One recipe you should most certainly have in your collection is an Old Fashioned Tea Cake recipe.
Although the name alludes to a cake, these are actually thin little sugar cookies, much like a shortbread cookie. They are not too sweet, just exactly right and perfect for Christmas cookie decorating.
This recipe for Old Fashioned Tea Cake cookies comes with a story of how I happened to acquire the recipe.
I love a good recipe story, don’t you? This recipe came from a former neighbor. She was a seldom-seen sweet little older lady who lived behind us. Always waving when we may both be outside at the same time.
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One afternoon there was a knock at my back door. Back-door guests are the best you know. It was the sweet neighbor lady bringing me a plate full of her Old Fashioned Tea Cakes. I had never heard of such a cookie. That was nearly 40 years ago. This is her recipe which she shared in the church cookbook and I of course purchased a copy.
USE THIS RECIPE FOR ANY OCCASION
Pour yourself a cup of coffee and enjoy reading Christmas cards while nibbling on a few of these scrumptious Old Fashioned Tea Cake Christmas Cookies.
You can use this recipe any time of the year. Use spring, summer or any occasion cookie cutters to suit your purpose.
Scroll Down for the Printable Recipe
MAKE THESE COOKIES IN ADVANCE
These Old Fashioned Tea Cake cookies can be made a day or two in advance. Store them in an air-tight container like one of these. Plan ahead to have a cookie decorating party with family or children!
The icing I used was simply a thick mixture of sifted powdered sugar with a drop of milk. My husband says these cookies are ‘bakery quality’ and his compliments mean so much since he is quite the baker himself.
You know that making cookies from scratch is always best and that does mean a little more work on your part but I promise, it is going to be so worth it!
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 eggs, at room temperature
- 3½ cups all-purpose flour, sifted
- 2 tsp. Baking powder
- 1 tsp. Baking soda
- 2 Tbsp. milk (2% is fine)
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 375°
In a large mixing bowl, Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy
Add eggs one at a time beating after each.
Blend in dry ingredients, a little at a time to avoid a big cloud of flour dust, and continue to mix until a stiff dough is formed.
Roll dough into workable sized logs, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for several hours or overnight.
Remove from the refrigerator, just enough to work with and leave the rest in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it.
Roll out very thin.
Cut with cookie cutters and place on prepared cookie sheet pan.
Bake at 375° until lightly browned. My oven cooks fast, mine are ready in 5 minutes.
Allow to cool before icing.
Cookies will continue to cook for a few seconds after being removed from the oven.
Oven temperatures vary so keep an eye on your cookies so they don't burn.
This Tea Cake Cookies recipe can be used for any season. Use cookie cutters like these for best success or roll between your hands and shape as you desire.
Amount Per Serving Calories 232Total Fat 11gSaturated Fat 7gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 4gCholesterol 48mgSodium 135mgCarbohydrates 30gFiber 1gSugar 11gProtein 3g
Nutrition information is not accurate based on products used in home kitchens.
If you appreciate an old-fashioned recipe like I think you do, you’ll also enjoy these Christmas Magic Cookie Bars!
More Christmas Cookie Recipes
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Originally published November 2014. Updated Oct.28, 2022