Quick Cooking Johnny Cakes

Johnny Cake… Hoe Cake… Journey Cake… many names have been given to the simple corn cake.  It’s easy to prepare.  It stores well and is very versatile.

Using a waffle iron saves time because there is one less pan to clean up and it reduces the cook time by at least half that of the traditional pan fry method.

This is my basic Johnny Cake recipe

Johnny Cake pic

Quick Cooking Johnny Cakes
Recipe type: Corn Meal Cake
Cuisine: Comfort food, country cooking.
Serves: 2-4
A basic Johnny Cake recipe using Wondermill ground corn meal from store bought popcorn. This basic recipe is a dinner for 2 or a side dish for 4.
  • 1 Cup Corn Meal
  • 1½ Cup Water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  1. Plug in your waffle iron and set to medium to highest heat. Varies based on your iron.
  2. Boil the 1½ cups water to boil in a medium/large pot.
  3. Add the 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon sugar.
  4. When water reaches a boil slowly pour in the 1 Cup of Corn Meal. Stir constantly.
  5. When the mix reaches the texture of corn meal mush, turn off heat.
  6. Spoon batches of the mix into your pre-greased (non stick spray) waffle Iron.
  7. Wait for your iron to indicate the cook time is finished and gently lift the iron open.
  8. Use a wooden utensil ( I use a wooden chopstick ) to gently remove the cake from the iron.


The video outlines my basic procedure.  I stray from ‘tradition’ by using my waffle iron because it is fast, creates a nice crust and is a shape that my family is familiar with.

Cracking my own corn meal from popcorn gives the Johnny Cake a toasted flavor that you won’t get from pre-ground corn meal as well.


  • This is a baseline recipe that can be adjusted to your tastes.
  • Create different flavors and textures by replacing some or all of the liquid with milk or even stocks or broths to create different flavors from sweet to savory.
  • Experimenting with different sugars (honey, maple syrup, cane, brown…) can be fun, family friendly cooking time.
  • Think “Polenta” sometimes to find ways to take the Johnny Cake from comfort food to Gourmet.
  • WAFFLE IRON USE:  I use the highest setting on my waffle iron but no two appliances are the same.  You may have to try a few batches if you decide to use the iron instead of the traditional pan fry.
    WAFFLE IRON CLEANING:  If needed, use a basic water/cornmeal only mix and spread it in the waffle iron to cover the whole cooking surface and cook it at the highest setting (at least on my iron).  This will grab most of the mess if you have sticky and burnt left overs in your iron.  You may need to let it cool and use a pastry brush to sweep out any remaining mess as well.

About Paul R Martin

As a self defense teacher, one of the central ideas is taking charge of your choices in life - and a healthy diet and lifestyle is a logical part of that. When I started as the the unofficial cook for our family, my cooking was all jar sauces and frozen foods. Now, though, I have progressed to cooking whole foods and scratch as much as I can.

It's healthier and cheaper in most cases; as well as educational. We've even started vegetable gardening. Grinding our own flour/meals thanks to the Grain Mill Wagon Challenge is another way of increasing the whole food/healthy choices that our family has been moving towards over the years. Taking the Wondermill Challenge was just the inspiration to take the next step toward healthy that I was looking for. I have a deeper appreciation of where the food I put on our table comes from. I have a better sense of how blessed I am to live in the modern world but also a lot of respect for those historical relatives who had to do so much more to put good food on the table. And, though I am blessed to live in a modern world, I also see the dangers of leaning too much on 'convenience' over quality.

Check out my blog

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