Next Up from Iowa….

Pin It

That poor Iowa cookbook I wrote about on my previous blog from Friday.  I wore it out even more and had to add more tape here and there.  But I couldn’t put it down all weekend!  There are so many fascinating old recipes to be made.  I selected this particular one because I happened to have all the ingredients on hand and it sounded interesting.  There is an entire chapter simply called “Puddings” even though there is not one pudding as we think of pudding.  There is even a poem included about puddings.  Over five pages you will find plum pudding, date pudding, sauces for pudding, cherry pudding, lemon fluff pudding (that one is next on my list), raisin pudding, and several suet puddings, which I doubt I will ever try.

I made the “Cottage Pudding with Hot Nutmeg Sauce.”  I love nutmeg.  Is there anything more fragrant than freshly grated nutmeg?  As I mentioned, there was nothing pudding about the pudding  recipes.  The cottage pudding was actually just a nice white cake with a beautiful soft crumb and a nice golden exterior, baked in an 8-inch square pan.

Iowa pudding cake in pan

The hot nutmeg sauce was wonderful and so easy to make.  Freshly grated nutmeg is best, but prepared is fine too.  The recipe calls for 1/2 teaspoon or more; I went on the more side.

Nutmeg sauce in bowl

I called my mom to tell her I was making another recipe from the Iowa cookbook as it belonged to her Aunt Margie, my Great Aunt, who was my grandmother’s sister.  I told mom about the hot nutmeg sauce and she remembered that her mother used to make it often.  So often in fact, that my grandfather used to ask for it but didn’t know what it was called.  My mom said he called it something like “gunk.”  He would say, “Do you have any of that gunk sauce?”  Mom said it wasn’t gunk, but some funny word like that.  So of course now I can think of nothing but gunk sauce.  So gunk sauce it will be…

Mom said it’s great on gingerbread.  I can imagine it’s also good on apple pie, pound cake, ice cream, pancakes, waffles, etc.  Use your imagination and go gunk something up.  But here’s how it looks if you make it like the recipe in the book.


Iowa pudding cake piece with sauce 1


Iowa pudding cake on cookbook page

This will make it easier to see and I put ingredients in correct order:

5.0 from 3 reviews
Cottage Pudding with Hot Nutmeg Sauce
  • For Pudding:
  • 2 cups sifted cake flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ⅓ cup shortening (solid Crisco)
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • For Hot Nutmeg Sauce:
  • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
  • ½ cup sugar
  • Few grains of salt
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon or more grated nutmeg
  1. For Cottage Pudding:
  2. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8-inch square pan.
  3. Sift flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar into mixing bowl. Add shortening and mix to blend into flour mixture. (by hand or in electric mixer). Combine milk and vanilla; add to flour/shortening mixture. Beat on low speed for 2 minutes or by hand 150 strokes. Add the egg and beat another minute. Pour into prepared pan and bake for about 40-45 minutes or until a tester comes out clean when inserted in the center. Place pan on wire rack while preparing nutmeg sauce.
  4. For Hot Nutmeg Sauce:
  5. Combine cornstarch, sugar, and salt in a small saucepan. Stir in boiling water. Cook, stirring constantly, until thickened. Remove from heat and beat in butter, vanilla, and nutmeg. Serve hot with pieces of warm cottage pudding.


, , ,

9 Responses to Next Up from Iowa….

  1. April 27, 2015 at 6:24 am #

    I’m with you on the nutmeg, love it!

  2. April 2, 2017 at 3:26 am #

    This looks delicious and so pretty! I so enjoy reading your stories. I could easily sit all day and read everything you have written. It brings me such joy.
    Thank you so much!

    • April 2, 2017 at 10:08 am #

      You are so kind, Lisa! Thanks for making my day! It’s people like you who make writing the blog worthwhile.

  3. November 5, 2019 at 2:11 am #

    I love this recipe! I lost mine years ago and have been searching for it. This is it! Exactly. Thank you so much!!!!

    • November 5, 2019 at 8:07 am #

      Julie, I am thrilled you found the blog with a favorite recipe. You are so welcome! I love this one too.

  4. February 16, 2022 at 10:09 am #

    My Grannie made this for her bread pudding! A wonderful combination! Thanks for sharing!!!

    • February 17, 2022 at 2:09 am #

      Thanks for sharing, Lucinda! I love hearing about Grandma recipes. They are the best!

  5. November 13, 2023 at 3:06 pm #

    My mother made this all the time when I was a kid in the fifties. She called it Cottage Cake. I’m so glad to have the recipe for the nutmeg sauce, as she has long since passed. Thank you!

    • November 13, 2023 at 11:14 pm #

      Hi Terry- I hope making the cake and nutmeg sauce bring back wonderful memories for you. It’s such a comforting cake and the sauce makes it even more special. Thank you for writing.

Leave a Reply

Rate this recipe: