My Collection of Tea Cake Recipes


These recipes are as varried as the families that made them. Each family has their own version of a 'tea cake' and the taste that makes it uniquely their own. For me a tea cake is not a sugar cookie, not a cookie with vanilla added. But again, this is a matter of what you grew up eating and what your family considered a tea cake.

You have to be your own judge here, which one is what you grew up eating........ 


This is an old tea cake recipe and the one I use most of the time.


Tea Cakes, the Real Thing!

(Lotti Moon Recipe)

Original Recipe:
Three teacups of sugar
One teacup of butter
One teacup of sour milk
Four pints flour
Three eggs, well beaten
Half a teaspoon of soda
Flavor to taste, roll thin, bake in a quick oven.


I use this recipe as adapted below to make my teacakes. This is the little tea cake that I grew up eating.

**For us this was always important, where this recipe says cream, use cream!   These days it is 1 tablespoon of whipping cream. But grandmother would use real cream. She would scoop the cream off of our jug of milk, but I don't always have fresh milk, so I can't do that.  My next best thing is to use whipping cream instead.

I do not add vanilla when I make tea cakes.

 For the measurements, I use the normal amount of measured flour, the 2 cups of plain flour.

For the sugar, I use a glass 1 cup measuring cup, but fill it above the 1 cup measuring line, it is filled almost to the top with with granulated sugar.

When I place my flour on my rolling surface I grab a small handful of sugar and sprinkle that in with my flour. Mix that together and roll my dough out in that mixture.

After the 5 minutes of baking time, they will not look done, but don't be tempted to cook them longer, that 5 minutes is plenty. Let them rest a minute or so then remove them to a rack to finish cooling.

 This is the adapted recipe:
2 cups flour
1/2 cup butter
1 heaping cup of sugar
1 well-beaten egg
1 tablespoon cream

Cream the butter and sugar. Add the egg and mix well. Add the flour and cream. Dust a board with flour. Roll the dough very thin. Cut cookies with a round cookie cutter.

***I still do as my grandmother did and cut my tea cakes with a ring from an old ball jar.

Place on a buttered or nonstick cookie sheet. I bake my on parchment paper. Bake at 475 F for about 5 minutes. Do not be tempted to bake them longer. 6 minutes maximum!


Let cool on baking sheet a minute or so, then carefully remove to rack to finish cooling.

**There are times that I will add a 1/4 tsp. of vanilla extract plus 1/4 tsp. of almond extract to this recipe. But then I don't consider them tea cakes any longer, but now a sugar cookie instead.


Making the tea cakes: 

Here is my floured surface ready for rolling. This is a mixture of flour with granulated sugar added.


The dough once it is all mixed. This is my udated version of mixing, I now use my KA. Grandmother would have probably loved this convenience.



The dough ready for rolling.



Rolled dough.



I use an old ball jar ring to do my cutting.



On parchment paper, ready for the oven. I only bake a few at a time.


Hot from the Oven


Proof is in the pudding, so they say. This time, the proof is in the tea cake, here is my finished tea cake.....Yummmmm!!!!





Grandmother's recipe, that she almost always used, was like that  Lotti Moon Recipe. It seemed to be what all the ladies her age were using in our neck of the woods when I was a little girl. But here are some others that she was know to make and these all have vanilla added.    




2 c. sugar
1/2 c. buttermilk
2 eggs
1 tsp. soda
1 c. lard (Crisco shortening)
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
6 c. flour

Mix all ingredients before adding flour. Use enough flour to make stiff dough, adding one cup at a time until you have added at least 5 cups. Roll out thin, approximately 1/8 inch thickness, and cut large cookies. Bake for approximately 15 to 20 min. or until brown on top.


Tea Cakes


 (This one was in one of her cookbooks. It doesn't use milk or buttermilk.)

1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
2 tsp vanilla
3 eggs
4 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cream of tartar

Have oven moderately hot ( 350F) Lightly grease a cookie sheet.

Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add vanilla. Beat in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Sift together flour, baking soda and cream of tartar, then beat into creamed mixture.

Divide the dough into 3 or 4 portions and roll them out, one at a time, on a lightly floured board to a thickness of 1/4-inch. Cut with a cookie cutter and transfer cutouts to a greased cookie sheet. Bake in moderately hot oven (350 F.) until lightly browned -- no longer than 10 minutes.


Tea Cakes

***This one was adapted later on and uses self rising flour.

1 cup lard (Crisco shortening )
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 cups sifted self rising flour
1/2 cup milk

Cream together shortening and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla.
Add 1 cup of flour at a time then stir, to ensure proper mixing. Then add milk and blend. Spoon dough out with 1 tbsp, roll into hand and then flatten out.

Do not grease your pan. Bake in moderate hot oven. (350F) for 10 - 12 minutes




Updated Version of Old Fashioned Tea Cakes

3 1/2 c. self rising flour
2 eggs
1 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 to 3/4 c. crisco

Mix all ingredients together and knead until sugar does not feel grainy on hands. 

Work dough well.  Roll small pinches in your hand.

Lay them on sugar coated surface pat thin. 

Cook 10 minutes in preheated oven at 375.



Old Fashioned Southern  Tea Cakes 



   2 1/2 c. plain flour, sifted

   1/4 tsp. salt

   2 tsp. baking powder

   1/2 c. butter

   1 c. sugar

   2 eggs, beaten

   1/2 tsp. vanilla

   1 tbsp. milk


   Sift flour, salt and baking powder together. Cream butter, sugar, and eggs. Add vanilla, milk, and dry ingredients. Blend well. Place dough on a lightly floured board, sprinkle a little flour over dough and roll 1/2 inch thick. Cut with cookie cutter. Place on cookie

   sheet and bake at 350 to 375 F about 12 to 15 minutes.





Tea Cakes

3 3/4 c. flour

1 tsp. baking powder 

1/2 tsp. salt

16 Tbsp. unsalted butter, room temp

2 c. sugar

2 lg. eggs

1 Tbsp. vanilla

Mix dry ingredients.  Beat butter and sugar until fluffy.   Beat in eggs one at a time, scraping down bowl each time, then vanilla.  Add flour mixture and mix at low speed until comes together. 

Knead a couple of times just until smooth, the pat into a flat disk, wrap in plastic and chill until firm enough to roll. 

Roll and cut as desired.

  Bake at 350 about 8-10 minutes on parchment lined sheets.



Old-Fashioned Sugar Cookies

A recipe from a 1954 newspaper clipping.


1/2 c. butter

1 c. sugar

1 tablespoon milk

1/2 tsp. vanilla or other flavoring

2 eggs

2 tsp.  baking powder

1/4 tsp. salt

2 c. flour


Cream butter with sugar; add beaten egg yolks, flour, baking powder, salt, milk, and stiffly beaten egg whites. Add enough more flour to make of consistency to roll. Cut off small pieces of the dough; roll on floured surface, sprinkle with granulated sugar, cut out with cookie cutter and bake on greased cookie sheets at 350F for about 10 minutes.



Southern Tea Cakes

Recipe courtesy of Paula Deen, The Lady and Sons Savannah Cookbook.

4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 lb. (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla
*I add ground pecans to mine. The recipe doesn't call for it, but it is delicious.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

In a large bowl sift flour, baking soda, and baking powder together. Add remaining ingredients and blend well. Dough should be soft. Roll dough out onto a floured surface until approximately 1/4" thick. Cut dough into desired shapes and bake on a slightly greased sheet pan for 10 - 12 minutes. I make mine pretty large. They also freeze well.





1 c. butter
2 c. sugar
3 eggs
4 c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. vanilla
1/8 tsp. salt
Cream butter and sugar. Add slightly beaten eggs, flour, baking powder, vanilla and salt. Roll on floured board and cut. Sprinkle with sugar and bake at 400 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes.

Makes 9 to 10 dozen depending on size. This will make a fairly thick tea cake. For thinner, roll dough thinner.



Old Fashioned Tea Cakes

2 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 stick butter
3 c. flour (plain)
2 tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. vanilla

Cream butter and eggs together until fluffy. Roll out on floured surface. Cut in 3 inch rounds.
Bake at 350 F until brown, about 10 minutes. Lightly sprinkle with sugar before baking.
Will give you about  2 dozen tea cakes.


Old Fashioned Tea Cakes

1 3/4 c. sugar
1 c. shortening
3 c. flour
1 tsp. vanilla or lemon flavoring
2 eggs
1/2 tsp. soda
1/2 tsp. salt

Cream shortening and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, and add remaining ingredients. Knead dough on floured board. Chill. Roll out and cut. Bake 8 minutes at 325 F.