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Antillean Johnny Cake - Johnny cakes recipe

Johnny Cakes

door Linda Terrizzi

The Antillean Johnny Cake is a famous snack: Johnny Cakes are small, deep-fried soda dough buns. Because they do not contain yeast, they can be made in a short time. You can fill them with whatever you like…but this braised cod or a slice of cheese are the best known ways to fill your Johhny Cake.

This recipe can also be found in our cookbook 'The complete Antillean kitchen'. Did you know that there are no less than 300 (!) recipes in that book from the kitchen of Aruba, Bonaire en Curaçao?

It is the result of 7 years of research and we now finally dare to say that we have really “captured” Antillean cuisine in its entirety. Click on the image below to learn more about the book:

the complete antillean kitchen cookbook jurino ignacio

History of the Johnny Cakes

De Johnny Cakes originate from Trinidad & Tobago, but are eaten throughout the Caribbean and even in North America. They are ideal to take with you, because the oil keeps them fresh for a long time.

The name 'Johnny Cake' is therefore most likely derived from the English 'Journey Cake', which means something like 'a cake/sandwich for traveling'. The delicious sandwiches have now become an integral part of Caribbean cuisine.

You can get about 10 from this recipe Johnny cakes baking. In the video below I show you how to actually get one Johnny Cake bakes:


  • 500gr wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons of butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • 150 ml water
  • 100 ml milk
  • oil for frying


Mix the dry ingredients (wheat flour and baking powder) well with a spoon. Then add the melted butter in a well.

Then mix the water with the milk, a teaspoon of salt and a tablespoon of sugar and add this to the first mixture. Knead the whole with a food processor or with your hands into a smooth dough. Let the dough rest for 15 minutes.

Divide the dough into balls of about 150 grams and flatten them to form a disc. Roll out the discs until they are about 7 mm thick.

Heat the oil to about 175 degrees and fry the Johnny Cakes then until golden, about 5 minutes each. It's always best to have one Johnny Cake to bake at a time!

Let them cool down for a while, cut them open and fill them with cheese, meats or vegetables, for example. - Enjoy your meal!

Problems creating Johnny Cakes

When you first decide to Johnny Cakes, there are some pitfalls to watch out for. Of course you want the buns not to color too dark, but that they are cooked on the inside. They should also be nice and airy and nicely spherical… on flat Johnny CakeOf course no one is waiting.

For this reason we have written an article that helps you make super light Johnny Cakes. We give you five tips that ensure that the rolls bake airy, convex and golden.

We discuss various things, such as resting the dough and rolling it out to the correct thickness.

Also the time you spend kneading and even the temperature of the oil have (a lot!) Influence on the end result. I would of course prefer to teach you all the tricks of the trade one by one, but due to lack of time (and of course we don't all live close together!), The article is a handy tool.

johnny cakes Antillean johnny cake recipe
Our readers often send us pictures of the Johnny Cakes they made following this recipe.

With which you fill one Johnny Cake?

Now that you are making the Johnny Cakes master, it is time to fill them. You can do that with a simple slice of cheese and most people choose this. Still, there are a number of other classic fillings for the Johnny Cake all of which are irresistible. We already give you three:

    Salted fish (codfish) works very well in a sandwich… so also in a Johnny Cake! You can serve the cod both hot and cold. You can find a tasty recipe on this page.
    Also with chicken are the Johnny Cakes delicious. Most people eat chicken and a salad based on mayonnaise is soon a friend of everyone. A tasty one chicken salad can be found here.
  3. TUNA
    Do you feel like a tasty filling, but don't have the time to make it elaborate? Then our 'salad di tuna' outcome! This traditional tuna salad is made within ten minutes and still tastes like you've been in the kitchen all day!

Tradition: Johnny Cakes on Sunday!

It is a tradition that we like to keep alive: the Johnny Cakes on Sunday. On Curaçao these sandwiches are made on that day. People have time on the weekend to cook and have breakfast extensively, and what better way than with a tasty one Johnny Cake?

Those who visit a church take the rolls - filled and wrapped in aluminum foil - in their bags. When the service is over, feasting can begin! Many people buy the Johnny Cakes with an acquaintance or family member.

In the Antilles there are whole businesses of people who bake stacks on Sundays and sell them to people close to them. Filled or 'plain', quite a few are sold every Sunday.

Johnny Cakes order

There are also plenty of caterers in the Netherlands Johnny Cakes offer. It is a much requested product and should not be missing at any (Antillean) party or festival. Do you really not feel like yourself? Johnny Cakes or do you just need a lot of them at once?

Then I recommend those of our colleagues from BandaBou Catering in Amsterdam warmly. They really make the best in the Netherlands!

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