Tea Cakes

Gale Reeves


Recipe adapted from Ma Browder's Tea Cakes.

I, a friend of the family, am honored to share her old Southern Tea Cake recipe. My college friend first baked cookies from this Tea Cake recipe for me in the early 1980's. I have never forgotten the taste of the little, thin cookies.

It has been a joy to bake the cookies and share with my friends, 30+ years later.


★★★★★ 2 votes

about 6 dozen cookies
30 Min
15 Min


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2 c
granulated sugar
2 stick
unsalted butter
large eggs
3 c
1 tsp
vanilla extract

How to Make Tea Cakes


  • 1Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
    (I did not use a mixer; I simply stirred the ingredients together in a single bowl with a wooden spoon.
  • Stir together granulated sugar and room temperature softened butter.
    2Stir together granulated sugar and room temperature softened butter.
  • 3Add slightly beaten (with a fork) eggs, one at a time, stirring well after the addition of each egg.
  • 4Stir in flour in three portions, mixing well between additions of flour.
  • 5Stir in vanilla extract.
  • 6Portion onto parchment lined baking sheet using a #100 scoop (scant 1 teaspoon of dough)
  • Bake until Tea Cakes rise and then fall. In my oven this takes...
    7Bake until Tea Cakes rise and then fall. In my oven this takes exactly 11 minutes to bake and become a light golden brown on the bottom of the Tea Cake, while remaining light in color on the top of the cookie.
  • 8Remove from oven and cool 2 minutes on baking sheet, then place on wire rack and cool completely. After the Tea Cakes have cooled, they should be crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.
  • Alternatively, bake the Tea Cakes on a cool iron skillet (rubbed with a thin...
    9Alternatively, bake the Tea Cakes on a cool iron skillet (rubbed with a thin layer of butter) for 11-14 minutes. Tea Cakes baked on the iron skillet will be much more crisp and crumbly, but equally delicious.
  • 10Additional Information:
    I bake using a scale; if you prefer to follow that recipe conversion, please see my blog Tea Cake post:

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