After originally parting company in 2006, the Darkness reunited in March 2011 and performed a comeback show at the Download Festival three months later. This single, the first new material from the band since they reconvened, was made available as a free download from The Darkness' official website. It was mixed by Canadian Engineer Mike Fraser (AC/DC, Franz Ferdinand).
American artist Thom Lessner created, with director Ted Passon, the song's 2-D animated video. Said frontman Justin Hawkins to Rolling Stone of Lessner, who is best known for his stylized drawings of rock bands and colorful portraits of cultural icons: "The video turned out ace. I've always been a fan of Thom Lessner's illustrations, so I was delighted when he and Ted Passon agreed to make it. They have really captured the vibe of the song."
Hawkins explained why the band chose the "Hot Cakes" title for the album. "I like it because it's sort of immediate," he told Spinner. "And you have to devour it immediately, because cakes don't stay hot. It's adds some urgency to it. I wanted to sort of imagine people sort of getting it and going, 'Right, gotta listen to it right now.'"
The song dates back to The Darkness's early days when they were a five-piece. The band originally had an extra guitar player, Chris McDougal, but when Justin Hawkins started playing guitar they decided that he was surplus to requirements and he was sacked at the end of 2000.
Fun fact: Drummer Ed Graham inspired the band's name as his youthful bleak moods were known as The Darkness.