!

To be honest, we don’t eat a whole lot of big southern-style breakfasts at our house, so grit cakes are mainly served as a dinner side dish. They go perfect with shrimp, fried fish, or crispy baked chicken.

If big breakfasts are more your thing, though, a recipe for grit cakes also pairs with country ham steaks, sausage gravy, bacon, or scrambled eggs. Whichever way you devour them, you will appreciate how easy and hands-off this recipe is!

Ingredients For Cheesy Grit Cakes

The ingredient list is simple and affordable, but makes one soul-comforting dish. If you love making southern breakfast grits, you probably have everything you need right in your kitchen!

  • Stone Ground Grits (affiliate link) – To shorten stove top cook time, regular grits, instant grits, or even polenta may be substituted.
  • Milk – Using at least 2% milk is recommended. For richer flavor, use whole milk.
  • Broth – Chicken or vegetable broth
  • Butter
  • Sharp cheddar cheese – Freshly grated is best, but any preferred cheese may be used.

How To Make Grit Cakes Recipe

images showing how to cook grits for grit cakes

images showing how to make grit cakes

  1. First cook the grits on the stove top. Depending on what type of grits you are using this will take 15-30 minutes. Stone ground grits will take the longest and instant grits being the shortest. Once the grits have cooked with the milk and broth, remove them from heat and stir in butter and cheddar cheese.
  2. Evenly spread the cheese grits in greased sheet pan. Leave the pan out to cool slightly, then refrigerate until very firm, about 2 hours to overnight.
  3. Cut chilled grits into squares or use biscuit cutters (affiliate link) to make circle shape.
  4. Transfer grit cakes to a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil and greased with cooking spray. Brush tops with melted butter.
  5. Broil the cakes for 5-7 minutes, rotating pan halfway though. Bake until warm, golden, and crispy.

More Ways to Prepare Grit Cakes!

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Broiling the cakes is the fastest method, which also makes a minimal amount of mess. However, there are other options for heating them.

Baked

Place on baking sheet brushed with melted butter. Bake at 375ºF for 15 minutes, flip, and bake for 15 minutes longer.

Grilled

Brush each side of grit patty with oil. Grill over medium high heat, 1-2 minutes per side.

Fried

Dredge cakes in flour. Heat 1/2 inch oil in heavy skillet and fry 2-3 minutes per side. Drain on paper towel-lined sheets.

Can I Use Leftover Grits?

No, using leftover grits generally doesn’t work when making grit cakes.

When cooking the grits for cakes or fritters, the amount of liquid is reduced to make them extra thick and firm. Leftover cooked grits have a tendency to fall apart since they are cooked with more liquid, making them creamier.

overhead shot of grit cakes on a baking sheet with parsley sprinkled around

What To Serve With Grit Cakes?

We love to enjoy grit recipes for dinner, but they make an easy accompaniment for any meal!

Grit Cake Appetizers:

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Cut the cake into a bite-sized square or circle and top with…

  • Shrimp
  • Bacon
  • Caramelized onions
  • Pimento cheese
  • Roasted veggies or charred corn
  • Chives or fresh herbs

Breakfasts:

  • Sausage gravy
  • Country ham
  • Scrambled or Fried Eggs
  • Bacon
  • Fresh fruit and syrup

Dinners or Side Dish:

  • Cut into “fries” and dip in marinara
  • Pulled pork or BBQ Pulled Chicken and coleslaw
  • Shrimp
  • Smoked sausage or andouille
  • Fish
  • Bacon Wrapped Chicken

Cheese Grit Cakes

Of course cheese makes everything better! Use sharp cheddar to make the flavor really shine through. However, any type of cheese may be used, such as medium cheddar, parmesan, pepper jack, gouda, or even Boudin cheese.

To make extra cheesy baked grit cakes sprinkle on additional cheese during the last minute of broiling. Watch carefully so the topping doesn’t burn.

If you are a cheese fan, also check out Cheese Scones or Sausage Cheddar Muffins recipes!

Make Ahead Grit Cakes

This is the perfect make ahead recipe! Once the cooked grits have been spread in the sheet pan, they may be refrigerated, tightly covered, up to 3 days. When ready to serve, just cut and bake.

Storing and Reheating Leftover Grit Cakes

Store leftover grit cakes in an airtight container, refrigerated up to one week. To reheat, place on foil lined baking sheet, greased with cooking spray. Broil again until crispy and hot, for 5-7 minutes, rotating pan halfway through.

To save time, they may also be heated in the microwave.

Cooks Tips for Making the Best Grit Cakes

  • Make sure the sheet pan is lined with foil before broiling to protect it from the high heat.
  • Optional grit add-ins before spreading in pan: jalapenos, corn, crumbled sausage, green onions, garlic, or bacon.
  • The cheese may be omitted or substitute a different type.
  • Halve the recipe and spread in 11X7″ pan to make a lesser amount.
  • Make ahead: Spread in prepared pan and chill up to 3 days before baking.
  • For extra cheesy version, sprinkle additional cheese on the last minute of broiling.
  • Don’t throw away those leftover pieces! Broil both sides to make extra crispy and use as croutons for soups or salads.
  • Instead of stone ground grits, use regular, instant, or polenta to reduce stove top cook time.

close up side angle shot of two grit cakes stacked on top of each other

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