Bahamian Johnnycake

I recently went home to the Bahamas and each time I've been with my family lately, I've been trying to snag another recipe to post on the blog. There are two reasons for this. The first is that I think it's pretty cool to make food from different parts of the world and learn more about other countries. The second reason is purely selfish. Since most Bahamians tend to cook without recipes, I'm pretty sure I won't be able to recreate my favorite dishes years down the road. So I guess I'm also trying to record as many recipes as possible for posterity.

The latest installment in this series is a something called a johnnycake. I looked up the word "johnnycake" online and Google came back with some cornmeal- or cornbread-type thingy. Let me assure you that this is not what we make in the Bahamas. Apparently the term johnnycake has different meanings in different countries. (Although this does make me want to try the American version of johnnycake. I gladly accept gifts of food, just so you know.)

The Bahamian version of johnnycake is a cross between a dense bread and a slightly sweet cake. It's best served warm, slathered with butter and accompanying a soup or stew. However, if you're anything like me and my family, you can have it anytime of the day.


Bahamian Johnnycake

Print Recipe

  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature + extra for greasing pan
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ~3/4 cup milk

1) Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

2) Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar together until combined.

3) Add the flour, water, salt, and baking powder to the bowl.

4) Add the milk slowly until the batter is sticky.

5) Dust hands with flour. Transfer dough from bowl to greased 9x9 pan. Gently flatten the dough in the pan.

6) Bake for ~1hr or until the edges of the johnnycake are browned. The johnnycake will not rise much.

7) Let cool for several minutes before cutting into the johnnycake.

This is an easy, simple recipe which will provide you with a warm and delicious addition to your breakfast, lunch or dinner.