Embracing the culture, traditions and people of Belize is very easy to do when you visit the country. The people of Belize are humble, hard working and open to sharing their traditions and cuisine to those who are willing to listen and learn.

This is what this blog is all about. Sharing the recipes of Belize with you. The simple recipes that will be featured are from an incredible woman, whom we grew to love as she was our cook during one of our visits to Belize. Her name is Ms P and every dish she served was a food lovers dream come true!

Belize Recipes – Johnny Cakes

belize recipes johnny cakesWaking in the morning to the Belizean sunrise, I have to say, is very moving. Our first trip to Belize, we were up early every morning, sipping on coffee and gazing at the sun as it rose over the ocean. The colors and different shades of orange and yellow are energizing. We planned our daily Belize adventures each morning with the sun.


We also looked forward to breakfast each morning. Ms P treated us to simple yet delectable recipes. Each meal she created for us, was made with fresh ingredients and love.


Johnny Cakes, is the next recipe Ms P shared with me. This recipe is served with breakfast, just like Fry Jacks. Johnny Cakes are made fresh each morning. There is nothing like having a freshly baked, warm Johnny Cake with mango jam to start your day!


Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F. Place one oven rack on lowest setting and place another oven rack close to the broil element of oven.



  • 4 cups, flour
  • 6 tsp baking powder, level
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup, shortening, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup, margarine, room temperature
  • 2 cups, coconut milk (or evaporated milk)


Mix flour, baking powder and salt together.

Add shortening and margarine, cut into flour mixture until it looks crumbly.

Mix in milk and form into a large dough ball.

Cut small pieces of dough and form into balls the size of ping pong or golf balls. Flour counter surface and place balls on flour. Cover with moistened towel and let rise for 25 minutes.

Flatten each ball to ½ inch thick, place on cookie sheet and lightly poke the top of each ball 4 to 5 times with a fork.

belizean recipes johnny cakes


The next two steps, you have to pay attention, as the Johnny Cakes can burn easily.

Place cookie sheet on bottom oven rack, bake until the bottoms of the Johnny Cakes are lightly brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Checking frequently.

Put oven to broil and move cakes to top oven rack for 3 to 4 minutes until tops of cakes turn brown. Be vigilant here, as this is the time the Johnny Cakes will burn if left unattended.


Cut in half and make into a breakfast sandwich with your favorite ingredients such as jam and peanut-butter or eggs and bacon!


Remember to add a pinch of love!


TIP: I was taught that when you are making dough, keep the ingredients warm. The warmth helps the dough to rise. If you have a glass top stove, pre-heat the oven and place the dough balls on the floured surface, cover and let rise.The warmth from the oven is perfect!


I am confident that you and your family will enjoy these Johnny Cakes. The coconut milk adds a wonderful hint of the tropics.




PS – Click here to download a PDF of this recipe.

13 Responses to Belize Recipes – Johnny Cakes

  • Geoff Malen says:

    This is makes so much sense. I never would of thought of it in that way. I am sooooo trying this myself!! Nice one!

  • Hanne says:

    Tank you soo much

  • Magdalen Eichhorn says:

    Thanks for making this recipe available. I am a Belizean who has lived away from home for 30 years now and so crave for tastes of home.

    • Cami says:

      Hi Magdalen,

      I came across your post while doing research for a presentation that I’m giving in Belize. It is for those with diabetes, and part of the presentation is addressing nutrition. I was wondering if you have ever tried or know anyone who has tried to substitute some of the ingredients for ingredients with less saturated fat? For example substituting coconut milk with light coconut milk and shortening with margarine (preferably trans fat free). I know that some things are better left untouched, which if that’s the case, that’s fine too. We can always review moderation and serving sizes in regards to Johnny Cakes.

      Thanks in advance if you can answer m question.

      • Vyne says:

        I’m Belizean and what I do when I can is make my coconut milk from the actual coconut, which is quite easy to do. I also use fresh coconut oil instead of margarine which, in my opinion, is no different than shortening because both products have to go through some process to assume its texture. Coconut oil solidifies naturally. When I do it this way, I know exactly what is in my johnny cake, and it tastes just like home.

      • annon says:

        often times, coconut water is used in place of coconut milk, which was used in this case

  • Belize says:

    Thanks for sharing this recipe! Journey Cakes are my favorite Belizean Breakfast!

  • kay says:

    Nice I’m going to make these today

  • Charlie says:

    Very tasty. Look just like the ones Auntie used to make.

  • Scooter says:

    The were, without a doubt, the flakiest, tederest “biscuits” I have had, in all my life. My dough was a bit wet, but I soldiered on; I just gave them a pat with a flour-dipped hand before baking. I honestly think I could eat the whole batch, myself!

  • Emilie says:

    How many does this make??

  • steve says:

    you say shortening–what kind–crisco or oil

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