Old-Fashioned Vanilla Tea Cake Cookies

Tea Cake Cookies Recipe

The Spruce 

Ratings
  • Total: 20 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 10 mins
  • Yield: 48 Servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
67 Calories
5g Fat
6g Carbs
0g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 48 Servings
Amount per serving
Calories 67
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 5g 6%
Saturated Fat 2g 8%
Cholesterol 10mg 3%
Sodium 59mg 3%
Total Carbohydrate 6g 2%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Protein 0g
Calcium 5mg 0%
*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.)

Tea cakes have long been a favorite cookie in the South. The name probably dates back to early colonial days and the British tradition of afternoon tea. The tea cake also played an important role in early African American food history.

They are similar to sugar cookies, made with basic ingredients. Many tea cakes are rolled, but these cookies are made with a softer drop dough.

Tea cakes let you swap available ingredients, such as butter for shortening, and molasses for sugar. Some recipes add citrus and spices. This version uses the drop method, resulting in two-bite confections that you can enjoy plain or dress up with poppy seeds and a drizzled lemon glaze. Serve the tea cakes with a cup of tea or an afternoon coffee.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 2 eggs (beaten)
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla extract

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients and preheat the oven to 425 F.

    Tea Cake Cookies Recipe
     The Spruce
  2. Sift the dry ingredients into a mixing bowl and whisk to combine.

    Tea Cake Cookies Recipe
    The Spruce 
  3. Cut in the shortening with a pastry blender or two knives.

    Tea Cake Cookies Recipe
     The Spruce
  4. Add eggs and vanilla and mix well.

    Tea Cake Cookies Recipe
     The Spruce
  5. Drop the batter by rounded teaspoonfuls onto greased baking sheets.

    Tea Cake Cookies Recipe
     The Spruce
  6. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until the edges begin to brown.

    Tea Cake Cookies Recipe
     The Spruce
  7. Serve and enjoy!

    Tea Cake Cookies Recipe
     The Spruce