What are tea cakes? Tea Cakes Recipe
Tender, light, not-too sweet cookies with a cake-like texture with a hint of nutmeg, vanilla or lemon zest. They’re not quite a cookie, but not quite a cake. Some say they’re America’s answer to Britain’s classic tea cakes. They look like a cookie, like a sugar cookie, to be exact. But the texture is soft and cake-like with a subtle sweetness that’s perfect for enjoying with a cup of tea anytime of day.
History Explanation of Tea Cakes
Who eats tea cakes?
Tea cakes are for everyone! No, seriously they are! But I think they are celebrated and enjoyed amongst the African American and Southern communities in the United States because of the history but tea cakes are for everyone to enjoy! If you enjoy a good cookie that’s not too sweet or just like trying new things, then you’ll love tea cakes.
How do you make tea cakes?
Tea cakes are made with simple ingredients:
- sugar (I use white and brown)
- vanilla extract
- pinch of nutmeg
They’re not as sweet as traditional cookies like my chewy ginger spice cookies.
The process of making them is much like a cookie. Butter and sugar are creamed together, followed by the egg and vanilla extract and then the flour and leaveners.
Refrigerating the dough is really important to ensure that the cookies evenly bake without spreading too much because the dough h is quite soft (you guessed it, somewhere in between a cookie dough and cake batter). If you can’t refrigerate the dough overnight, at least try to refrigerate it for 1 to 2 hours.
Tea Cakes (American Style)
- 1 sheet pan
- 1 large bowl
- 1 whisk
- 1 spatula
- 8 tbsp unsalted butter softened
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar (packed)
- 1 large egg
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 ¾ cup all purpose flour
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp table salt
- pinch nutmeg
- ¼ cup buttermilk
- In large bowl, cream together the softened butter, white sugar and brown sugar until combined with a whisk or electric mixer.
- Add one egg and vanilla extract and whisk well to combine.
- In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg and stir well.
- Gradually add the flour, a third at a time, stirring well with a spatual with each addition.
- Add the buttermik and stir well to incorporate. Sccop the batter out of the bowl, place on a piece of parchment paper or plastic wrap at least 13 x 9 inches in size. Roll up into a cyclinder shape and press the sides to flatten.
- Refrigerate until dough is firm, at least an hour or up to overnight.
- Remove the parchment or plastic wrap from the dough and slice into half-inch slices.
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and bake for 8 to 12 minutes or until cookies have expanded and are lightly browned on the bottm. Test by carefully using a spatula to look at the bottom of a cookie.
- Cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool for another 15 minutes.
- Serve and enjoy. Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Or freeze them in a freezer safe container or zipper bag.