Old Fashioned Tea Cakes are a favorite cookie in the Deep South. Mention “Tea Cakes” to different people, though, 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.
No matter what, it’s an addictive little cookie. 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.”
(Please don’t tell anyone, but while I am sitting her writing all of this I HAD to go and eat another one. All for research. Yes, research.)
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.
- 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.