A Guide to The Johnny Cake – Its Origins, Its Recipe

The Johnny cake has humble origins, although its exact origin is not entirely clear. It is a type of corn bread that Americans can trace all the way back to the colonial days. According to old cookbooks, this traditional cake dates to the late 1800s in America. Some people say the name originates from “journey” cake pre-colonial times because the cakes were often cooked on journeys.

In America, it is traditionally called a “Johnny cake” although it also known by other related names such as “Hoe Cake,phenny cake, or Journey Cake. Even closer to it origins, it is known as “Shawnee Cake/ or Shawnee Indian frybread/ or Shawnee Bread/ or Indian fry cake.”

The Johnny cake is simple to make and makes for a delicious treat. It can be enjoyed plain or dressed up with butter, honey, or syrup.

Johnny Cake Recipe


  • 1 cup of self-rising flour
  • 3/4 cup of cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/4 cup of butter, melted
  • 1 cup of buttermilk


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar, and salt in a large bowl.
  3. Add in the melted butter and stir until combined.
  4. Pour in the buttermilk and stir just until no dry ingredients remain – do not over-mix.
  5. Pour the batter into an 8 or 9 inch cake or pie pan.
  6. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until the top is golden brown.
  7. Enjoy with butter, honey, or syrup.

It’s truly special to take a journey back in time and enjoy a traditional Johnny cake. This comforting recipe is sure to fill your kitchen with its sweet and nutty aroma, and makes an ideal accompaniment to your cup of tea or coffee. Enjoy!