Friday, December 21, 2012

Old Fashion Southern Style Tea Cakes (The way I remember them)

Seasons greetings! After today the kids will be on Christmas break, so I decided to bake something special for the teachers. It doesn't get any better than a fresh out the oven southern tea cake.

Now, on my quest to recreate my Big Momma's tea cake recipe, I've had quite a few misses as well as some hits that just didn't taste like a tea cake. The recipe that I am sharing with you today is an adaptation of several recipes mixed with extra flavors I remember tasting in my Big Momma's cookies. These cookies aren't as hard as you may think, but you must roll them and cut them for it to be an authentic southern style tea cake. If you make them, let me know what you think by leaving a comment below. Let me know what you think this recipe needs.

  • 1 1/2 cup of butter flavored shorting (to me this held the moister better than butter, also I used the pre-measured sticks)
  • 2 cups of sugar (trust me, you need all 2 cups, I tried with 1 3/4 cups and it wasn't sweet enough)
  • 3 room temp eggs
  • 5 cups of cake flour (cake flour makes the inside of the cookie softer to me)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 4 tbsp buttermilk
  • 1/4 tsp of lemon extract (this is that little something I added that none of the other recipes had, this is what was missing) (I've recently changed my mind about the lemon, omit this ingredient)
  • I also added a few sprinkle of cinnamon and a small dash of nutmeg, this is something the other recipes were missing as well. I'd same maybe 1/2 tsp of cinnamon and just a dash of nutmeg. The cookies really do need this hint of spice to me.
In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and baking powder. Mix it all together with a fork.

Cream your shorting and sugar until it well incorporated, then add your eggs one at a time mixing each egg in well. One at a time add your vanilla extract, lemon extract, cinnamon and nutmeg, mixing well after you add each ingredient. When all that is mixed well add your buttermilk one tbsp at a time. After mixing in the buttermilk stop your mixer. Fold in your dry ingredients by hand with a spoon until the mixture is wet, then you can mix it with your mixer without flour flying all over the place. Once everything is mixed well, form a ball with your dough in the mixing bowl, cover it and place it in the fridge for a hour or two. This is going to make your dough better to work with.

(1 or 2 hours later)Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. (this may seem high, but it will give you a crisp texture on the outside while remaining soft on the inside) Line your baking pans with parchment paper.

Sprinkle your work space with flour and have flour on stand by for your rolling pin and hands. Dump your dough on your workspace and sprinkle it with a little flour too. Work your dough from a ball to a disk type shape and then roll to a little under 1/2 inch thickness. Once you have the dough rolled out you are ready to start cutting. I used a small glass to cut mine into the round shape. (You will need to dip you cutter into flour from time to time) Place your cut cookie on the baking pan as you go leaving about 2 inches between cookies. Bake these cookies for 10 minutes.

It sounds like a lot, but it really goes fast and its well worth the effort.

PS. I'm going to learn how to post my temp and measurements in the European setting for all my UK buddies. :)

Hungraciously Yours,
MiMi J


  1. I love it when my recipes are tried out. Thank for your feed back L.B.

    My new year's resolution for 2012 was to bake from scratch. Whew! I just barely got it in. LOL! My first batch of tea cakes, thanks to Mcj Johnson and her blog. Yummy stuff!!

  2. You must be from near Louisiana cause this is the only tea cake recipe I've found with spices. I just finished the first few batches and they're great! Just like my grandmother's. Just as a personal preference I probably won't sift the flour next time, I like the denser texture.

  3. Thank you for your so much for your comment Dan! My grandmother is from Louisiana, she taught me a lot about cooking. I've changed this recipe up so many times, but I think I'm close to perfect. I agree with you on the sifting, I've started using Swann flour without sifting. Mine are softer than my big Momma's, but I like them like that.