Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Philadelphia >
Sep 3, 2011 02:08 PM

Not Pancakes, but Jonny Cakes

The thread on pancakes reminded me of an unusual treat we enjoyed in Naragansett, RI this summer.

Where in the Philadelphia area can one find yummy Jonny Cakes? I believe the flour is
corn meal, but what makes them unusual is the crispness and the taste. Butter and salt yes,
blueberry jam yes, but I don't remember even wanting syrup on them. Truly addictive.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Sound awesome. I had cornmeal pancakes at brunch at Catahoula that were exactly like you describe, and they were fantastic.

    I haven't been back there since the chef left, but I have friends who are regulars and still go and enjoy it.

    1. This is probably not what you're looking for, but Local 44 does a "Shrimp & Grits" riff that uses Johnny Cakes instead of grits. They're fantastic.

      5 Replies
      1. re: Boognish

        Yes, they are fantastic. Maybe what I should be looking for is a good recipe for Jonny cakes?
        Now, I don't have the kind of griddle they use in diners, but methinks its the ingredients that
        produce that flavor, texture and crispness. anyone?

        1. re: Bashful3

          Kenyon Mills is expert at Johnny Cakes. I love their corn meal and I remember making Johnny cakes (I do think I added some milk). I cannot remember the difference between Kenyon corn meal and other stone ground, it was a long time ago that I was there, but I obviously remember it fondly. If you email them I am sure they can will tell you why you shouldn't substitute (as they say on the web site) other corn meal when making Johnny cakes. I would guess If the meal is too coarse the meal will stay hard since the cakes do not cook that long. You can get help on the "Home Cooking" thread of course.

          1. re: mscoffee1

            Not exactly Johnny Cakes (which I think my grandmother used to make and I thought they were a southern tradition,) but the corn meal buttermilk pancakes at CrossKeys Diner in Doylestown are very good.

            1. re: cwdonald

              Ms coffee, that was a great tip/link. I just ordered a 5 pound bag, and will alert
              those family members of mine who live in New England to look for it locally.
              I paid $11 and change for the 5 pound bag, and $10 for UPS Ground shipping, but it will be worth it.

              I made them today, using some instant polenta yellow corn meal. I also made some mistakes, like a too hot pan initially, and too cool subsequently, but they
              were still yummy. Another mistake I made was not adding enough milk to start with. Despite the multiple goofs, it was pretty darn good.

              This is going to become a signature dish for this Yankee. Even my husband, who
              is not a pancake fan liked them.

              1. re: Bashful3

                What fun. I hope it works out great also hope you found the video for making the cakes on the website.