Tea Cake Recipe

tea cake recipe

Tea Cakes

tea cake recipe

I’ve baked many batches of cookies through the years, but family and friends tell me these southern treats are the best. The simple buttery flavor appeals to all.—Doris McGough, Dothan, AL

Prep: 10min

Total: 20min

Yield: 5 dozen.

Nutrition Facts: calories 74 calories, Fat 3g fat (2g saturated fat), Cholesterol 17mg cholesterol, Sodium 54mg sodium, Carbohydrate 10g carbohydrate (5g sugars, Fiber 0 fiber), Protein 1g protein.


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


Preheat oven to 375°. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 5-7 minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; gradually add to the creamed mixture (the dough will be soft). , Drop by tablespoonfuls 2 in. apart onto greased baking sheets. Bake until the edges are golden brown, 7-8 minutes. Remove to wire racks to cool.

Southern Tea Cakes

tea cake recipe

These soft, buttery cookies are a simple Southern classic.

Prep: 1020sec

Total: 2460sec

Serving Size: Serves 8

Nutrition Facts: Saturated Fat 7.5 g, unSaturated Fat 0.0 g, Carbohydrate 32.8 g, Sugar 16.9 g, servingSize Serves 8, Protein 3.1 g, Fat 12.3 g, calories 255 cal, Sodium 139.2 mg, Fiber 0.6 g, Cholesterol 0 mg


  • 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract


  1. Place 1 stick unsalted butter in a stand mixer (or large bowl if using an electric hand mixer). Place 1 large egg on the counter. Let them sit at room temperature until the butter is softened, at least 1 hour.
  2. Place 1 cup all-purpose flour, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt in a medium bowl and whisk to combine.
  3. Add 2/3 cup granulated sugar to the bowl of butter. Beat on medium speed with the paddle attachment until fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Stop the mixer and scrape down the paddle and sides of the bowl. Beat in the egg. Stop and scrape down the bowl again. Beat in 1 tablespoon vanilla extract.
  4. With the mixer on the lowest speed, beat in 1/3 of the flour mixture at a time until just combined. Cover the bowl and refrigerate the dough for at least 2 hours.
  5. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 350ºF. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats. Scoop out the dough with a 1 1/2-inch cookie scoop or into 12 (about 2 rounded tablespoon) portions, and roll into balls. Place the dough balls at least 3 inches apart spaced evenly on the prepared baking sheets. Bake one sheet at a time until the cookies have browned slightly around the edges and are firmly set in the middle, 10 to 12 minutes. Keep the second batch of dough refrigerated until ready to bake. Let cool on the baking sheets for 10 minutes.

Tea Cakes

tea cake recipe

Perfect tea time sweet cookies to enjoy with a cup of tea! They’re Southern tea cakes!

Prep: 20min

Total: 29min

Serving Size: 1

Nutrition Facts: calories 124 calories, Carbohydrate 17 grams carbohydrates, Cholesterol 57 milligrams cholesterol, Fat 5 grams fat, Fiber 0 grams fiber, Protein 2 grams protein, Saturated Fat 3 grams saturated fat, servingSize 1, Sodium 84 milligrams sodium, Sugar 9 grams sugar, Trans Fat 0 grams trans fat, unSaturated Fat 2 grams unsaturated fat


  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon milk
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • Sugar & freshly grated nutmeg for sprinkling on top


  1. In a medium bowl, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  2. Add the vanilla, egg yolks and milk; beat well.
  3. Whisk together the flour, salt and baking soda in a separate small bowl. Pour 1/3 of the flour mixture into the butter and beat until just combined. Add another 1/3 of the flour and continue beating lightly. Finally, add the last flour and beat until just combined—do not overmix.
  4. Shape the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
  5. When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350°.
  6. Lightly flour a work surface and dump the dough out onto it. Then, using a small rolling pin, roll the dough into a ¼” rectangle and cut out 8 circles with a 2 ½” round cookie or biscuit cutter.
  7. Reroll the scraps to get 4 more cookies. Place cookies a greased (or parchment paper lined) baking sheet, sprinkle lightly with sugar and freshly grated nutmeg, and bake for 9 minutes. The cookies should not have any brownness around the edges, however, they will be puffed in the middle. Cool on the sheet for 5 minutes before moving to wire rack to cool completely. Enjoy with tea.

How To Make Southern Tea Cakes / Old-fashioned Way


What is tea cakes made of?

Even though they’re called cakes, tea cakes are old-fashioned cookies made with with butter, sugar, eggs, flour, and vanilla. They’re perfect for afternoon tea or to enjoy with a glass of lemonade.

Why are tea cakes called tea cakes?

Tea cakes originated in Britain and were served, as the name implies, with afternoon tea. But in the South, the cookies evolved into a special snack. In some families they were served only on holidays.

What is the difference between cake and tea cake?

Unlike Coffee Cake, Tea Cake is not usually a “cake”, and comes in way more shapes and forms depending on where you are located. In England, a Tea Cake is usually a sweet bun that includes dried raisins or fruit peels. The bun, when served, is usually split in half and buttered.

What are American tea cakes?

In the Southeastern United States, a teacake is a traditional dense large cookie, made with sugar, butter, eggs, flour, milk, and flavoring. They are particularly associated with the African-American community and were originally developed as an analog of the pastries served to guests by white women when entertaining.

Are tea cakes African American?

History of the Tea Cake

Tea cakes are an integral part of African American food culture. Originating over 250 years ago, these cookies were a recipe passed down verbally through generations.

About the author

Helen is an author and editor at helenbackcafe.com, who has a passion for writing about recipes. She loves to experiment with different ingredients and cooking techniques to create delicious and unique dishes.

Among all the foods, pizza holds a special place in her heart, and she loves exploring different variations and toppings to create the perfect slice. Through her writing, Helen hopes to inspire others to get creative in the kitchen and share their love for food with the world.

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