These Southern Tea Cakes took me a LONG time to perfect! They are perfectly dense and thick, but soft and sweet. You’re going to LOVE these!
It took me a while to perfect these Tea Cakes. About a year and a half on and off. I mean, I wasn’t working on the recipe every day…geez..I just mean that every once in a while I would try again.
My results were varied…too dry…too cake-ish…too cookie-ish…Not enough flavor…too boring…
Anyway, I did it.
No Tea Cake is getting the best of me!
Now, let’s pause for a quick second for those who don’t know what a tea cake is. I could be wrong, but I think they’re a Southern thing. I live in NJ now and no one has ever heard of them.
Basically it’s a thick cookie-type pastry…it’s called a cake, but it’s not super cakey…
Sometimes they’re glazed, sometimes they’re plain, sometimes they’re dusted with powdered sugar.
I prefer glazed, because frosting rules my life.
You could eat them for dessert (obvi), breakfast (with coffee!), snack time (with tea or a diet sodie!) or basically whenever you want to feed your soul with deliciousness.
Anyhow, my friend Courtney told me of a place called Ham ‘N Goody’s where she said they made the most amazing Tea Cakes. So I did what any normal person would do…I ordered a few dozen and had them shipped to me.
Their Tea Cakes are super almondy. They were really good. I don’t usually prefer almond flavors, so I set out to make my own without almond extract.
Now, cut to present time. Recipe perfected and ready to be shared.
Southern Tea Cakes…
The dough for these is super simple.
I decided to make mine with vanilla beans, because they’re pretty and I just love the extra vanilla flavor.
I used the beans from one pod in the dough and another in the frosting.
Just roll the dough into balls and place them on a lined baking sheet. It’s very similar to a sugar cookie dough…
When they are baked they won’t spread too much, leaving them tall.
Go ahead and whip up your super simple vanilla bean glaze…
And then pour it onto each little tea cake…
See how pretty! You do this when they are warm for a thinner glaze, or cooled for a thicker glaze.
I let the glaze set up and then I couldn’t wait to dig in.
These are some of the best treats ever…deliciously buttery and thick.
- 1 cup butter, room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla and beans from one vanilla bean pod (optional)
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 3 cups flour
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 3-4 Tbsp milk
- 1 vanilla bean with beans scraped out
- Preheat oven to 350°
- Line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone mat. Set aside.
- In bowl of stand mixer beat butter and sugar together for 1 minute until mixed. Add in eggs and vanilla (and vanilla beans) and mix until incorporated, scraping sides as necessary.
- Add in baking powder and salt, continuing to mix and finally the flour. Mix until dough just comes together.
- Form dough into 2 inch balls and place on lined baking sheet.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes until slightly golden. Don't over-bake.
- Allow to cool on wire rack while preparing your glaze
- For glaze whisk ingredients all together in a bowl. Pour directly over the tea cakes.
- Allow glaze to set before eating.