Johnny Cake

January 28, 2011

When I was a kid, I loved the Mandie Series - a collection of 40+ mystery novels for children written by the late Lois Gladys Leppard. I loved them so much that I would read every book twice or three times in anticipation for the next publication. She couldn't write them fast enough!

Someone eventually caught on to my obsession with Mandie, and decided to give me Mandie's Cookbook. I was so excited! I remember making pancakes, jelly rolls, and bread... basically any recipe in the cookbook I could find ingredients for. Needless to say, my eight-year-old self was prone to mixing errors and faulty substitutions, but my parents were kind enough to let me continue my kitchen experimentation.

I've managed to keep that old cookbook around to this day, and every now and then I'll return to its pages to see how my attempts at the recipes turn out compared to when I was a kid. Over the weekend, I showed my man a recipe in the book for Johnny Cake, an early American staple food. Of course, neither of us knew what to expect, but we wanted to try it anyway. Matt mixed the ingredients, poured the batter into the pan, and tossed it in the oven. 25 minutes later, were were looking at something resembling a crumbly, dense cornbread.

Johnny cake

It's not bad. Goes pretty well with a little honey and my morning coffee.

P.S. Note the newest addition to our mug collection. ;-)

Johnny Cake
3/4 cup cornmeal
1 1/3 cup flour
3 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon allspice
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup cream
1/4 pound butter, softened

Preheat oven to 425°F. Grease a 9x13-inch baking pan.

Place all of the ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly for 90 seconds. Pour batter into the baking pan and spread evenly. Bake for 25 minutes.


  1. Such nice memories. I always read about Jonny cakes but never tried them. I imagined them being like cornbread but they look a bit lighter in texture...Nice photo!

  2. Love the mug!!!


  3. Sherri - Thank you! I'd say this recipe is definitely more dense than regular cornbread, but a little sweeter. When I finally looked up "Johnny cake," I saw a lot of images resembling pancakes, so I think the 'real' Johnny Cakes are more of a flatbread.

    Zoe - Thank you. It's one of my newest finds. My mug addiction is totally endless. :)

  4. lindsay,
    thanks for the book mention I have an 11 year old and she loves history and book with mysteries these sound right up her alley. the Jonny cake looks good

  5. How fun! I had a thing for the Bunnicula series...I got the Bunnicula Fun Book, which included a fudge recipe that I remember making, but I don't think I have it anymore! AND saw this project and thought of you!