Ma Browder’s tea cakes

in true Southern style, simple and delicious…

Just baked, and slightly cooled, the tea cakes are crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside.

The flavor takes me back to the late 1970s. I can vividly remember Rosemary baking tea cakes, and I graciously thank her family for sharing the recipe.

As with many old recipes, the ingredient list is simple and the mixing/baking instructions are often missing.

My ingredient comments are added in ( ).

Tea Cakes

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups sugar (14 oz) (Domino prue cane granulated )
  • 2 sticks butter (8 oz) (unsalted butter, Land of Lakes)
  • 2 eggs (large brown)
  • 3 cups flour (13 1/2 oz) (1 cup White Lily self rising and 2 cups White Lily all purpose)
  • (1/8 teaspoon Kosher salt – my addition)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Mixing:

  1. Stir together sugar and softened butter
  2. Stir in slightly beaten eggs, one at a time
  3. Sift the flour; then add salt to flour
  4. Add flour/salt to sugar/butter/egg mixture, one cup at a time
  5. Using #100 scoop (slightly less than 1 teaspoon), drop tea cake dough onto parchment lined baking sheet
  6. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven 11 minutes (my oven; yours may vary)
  7. (tea cakes will rise, then begin to fall at about 10 minutes baking time)
  8. Remove from oven and cool 2 minutes on cookie sheet; transfer to wire rack to cool
  9. Tea cakes become crunchy on the outside as they cool

Notes:

I used a wooden spoon and then my hands to completely mix in the flour.

The tea cakes I baked on a buttered iron skillet were much more ‘rustic’ in appearance. They were crunchy inside and out, and equally delicious.

Recipe as shared with me:

Ma Browder’s Tea Cakes:
Cream together 2 cups of sugar and 2 sticks of butter. Add 2 eggs, 1 tsp of vanilla, and 3 cups of flour. Bake until just browned around the edges. She couldn’t remember the temperature exactly, but it was somewhere between 350-400 degrees.