Johnny Bull Pudding Spice Cake

This recipe doubles up on the cinnamon, allspice, ginger, and cloves, to pack that extra verve.

Serves 8–10

  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1½ teaspoons ginger
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • ½ teaspoon cloves
  • 1 cup suet, minced finely
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups raisins


  • Pudding mold

Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, and spices. Pinch together flour mixture and suet. In a separate bowl, whisk together sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Add milk to flour mixture, alternating with the sugar mixture. Stir in raisins. Mix well. Pour into the pudding mold, or if you don’t have a mold, any 2-quart mixing bowl that can bake in the oven can work. Just butter your bowl, pour in batter, and then cover with parchment paper and foil to seal.

Place your covered mold or bowl on a rack or saucer in a pot, so it doesn’t touch the bottom. Then add boiling water to cover ⅔ of the mold or bowl. Steam in the oven for 2 to 2½ hours, checking regularly to add water if needed. It’s ready when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 30 minutes. Turn out on wire rack or plate to cool thoroughly. Serve with hard sauce.

Hard Sauce

Makes 1½ cups

  • 1 stick softened butter
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons brandy (or whiskey or bourbon)

Beat butter until fluffy. Gradually add powdered sugar until incorporated. Add brandy and beat again until mixed. Serve immediately or refrigerate. If cold and hard, bring to room temperature to soften. Drizzle hard sauce over the cake.