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Southern Tea Cakes

Southern Tea Cakes - easy and addictive Southern baked treats slightly sweetened with faint notes of nutmeg, vanilla and lemon zest. These certainly begs for a cup of coffee or tea!
Course Snack
Cuisine Southern
Keyword baked, comfort food, snacks, southern food
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Resting Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings 26 - 30 pieces
Calories 128kcal
Author Imma


  • 3 cups (375 g) all-purpose flour , (plus more for dusting)
  • 2 teaspoons (8 g) baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon (3 g) baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon (5 g) salt
  • 1 lemon zest
  • ½ teaspoon (1 g) freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 ¼ cups (250 g) sugar
  • 4 ounce (113 g) unsalted butter , softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¼ cup (61 g) buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon (4 g) vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon (4 g) almond extract


  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, lemon zest and nutmeg. Make a well at the center of the bowl and set aside.
  • In a separate medium bowl, cream together sugar and butter until creamy. Add in eggs, buttermilk, vanilla and almond extract. Mix together until all wet ingredients are fully combined.
  • Gradually add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix to form soft dough.
  • Pour out dough on a smooth floured surface and divide into two. Shape each dough into a disc, cover with a plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 1 hour. This gives the flour and gluten some time to rest and firm up before baking. If dough is not chilled, cookies won't hold their shape.
  • Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper, spray surface of parchment paper with cooking spray and set aside.
  • Remove dough from fridge and plastic wrap, place dough on a floured surface and roll it out to ¼-inch thick. Use a 2-inch round cookie cutter or a glass, cut out the tea cakes and place them out on prepared baking sheet, about 1 inch apart.
  • Bake for 8-10 minutes until bottom is slightly browned.
  • Remove the tea cakes from the oven; place them on a cooling rack until they are cool.


  1. The dough should be cold when going into the oven. So if u need to, place the cut cookies into the fridge to chill it again. (If you work at a steady pace you probably won't need to chill it again since it does stay cold for a while).
  2. Do not overcook the cookies! They will continue to cook as they cool.
  3. Do not add extra flour if the dough is too sticky to handle. Simply roll it in between parchment papers. Extra flour can result in a drier, cracked tea cake.
  4. Dough can be chilled overnight, as well, but you will need to take it out 20-30 minutes before rolling because dough can be challenging to roll out when it is super cold.
Please keep in mind that nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on products used.


Serving: 1piece | Calories: 128kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 22mg | Sodium: 118mg | Potassium: 54mg | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 125IU | Vitamin C: 0.3mg | Calcium: 21mg | Iron: 0.8mg