Favorite Old Fashion Tea Cakes Recipe

This post may contain affiliate links that won’t change your price but will share some commission.

I know I’ll cry before finishing this Favorite Old Fashion Tea Cakes recipe for you. It has such sweet memories for me of my great-grandmother.

As a little bitty girl, I remember standing on a chair in my Mawmaw’s kitchen helping her make Favorite Old Fashion Tea Cakes Recipe. She was one of the sweetest ladies I’ve ever known; God-fearing, patient, always encouraging, never had an unkind word to say about anyone, always had a warm hug for her great-granddaughter.


Favorite Old Fashion Tea Cakes

Because she lived in the age where ladies didn’t work, she was always home and took care of my brother and me before we were old enough to go to school. She played I Spy for hours sitting in her living room. We played baseball with balls she made out of yarn or fabric scraps. She made glue out of flour and water! I didn’t know you could make glue; I thought it was something you only bought in the white bottle with the orange top!

Other than the time we buried the cat alive, we always had a great time with Mawmaw. (We got into a little trouble for the cat incident. It is the only time I can remember her being upset or raising her voice!)

But my favorite by far was making these cookies.

Favorite Old Fashion Tea Cakes recipe

They are thin and crisp and the perfect buttery bite. She was so patient with me mixing and measuring and teaching me how to do it just so. She insisted on sifting the flour three times. This recipe always makes me think of those fun times.

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I have over the years. Additionally, I hope you go make memories baking them with someone you love. Those memories will last a lifetime. I know.

Do you have a special recipe that you made with someone when you were younger?

Favorite Old Fashion Tea Cakes

Favorite Old Fashion Tea Cakes

Cook time will depend on how large and thick you cut the cookies. For crisp cookies, roll as thinly as you can. Transfer the cut cookies to the cookie sheet using a thin spatula. These cookies won't get golden brown. They'll be ready with the edges turn slightly brown and they do not appear shiny but more of a matte finish in the center of the cookie.
Author: Paula
5 from 16 votes
Print Pin Rate
Save To Your Recipe Box
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 48 cookies
Cut your grocery bill and your food waste. Unlock savings of up to 30%* (sometimes more!) compared to grocery store prices.


  • 1 cup butter at room temperature
  • 2 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon milk
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg or lemon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 cups all purpose flour My Mawmaw was very specific about the flour being sifted 3 times!
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  • Cream butter and sugar, add eggs one at a time mixing well after each addition. Add milk, nutmeg or lemon, and vanilla. In another bowl sift flour, baking powder and salt together and combine with other wet ingredients.
  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
  • On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to 1/4 inch in thickness. Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters. Place cookies 1 1/2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bakein oven at 325 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 3 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.


©CallMePMc.com All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.


Calories: 108kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 19mg | Sodium: 62mg | Potassium: 32mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 131IU | Calcium: 12mg | Iron: 1mg
Want to save your favorite recipes?Create an account or login 7 'Save Recipe' to your Recipe Box. You can access your saved recipes on any device & generate a shopping list for recipes in your collections.
Tried this recipe?Please take a moment to comment letting me know how you liked it & consider giving it a 5 star rating. I love hearing from you!
Do you have questions about saving recipes to your Recipe Box?Visit Recipe Box FAQ!

More cookie love! Almond Crunch Cookies

almond crunch cookies

Chocolate Peppermint Chip Cookies
Chocolate Peppermint Chip Cookie

Also, you can also find great recipes here or at Meal Plan Monday


  1. 5 stars
    My mother’s family was very poor when she was growing up. She said Nanny (her mom) would make tea cakes and put them in a flour sack hanging on the wall. Mom always loved the smell when she opened the door and would immediately raid that flour sack. We’ve never been able to find Nanny’s recipe, so I think I’ll give this one a whirl! Thanks.

  2. 5 stars
    My mom made these and cut them in 3” cookies, and sandwiched them with fudge,for our school lunches. They worked great for bartering. LOL

  3. Going to try your recipe it sounds so good. My mother would make tea cakes and they were wonderful. My grandmother (my father’s mother ) would make these if she new we were coming to see her. Miss my mother and grandmother so much.

    1. My Great grandmother made them for us too. But she lived next door, I love tea cakes just because of her.

  4. I can’t wait to try your way of making your Mawmaw’s tea cakes. My Grandmother always made tea cakes if she knew someone was comming. I know it was a simple recipe and that she cut them out with the rim of a glass. They were the best, odd shaped and a little brown around the edges. My Mother and I have tried and tried to figure out how she made them but we never quite get it right. Maybe you have the secret!

  5. please clarify ’cause it does make a difference . . . do you measure the 4 cups of flour before or after you sift 3x??

    1. Yes, it makes a huge difference. Always measure the flour AFTER you sift it. What I do is scoop a lot more than I thnk I need, sift it, then measure. Also, use a spoon to spoon the flour into your measuring utensil then level with a knife.

  6. Paula: My Mema was family-renowned for her fried chicken and buttermilk biscuits, but my favorite was the fresh-from-the-oven crisp she called her “Tea cakes.” I suspect half my delight was eating a cookie from the OVEN rather than a box, but she was always amazed at my level of joy. She’d say, “Why, they’re just my old tea cakes.” They were brown and crisp on the edges, light and just-sweet. Hers were not uniformly shaped, however, so I’m wondering if they were rolled or dropped rather than cut with a cookie cutter. Any ideas?

    P.S. She read her Bible, baked the morning biscuits, prepared grits, scrambled eggs, cereal, and coffee, cleaned the house, and then went to her shift at the cotton mill. The gentlest, kindest soul I ever met.

  7. I am going to give this one a try. I have been trying recipes for many years, trying to find my Grandma Phelp’s recipe. She always mixed it up in the kitchen and would bring the bowl of dough and her canister of flour to the dining room table to roll out and let us cut them out with a glass. I don’t ever remember seeing her mix the ingredients. I just remember the LEMON, yes, I was yelling. Actually, the lemon “screamed”, guess that is why I love lemon (anything).

    1. I like lemon too, cakes, cookies, pies anything lemon. I don’t have many lemon recipes on here though. I should work on that!

  8. The cookies sound wonderful, made even more special associated with such sweet memories. I am so grateful for the people who take time to be with little kids and pass on their knowledge. Moms are important but so are the other people in a child’s life! And I’ll be looking for the details on that cat story! 🙂

  9. “Tea cakes” means something quite different where I grew up, but these look delicious 🙂

5 from 16 votes (14 ratings without comment)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Your email address will not be published. Have you tried this recipe? Consider giving it 5 stars!