Vegan Rhode Island Johnnycakes

Johnnycakes are a classic, old-timey breakfast that is said to have originated in Rhode Island. You can do some research on the history of Johnnycakes. The first time I ever heard of a Johnnycake is when I visited the Lizzie Borden House (Bed&Breakfast Museum) in Fall River, MA. I learned that Johnnycakes would have been a typical breakfast for Lizzie Borden in that era.

Johnnycakes are really easy to make, and even easier to make vegan. If you’re wondering what the heck a Johnnycake is, it’s basically a cornbread pancake. That’s as simple as I can put it. Visually, Johnnycakes are smaller and thicker than a typical pancake.

This recipe makes six Johnnycakes.


1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup cornmeal
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon maple syrup (or sugar)
1/4 cup vegetable oil (or any flavorless oil)
1 cup water
1 cup unsweetened almond milk (or any non-dairy milk)
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Add the milk and apple cider vinegar to a small bowl and mix, set aside (this is how you make vegan buttermilk)
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt until combined
  3. Add the syrup, oil, water, vanilla and milk mixture to the dry ingredients (As you pour the milk mixture, you’ll notice it looking a little clumpy That’s how you know you made it right! But don’t worry if it doesn’t get clumpy; Some non-dairy milks react differently)
  4. Mix all of the ingredients together until fully combined (Johnnycake batter is quite thick, just like cornbread batter)
  5. Grease a large frying pan and put over low heat
  6. Scoop about 1/3 to 1/2 cup of batter per Johnnycake, and spread around slightly (Because the batter is thick, these can be difficult to work with. Just spread the batter the best you can so they’re about an inch thick)
  7. Cook the Johnnycakes about two to four minutes per side, until golden-brown on each side and have a fully cooked center, just like how you’d cook a pancake
  8. Enjoy plain, or top with non-dairy butter and maple syrup

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