Johnny Cakes

What’s for breakfast?… hot, crusty, Belizean Johnny Cakes!

One would never expect such an un assuming little biscuit to be as delicious as the Johnny Cake. With a pillowy soft, piping hot interior held together by a little bit of crust, it’s hard to eat just one.

Our recipe uses coconut milk, which is common but not always used. Johnny Cakes are a food everyone in Belize makes, which means that everyone makes them the way they like them!

A simple recipe:

If you are using canned coconut milk (and not husking, cracking, grinding and straining your own coconut) this recipe is very quick, easy, and requires very few ingredients! The pictures here are of a half recipe (which makes 8 Johnny cakes).

A healthier twist on the Johnny Cake:

For a little healthier twist, we enjoy using some whole wheat flour, and potentially some popped amaranth or ground flax seed.

  1. Instead of 1 lb white flour (approx 3.5 cups) use 1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour and 1 3/4 cups white flour.
  2. Instead of 1 lb white flour, use 1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour, 1/2 cup popped amaranth, 1 1/4 cups white flour.

Johnny Cakes

Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 10-15 mins
Yields: 16 cakes


  • 1 lb - flour (if you are using all-purpose flour, 1 lb is about 3 1/3 cups)
  • 1/2 cup - shortening or substitute marjarine, or butter
  • 3 heaping teaspoons - baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon - sugar
  • 1 teaspoon - salt
  • 2 cups - coconut milk


  1. Pre-Heat oven to 400 Ferenheit or about 205 Celcius.
  2. Mix dry ingredients flour, salt, baking powder together in a bowl.
  3. Mix shortening in with your hands creating a crumbly mixture.
  4. Add 1 cup of coconut milk slowly to crumbly mixture. Work with hands to make a dough.
  5. Add 2nd cup of coconut milk, just enough to make a soft dough, keep mixing by hand. If dough feels stiff add a little more coconut milk, too sticky add less.
  6. Roll the dough out into a long strip about 12 to 15 inches. Cut the rolled dough into 16 pieces.
  7. Shape into round balls put on greased baking sheet. Flatten lightly with palm of hand and prick with a fork.
  8. Bake 10 minutes. If your oven has a broiler, turn on the broiler for an additional few minutes give the Johnny Cakes a golden brown hue.
  9. Serve with Dutch Gouda cheese, or eggs, beans, or anything yummy!

Pro Tip

The trick with Johnny Cakes is to NOT over knead or mix. When mixing ingredients by hand, stop mixing once ingredients are combined and dough is consistent. Don't over-knead!


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