Johnny Cake (Gluten Free & Dairy Free Cornbread Pancakes)

Johnny Cake (Delicious Gluten & Dairy Free Cornbread Pancake) |

Recently I've been on a kick of taking old recipes that I used to have in my pre-paleo/gluten free days and trying to adapt them so that my husband and I can eat them. I enjoyed these breakfast meals so much as a kid that I also want to adapt them so that our future kids can also have them! Obviously though, there are a couple things that you need to take into consideration when adapting a recipe to make it paleo or gluten free. 

For example, Johnny Cake is a predominantly carb recipe and although I ate it as a kid as the main meal, it should NOT be eaten as the main meal because it does not represent a balanced breakfast of protein, carbs, and fat. I've learned a lot about this from following "The Zone", which is basically weighing out each of your protein, carbs, and fat options for each meal and helps keep me accountable (I've been meaning to write a blog post on that for a while now and promise I will soon)! Basically what all that means it that there is nothing wrong with making something like Johnny Cake, or pancakes, as long as you complement it with a protein and fat portion! So when I make this AMAZING Johnny Cake, I always cook something like an egg and meat scramble (or other protein & fat choice) to go along with it. This usually  means that we have a leftovers of Johnny cake for a couple days, which is perfect because it still tastes AMAZING with just a quick heat up in the microwave in the morning! 

Johnny Cake (Delicious Gluten & Dairy Free Cornbread Pancake) |

Also, I just have to put this out there - a lot of the Paleo community does NOT eat corn, so technically, this recipe is NOT Paleo. If you are strict paleo and don't want to eat corn, that fine - obviously this recipe is not for you. Personally, I'm fine with a little corn here and there as long as it is gluten-free, organic and GMO-FREE. Therefore, this recipe IS gluten-free and dairy-free, but not Paleo for that reason. I hope that you all enjoy it! 

Johnny Cake (Gluten & Dairy Free Cornbread Pancake)

Prep Time: 8 minutes              Cook Time: 25-30 minutes                      Servings: 4-5


1 c Cornmeal (Gluten Free, GMO Free)

1 1/4 C Gluten Free All Purpose Flour

1 tsp. double acting baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

1 teaspoon of salt

1/4 c Organic Coconut Palm Sugar

1/2 tsp. xanthum or guar gum


1 c almond milk

1 Tablespoon of Lemon Juice or Vinegar or 1 and 3/4 tsp. cream of tartar (to make the milk into buttermilk)


1/3 c honey

3 eggs, beaten

1/3 c coconut oil or butter (melted)



1. My favorite way to cook this is in my 12" cast iron skillet (makes it crispy around the edges and evenly heats it). Grease the skillet with coconut oil and place it in oven to preheat at 425 degrees. If you don’t have a cast iron skillet, you can put this recipe in a 9x13 pan at 400 degrees (this pan does not need to be preheated). I've tried it in both the cast iron and regular 9x13 and for some reason, it just tastes better in the cast iron! 

2. Combine cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, coconut crystals, and choice of xantham or guar gum in a large bowl.

3. Combine almond milk with choice of cream of tartar, lemon, or vinegar in another smaller bowl and set aside.

4. Beat the eggs, then mix in the coconut oil (melted) and honey.

5. Mix the milk mixture with the egg mixture, then pour it into the dry mixture and mix until just combined (do not overmix).

5. Pour it into the preheated skillet or pan as soon as possible (because the buttermilk is already reacting with the baking soda once it mixes) and cook for 18-22 minutes or until golden brown. If using a regular pan, cook for about 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Insert a knife into the middle to double check that it is finished and then cut, top with maple syrup, and ENJOY! 

Jenna Lodin |