Southern Tea Cakes
Updated: Jun 6, 2020
These are tough time we are living in. 2020 has brought us the Covid19 Pandemic and now as that is simmering down from its original boiling point, we have something new smoking on another burner… the issue of racism and discrimination.
I don’t know why racism has never gone away or even simmered down in this country… although I guess discrimination has gone on in one form or another since the dawn of time. That fact though does not make it right. Today we are more educated and informed than ever before, yet we continue to act in ways that make us seem uneducated and uninformed.
Have we not yet learned that PEOPLE ARE PEOPLE? No matter where they come from or what they look like? None of us are born any different than the next person. Our only difference is the perception of difference.
Let’s change that.
Let’s be better than that.
We need LOVE, kindness, empathy, understanding…oh… and more LOVE.
We need to see people as they are.
In honor of my African American friends, neighbors, fellow human beings…
I made some Southern Tea Cakes.
This is a recipe that goes way back in the African American History in the American South. This is a recipe that evolved from the original English Tea Cakes but made with the limited ingredients that the Southern Slaves were able to find.
These are traditionally enjoyed for holidays and special occasions as well as made to be enjoyed with a cup of tea!
Dorina’s Version of a Southern Tea Cake
3 cups of flour. (375gr)
2 tsp baking powder (8gr)
½ tsp baking soda (3gr)
1 tsp salt (5gr)
Zest of one lemon
½ tsp nutmeg(about 1.2 of one nut) (1gr)
1 cup sugar
4 oz butter (113gr)
¼ cup either buttermilk, milk w/ splash of vinegar or cream(61gr)
1 tsp vanilla extract (4gr)
½ tsp almond extract (optional)(2gr)
1. In one bowl, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, lemon zest and nutmeg.
2. In mixer- cream together sugar and butter until creamy. Add in eggs, buttermilk, and flavors. Mix together until all wet ingredients are fully combined.
3. Gradually add the dry ingredients mix to form dough.
4. Take out dough and divide in two. Form each piece into a disc, cover with a plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour to rest. The cookies hold their shape much better when dough is chilled.
5. Preheat oven to 350 F or 180 C.
6. Once chilled place dough on a floured surface and roll it out to ¼-inch thickness. Use a 2-inch round cookie cutter or a small mason jar lid to cut out the tea cakes.
7. Bake 8-10 minutes until bottom is slightly browned.
Enjoy with Tea, Coffee or a glass of cold Milk! <3
***Note that the dough should be a little sticky. Once you make your dough and refrigerate it will roll out nicely. If you add too much flour they will be dry.
***ALSO make sure you don’t overcook or this will also dry them out (then you should def try making the sandwich cookies out of them! LOL-see below!)… they should come of really light colored.
***I also found that if you take two of these thin cookies and spread with Jam ( I love raspberry!) or even Nutella and make a cookie sandwich, it’s a really nice variation!!!
***These are great because they are JUST sweet enough but not too much.
***If you replace some of the white flour with a little whole wheat or white whole wheat… make sure the dough is “wet enough” so they don’t end up dry. Whole wheat will soak up more of the moisture so you should add an extra spoonful of milk if you do add the whole wheat to the mix or a spoonful less of flour.
***You will note the “optional” ingredients. Personally I add Lemon zest to recipes whenever I can! And I just love love, love nutmeg. Without these “optional” ingredients you have probably what is closer to the ORIGINAL Southern tea cake… but over time different cooks have added subtle flavors to them. Honestly it only changes the flavor a hint. Try one of them. Try using all of them together. Any way you make them I guarantee they will be good! Make them your own and create YOUR family tradition!
***Oh...and they are really really pretty dusted with a little powdered sugar! Don't you think?
(this is not traditional... but I gotta make stuff my own... just as you should!)