Yaniqueques (Fried Crispy Johnny Cake Tortillas)

Yaniqueques Recipe (Fried Crispy Johnny Cake Tortillas)

What is a yaniqueque, and where did it come from?

You know what? there seems to be a lot of theories and quite the disagreement. One popular theory is that it came from the British West Indies and it is a corruption of the name Johnny Cakes, a dish with which it shares very little in common.

Yaniqueques Recipe (Fried Crispy Johnny Cake Tortillas)

Other equally argued-for theories exists. But I am not a food historian and I am confortable accepting that the answers to these questions are not quite vital.

There are also several variations of the same dish throughout the island, to further complicate things. This is the yaniqueque as I know it.

Yaniqueques Recipe (Fried Crispy Johnny Cake Tortillas)

These delicious, crunchy, flaky, deep-fried fast food wonders are a must-have on a visit to Boca Chica, the popular Dominican beach.

Aunt Clara
Yaniqueques Recipe (Fried Crispy Johnny Cake Tortillas)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Street food and beach fare. You can find large yaniqueques (or yanikekes) sold as snacks, small ones to serve with cocoa.
Serves: 6 yaniqueques (aprox)
  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • ¼ cup of water
  • 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil (soy, corn or canola) for the dough
  • 2 cups of vegetable oil (soy, corn or canola) (for frying)
  • 1 cup of flour for working the dough and sprinkling on the counter.
  1. Mix the baking powder, salt and flour.
  2. Pour in water and the oil for the dough and mix in. Work the dough on a lightly floured surface until everything is well mixed, don't knead the dough (add some flour if it is too sticky or water if it is too dry).
  3. Let dough rest for an hour covered in plastic film.
  4. Extend with a rolling pin on a lightly floured surface until it is very thin, nearly transparent. The thinner it is, the crispier it will be. If the dough is sticking, dust with flour as it becomes necessary.
  5. Cut into circles and punch holes in them with a fork. If the circles are a bit misshapen when you lift them, don't worry, that's how they look when you buy from street vendors.
  6. Heat oil over medium heat. Fry the circles of dough until they turn golden brown, rest on a paper towel to absorb excess oil.
  7. Sprinkle with sea salt and serve.
Yaniqueques come in all sizes, from the LPs (those were some big disks which were popular before cassettes and CDs, for you whippersnappers) to little ones served with chocolate de agua for breakfast. Make yours in whichever size you like. I prever mine about 5" in diameter as they are easier to handle.
Receive Aunt Clara’s Updates
Find out about new recipes, articles, and sometimes exclusive content.

{ 26 comments… add one }

  • Jaris June 17, 2015, 8:03 PM

    ¿Los yaniqueques se pueden cocinar en el horno?
    Creo que recuerdo que mi vecina una vez los hizo al horno cuando yo estaba pequeña. Vi que ella hizo una bolita y le hizo una rasgadura para que abrieran. No estoy segura. Hace mucho tiempo.

  • Giana BROWN June 15, 2015, 7:03 PM

    Años que no los como y comtenta de que comparte tu página con nos.

  • ana soriano June 14, 2015, 9:51 PM

    flor dad is cocolo I do not know that country!!!

  • Ana soriano June 14, 2015, 9:47 PM

    I use peanut oil is more dominican.

  • Xiomara Chang June 14, 2015, 7:51 PM

    the last ingredient in the Yaniqueque recipe shoud be 1 cup of flour instead of flower. Please correct the spelling. Thanks 😉

  • julie December 28, 2014, 7:08 PM

    Made these into pastelitos they were the bomb

  • Fior December 10, 2013, 9:48 AM

    Dominicana y Sanpedrista. My Mom is dominicana pura And My dad cocolo. My dad remember his Mom doing this with baking powder. My mom love it with yeast. I personal like it the flavor with the yeast but love the texture of the one made with baking powder. I made this with self raising flower and add it a 1/2 teaspoon for each 2 cup and they were nice and soft with a small crunchy ends.

  • Fior December 9, 2013, 11:06 PM

    Dominicana y Sanpedrista. My Mom is dominicana pura And My dad cocolo. My dad remember his Mom doing this with baking poder. My mom love it with yeast. I personal like it the flavor with the yeast but love the texture of the one made with baking poder.

    • Aunt Clara March 21, 2014, 10:08 AM

      I have never seen yeast being used. How is the taste/texture?

  • Jenny December 1, 2013, 10:19 PM

    Thanks for this recipe, came out good but it was too salty. At least for my taste. Next time I’ll cut in half.

  • Francisco lugo August 28, 2013, 4:27 PM

    Thanks for the “Yanikeke”Recipe. I have been looking for a restaurant that serves this tasty but simple dish and could not find it.

  • liz September 21, 2012, 10:55 AM

    Dear Aunt Clara,

    I would like to sincerely thank you for making all of these wonderful traditional recipes available and for representing our culture(sense of humor & hospitality) so graciously. As a Dominican and a chef, I am grateful. Keep up the great work. It would be my pleasure to meet in person someday over yaniquques and hot chocolate.
    A Fan

  • Jason August 19, 2012, 10:57 PM

    They know what this is in England….

  • Gina January 24, 2012, 10:56 AM

    I made this and didn't like the results, I had to add more water and baking powder.

    • Aunt Clara January 24, 2012, 11:01 AM

      It's good it mentions adding more water if necessary on step 3.

  • juli December 6, 2011, 11:21 AM

    i followed this recipe and it was so good my children and husband ask for more im also making some tonight for my husbands work friends thnx. i am no good in the kitchen and its a shame as a dominican but you have bailed me out thnx :)

  • Melania November 20, 2011, 7:56 PM

    Ohhhh this did to come out the way it looks it was so cruncy it could not be eaten lol I wonder what I did wrong we really need those step by step pictures lol

  • Aunt Clara October 26, 2011, 5:25 PM

    As a matter of fact I did, that's where the pictures came from.

    The oil is for deep frying (it is mentioned in the recipe). Deep frying requires that things be, er… deep in oil. Have you ever seen it fried in streets stands? They usually use about a galon of oil.

  • Chica October 26, 2011, 3:56 PM

    2 CUPS OF OIL!!! I am Dominican born and raised.. I have never seen anyone put so much oil in this recipe.. Aunt Clara do you really make this recipe??

  • Karen October 5, 2011, 12:28 PM

    I tried these and had a horrible result. My mother made these, but used a different recipe (she was from the Dominican Republic, San Pedro de Macoris. I wanted to get the crunchy effect, but got a rubbery result. I measured all the ingredients first, including the ice cold water. I ended up having to use about 3 more tablespoons water (the mixture was too crumbly). When I fried them they rose up (like a pocket bread). After that I used small cuts to reduce that, but within a minute after being on the paper towel, the dough was anything but crunchy. I would appreciate any tips for what to watch out for. They cooked very fast too! Almost as soon as I put them in the oil, it was time to turn it.

    • Aunt Clara October 11, 2011, 2:48 AM

      I am not sure what the problem was, Karen. When I have the time I will make step by step pictures of the process.

  • Dielma Delgado June 3, 2011, 5:19 AM

    Ayy mama ! Extra~o tanto comerme un buen yaniqueque ! :)

  • Aunt Clara January 24, 2012, 11:02 AM

    It depends on the frying pan you use and the temperature of the oil. It is impossible to say exactly how long it needs to be fried in each possible scenario. Just fry until they are golden brown (see pictures).