- a kind of thin, flat, corn bread baked on a griddle
- any corn bread
Origin of johnnycakealtered (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)
nounNew England & Upper Midwest
Origin of johnnycakePerhaps alteration (influenced by the name Johnny + and cake) of earlier jonakin; perhaps akin to English dialectal (Lancashire) jannock, flat loaf of oaten bread, perhaps from Jan, variant of the name John. Our Living Language 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 called journey cake and Shawnee cake, is a New England specialty, especially in Rhode Island, where johnnycakes are often 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.