One-Two-Three-Four Pudding


I came across a fun recipe while leafing through an 1877 cookbook for One-Two-Three-Four Pudding. The title intrigued me enough to try it. I’m glad I did.

Mrs. C.A. Malin’s recipe calls for one cup of butter, two cups of sugar, three cups of flour, and four eggs. I’m guessing this combination gave the pudding its unique name.

Cream the sugar and butter together. Beat four eggs in a separate bowl then add to sugar and butter. Add one cup of milk and stir until blended.

spices-834114_960_720Combine flour (I used all-purpose flour) with two teaspoons of baking powder. Stir in one teaspoon of nutmeg, the stir into the wet mixture. It will be a thicker consistency than cake batter.

The recipe just said to bake the pudding in a cake or pudding mold. I baked mine in an 8×8 cake pan at 375 degrees until it was lightly browned, about thirty minutes.

Leave the baked pudding in the pan or mold until the next day. Then steam it over a kettle of boiling water for forty-five minutes. I had never done this before, but the pudding turned out very moist.

Mrs. Malin also suggest topping the pudding with hot sauce. I don’t think she meant something with jalapenos!

Another recipe had a suggestion for pudding sauce. I creamed together 4 tablespoons of butter and ½ cup of sugar. Then the baker could choose between adding nutmeg, vanilla extract, or lemon. I chose lemon.

img_2361I added the zest and juice of one lemon. (Next time I will cut the juice to ½ a lemon because it was a strong lemony flavor.) I creamed all this together and heated it in a kettle, stirring constantly. The warm sauce was then poured over individual servings.

I loved it, but the lemony sauce hid the nutmeg flavor of the pudding. When I ate the pudding with no sauce, the pleasant nutmeg made this a yummy dessert for me. I didn’t add any cinnamon to the pudding and didn’t think it needed it.

I’d love to hear if you try this recipe!

-Sandra Merville Hart



Compiled from Original Recipes. Buckeye Cookery and Practical Housekeeping, Applewood Books, 1877.