State-by-State Baking :: Rhode Island Johnnycakes

by | Oct 5, 2012 | State-by-State, State-by-State Baking | 5 comments

Earlier this year (during our last school year), for the state of Rhode Island, the 13th State to join the Union, the girls read R is for Rhode Island Red: A Rhode Island Alphabet and then completed their Notebook Pages.

Rhode Island Notebooking Pages
by Twinkle Toes (L) and Chiquita (R)

We have also been studying American History so we decided to make Johnnycakes for this state, inspired by The United States Cookbook: Fabulous Foods and Fascinating Facts From All 50 States:

“Pilgrim women were the first to make a Rhode Island dish called johnnycakes, which are fried cornmeal cakes, something like pancakes.  They were originally called “journey cakes” because they were small and easily portable.”

We used a recipe from Felicity’s Cookbook:  A Peek at Dining in the Past with Meals you can Cook Today.  The girls had just completed a Felicity Lap Book after all!   

I is for Independent Man.
Look up and see Independent Man
standing way up high,
watching over all Rhode Island
with clear and trusty eye.


adapted from Felicity’s Cookbook

  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • Butter to grease skillet
  • Favorite syrup

  1. Bring the water and the butter to a boil.
  2. While that happens mix the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.
  3. Pour the boiling water and butter into the mixing bowl. Add the milk and stir the batter until it is well mixed.
  4. Grease the skillet with butter and heat over medium-low heat.
  5. Drop 6 spoonfuls of batter into the pan. Let the cakes cook about 5 minutes, until they are golden brown. 
  6. Use the spatula to turn over the cakes.  Cook for another 5 minutes, or so, until they are golden brown.
  7. Serve with syrup. 

Flipping Pancakes for the First Time – Very exciting! 

Okay, fine… I’ll put the camera down! 😉 

Resources we used for this State Study:
R is for Rhode Island Teacher’s Guide (pdf)
Other Posts of Interest: 


  1. Jennifer Elia

    We are celebrating Rhode Island this week. We are making Coffee frappes (or as they are known in RI, cabinets). We have Johnny cakes fairly often, so I wanted something different. Love the pictures. Your state by state scrapbook is beautiful, making me wish I had started dong something like that.

  2. Jessica Gordon

    Ooh! Yum!! We almost made the Coffee Milkshakes!

  3. Anonymous

    How did Chiquita's hair get so long so quick!

  4. Jessica Gordon

    I mentioned in the post that we made these earlier this year… Back before she had her hair cut! lol

    I was really behind on posting their progress for the State Study. I'm still behind, but catching up! 🙂


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