Johnnycakes on the griddle.Licensed from iStockPhoto
- a kind of thin, flat, corn bread baked on a griddle
- any corn bread
Origin: altered (by associated, association with Johnny and amp; cake) from north Eng dial jannock, johnnick, a bread of oatmeal or wheat flour from Middle English janok (from uncertain or unknown; perhaps Jan, variant, variety of Jo(h)n)
Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
also jon·ny·cakenoun New England & Upper Midwest
Origin: Perhaps by folk etymology from jonakin.Regional Note: When the Native Americans showed the Pilgrims how to cook with maize, they must have taught them to make johnnycake, a dense cornmeal bread whose thick batter is shaped into a flat cake and baked or fried on a griddle. Johnnycake, also spelled jonnycake and also called journey cake and Shawnee cake, is a New England specialty, especially in Rhode Island, where it is celebrated by the Society for the Propagation of Johnny Cakes. The Usquepaugh, Rhode Island, Johnnycake Festival features johnnycakes made of white Indian corn called flint corn. Outside New England the name johnnycake is best known in the Upper Midwest, but the food itself is most popular in the South and South Midland states, where it is known as ashcake, batter bread, battercake, corn cake, cornpone, or hoecake. The color of the cornmeal, the consistency of the batter, the size of the cake, and the cooking method can vary from region to region. For example, an ashcake, according to a Georgia informant, is “made by wrapping cornbread batter in cabbage leaves and burying it gently at the back of the fireplace” (Dudley Clendinen).