No. 57Recipe Card Posted on 11 Comments

Southern Tea Cakes

Southern Tea Cakes by Bijouxs

I don’t really have any evidence, I can’t really prove it but I think there is a slight chance I might be little Southern. Far too many Southern-style recipes pop up at family gatherings for me not to be wondering…what is this love of food from the sweet South all about? One such love is Southern Tea Cakes – thin, crisp old-fashioned little jewels – a perfect summer Bijouxs.

First, to clear any confusion, tea cakes from the South are cookies. Buttery, thin crisps that just get better with time. On Fridays, which was baking day at Grandma’s, cookies and pies were prepared for the weekend. Simple glass jars, the kind with screw top lids, housed the cookies, and a crisp simple cookie like southern tea cakes was always waiting; ready to be served to guests, or snatched as a quick little bite.

There is no written record of the recipe my Grandmother used to make her thin, buttery crisps, but many years later I discovered Lee Bailey’s tea cake recipe in Country Weekends, and think this recipe is as close as it can get. He describes tea cakes as “unassuming” and I agree; however when served with fruit, ice cream or a strong cup of coffee they really do come into their own. (Lee Bailey is Southern and I have all his cookbooks, curious)

The beauty of these little tea cake jewels is that they are made from pantry basics. You know you are working with a very old recipe when no additional flavorings, such as vanilla etc. are used – the flavors are driven by the simple core ingredients – so for these use the best sweet butter and freshest eggs possible. The dough is very easy to work with the cookies roll out easily. A set of fluted cookie cutters is a great Bijouxs Basic, the 2 1/2” size yielded 30 cookies. The flavor improves if you bake the cookies a few days ahead – even better.

Southern Tea Cakes are very versatile. Some ideas to start; serve along side fresh summer berries, delicious with a scoop of vanilla cream, layer gelato between two cookies to create your own handmade cookie sandwiches, or tea cakes are just plain great with a good cup of strong coffee or tea.

Sweet little southern jewels, Southern Tea Cakes – the simple essence of Bijouxs.


As always, enjoy. B

11 thoughts on “Southern Tea Cakes

  1. don’t you just love Lee Bailey…talk about a gem! these “cakes” look perfect and i bet taste just as delicious. anything that should be made a few days in advance is a keeper in my book.

    1. Lee’s recipes are great & still enjoying the tea cakes baked for the photo shoot – they do really keep very well. Great to hear from you!

  2. Cookie or cracker? It’ looks like a cracker, but you’re tellin’ me its a cookie….

    1. Hello -Tea Cakes are sweet, buttery, crisp thin cookies, much like a sugar cookie and they do resemble a cracker – a great old-fashioned sweet. Thanks for being a part of Bijouxs!

  3. My
    Mom would put jam between 2 of them. Boy, could I eat tons of them out back on a blanket.

    1. Hi Beth – Oh, tea cakes with jam sounds great! Think I still have some left…

  4. how can I get this recipe? My daughter has asked me to make her some tea cakes.. these look just like my mother made. thanl you in advance, …………………………Myra

    1. Hi Myra! Just click on the black tab marked “Recipe Card” at the top and bottom of the post and a window should pop up with the recipe. Enjoy!

  5. These look really good but they aren’t what I know as Tea Cakes. The recipe I got from relatives in Louisiana creates this giant soft cake like vanilla cookie that goes really well with tea. Isn’t it wild that there is so much variation in what falls under a certain name.

  6. These are wonderful, i did a little bit of modification though. I used coconut oil instead of butter, and put a little bit of milk in so they stuck together easier. On each batch I either topped them with coconut shreddings, cinnamon or jam. They turned out fantastic.

    1. Hi Jamie! Great to hear from you. Sometimes with simple recipes aka “the little jewels” can be dressed up like a basic black dress. These cookies fit the bill. I’m going to try the coconut oil and the jam, yum! Thank you for being a part of Bijouxs.

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