While traveling in Belize, be sure to take time and enjoy a local breakfast or two, as some local culinary favorites are served only during the first meal of the day. While breakfast often seems like the meal most people skip — or prepare in their room when trying to save money — you will definitely be missing out if you don’t have an authentic Belizean breakfast at least once.

Johnny Cake in Belize

One of the morning specialties in Belize is the johnny cake. Much like a breakfast sandwich, the homemade heavy bread is a staple throughout the country.

The johnny cake has a long history in other cultures, including Native American Indians and some Caribbean nations. Initially, johnny cakes were made with cornmeal and were often called “journey cakes” because they could stay fresh for long periods of time, and were therefore often taken on lengthy travels.

In Belize, johnny cakes are made slightly different than those found elsewhere. Rather than using cornmeal, Belizeans typically use flour, and perhaps coconut milk, in the dough. Johnny cakes are easy to find around the country, especially at local bakeries. You may even have them served during a tour, depending on the start time and location. Many of the all-day tours that depart from the Cayes include breakfast — typically a johnny cake with deli meat and sliced cheese inside. A basic, but satisfying way to start the day.

Johnny Cakes are great with Cheez Whiz and Marie Sharp’s hot sauce

You can also have a johnny cake with just butter, or be more adventurous and, at the recommendation of several local friends, try Cheez Whiz on it. Personally, this Examiner prefers the Cheez Whiz option, but has also been known to eat them open faced, topped with beans, scrambled eggs, onions, and of course, with the local Marie Sharp’s hot sauce.

If you are curious about making your own, here is a look at my first attempt trying to make johnny cakes at home. Much easier to enjoy authentic ones while traveling through Belize!

Homemade Johnny Cakes

About The Author

Erin is a freelance writer, blogger, and photographer. Her work has appeared in a variety of publications, including AFAR Magazine, Destination Belize, Viator, TripAdvisor, Trivago, and Roam Right Travel Insurance.

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