In a medium bowl, combine flour, yellow cornmeal, baking powder, and salt. With a fork, cut cold unsalted butter into flour mixture until pea-size granules form. Gradually add 1/2 cup cold water, stirring until mixture is evenly moistened.
In a 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat vegetable oil over medium heat. Drop in batter by well-rounded tablespoons. Fry until golden brown on both sides and cooked through, about 3 minutes per side. Using a spatula, transfer to paper towels to drain; serve warm with maple syrup, if desired.