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Topic: Recipe for Southern Tea Cake Recipe (African American)

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Subject: Recipe for Southern Tea Cake Recipe (African American)
Date Posted: 7/18/2009 11:31 PM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2006
Posts: 62
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I have a very dear neighbor who told me that tea cakes were a staple years ago in African American homes and wishes she could find some like her grandmother used to make.  I would like to make these for my lovely neighbor.  Does anyone have a recipe for a southern tea cake that  might have come from an African American grandmother or mom?  I've found several recipes but am not sure which ones to try.  I know that there was a whole cookbook on tea cakes from African American homes by a man named Elbert Mackey....would anyone happen to have the book and be willing to share a few recipes out of it?





Date Posted: 7/19/2009 1:54 AM ET
Member Since: 12/20/2008
Posts: 1,417
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• 1 cup Crisco butter-flavored shortening

• 2 cups granulated sugar

• 4 eggs, lightly beaten

• 1 tablespoon evaporated milk

• 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract

• 4 cups all-purpose flour

• 4 teaspoons baking powder

• 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl, mix shortening and sugar until creamy. Add eggs, milk and vanilla.

In another bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and nutmeg. Add dry ingredients to the batter 1 cup at a time and mix well. Dough will be slightly stiff. Chill dough for at least one hour for good consistency. Spray an ice cream scoop with vegetable spray and scoop out dough.

Using well-floured hands, take a scoop of batter and pass from hand to hand and shape dough into a soft round about 1/4 inch high. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for about 10 minutes or until teacakes are lightly browned and tops begin to crack.

Watch carefully so they don't overbrown. Let them cool for a few minutes before removing to rack. Transfer to a serving dish. Store leftovers in an airtight container up to 3-5 days.

Makes 12-15 cakes

Note: You may adjust the thickness of the dough to suit your tastes, making either a soft cake or ones that are more crisp.

- From Elbert Mackey



Date Posted: 7/21/2009 11:17 AM ET
Member Since: 5/14/2009
Posts: 6,852
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looks like they use butter milk on in this - the site is the second link

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Tennessee Tea Cakes
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A family recipe from a Raley's employee

1-1/2 cups sugar
1 cup shortening
3 eggs
1/4 cup buttermilk
1-1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
4 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt


Prep time: 10 minutes, Chill time: at least 1 hour

Cook time: 10 minutes

Stir together sugar and shortening until creamy; stir in eggs, buttermilk and vanilla. Mix together dry ingredients in a medium bowl and add to sugar mixture, stirring well. Cover and chill for at least 1 hour. Preheat oven to 350°F. Roll dough out 1/4-inch thick on a lightly floured board and cut into desired shapes. Place on a lightly greased cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes.

Makes 3 to 4 dozen cookies.

Nutritional Information:

(based on 42 cookies): 120 calories, 2 g protein, 5 g total fat (1.5 g sat.), 16 g carbohydrate, 0 g fiber, 8 g sugar, 20 mg cholesterol, 80 mg sodium, 3 points

Shopping List:

1-1/2 cups sugar,1 cup shortening,3 eggs,1/4 cup buttermilk,1-1/4 tsp. vanilla extract,4 cups flour,1 tsp. baking powder,1 tsp. baking soda,1/2 tsp. salt

Date Posted: 7/22/2009 6:40 PM ET
Member Since: 7/23/2005
Posts: 7,352
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I pulled a couple of cookbooks from the bookcase and found these in Aspects of Afro-American Cookery by Howard Paige.  


1/4 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
3 cups flour, sifted
2 tsp baking powder
Pinch salt
3/4 cup orange juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 grated orange rind

"Cream butter and sugar.  Add egg, beat well.  Add juice, vanilla extract, and orange rind.  Mix thoroughly. Sift dry ingredients together.  Add gradaully until well mixed. Place on floured board and roll thin.  Cut with a large biscuit cutter or large-mouthed glass. Place on greased baking sheets.  Sprinkle with sugar.  Bake at 350 degrees until brown.  Makes about 5 dozen.  Very economical for large families.  Keeps the children happy."

Date Posted: 7/23/2009 12:15 AM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2006
Posts: 62
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Thank you guys VERY much!  I've tried the first one...they were good!  I took a dozen to my neighbor but I haven't found out if they are the right tea cakes or not.  I'm going to try the other two recipes tomorrow after I work on a few old fashioned oatmeal cookie recipes. 


Again, THANKS so very much!




Date Posted: 7/23/2009 12:17 AM ET
Member Since: 5/14/2009
Posts: 6,852
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Let us know the results.  Whatever she says is spot on - I would like to try  -but they all sound good,

The receipe sort of reminds of russian teacakes - except you add nuts and dip in powder sugar when done.  hmmmm - I think I need to go off to bake.

Date Posted: 7/23/2009 12:49 AM ET
Member Since: 12/20/2008
Posts: 1,417
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Just so you know, I can't personally vouch for the recipe I posted. But, my best friend is Google, and I poked around the net until I found a recipe from the author (chef?) the OP was asking about.

These recipies all sound decadent, and I might have to try this for myself.

Date Posted: 7/23/2009 7:22 AM ET
Member Since: 5/14/2009
Posts: 6,852
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my best friend is Google

LOL -I have a friend by the same name!   I wouldn't know what to do w/o Mr. Google.

Mary (mepom) -
Subject: Paula Deen's Tea Cakes
Date Posted: 8/14/2009 7:51 PM ET
Member Since: 1/23/2009
Posts: 1,192
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Print Recipe 
Southern Tea CakesPrep Time: 20 min Inactive Prep Time: hr min Cook Time: 12
  min Level:
  Easy Serves:
  6 to 8 dozen cookies  4 cups all-purpose flour plus more for rolling
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large bowl sift flour, baking soda, and baking powder together. Add
remaining ingredients and blend well. Dough will be soft and wet. On a floured
surface shape the dough into a disk, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for
1 hour. Flour surface again and roll dough out until approximately 1/4 inch
thick. Cut dough into desired shapes and bake on a slightly greased sheet pan
for 10 to 12 minutes.
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