Moist Nutmeg Cake is fine without frosting

The Baltimore Sun

Mary Bertek of Traverse City, Mich., was looking for a very old recipe for Nutmeg Cake. It was her grandmother's recipe, which Bertek lost when she moved into her "new" home in 1955. For years she tried to find one like it, with no luck. She said the cake was very moist and delicious and needed no frosting.

Eileen Shrey of New Freedom, Pa., had a recipe given to her by her mother-in-law. The cake is fairly simple and has a strong nutmeg flavor.

Shrey's recipe called for using lard and sour milk and did not have a baking time, which gives you an indication of how old her recipe must be. I decided to substitute unsalted butter for the lard and used buttermilk instead of the sour milk because I thought they would improve the taste.

Recipe request

* Linda Watkins of Knoxville, Tenn., is looking for a cookie recipe that her grandmother used to bake. She called them Old Butter Cookies. She would take dough cut into squares and put a pat of butter and brown sugar in the center, then fold the corners into the center to form a pouch, brush with more butter and bake.

If you are looking for a hard-to-find recipe or can answer a request, write to Julie Rothman, Recipe Finder, The Baltimore Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278, or e-mail recipefinder@baltsun.com. If you send more than one recipe, put each on a separate piece of paper or attachment with your name, address and daytime phone number. Names and addresses must accompany recipes to be published. Letters may be edited for clarity.

The nutritional analyses accompanying recipes in today's You section were calculated by registered dietitian Jodie Shield, except where noted.

nutmeg cake

(serves 12)

2 cups brown sugar

2 cups flour

1/2 cup lard or unsalted butter

1 cup sour milk, buttermilk or hot water

1 egg

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons nutmeg

pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine brown sugar, flour and lard or butter until crumbs form. Reserve 1/2 cup of the crumb mixture to use as topping. To the remaining crumb mixture, add milk or hot water, egg, baking soda, nutmeg and salt. Mix until batter is smooth. Pour into a greased 9-by-9-inch pan, top with reserved crumb topping and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean.

Per serving: : 309 calories, 3 grams protein, 9 grams fat, 4 grams saturated fat, 53 grams carbohydrate, 1 gram fiber, 27 milligrams cholesterol, 155 milligrams sodium

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