Southern Tea Cakes!



Tea Cakes with Butter Cream Frosting!
 
 
Tea Cakes Plain!  
 
The term 'tea cake' has different meanings in not just different regions of the United States, but in different parts of the world.  However, in the southeastern region of America, the tea cake is a big sugar cookie with a cake like texture. 

When I asked my mother if she had a good tea cake recipe, she looked at me like I was a little crazy and said "Why?".  I told her that I get requests for these several times a week and I didn't really have a good recipe.   She sort of sniffed ( like only Mama can do) and said,  "Well, I know about tea cakes, but I wouldn't call it a recipe.  It's just a plain old cake like sugar cookie that poor country folks made for something sweet when they didn't have anything else.  Believe me, I have eaten my share of them back in the day."   I told her that some people say they remind them of their grandmothers or great aunts or  even mothers and want to make them.  Of course, Mama's response was classic Mama,  "They must have better memories of being poor than I do, but we can make some for them."   I take it that Mama was not a tea cake fan...lol.

However, as with most baked goods, she can make a delicious tea cake.  I had to tell her that even though she thinks tea cakes are ho hum, my husband and I loved them and just about fought over the last one of the ones she sent home with us.  Isn't it funny how the simplest recipes are sometimes the best?  Here is what you will need:


2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup sugar
2/3  cup vegetable oil
2 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Beat eggs and stir in oil and vanilla.  Blend in sugar until the mixture thickens.  Stir together flour, baking powder, and salt.  Stir into the oil mixture.   Drop by heaping teaspoonfuls 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.

Press each cookie flat with the bottom of a glass that has been dipped in sugar.  If you moisten the bottom of the glass with oil before dipping in the sugar it will give you extra crunchiness.

Bake 8-10 minutes.  Do not over bake.   Makes approximately 3 dozen tea cakes.

You can fancy these up by frosting them, but they are good just plain also.  This butter cream frosting is really good on them and can be tinted or just left white as this was.

Butter Cream Frosting

8 cups confectioners sugar
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup shortening ( used Crisco)
1/3 cup milk
2 tsp. vanilla or almond flavoring (the almond is really good for frosting the tea cakes)

Beat powdered sugar, butter and shortening in a large bowl.   Beat milk and flavoring of your choice.  If it's too stiff beat in more milk a few drops at a time. 

This recipe makes a huge amount of frosting so if you are just making it for the tea cake, you can cut it in half.  It will keep in the refrigerator for several days though. 



 


40 comments:

  1. I really love your blog. Your recipes are awesome.

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  2. This looks like the tea cakes my grandmother made and I adored them. She also made something she called "vinegar roll" that I would love to have a recipe for. As far as I can remember, it was mostly flour, sugar, butter and a tiny bit of vinegar. At any rate, it was to die for and I would love to have the recipe.

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    1. I believe whole "Sweet" milk, with a little vinegar(just to taste) can be substituted for buttermilk.

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  3. My Grandmother made these but she used a whole stick of real butter.

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  4. thank u i will try it soon.

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  5. I found a recipe for vinegar rolls have posted it on my fb page and tagged sweet tea and cornbread....fb name sheila sims...hope this helps...

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  6. My Nannie made them called Tea Cake Cookies! And she also made left and rights,apple pies small single hand size fried pies so good!

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  7. Thank you so much for sharing these!! I will let you know how they come out =) Your recipes are my favorite reposts.

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  8. thanks so much for this recipe! yes, my grandmother and her sister, my great-aunt made THE BEST southern tea cakes in the world. i miss them so much. i also miss my grandmother and great-aunt. heehee

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  9. FYI: these came out incredible!! I was out of baking powder and had to substitute a 3:1 mixture of baking soda & cream of tartar, but they still came out great. Gone within 3 days <3 Thank you very much!! They may be a poor man's cake..but they are absolutely decadent =)

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  10. I am so glad the tea cakes brought back such good memories for everyone. We all loved them also. My mother never made these when we were growing up, but when asked she really came through. I told her she must keep making them also. :)

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  11. My grandmother made tea cakes also,and they were great. She also made a homemade rice pudding,and I never got her recipe for it.

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    1. My mother made rice pudding and I never got that recipe, either. Wish I had it now. It was so delicious with a little milk and raisins in it.

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  12. Love this, it brings back a lot of memories..when my grandfather was dying from cancer, all he wanted was " tea cakes "...wish I had this back a few years ago..I tried so many different recipes for them...love your site...

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  13. This sounds good , gonna have to try them :)

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  14. These sound good and simple to make , gonna have to try them :)

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  15. My grandmother made the best tea cakes, she used butter and a pinch of nutmeg. My grandmother was a great cook, but, she didn't write any of her recipes down.

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  16. Thanks for all your wonderful recipes. I have tried many of them already and everything has been great :) I do the tea cakes substituting one cup of pumpkin and add pumpkin pie spice..frost or eat plain.

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  17. My Googa Mama made teacakes but instead of butter she used lard. She made them in a dough board and rolled and patted them out like bisquits. They were so good!

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  18. Can you use self-rising flour? Thanks!

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  19. The ones my momma made had buttermilk in them.

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  20. We called them "Sweet Cakes",and boy were they delicious.Mom and Granny also made a sauce to pour over cake that they called "DIP".I have tried to duplicate with a recipe I found for a vanilla sauce,but it just doesn't measure up.Sweet memories.

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  21. Can you use self rising flour instead of all purpose and the baking soda salt

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  22. Love your blog.Have been looking for awhile for recipe.Love to cook sweets like my mother did. Thankyousomuch.

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  23. I am from Mississippi. I have tried several of your recipes (all great) and I plan on trying these tea cakes, but the tea cakes I remember as a child that my great-aunt, Aunt Clara, made were a hard tea cake...not at all a cake-like sugar cookie, and they were delicious! Have you ever come across a recipe that makes them like that?

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    1. My grandmother's were also hard tea cakes that got softer a day or so later, if they lasted that long. I loved them, but I don't have to recipe either would love to find someone who does have it..

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  24. My grandmother and mother used lard instead of oil

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  25. I hope these are like the ones my Mother and Grandmother used to make. They kept very well in the cookie jar - the longer you kept them, the better they tasted. Of course, they never lasted very long! I have to make these and try them on the grands!

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  26. for harder tea cakes just roll in more flour and bake a little longer. for rice pudding and pillow-y tea cakes try southernplate.com. both of these old fashioned sites are wonderful! !

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  27. My Mother made tea cakes with self rising flour but she did not write the recipe down.My sister and I have been trying to find a good recipe thinks.My mothers were the best.We loved them.

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  28. my ex mother in law made tea cakes and I for one loved them. They were slightly sweet, plain and simple. Thanks for sharing the recipe. Your Mom sounds like my Bigmama (she wasn't big at all) and she didn't care for antiques, she said she grew up with that stuff and preferred more modern furniture.

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  29. My grandmother made tea cakes too. She used butter or lard. She rolled her cookies out and cut them with a cookie cutter. Often she added some lemon zest or lemon juice to hers. She also never wrote the recipe down. Thanks for the good memories.

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  30. I managed to get an old teacake recipe from a lady years ago it calls for syrup makes a delicious teacake she really did not go by a recipe, per say, but wrote down for me what she did

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  31. I have an old recipe given to me years ago by an older lady. She really did not follow a recipe per say, but wrote down how she made them using cane syrup. They make large cookies and are delicious!

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  32. I FINALLY FOUND THE RECIPE. One of the things I regret it not getting my Mom's tea cake recipes. We didn't have much growing up but whenever she made these I thought they were the best. I am so happy for this recipe. It brings back so many memories. THANKS!!!

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  33. My Mom made the best tea cakes. They had a cake-like texture and she rolled them out. I think she also put a pinch of nutmeg. This recipe is the closest I have seen to hers. The only thing is that I don't think she used vegetable oil -- it would have been lard or butter. I am going to try them and see. I wish I had gotten her recipe before she died. I used to love when she would make them.

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  34. My mama couldn't afford to buy me & siblings sweets so that was what we got after school everyday we loved them. Thanks for sharing

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    1. After school my grandmother would give us a biscuit that we would stick our finger down into the side of and pour some cane syrup into the hole. Oh My, It makes me hungry just to think of those big ole biscuits---cold but so good!

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  35. Jeannette YeagerMay 30, 2014 at 1:25 PM

    So easy to make and taste wonderful!

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  36. This looks wonderful. Growing up in Texas and driving to Louisiana to see my Grandmother, we always looked forward to her teacakes, but hers were more of a thin crisp shortbread. Her recipe called for buttermilk.

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