Old Fashioned Tea Cake Christmas Cookies

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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.

Southern Old Fashioned Tea Cake Cookie Recipe. A delectable southern recipe for Tea Cakes. Use the Tea Cake Cookies recipe for any occasion like these Christmas Cookies. #Christmascookies #teacakes

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.

Old Fashioned Tea Cake Christmas Cookies decorated for Christmas along with a cup of coffee and a stack of Christmas card make a nice treat.Find the recipe at www.intelligentdomestications.com


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

Find my Old Fashioned Tea Cake recipe and these Christmas cookies waiting to be iced and decorated at www.intelligentdomestications.com


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!

Yield: 36

Old Fashioned Tea Cake Christmas Cookies

Tea Cake Christmas Cookies

One recipe you should most certainly have in your collection is an Old Fashioned Tea Cake recipe.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes


  • 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.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


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.

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If you appreciate an old-fashioned recipe like I think you do, you’ll also enjoy these Christmas Magic Cookie Bars!

Chocolate Pecan Pie Bars Recipe

Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies

Grinch Blossom Cookies Recipe

Easy Chewy Gingersnap Cookies Just Like Grandma’s

Pecan Snowdrop Cookies Recipe

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Old Fashioned Tea Cake Cookies Recipe. Make these Tea Cake cookies for Christmas and have fun decorating them

Originally published November 2014. Updated Oct.28, 2022

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  1. I love these! They would be perfect for my annual Christmas Cookie Decorating party. Thank you so much for linking up with the Online Christmas Cookie Exchange. I’ve pinned this to the group board.

  2. What a great tip! Hello, my name is Misty, from The LadyPrefers2Save at http://theladypreferstosave.com, and I’m one of the new co-hosts for the Merry Monday Linky Party! I wanted to write and thank you for linking up to this weeks Merry Monday party, as well as to let you know that your post will be linked to the Merry Monday Pinterest board, as well my social media accounts. I would love to have you also stop by my blog as well! Thanks for linking up at the Merry Monday’s Linky Party this week, and I hope to see you linking up next week as well. Have an awesome week!

  3. Your tea cakes look wonderful, and perfect for the holidays!!! Thanks for sharing on Merry Monday Linky party this week, now I have another, Friday Feature Linky Party I would love for you to stop b this weekend to linkup. Have a great weekend 🙂
    Karren @Oh My Heartsie Girl

  4. Such pretty photos for pretty cookies! That is a very sweet little story you shared about how you got to know about those cookies. I am sure they will make wonderful Christmas cookies for any family!

  5. I grew up eating my grandma’s homemade tea cake cookies. It’s a shame she didn’t write down the recipe to pass it down to her family. I finally found one that tastes just like hers and shared it on my blog on grandparents day last year. Every time I bite into that tea cake, it brings back the best memories. Thanks for bringing back that good memories today! Love tea cakes!

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