Karl’s Cornbread & Claudia’s Johnny Cake

I am making ham steak tonight and my choices were baked yams or cornbread to go with it as the starch. I chose cornbread. While Jan will not touch cornmeal “mush” she loves cornbread.

Karl’s Cornbread

Karl’s Cornbread

I was thinking of making my mother Claudia’s Johnny cake, but when I re-read the recipe I changed my mind. After doing a little research on-line, I found that for most people “Johnny cake” meant a corn pancake. In my mother’s recipe the emphasis was on the “cake.”

My mother used a full cup of sugar and it was basically super sweet cake-like cornbread. It is no wonder it was so good, but Jan would revolt at that much sugar. I have adapted her recipe to be more health conscious.

Note: I will include my mother’s original recipe for Johnny cake below mine.

Karl’s Cornbread


1 cup corn meal
1 cup flour
4 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
¼ cup brown sugar

2 Tbs. melted butter
1 egg
1½+ low fat buttermilk


1. Measure the dry ingredients into a flour sifter and sift three or four times into a large bowl.

Tip: This trick thoroughly blends the ingredients so that you do not have pockets of baking powder or sugar in your mix.

2. Put the butter into a small microwave-safe cup and heat for 20 seconds on high. Let the melted butter cool slightly.

3. Put the egg into a measuring cup and beat it lightly.

4. Add enough buttermilk to make 1 cup of liquid and beat lightly to mix completely.

5. Stir the still liquid but cooled butter into the wet mixture.

6. Make a well in the bowl by pulling the dry ingredients towards the sides and pour the wet mixture into the well.

7. Add another half cup of buttermilk and fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.

8. The corn batter should be fairly wet.

Tip: If it seems dry add a bit more buttermilk, more is better than less.

9. Pour the batter into a Pam-ed 9 x 9 x 2 inch baking pan.

10. Bake at 375° F for 40 minutes, until the top is starting to brown.

11. Remove to a wire rake to cool slightly.

12. Slice into squares and serve.

Claudia’s Johnny Cake

Before I left home for the first time, I sat down with my mother’s recipe box and wrote down my favorite dishes.


1 ½ cup corn meal
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
4 tsp. baking powder
1 even tsp. salt
2 Tbs. shortening

1 egg


1.  Mix dry ingredients.

2. Chop in shortening.

3. Mix in the egg and enough milk to make a medium batter.

4. Bake at 375° for 40 minutes.

1 Comment

Filed under bread, Side Dishes

One response to “Karl’s Cornbread & Claudia’s Johnny Cake

  1. Pingback: Karl’s Caribbean Ham Steak | Jabberwocky Stew

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