Tea Cakes – The old fashioned way

Published 12:34 pm Wednesday, February 28, 2024

By Andrea Burroughs

 My mom recently told me that before buying packs of cookies from the grocery store like we do today, people made their own tea cakes at home. I’ve made plenty of cookie mixes at home before, but even that isn’t quite the same as what people used to do. The mixes come with most of the ingredients already mixed together. The most I’ve ever had to add was milk and maybe an egg. I’ve never made cookies from scratch before.

My mom told me that my grandma used to make tea cakes as did my great-grandmother, and she (my mom) remembered eating tea cakes all the time when she was growing up. I’ve never had homemade tea cakes, but now I’m interested in giving them a try.

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The following recipe will make some good, old fashioned tea cakes that might make you nostalgic for simpler times spent with your parents or grandparents.


  • 1 cup of softened butter
  • 1/1/2 cups of sugar
  • 3 large eggs at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
  • 3 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon of salt


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Then, in a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until it is light and fluffy, or for about five to seven minutes. Add the eggs one at a time and beat them well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract next. Then combine the flour, baking powder, and salt and gradually add it to the creamed mixture (the dough will be soft).

Then use a tablespoon to drop the dough on greased baking sheets. Spread the cookies out by two inches. Bake for about seven to eight minutes, or until the edges are golden brown. Let the cookies cool for a few minutes before serving.

Total preparation time is about ten minutes and this recipe should produce around five dozen cookies.

Enjoy the treats and the nostalgia!