Johnnycakes with Spiced Cane Syrup

Riding the line between sweet and savory, these cornmeal cakes are great for breakfast doused with a generous splash of this sweet and spicy cane syrup.

Johnnycakes with Spiced Cane Syrup
Photo: Victor Protasio
Active Time:
25 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 25 mins



  • 1/2 tablespoon green cardamom pods (about 13 pods), cracked

  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, coarsely ground

  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

  • 1/2 cup cane syrup


  • 1 cup self-rising flour (about 4 ounces)

  • 1 cup self-rising yellow cornmeal mix (about 6 1/8 ounces)

  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1 1/4 cups whole buttermilk

  • 1 medium shallot, finely chopped (about 3 tablespoons)

  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh dill

  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh cilantro

  • 1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped (about 2 teaspoons)

  • 2 cups canola oil


Make the spiced cane syrup

  1. Combine cardamom pods, cumin seeds, and red pepper in a dry skillet. Cook over medium-high, stirring often, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Stir in cane syrup, and bring to a boil. Immediately remove from heat, and let cool completely, about 1 hour. Pour through a strainer into a bowl, and discard solids.

Make the johnnycakes

  1. Stir together flour, cornmeal, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Stir in eggs, buttermilk, shallot, parsley, dill, cilantro, and ginger until combined.

  2. Heat canola oil in a large skillet over medium-high to 350°F to 365°F. Drop batter (about 2 tablespoonfuls per cake) into hot oil. Fry cakes until golden brown, about 1 minute and 30 seconds per side. Using a slotted spoon, transfer cakes to a plate lined with paper towels to drain. Serve warm with spiced cane syrup.

Make Ahead

Make the spiced cane syrup up to a week in advance.

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