With some basic ingredients that you have in your pantry, you can make a batch of Old Fashioned Southern Tea Cakes. I bet you can’t eat just one.
Old Fashioned Tea Cakes are a favorite cookie in the Deep South. Mention “Tea Cakes” to people from other locations and you are sure to get different thoughts on the subject. Some people may think about Russian Tea Cakes while others may think about green tea cakes.
What is a tea cake?
According to my favorite internet source (aka Wikipedia): A teacake in England is a light yeast-based sweet bun containing dried fruit, typically served toasted and buttered. In the U.S. tea cakes can be cookies or small cakes. And in Sweden it is a sweetened wheat soda bread served with butter, jam and often cheese. In India and Australia, a teacake is more like a sponge cake.
Russian tea cakes are similar to Mexican Wedding Cookies and are soft, melt-in-your mouth cookies that are covered in powdered sugar. They are very different from southern tea cakes.
Old-Fashioned Southern Tea Cakes
My mother-in-law grew up in rural Alabama on a farm and the recipe I have came from her. I like to believe that it is an authentic, old-fashioned recipe. My husband thinks this is the best tea cake recipe – ever!
No matter what, these are addictive little cookies. It’s difficult to eat just one. In fact, in making this recipe I HAD to eat three. Yes – three for the sake of research. And my poor husband – I texted him a picture while he was away and his response was “mouth-watering.”
How To Make Tea Cakes
To make these Southern cookie favorites, you need the following ingredients:
- self-rising flour
- vegetable oil
- lemon and vanilla extract
I prefer to use the King Arthur brand of self-rising flour because it is not bleached and they don’t use aluminum in their rising agent. It’s the only brand that I am aware of that has those two features.
To make tea cakes, assemble all of your ingredients. Place the self-rising flour (see the recipe for quantity), sugar, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Create a well.
Add the remaining ingredients and mix with a spoon until all of the flour has become moistened.
Pour dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead. You may need to add additional flour. Once the dough is no longer sticky, roll out and cut into cookie shapes using a cookie cutter or a cup.
Place dough on a baking sheet and bake in a preheated oven. Keep an eye on them closely because at 450 degrees, they cook quickly and can burn quickly, too.
Once they are a golden color, remove from the oven. Allow them to stay on the baking sheet/stone for a couple of minutes before moving them to a cooling rack.
These old-fashioned tea cakes with self-rising flour are sure to become a favorite in your home, just as they are in mine.
Old Fashioned Tea Cakes
- 4-5 cups self-rising flour
- 2 cups sugar
- ¼ tsp salt
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup oil
- ½ cup milk
- 1 tsp vanilla flavoring
- 1 tsp lemon flavoring
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Place flour, sugar and salt in a large mixing bowl.
Make a well in the center and add remaining ingredients. Mix until all ingredients are thoroughly combined. The dough will be stiff.
Place on lightly floured surface and knead. Roll out and cut using a cup.
Place on baking stone and bake for 7-9 minutes or until lightly browned.
Cool and enjoy.
Just one bite and your family might think that granny, grandma, maw maw, or whatever-you-call-your grandmother came for a visit and left you all with a batch of her prized cookies.
Tips For Making Tea Cakes:
- If you use a baking stone, they will probably take a little bit longer to cook. I also recommend that you use parchment paper for easy removal.
- If you use a metal sheet pan, keep a close eye on your first batch so that you get a feel for how they will bake in your oven. They will bake faster on metal than on a baking stone. Also, you might want to rotate the baking sheet for more even browning.
- The thinner the cookie, the crunchier it will become as it cools.
Are you a Cookie Monster? Here are some more delicious cookie recipes you will want to try:
- Nutella S’mores Cookies – These cute cookies combine the flavors of s’mores into a cute little cookie.
- No-Bake Peppermint Cookies – Like Thin Mint Girl Scouts cookies? Then you will not only love these chocolatey minty cookies, but you will also love how easy they are to make.
- Sweet and Spicy Chocolate Chip Cookies – These cookies are great for those who like a little extra spice in their life.