What is Johnny Cake?
A johnny cake is a type of flatbread that is made of cornmeal. The ingredients are mixed together like a pancake batter and typically cooked on a cast iron pan.
Johnny cakes were brought about by the Native Americans and were a staple food of those Americans moving west as they could be cooked over an open fire in a cast iron pan.
Why are they called Johnny Cakes?
As we know from the previous question, johnny cakes were a popular item for people moving west in the United States as they kept well in saddlebags and were easily prepared over an open fire.
It is believed that they were first called “Shawnee cakes” and due to the language barrier some of the settlers slurred the words to sound like johnny cakes and the name stuck.
What is the difference between pancakes and Johnny cakes?
Honestly the only real difference between a pancake and a johnny cake is that a johnny cake is made of cornmeal and not flour. They are both cooked using the same method and even enjoyed with butter and syrup. You could say that they are brothers from different mothers.
How do you make Johnny cakes from scratch?
Making a johnny cake from scratch is really no different than this recipe. If you were truly wanting to make a johnny cake from scratch, you need to omit things that the early settlers did not have like baking powder, nutmeg etc.
The big difference is that it will be flat and have less flavor, but it will allow a sample of what an original johnny cake must have tasted like.