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A basket lined with a grey napkin and filled with fried Caribbean Johnny Cakes.

Caribbean Johnny Cakes

Course: Appetizer or Side Dish, Bread
Cuisine: American / French, Caribbean
Keyword: Caribbean cakes, how to make Johnny cakes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 16 minutes
Resting time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 1 minute
Servings: 4
Calories: 474kcal
Johnny Cakes (Caribbean Style) are amazing little pockets of lightly fried balls of fluffy bread. Just a slight hint of sweetness. They are wonderful accompaniment for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Serve them hot, warm, or room temperature. So good!
Print Recipe


  • Deep fryer or skillet filled with about 1-inch of vegetable oil (with candy thermometer


  • cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter chilled, cubed, then brought to room temp
  • cups water divided
  • vegetable oil for frying


  • Sift the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder into a large bowl. Use your fingers to work the butter into the flour.
  • Pour 1 cup of the water over the flour mixture. Use a fork or wooden spoon to work the water into the flour. Add another ¼ cup of water and use your hands to start forming a dough. Sprinkle a little more water and keep gently working the dough. The dough will have a shaggy texture to it.
  • Transfer the dough to a floured surface and use the palms of your hands to knead the dough until smooth and elastic. You may need to add more flour, or more water, as you knead. It's okay if the dough is slightly tacky.
  • Form the dough into a ball and cover it with a kitchen towel. Let rest for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  • Meanwhile, heat the oil to 350°F.
  • On a floured surface, divide the dough into 13 to 15 pieces. Form each piece into a ball, about ¾-inch in diameter. Use the palm of your hand to press down on each ball of dough, flattening into a disc. Use your fingers, moving in a circular motion, to press the edges out and flattening the disc to about ¼-inch in thickness.
  • Working in batches, add the cakes to the hot oil and fry until golden brown on both sides, flipping occasionally. About 8 minutes. Drain on a plate lined with paper towels. Serve warm.



Try not to over-knead the dough, but then again, you don't want to under-knead it either.  Keep your hands nice and floured as you work the dough with the palms of your hands.  It usually takes about 4 to 5 minutes for the dough to become smooth and elastic.
Letting the dough rest for at least 30 minutes is important.  We don't recommend skipping this step.
If you don't have a way to check the temperature of the oil, then heat the oil over medium-high heat.  Toss in a little piece of bread. It should sizzle and turn golden brown in about 1 to 1½ minutes.  If it turns dark brown quickly, your oil is too hot.  If it takes more than 6o to 90 seconds, it's not hot enough. 
The Johnny cakes can be served hot, warm, or room temperature.  Store in an air-tight container with a lid for up to 1 week.  They can be kept at room temperature, or in the fridge. 


Calories: 474kcal | Carbohydrates: 97g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 8mg | Sodium: 590mg | Potassium: 320mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 87IU | Calcium: 107mg | Iron: 5mg