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South County Jonnycakes

South County Jonnycakes
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Yield: 10-12 3-inch jonnycakes

Bob and Diane Smith, operators of the Samuel E. Perry Grist Mill in Perryville, RI, share their recipe for South County Jonnycakes. In South County, where Rhode Island Whitecap Flint Corn is grown in the ideal soil and climate of its coastal land, the jonnycakes are thick and crisp with plenty of butter.

Learn more and see additional photos by viewing the Rhode Island Jonnycakes blog.

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thick jonnycakes
Photo/Art by Aimee Seavey


  • 1 cup Rhode Island jonnycake meal (or cornmeal)
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 3-4 tablespoons milk


In a large bowl, whisk together the meal, sugar, and salt. Add the boiling water and stir to combine. Thin the batter with milk until the mixture is the consistency of thin mashed potatoes and will drop easily from a spoon (you may need additional milk).

Heat 1-2 tablespoons of bacon grease or corn oil on a griddle over medium-high heat. Drop the batter by the spoonful onto the griddle and cook 5-6 minutes or until a crisp, brown crust is formed. Flip and cook an additional few minutes until browned on both sides.

Serve hot with butter.

Additional Notes:

Serve Jonnycakes at any meal as a substitute for potatoes, with sausage for breakfast, or covered with creamed cod or chipped beef for lunch or dinner.
Updated Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

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3 Responses to South County Jonnycakes

  1. Ruth Rossi September 3, 2014 at 3:36 pm #

    When you make RI Johnnycakes and add the boiling water to the dry ingredients, you need to let the mixture sit for 15-20 minutes before frying the pancakes. This allows the boiling water to cook the meal a little before you quick fry it. If you don’t let it sit, the dough will taste raw and nasty in the middle if your griddle is hot enough to cook the outside in just a few minutes.

  2. DebbyO November 24, 2015 at 9:21 am #

    My grandmother’s recipe calls for scalding a cup of milk (not water), and slowly adding/stirring small amounts at a time to swell the corn meal. Her jonnycakes were browned in sausage or bacon grease and served with stewed blackberries over the top. You never got hungry before lunch after eating these.

  3. Davis Byrd Longsworth April 7, 2016 at 5:12 pm #

    Here in the south.Virginia, we put Smithfeild ham on them.along with oysters cooked in butter. The best meal.

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