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Old Fashion Tea Cakes

An American southern tradition. This recipe is for tea cake cookies. I'm going to make these delicious southern tea cakes and emphasize the most important techniques to me. Sometimes a recipe needs special techniques to be followed not just the ingredients. Join me and watch the video.


This recipe will make about 2 dozen cookies so enough to share. You will need some extra time to refrigerate them, so keep that in mind. They can be stored in an airtight container.


1/4 cup of butter (unsalted)

1/4 cup of butter flavored shortening ( regular will work but thats adds more flavor) If you are not a fan of shortening use 1/2 cup of all butter. My dad would use shortening back in the day so I mixed them to keep that texture in the cakes.

1 cup sugar

1 egg

1 tsp of vanilla paste ( much stronger in flavor ) OR 1 tsp of vanilla extract

2 cups of all purpose flour

2 teaspoons of baking powder

1/2 tsp of salt (if using salted butter omit)

1/2 tsp of nutmeg

1/4 cup of buttermilk

  1. In a bowl mix in flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg. Set aside

  2. In large bowl cream together butter and shortening until creamy. *Important for consistency.

  3. Mix in sugar until well combined.

  4. Mix in egg and vanilla paste

  5. Add flour mixture to wet mixture alternating with buttermilk

  6. With a scooper or hands make small balls and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet.

  7. Make sure cookies are at set apart at least 2 inches apart for spreading. You want perfectly round cookies that don't touch.

  8. *Important Step* Cover and refrigerate the cookies in the pan for at least 1 hour or freeze for 30 minutes.

  9. When you are ready to bake pre-heat the oven to 325F. Pre heating is important. You want the oven to be ready to receive the cookies.

  10. Using a glass or cup flatten each ball to 1/4 inch in thickness.

  11. Bake the cookies for 15-20 minutes. Watching at the 10 minute mark for lightly golden brown bottoms.

  12. Remove from the oven wait 5 mins before removing from the cookie sheet. Remove to cooling rack.


  • Make sure you cream the butter and shortening well.. If using just butter cream before adding sugar.

  • Do not add additional flour when Kneeding. If dough seems sticky you can refrigerate and start again.

  • Pre-heat your oven. Do not add cookies to a cold oven to bake. You will end up with pancakes 🥴

  • Bake straight from refrigerator to oven. Do not need for cookie dough to come to room temperature. Your dough should be cold before placing in the oven.

  • Make sure cookies are 2 inches a part before baking

  • Refrigerating the cookies will help them keep their shape when baking.

  • This recipe will not give you golden brown tops only bottoms. Do not over bake.


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