Aruban Pan Bati (Smash Bread) – Antillean Cornmeal Pancakes

Thank you for sharing!

Last Updated on May 4, 2021 by Chef Mireille

Pan Bati – Antillean Cornmeal Pancakes – Fried Cornmeal Smash Bread from Aruba is a great way to start the day with your scrambled eggs or for a complete Caribbean meal, enjoy it with Saltfish Saute or enjoy it simply with butter and jam.

Aruban Pan Bati - Cornmeal Pancakes

This post may include affiliate links.

My mother is from the island nation of Aruba, an island formerly part of the Nederland Antilles. The ABC islands, Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao are the three largest islands of the Nederland Antilles and the cuisine and people refer to themselves as Antillean. Sure there are slight differences from island to island, but you will find many common dishes between the ABC islands.

This Antillean cuisine is little known outside the islands and even in the larger Caribbean diaspora. I’d like to say I am doing my little part to bring a wider audience to the delicious foods of the Dutch Caribbean and my Mom’s birthplace.

Cornmeal plays a major role in all Caribbean cuisine. It is used to make everything from breakfast porridge to savory side dishes to desserts like Cornmeal Pudding. Yes, I grew up eating cornmeal porridge instead of oatmeal for breakfast.

Polenta in Italy, Cou Cou in Barbados, Nhopi in Zimbabwe and Antillean Funchi are all different versions of a savory cornmeal porridge. I’ve made the holiday version we make in Aruba called Tutu over here, but the basic version is called funchi and is a common side dish with any meal. Traditionally, Pan Bati would be made with leftover funchi from the night before. My mom remembers as a child flour and eggs would be added to chilled funchi leftover from dinner the night before. It would then be fried up and served with something savory like saltfish (dried cod).  Although this saltfish recipe represents Dominica, it is ubiquitous throughout the Caribbean. For a complete Antillean meal, you can have this Pan Bati with the Saltfish Saute recipe for breakfast!

The English speaking Caribbean has Johnnycake and we have Pan Bati,  which means smash bread translated literally. In modern times, instant Pan Bati – Antillean Cornmeal Pancakes is often made on the fly with cornmeal and flour and that’s what I’m showing you today.

Aruba Cuisine -  Pan Bati Recipe


making Pan Bati

light and airy and just a hint of sweetness, these are great with any meal

Pan Bati LR 1

You can easily have it for breakfast with some scrambled eggs for a simpler meal. Although I can just as easily enjoy it with Caribbean Stew Fish, I also like it for breakfast with just soft butter and my Strawberry Rose Red Pepper Jam.

Pan Bati LR 2

Pan Bati - Antillean Cornmeal Bread
Print Recipe Pin it for later!
No ratings yet

Aruban Pan Bati – Cornmeal Pancakes (Smash Bread)

These cornmeal pancakes from Aruba can be eaten just as easily for breakfast with jam and butter as with savory stews.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time25 minutes
Course: Breakfast, Pancakes
Cuisine: Caribbean
Servings: 12 people
Calories: 263.65kcal


  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 2 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups milk
  • oil for frying


  • In a bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt and sugar. Whisk through to get rid of any lumps.
  • In a small bowl, whisk egg and vanilla until well beaten.
  • Add egg and milk to dry ingredients. Mix until just combined.
  • In a skillet, add enough oil to shallow fry the pan bati.
  • It’s a very sticky batter so spray your spatula and an ice cream scoop well with non stick spray.
  • Using the scoop, place a scoop of batter in the hot oil for each pan bati. Cook on each side until golden brown just as you would for pancakes. Cook on medium low heat to ensure the inside gets cooked before the exterior is well browned.


Aruban Pan Bati can be eaten with savory foods as well as eaten as breakfast or brunch pancakes.


Calories: 263.65kcal | Carbohydrates: 30.69g | Protein: 4.66g | Fat: 13.58g | Saturated Fat: 1.7g | Sodium: 207.49mg | Fiber: 1.08g | Sugar: 4.18g
Did you try this recipe? Leave a comment below.Please follow me on Instagram @chefmireille or tag me #chefmireille with your pics! I’d love to share them!

Now I know you want to try some more Caribbean food! Check out my collection with over 100 Caribbean Recipes from the Caribbean diaspora!

Thank you for sharing!

Join the Global Kitchen Travels community!

Sign up for updates!

Thanks! Keep an eye on your inbox for updates.

Reader Interactions


  1. This is a great recipe. I’d love to make this bread and have it for breakfast with some delicious jam. Its always great learning so much about different places from your posts.

  2. Very interesting to know about the Caribbean islands Mir. Thanks for showing us authentic recipes from the region. The bread looks so good. I think it will make an equally amazing snack with a cup of coffee or tea.

  3. This bread is so different from the pancakes or bread we know of. I am glad you are putting these on your blog for all of us to read and try out. Bookmarked. I will try this out.

  4. Wow, those corn meal bread look so soft and fluffy. They look just perfect served with jam and butter. Loved all the Caribbean recipes you shared this week Mir.

  5. This pan bati is more or less like cornmeal fluffy pancakes. They would make a nice and filling breakfast too.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.