Johnny Cakes


Most Civil War-era cooks made Johnny cakes with only cornmeal, salt, and water. When this same batter was baked on the blade of a hoe, the resulting bread was called a hoe cake. When wrapped in leaves and cooked directly on coals, it was called ash cake.


Makes 6 cakes. Recipe is by Cynthia Nobles.


1 cup cornmeal

½ tsp. salt

1 cup boiling water

1 egg

¼ cup whole milk

1 tbl. unsalted butter, melted

Butter and maple syrup or molasses for serving


1. In a medium bowl, combine cornmeal and salt. Stir in boiling water.

2. In a small bowl, beat egg and milk together and add to cornmeal. Stir in butter.

3. Place a large, heavy greased frying pan over medium heat. For each cake, spoon ¼ cup batter onto the hot pan and cook 5-6 minutes on each side. Serve topped with butter and maple syrup or molasses.