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Johnny Cakes

May 29, 2009

~ Mary ~
Golden, crispy, buttery discs.  Just in time for the weekend. Got this one from Two for the Road but, as always, like the Joy of Cookings recipe better.  Do not mistake this for the Johnny Cake Fred’s house keeper used to make when he lived in Trinidad & Tobago.
These are very straight forward and easy to make.  They take longer than regular pancakes because the cornmeal has to set and they need to get crispy.  The T-Fal pan worked excellent for this recipe!.

Johnny Cakes

Combine in large bowl:

1 ½ Cups Cornmeal

1/2 tsp Salt

2 tsp Sugar

Pour Over while stirring

2 ¼ Cups Boiling Water

Let sit 10 min.

Heat skillet over med-low heat with 1-2 Tbsp Butter.  When butter begins to color pour on ¼ Cup scoopfuls of batter. Don’t make them any bigger.

Let them cook on each side 6-11 minutes. If butter gets any darker turn down your heat!

Serve with your favorite syrup.

20 Comments leave one →
  1. June 5, 2009 1:50 pm

    My grandfather loooves johnny cakes. I should give this recipe a try!

  2. June 12, 2009 9:20 am

    This is something that I’ve never tried….putting it on my list.

  3. chris permalink
    June 20, 2009 11:11 am

    Has anyone actually made the recipe above? I have and it was awful. 2 1/4 cups water to 1 1/2 cups corn meal? The “batter” was extremely runny, even after the 10 minute rest. I knew it was wrong but I went ahead and cooked one – 1/4 cup batter spread across the pan and made an extremely thin cake.

    The original recipe from JOC has flour and baking powder as a leavening agent. This recipe has none of that. Something *MUST* have been lost in the translation.

    • foododelmundo permalink
      June 20, 2009 11:36 am

      Hey Chris – You had me scared there! I rechecked the recipe in both Joy and Two for the Road. The recipe is correct. They are very runny when they hit the pan and that’s the reason for such a small scoop of batter and a hot skillet. They do not have a powerful flavor – but they are crispy and corn-mealy – and take a LONG time to cook.

  4. Dana permalink
    September 12, 2009 12:00 pm

    I tried a johnny cake recipe but it was nothing like this except for the amount of salt and sugar and i ended up changing that as well.
    My recipe
    1 cup cornmeal
    1/2 tsp salt(I don’t eat salt a lot so 1 tsp tasted too salty)
    1 cup water or 1&1/4 cup milk
    1.5 tablespoons sugar(I didn’t eat them with syrup)

    • foododelmundo permalink*
      October 6, 2009 10:31 pm

      Looks like all the ingredients are the same to me Dana.
      I agree with the salt and always use Kosher salt because regular always seems to be too much.

  5. ironicly... permalink
    October 6, 2009 6:02 pm

    lol cake

  6. Elijah permalink
    October 6, 2009 8:38 pm

    I used the same recipe, I just added 1/2 cup milk, and a little more suger, and a pinch of cinnamon, and mine came out just fine. . . Baking sode is missing from this recipe, but I was out of it, but it still came out just fine. . .
    Happy cooking yall. .

    • foododelmundo permalink*
      October 6, 2009 9:24 pm

      Thanks for letting us know how they worked out for you Elijah – I really appreceate it. I like the idea of adding the milk – as far as soda or bpowder – both recipes (from Joy of Cooking and Two for the Road) didn’t call for either.

  7. Shea permalink
    February 20, 2010 2:28 am

    I’ve been eating store bought johnny cakes since I was little, so when I found this recipe, I had to try it. My thoughts:

    The cakes I’m used to eating are much sweeter and lighter than these- they even go in the toaster to be heated, and are sweet on the outside. These cakes are buttery and salty, and only a little sweet. They are not light like the ones from the store, which had the consistency of brownies. They’re definitely heavier, but not unpleasantly so.

    As for the sweetness, the instructions DO mention to cover them in the syrup of your choice- therefore they wouldn’t be intentionally sweetened, if I am interpreting this correctly. Anyway, I thought they were quite enjoyable, and thank you for the recipe!

    • foododelmundo permalink
      February 20, 2010 8:43 am

      Thank you for stopping by with a most accurate description Shea. I’m always leery of putting extra sugar in any type of pancake batter – because I’ve tried it and they stick to the pan, but perhaps doubling it here wouldn’t hurt at all. ~Mary

      • Shea permalink
        February 23, 2010 4:33 pm

        These were an absolute hit for the people I made them for- we put a pat of butter on top of each one, and then a topping of choice. I put local honey on mine, and my friends put maple syrup and nutella (…) on theirs. That provided all the sweetness needed!

        But, if just eating them plain, I could see where double the sugar would be useful.

        Another twist I’d like to try at some point would be using a different sweetener, like brown sugar, honey, or molasses…. could be interesting!

  8. April 4, 2010 12:11 pm

    my mom made johnny cakes from apackage but we can’t remember who put it out.we tried all the gro
    cery stores but we can’t find it.can you help me to find it.please contact me on facebook,can you let me know who puts it out,and if so,can you give me the phone#so we can call the company up,and have
    them send us some boxes of the johnny cakes.

  9. Nikki permalink
    November 22, 2011 2:30 pm

    I made this “Pilgrim Food” for my kindergartners today; they loved them! All I have in my room is a microwave and a small electric skillet, but it was super easy & the kids loved them best of all! Thanks!!!

    • foododelmundo permalink
      November 22, 2011 7:45 pm

      Hilarious and mighty creative!
      Thanks for sharing your adventure!

  10. Alexis permalink
    February 6, 2012 8:14 pm

    I just made these cakes and LOVED them! The recipe is exactly the same as JOC and I can’t understand why anyone’s batter was runny–unless they didn’t use boiling water and let the mixture sit for the prescribed amount of time. These came out perfect and went really well with the posole we had for dinner. Thanks!

    And how did yours turn out so perfectly round?

    • foododelmundo permalink
      February 6, 2012 9:53 pm

      So glad they turned out for you! I have no idea how they turned out so round, I made them so long ago and my memory is shot 😉

  11. LeDena permalink
    November 28, 2012 6:50 pm

    I haven’t tried these yet but I have to say that they sound alot like what I grew up eating. My mom called it “fried mush”. It was fried in bacon drippings till crisp (took a while) and we had them with fried eggs and dipped our bites in the yolk. Sometimes I dipped mine in syrup. Then I found “polenta” in a roll in my grocery store. I bought it and cooked the rounds (sliced off like a cookie dough log) and it was the same. A friend of mine said his mom made it and called it “hot water cornbread” and she cooked it the same as my mom had. Maybe the readers that said it was too thin might try pulsing the DRY cornmeal in a food processor (before adding the water ) to make the cornmeal a little finer consistency…It might thicken it up a bit if that is what they are looking for. I’m going to try this recipe tomorrow night and serve it with a marinara on top for a savory twist.


  1. North America: History of Johnny Cake & Recipe « Multi Cultural Cooking Network

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