Old Fashioned Tea Cakes

stack of cookies old fashioned tea cake or sugar cookie

Old Family Recipe

What else is there to do on a lazy Saturday afternoon but make some old fashioned tea cakes))) It has been a while since I made them, but they call for pretty basic ingredients so I knew my pantry could handle it))

The only thing I didn’t have was enough self-rising flour. I had plain so I had to add baking powder and salt. The measurements for how much baking powder and salt are all over the place! But I settled on 1 1/2 tsp of baking powder and 1/4 tsp of salt per cup of plain flour.

Old Fashioned Tea Cakes

  • 1 1/2 cups Crisco Shortening (not oil)
  • 2 1/2 cups Sugar
  • 3 Eggs
  • 2 T Vanilla Flavoring
  • 4 1/2 – 5 cups Self-Rising Flour
  • Bake 8-10 min at 375° (I adjusted this temp)

Cream Together

Cream together the shortening, sugar, eggs, and vanilla flavoring until light and fluffy. I use a stand mixer.

You could use butter instead of Crisco, I’ve made them both ways and honestly think the Crisco delivers the best results.

Dry Ingredients

Sift the flour and in my case, the baking powder and salt. Start adding the flour to the creamed mixture a little at a time. Add about 3 1/2 cups of flour.

Knead and Rollout

Turn the cookie dough out on the counter covered in wax paper or parchment paper that has been sprinkled with flour. Knead in another 1 to 1 1 /2 cups of flour.

Separate the dough into three balls and roll one ball at a time. Roll the cookie dough with a rolling pin that has been rubbed in flour. The thickness all depends on how you like your cookies. Thinner dough results in crispier cookies.

I didn’t measure the thickness of my rolled-out cookie dough but it was probably a little less than 1/4.” A good way to know if you have the desired thickness or not is to bake a few and see how you like them before you do the whole batch.

If you don’t have a cookie cutter, or can’t find it like me…..you can always use a glass. Just dip it in flour and cut away.

old fashioned tea cake cookie rolled out and cut with a glass

Don’t want to go to all the trouble to roll out cookie dough? Here’s a super easy recipe for tasty lemony cookies.

too easy!

Lemony Sugar Cookies – Maggie’s Fav

Our granddaughter Maggie had a birthday this weekend))) The weekend before was Matt’s birthday and he wanted a coconut cake. I made it, it was just about an all-day affair. So you can imagine how nice it was to hear from Maggie that she just wanted her favorite lemony sugar cookies))


Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or just grease your cookie sheet if you wish. I like to hit my parchment paper with just a bit of cooking spray too.

The recipe calls for baking at 375° but that is too hot for my oven. I baked mine at about 325° for 10 minutes and then added a couple of minutes more on broil to brown.

Everybody’s ovens are different! That’s another good reason for starting out with a small pan at first. It gives you an opportunity to add more flour if you need to….roll thinner or thicker and adjust your cooking time.

Calories and Nutrition

Well, we’re not going to count calories here. I mean….we have flour, sugar, and shortening. I don’t want to disappoint you with the details. Even with 2 1/2 cups of sugar, they are not overly sweet. They are addictive, however. So, you can see why I don’t bake them too often!


Old Fashioned Tea Cakes are great just like they are, but you can dress them up a bit with a little bit of chocolate or top. You can make sandwich cookies out of them too with a little chocolate or vanilla filling. I just left mine plain today))


If you have a craving for chocolate, here’s a scratch brownie that I made recently. I cut them up into bite-size pieces and put them in a cute container for a little Valentine happy))

My mom made the best Old Fashioned Tea Cakes….we could hardly give her enough time for them to cool before we were reaching in the pan to get one. She was a good cook and loved trying new recipes. Lucky for us! We got chocolate-dipped bon-bons, peanut brittle, divinity, fudge, and cookies of all kinds.

One time she made divinity and made us stay away from it so it could cool properly. So she placed the pan in an unused bedroom because it was cooler in there since the heat was cut off to the room. I don’t know how, but we all forgot about it! It was a nice surprise when we found the divinity a couple of days later)))

I hope you will try this recipe for Old Fashioned Tea Cakes and make some memories with your kids or grandchildren. The older we get, we remember those precious times, and baking these cookies today brought back good memories))

granddaughter maggie rolling out old fashioned tea cakes
Granddaughter Maggie – 20 on Next Birthday
more from my blog

Old Fashioned Teacakes

Family recipe for old fashioned tea cakes. Made with simple ingredients and so tasty! Perfect fo teaching kids how to bake. Get messy in the kitchen!
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: rolled cookies, sugar cookies, tea cakes
Servings: 32
Calories: 167kcal


  • Cookie Sheet


  • 1 ½ cup Shortening Not oil, use solid shortening like Crisco
  • 2 ½ cup Sugar
  • 3 Eggs
  • 2 T Vanilla Flavoring
  • 4 ½ -5 cup Self-Rising Flour


  • Cream shortening, sugar, flavoring, and eggs together until fluffy. Add 3 1/2 cups of flour a little at a time. Turn out on a floured countertop or cover the countertop with wax or parchment paper. Flour the paper and the rolling pin. Work in another 1 – 1 1/2 cups of flour. Divide dough into three balls and roll one ball at a time.
    Roll to a thickness of a little less than 1/4" inch. Cut out with a cookie cutter and place on a greased cookie sheet or cookie sheet covered with parchment paper.
    The recipe calls for baking at 375° but this is too hot for my oven, I bake at about 325° for 10 minutes and then a couple of minutes more on broil to brown the cookies lightly.
    Remove from pan with a spatula and cool on waxed or parchment paper.
    Store in a sealed container or zip-lock bag.
    I used about a 2.75" cutter and the recipe yielded 32 cookies.
    old fashioned tea cake cookie rolled out and cut with a glass


If you are not sure how thick to roll the cookies, do a small pan first with 4-6 cookies and test the desired thickness. Rolling dough very thin will result in crispier cookies but they will also bake quicker and burn easily. Rolling the dough too thick can result in harder cookies. Doing a test batch also allows you to adjust the cooking temperature and time if needed.
These old-fashioned tea cakes are great topped with chocolate too!


Serving: 1g | Calories: 167kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 15mg | Sodium: 7mg | Potassium: 11mg | Fiber: 0.1g | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 22IU | Calcium: 3mg | Iron: 0.1mg


  1. Hi, Ms Jeannie
    Your recipe seems so close to my great aunt’s recipe. I’m so excited to try this one. I tried to remember hers but couldn’t. So I googled and found yours. I can’t wait to try this one for myself. Although my 85 year old brother wants tea cakes. And I’m going to do my best and make them. Thank you

  2. I’ve never tried a tea cake but I will now that I’m a tea drinker…( No caffeine) these just look delicious and simple enuf to try. Thanks so much for sharing 8~}👍

  3. Hello Mrs. Pence,
    I, the person who never clicks on any ad, did click on The Pound Cake which lead me to the Tea Cakes and also I read a few comments. I smiled at the memories with your grandchild who is 20 now. I find your site appealing and in good taste. I haven’t tried any recipe yet but you can bet I will. Keep up the good work by focusing on the good. Let your recipe serve who it serves. The presentation is good. Therefore, I expect good blessings to follow. We often find what we are seeking.

    1. Thank you for the kind words))) I appreciate your visiting)) It’s a sort of new blog that I started with retirement and I think sometimes my “stories” of growing up in the 50s and tales about my grandchildren probably aren’t of much interest to anyone, but I enjoy writing about them. Someone has to keep those memories alive)))

  4. I don’t usually try other people’s recipes; but the pound cake recipe and my my the tea cake recipe took me back to my childhood with my grandmother and cousins,she would always make us tea cakes and they were so good! Your recipe is the closest to hers that I have seen! I might make some tea cakes tomorrow ‼️
    Thank you so much

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