When it comes to baking, I’ve always believed in the power of simplicity. That’s why I’m excited to share with you an old-fashioned recipe that has been a staple in many households for generations. Today, we’re making Moist Johnny Cake, a classic corn cake that is soft, crumbly and full of flavor.
Johnny Cake originated from Native American cuisine and has since evolved to become a beloved dish in many cultures throughout the world, from the Bahamas to St. Croix to the Virgin Islands. It is also known as Journey Cakes and Corn Cakes, but the recipe remains relatively unchanged wherever it is made.
This Moist Johnny Cake recipe has just the right balance of sweet and savory, with a touch of honey and sugar that complements the nutty flavor of yellow cornmeal. The cake rises slightly thanks to baking powder, giving it a light texture without being too airy or dry.
I invite you to join me on this journey of making Moist Johnny Cake from scratch. Not only is it a delicious treat for any time of day or occasion, but it also offers an opportunity to connect with history and enjoy a traditional recipe that has stood the test of time.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
As a baker, I believe that the key to a great recipe is to keep things simple and let the natural flavors shine through. And that’s exactly what you can expect from this Moist Johnny Cake Recipe.
If you’re a fan of classic Southern-style cornbread, you’ll love these Johnny Cakes! One bite of these moist, buttery cakes, and you’ll be transported to the sunny Caribbean islands where they originated. The combination of cornmeal, flour, milk and egg creates a hearty texture with a sweet and tangy taste that is simply irresistible.
But why stop there? You can easily customize this recipe to your liking by adding your own personal touch – toss in some green onions or chives for an extra burst of flavor, or add some honey for a sweet surprise. The possibilities are endless!
Not only are these Johnny Cakes delicious on their own, but they also pair perfectly with any meal. They make a wonderful complement to your favorite soup or stew, but can also hold their own as a savory side dish. And let’s not forget about dessert – try topping one with fresh fruit and whipped cream for a unique twist on traditional cake.
Don’t just take my word for it – give this recipe a try and see for yourself why it’s sure to become a new favorite in your baking repertoire.
Here is a list of ingredients needed for this mouth-watering Moist Johnny Cake Recipe:
- 3 cups of yellow cornmeal
- 1 cup of all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon of baking powder
- 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1 cup of milk
- 1 cup of water (boil first)
- 1 egg, beaten
- 4 tablespoons of butter, melted and cooled
- 3 tablespoons of honey
Make sure to use room temperature butter to avoid the formation of lumps while mixing. Ensure that your ingredients are perfect in measurement to achieve the desired result.
The Recipe How-To
Now, let’s move on to the fun part – baking the Moist Johnny Cake!
Step 1: Preheat the oven and prepare the pan
First, preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C). Then, grease a 9-inch square baking pan or cast-iron skillet with butter or cooking spray.
Step 2: Combine the dry ingredients
In a large bowl, whisk together 1 cup of yellow cornmeal, 1 cup of all-purpose flour, ⅓ cup of granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon of baking powder, and 1 teaspoon of salt.
Step 3: Mix the wet ingredients
In another bowl, whisk together 1 beaten egg, 1 cup of milk, and ¼ cup of honey until well combined.
Step 4: Combine the wet and dry ingredients
Gradually add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients while stirring constantly. Mix until just combined. Do not overmix as it can make the cake tough.
Step 5: Pour into the prepared pan and bake
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth out the top with a spatula. Bake for around 20-25 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
Step 6: Let it cool before slicing
Remove from oven and let it cool in the pan for about ten minutes before slicing it into squares.
And voila! You now have a freshly baked Moist Johnny Cake ready to enjoy.
Substitutions and Variations
Looking to switch things up a bit? No worries, there are plenty of ways to get creative with your Johnny Cakes recipe! Let’s explore some potential substitutions and variations that you can try out in the kitchen.
First off, if you don’t have all-purpose flour on hand, you can always use self-rising flour instead. Just omit the salt and baking powder from the recipe. You can also experiment with different types of flour, such as oat or almond flour, for a healthier twist.
In terms of sweeteners, honey is a great alternative to granulated sugar. Not only does it add a unique flavor profile to the dish, but it’s also slightly healthier than traditional cane sugar. Just keep in mind that the texture may be slightly different due to the added liquid content.
If you’re looking to add some extra flavor to your Johnny Cakes, consider incorporating some herbs or spices. For instance, chopped green onions or chives can add a savory kick. You could also try adding some cinnamon or nutmeg for a warm and cozy taste.
Want to take things to the next level? Consider topping your Johnny Cakes with syrup, butter, or fresh fruit for a decadent finish. And if you’re feeling particularly adventurous, you could even experiment with creating mini “sandwiches” by placing various toppings between two Johnny Cakes – think bacon and egg or avocado and tomato.
No matter what substitutions or variations you choose to make, one thing is for sure: every version of this classic Caribbean dish will leave your taste buds feeling satisfied and happy.
Serving and Pairing
After you have successfully baked your moist Johnny Cake, it is time to serve and savor its delightful taste. One great way to enjoy your Johnny Cake is by topping it with butter and drizzling some local honey over it while still warm. This will not only infuse the cake with a rich sugary flavor, but also make it even more indulgent.
Another popular way to enjoy Johnny Cake is by pairing it with savory accompaniments such as fresh green onions or chives. These can be served directly on top of the cake or eaten separately for contrast. Some Northern Johnny Cakes are traditionally paired with maple syrup, while others in the Virgin Islands are accompanied by a side dish of salt fish.
If you are feeling adventurous, try pairing your Johnny Cake with some spiced pork or chicken. The flavors complement each other perfectly and balance the sweetness of the cake with the savory taste of meat. You can also pair it with soups or stews to make a perfect combination.
Whether served for breakfast, brunch or dinner, a piece of Johnny Cake offers great versatility in pairing options. Experiment with various combinations to find your favorite!
Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating
Now, let’s talk about make-ahead, storing, and reheating options for this scrumptious moist Johnny cake recipe. In general, Johnny cakes are best eaten fresh and hot, but sometimes we want to enjoy them later or even the next day.
If you want to make Johnny cakes ahead of time, then let the cakes cool down completely before wrapping them tightly in plastic wrap. You can store these wrapped cakes at room temperature for up to 24 hours. For longer storage, try refrigerating the wrapped Johnny cakes for up to four days.
Reheating Johnny cakes is a breeze, and there are different ways to do it depending on your preference. One classic way is to reheat individual portions of Johnny cake slices on a cast-iron skillet or griddle over medium heat until they’re heated through and a little bit crispy around the edges. Another quick option is reheating the slices in a toaster or oven until they’re warm and slightly toasted.
I always remind my customers that microwaving the Johnny cakes is not the best option because it can lead to uneven heating and tough textures. If you must use a microwave, be sure to cover the slice with a damp paper towel before heating on medium power for no more than 30 seconds at a time until it’s heated through.
My final recommendation is to enjoy these Johny cakes with some butter, maple syrup or honey drizzled on top for an extra burst of flavor.
Tips for Perfect Results
As a baker, I have learned through trial and error the tips and tricks to make the perfect moist Johnny Cake. Here are some recommendations to ensure that your cake comes out delicious and moist every time:
First, it is important to preheat your oven to the correct temperature. The oven should be at 375°F (190°C) before you start baking. This ensures that your cake cooks evenly and thoroughly.
Another tip is to use a cast-iron pan. Cast iron is an excellent heat conductor and will distribute the heat evenly throughout the cake, preventing it from overcooking in some areas while under-cooking in others.
It’s also essential not to overwork the batter. Overworking the mixture will lead to a tough texture as it develops gluten, which can affect the moisture level in your cake negatively. Therefore, mix gently by folding using a spatula or wooden spoon.
I also like to add additional toppings such as butter and honey drizzled on top of my Johnny Cake after cooking. This adds extra moisture and flavor to the cake.
Finally, it’s crucial not to overbake your cake. Check the cake by gently inserting a toothpick into the center of the cake; if it comes out clean, then it’s ready to be removed from the oven. If not, leave it in for another 5-10 minutes before checking again.
By following these tips, you’ll be sure to get a deliciously moist Johnny Cake every time you bake one in your kitchen.
When it comes to cooking or baking, questions may arise no matter how simple or complicated the recipe may be. In this section, we answer a few frequently asked questions about baking moist Johnny Cake that will help you prepare this Caribbean delicacy with ease.
What makes a cake more moist?
As an experienced baker, I’ve learned a thing or two about baking the perfect cake. Follow my tips and recommendations to create a moist and fluffy cake that will impress your friends and family.
First off, to achieve maximum fluffiness, opt for cake flour instead of all-purpose flour. Cake flour is specially formulated to produce tender and light cakes. Don’t have any on hand? No worries, you can easily find it at your grocery store or make your own by combining all-purpose flour and cornstarch.
Next, incorporate sour cream into your batter. This ingredient adds richness and tanginess to your cake while also keeping it moist. Room temperature butter is also important for achieving the perfect texture. Make sure not to over-cream the butter and sugar as this can result in a tough and dense cake.
To give your cake an extra lift, add a touch of baking powder or baking soda. Oil is another useful ingredient for keeping your cake moist and tender. Don’t forget to mix everything together gently and avoid over-mixing to prevent your cake from becoming dense.
When it’s time to bake your cake, don’t over-bake it. Over-baking can lead to a dry and unimpressive cake. To keep your cake moist, brush it with a simple syrup or other liquid of your choice before decorating it.
By following these easy tips and tricks, you’ll be able to bake the perfect cake every time. Impress your guests with a light, fluffy, and moist cake that they won’t be able to resist.
How to make good Johnny Cakes?
Let’s start by creating the base for our delicious corn cakes. Firstly, in a mixing bowl, combine the cornmeal, salt, and sugar thoroughly. Next up, we need to bring the water to a boil in a large saucepan. Keep an eye on the stove and make sure not to let the water boil too rapidly.
While waiting for the water to heat up, let’s prepare the frying pan. A cast iron or non-stick frying pan will work well. Preheat it over medium-high heat. Once it’s hot enough, you can add some butter, oil, or bacon grease to the cast iron pan. Use whichever you prefer and make sure to spread it evenly over the surface.
Now it’s time to get to the fun part, cooking the corn cakes. Pour the cornmeal mixture into the skillet, making small circles that are 2-3 inches in diameter. Cook for about 2-3 minutes or until you see the edges start to crisp and the center begin to bubble. Flip the cakes and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.
To finish off, serve the corn cakes hot with your choice of butter, maple butter, maple syrup, or applesauce. The sweet and savory combination of the cornmeal with any of these toppings is sure to make your taste buds dance with joy.
Why are my Johnny Cakes hard?
If you want your Johnny cakes to be fluffy and delicious, there’s something important to keep in mind. After kneading the dough, it’s a good idea to let it rest for about half an hour. This helps the dough to relax and reach an optimal texture, making the final product softer and more enjoyable. Neglecting to let the dough rest may result in a tough and unpleasant texture. So, cover the dough with a kitchen towel and take a short break before cooking to ensure the best outcome.
What is Johnny Cake called today?
One popular dish in the Southern United States is called hoecake – a type of fried cornmeal gruel. To make it, one mixes yellow or white cornmeal with hot water or milk, salt, and occasionally some sweeteners. It is worth noting that this dish can also be called fried cornbread.
In conclusion, this Moist Johnny Cake recipe is a must-try for anyone looking for a delicious and easy cake recipe to make. It’s perfect to serve at breakfast, brunch, or as a snack on the go. I highly recommend trying out this recipe because it’s moist, fluffy, and has just the right amount of sweetness.
With simple ingredients that you can find easily, you’ll be able to make this cake in no time. Whether you’re an experienced baker or a beginner, this recipe is straightforward to follow and sure to impress your guests.
So go ahead, give it a try! You won’t be disappointed. And if you do try the recipe, let me know how it turns out in the comments below. Happy baking!
Moist Johnny Cake Recipe
- 1 cup flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 cup cornmeal
- 1 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 egg
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 3 tablespoons cooking oil
- Sift together flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt.
- Beat egg.
- Add sugar.
- Heat milk to lukewarm.
- Add honey to milk.
- Add the beaten egg and oil.
- Add the dry ingredients; mix until smooth.
- Bake in greased muffin pan at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.
- Can also be baked in a 9x9" pan.
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Steven is a chef by heritage, so it’s no wonder why baking is such a big part of who he is. To share his passion for all things sweet, he created cookiesncrepes.com. It’s the perfect platform to indulge in delicious treats, all with a sprinkle of his signature flare.