Old Fashioned Tea Cakes are a traditional Southern cookie that has been around since the 1800s. It’s a sweet sugar cookie with a cake-like texture and is prepared with the most basic and affordable ingredients available. This recipe was handed down from my great grandmother, Granny Mae.
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The History of Old Fashioned Southern Tea Cakes
The history of the old fashioned southern tea cakes can be traced back to the British and Scots Irish immigrants who settled in the southern American colonies. Once settled, they continued their British tradition of having afternoon tea served a with a cake or cookie. Over the years, the tea cakes evolved into a sweeter cookie which would be similar to the recipe handed down from my great grandmother.
Even poor folks could afford to make these sweet cookies because they were made with the most basic of ingredients: flour, eggs, and sugar. I know my great grandmother’s family was extremely poor during the great depression and I’m sure this treat was something to enjoy during those harsh years of living in poverty. My mom has fond memories of coming home from school to a plate of freshly baked tea cakes baked by her grandmother.
Old Fashioned Southern Tea Cakes
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Cream butter and sugar until creamy. How’s that for being straightforward and very succinct?
Blend in one medium egg.
In a separate bowl sift salt, baking powder and flour and then slowly add to the above mixture.
When the flour/egg/sugar mixture is almost mixed then add in the vanilla flavoring.
Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto a lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until edges are turning brown and tops are slightly firm (same as a cake would be when it was done).
- ½ cup butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 medium egg
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 2 cups plain flour
- ½ tsp vanilla
- Preheat oven at 325 degrees.
- Lightly grease cookie sheet with cooking spray.
- Cream butter and sugar until creamy.
- Add egg and blend.
- Sift salt, baking powder, and flour and add slowly to above mixture.
- Add vanilla when above is almost mixed.
- Drop by rounded tablespoon on lightly greased cookie sheet.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes or until edges start to brown.
If you would like to glaze the cookies:
3/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
4 tbsp water
Sprinkle with sugar and candied sprinkles while hot.
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