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Yield: 8 johnnycakes

To welcome spring, residents of Rhode Island have traditionally taken part in a May feast. But no spring feast is complete without johnnycakes, made with meal from the local Kenyon Grist Mill. They might be old-fashioned, but these simple johnnycakes are a recipe you’ll want to pass on to your children. We recommend serving them with syrup and butter, but readers have found all sorts of creative ways to use these johnnycakes as a tasty snack or a hearty meal.

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  • 1 cup Kenyon's Johnnycake Meal*
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • boiling water
  • milk


Combine first three ingredients. Pour boiling water over mixture very slowly, adding just enough to swell the meal. Let it sit several minutes, then add enough milk so mixture will drop from a spoon. Heat greased pancake griddle or iron skillet and spoon batter onto hot surface. Turn to brown other side. Serve with maple syrup and butter.

Additional Notes:

* Some New England cooks make johnnycakes from white or yellow cornmeal, but many prefer a special johnnycake meal that is milled in Rhode Island. In 1906 Charles Kenyon purchased a mill built in 1886 and expanded what had been a local miller's trade into a commercial business. Today the mill still supplies many New England kitchens with johnnycake meal, plus an assortment of other stone-ground flours.

Updated Wednesday, June 5th, 2002

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4 Responses to Johnnycakes

  1. ALYCE WOLFE September 13, 2002 at 12:14 am #


  2. Johanna Glazier October 1, 2002 at 12:57 am #

    This is a great recipe and a very simple one. It’s great with butter and syrup. Another way of preparing Johnny Cake is to bake it at a low temp such as 375.Done this way it becomes almost like corn bread.My great Nana from Barre, Massahcusetts used to make Johnny Cake all the time for her dog Snoopy — he loved it too! I definitely recommend this recipe.

  3. Anonymous February 17, 2006 at 6:08 pm #

    I, too, have been looking for a good recipe for this. My family really enjoyed it. We like to eat it with fresh blackeyed peas and green onions. Thanks!

  4. Anonymous April 28, 2011 at 10:58 pm #

    Growing up in Connecticut we would have Johnny Cakes as a side with mashed potatoes and dried beef gravy.

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