Cuisine: Jamaican
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 30 biscuits
Johnnycakes are one of my favorite fried treats. A very easy cornmeal flatbread that is eaten across several countries in the Caribbean.

The easiest way to describe a Johnnycake is that it is cornmeal flatbread. This is one of my favorite biscuit recipes not only because I love the taste but because the recipe has a fun history behind it!

This cake, originally named “Journey Cake,” is food that colonial settlers took with them on their journeys from New England all the way to Jamaica. Each country has adapted the name to its local vocabulary and accent so nowadays, this cake has different names depending on the country you are in; for example: Yaniqueques or Yanikekes, as they call them in the Dominican Republic, or Yani-Clecas, in Puerto Rico. Given so many ways to refer to this cake, the name of the recipe has morphed into Johnnycakes.



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  1. Sift the flour and baking powder into a mixing bowl. With a dough blender or 2 knives, cut in lard and butter.
  2. Add egg and continue mixing.
  3. Dissolve sugar and salt in the milk. Add liquid by the spoonful to flour mixture and stir until soft dough is formed. Spill onto floured board and knead gently.
  4. Shape dough into a roll, about 2 inches thick, and cut into narrow slices.
  5. Press each slice to form a bun about 1/4-inch thick.
  6. Deep fry buns in oil at about 365ºF until golden brown.
  7. Remove and drain on paper towel.
  8. Serve with butter and preserves of your choice.
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