Johnny Cake is most known to be a cornmeal flatbread, like pancakes. But our family’s cornbread recipe is called Johnny cake and we bake it in an 8×8 pan just like cornbread. The recipe comes from Mrs. Earl Perry, my dad’s mother, Lorraine. Johnny Cake is also known as hoecake, journey cake, jonnycake and shawnee cake.
Whatever you call it, the dense and slightly sweet cake is a welcome side to a steaming bowl of soup or chili. Drizzle a warm slice with local honey and you are serving nostalgic comfort food at its finest. We mostly use Adee Honey produced in Bruce, South Dakota which is where my dad was born and the large Earl Perry family farmed.
You can stir in optional ingredients like a small can of diced green chilies, sliced jalapeños or bacon bits. My sister’s mother-in-law, Judy, remembers her family baking it in a loaf pan and then slicing it and frying them. That would be delicious!
EASE: Comes together quickly
PROS: Makes enough for a meal and croutons
CONS: Don’t always have buttermilk on hand
WOULD I MAKE THIS AGAIN? Forever
In my opinion, cornbread is best served warm out of the oven so I like to make croutons with any leftovers. Just dice the bread into bite-sized cubes, toss in a little olive oil and seasonings like Italian or garlic powder and bake for about 15 minutes.
- 1 8×8 pan Could use 8 or 9-inch round pan
- 1 cup buttermilk
- ¼ cup sugar
- ½ cup yellow cornmeal
- 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- honey, optional for drizzling on top when serving
- Heat oven to 350°. Grease 8×8 pan.
- In a medium bowl, mix together ingredients (not the honey) with a whisk or hand mixer.
- Pour batter into pan.
- Bake at 350° Fahrenheit for 20 minutes or until edges are slightly brown and cake tester or toothpick comes out clean.
- Serve warm. Store in airtight container up to 4 days.
All text and images © Staci Mergenthal • Random Sweets