Johnny Cakes Island Style St Maarten and Bahama's Recipe

Sunday, January 16, 2011
Baked or Fried this is a Carribean style donut, but served as breakfast with lunch or dinners on the Island!

Fried Johnny Cakes Recipe from St. Maarten

3 cups flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoon sugar

1/2 cup shortening

2/3 cup water or milk, or enough to make a dough

Mix dry ingredients together. Cut in shortening, or rub in with fingers. Add water or milk slowly, just enough to make a soft dough. Knead a few times until dough is smooth and holds together. Let rest for 10-20 minutes. Shape into round pieces and flatten on a board with a little flour,( They also put a hole in the middle, that's how they looked when we went there I didn't do that here) then prick with a fork. The oil must be hot before frying or use a fry daddy. Fry at medium-high heat, turning several times, until brown and crusty on both sides. Frying time usually takes around 15-20 minutes. You will need to drain them on paper towels, then cover them with a towel to rest around 10 minutes.

These are not too sweet, but intrigued me when we went on our cruise excursion. This lady was nice enough to tell me how to make them. Similar to a donut, just not sweet.

Goes really good with any meal. These are found all over the Islands. Johnny Cakes is not unique to Jamaica. Versions can also be found in the Eastern Caribbean islands as well as places like Turks and Caicos, Cayman Islands and St. Croix

Johnny Cake Recipe from Bahama's

Makes 1 8-inch cake


2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

3 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup sugar

3 teaspoons oil

About 1 cup of water or milk


Whisk dry ingredients together, and then add oil and enough water or milk to make a very thick dough and knead (about 1 cup). Place in a greased 8-inch baking dish or an 8 inch greased cast iron pan. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest for 30 minutes. Bake in a 375 degree preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve in wedges or slices with butter or honey.


  1. Great! They look delicious and the pic of the island is beautiful!

  2. fried dough is just to good to pass up anytime, esp with powder sugar or syrup ... the johnny cakes I remember, those from southern recipes, contain cornmeal much like the cake, some more like cone pones hence, johnny reb cakes...

  3. I grew up eating johnny cakes - and seriously, it looks very similar to mom's recipe! I just didn't grow up in the Bahamas! lol I LOVE fried dough by the way. Oh yum yum.

  4. These look like perfect corn toasties. I imagine they are even better in an island paradise... what a beautiful place to go to -- and escape the awful weather here. The only happy one around is my St Bernard who thinks this is heaven!

  5. What is it about fried dough? Italians love it! I love it! It's a Sunday treat. Love your Johnnycakes and the photos of the island paradise really soothed my winter nerves.

  6. Delicious both Caribbean style donuts and cakes are awesome. I love to visit nations through food.

  7. Who doesn't like fried dough? So good, and comforting.
    I would be more than happy for you to come down further south to give you tips, on the photo taking...but you would get 2 more different advices, from other family members.

    Your photos are just perfect the way you take them...they are your"own" and not anyone else's!

  8. My mom used to make what she called Johnnycakes, more like your Bahama recipe. Of course, most of the time we had some variation of zeppole.

  9. I would like to escape to a tropical island and have one of those Johnny Cakes on the beach! Ready for warmer weather, and we have a ways to go until spring.
    Maybe if I make these at home, I can imagine the island breeze~

  10. Beautiful and looks so tasty! Lovely photos!

  11. Seems fried dough whether yeast or powder based are a staple in many countries. The Bahama version reminds me more of the southern corn cakes than the Italian fried dough. Either way they all sound wonderful!

  12. Claudia, great recipe find! Now I want to go back to the Bahamas, get warm again!

  13. Delightful for any morning :) Love the photos but that shot of the island, I want to be there now :)

  14. This is the first time I've seen Johnny Cakes from the Caribbean and made with flour vs. cornmeal. But fried dough by any name is a treat not to be missed! Reminds me of beignets without the powdered sugar, yum!

  15. Both these look like a scrumptious treat - especially the fried ones!

  16. MMMMMMMMMMmmmmm...I want those. Fried dough is yummy.

  17. I've had the donuts with a sprinkle of sugar on top - they are so yummy!

  18. Oh, how I can see myself making this cake...especially since you gave us the option of baking it too...mummm.

    Ciao for now,

  19. Who can resist fried dough? Yum! I think my family would love these little gems with their dinner...what a fun alternative to a dinner roll!

  20. I'm making my first ever batch of johny cakes right now. If anything, there is cheese and catchup :)


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