Old-Fashioned Buttermilk Tea Cakes

tea cakes
Diana Rattray
  • Total: 2 hrs 20 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 2 hrs
  • Yield: 60 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
103 Calories
5g Fat
14g Carbs
2g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 60 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 103
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 5g 6%
Saturated Fat 2g 12%
Cholesterol 23mg 8%
Sodium 182mg 8%
Total Carbohydrate 14g 5%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Protein 2g
Calcium 25mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

These old-fashioned tea cakes are updated with electric mixer instructions and preparation tips, but the formula is close to the original. They are not overly sweet, so if you want a sweet cookie, add another 1/4 to 1/2 cup of sugar.

For easy rolling, lightly flour (or dust with confectioners' sugar) a piece of waxed paper or parchment paper, then flour the top of the dough. Put another piece of waxed paper or parchment paper on top and roll gently. I think this method cuts down on the amount of flour you would otherwise have to add to keep them from sticking.


  • 5 cups/ 23 ounces flour (spoon and sweep method)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter (softened)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt; mix well to blend. Set aside.

  3. In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light.

  4. Beat in the eggs and vanilla until smooth and well mixed.

  5. Add the flour mixture, alternating with the buttermilk, to make a stiff dough. 

  6. Shape the dough into three disk shapes and wrap in plastic wrap; refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours, or overnight.

  7. Heat the oven to 350 F. Line baking sheet(s) with parchment paper or grease lightly.

  8. Take a disk out of the refrigerator and roll out on a floured surface or between sheets of floured waxed paper to about 1/4-inch thickness and cut out with cutters.

  9. Bake until lightly browned around the edges - about 12 to 14 minutes.

  10. Cool and store in airtight containers.

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