RECIPE WEDNESDAY: Teacakes – Alabama version


(Submitted by Amanda Gallatin)

Ask an English baker for teacakes, and you’ll likely get yeasty buns filled with dry fruit. Ask an Australian baker for a teacake, and you’ll likely get small sponge cakes. Ask an Alabama baker for teacakes, and you will certainly receive a batch of large, very flat, slightly tart cookies.


The humble Alabama Tea Cake usually contains flour, sugar, baking soda, egg, and either butter or margarine (a.k.a. Oleo in your old church cookbook). One might occasionally find a recipe with vanilla or pecans.

Here are two vintage tea cake recipes to try for your next get together or dinner-on-the-grounds.

  • Mix 1 cup butter, 1 ½ cups sugar, 3 cups all-purpose flour, 3 eggs, 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract, 1 tsp. baking soda, ¼ tsp. salt, and 2 tablespoons buttermilk. Spoon by tablespoon onto a cookie sheet. Bake at 350° for 15-18 minutes.
  • In a mixer, cream together 1 cup butter, 1 cup sugar, and 1 tsp. vanilla. Add 2 eggs, one at a time, until incorporated. Sift together 2 cups flour and ½ tsp. baking soda. Add to wet mixture. Spoon by tablespoon onto a cookie sheet. Flatten with fork. Bake at 350° until lightly browned.

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About Amanda Gallatin

Amanda Gallatin was born, raised, and currently resides in East Alabama. After graduating from The University of Alabama with a degree in Communication & Information Sciences, she worked for a non-profit teacher recruitment organization before launching a career in Information Technology. She is a believer in the "Go Local" movement, which encourages citizens to volunteer, support local merchants, and take pride in their community's culture and history. In her spare time, Amanda enjoys cooking, spending time outdoors, and tending to her chickens.

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  1. Debbie Burgess

    Idea of using recipe other than my Grandmother’s seems downright wrong when it comes to tea cakes. That’s heritage pride for you! lol

  2. Bobby King

    My grandmother made the best.

  3. Rick Bozeman

    My grandmother made the Alabama version but she did call them cookies.

  4. Rick Bozeman

    My grandmother made the Alabama version but she did call them cookies.

  5. Wanda Glass

    Love these cookies my Mother use to make them

  6. Peggy Pate

    My Great-Aunt lived across the “road” from us, long time ago, she made “Teacakes” all the time! I loved those “Cakes/Cookies”!

  7. Theresa Veasey

    My mother’s sweet neighbor ‘Lily, teacakes’ was her nickname. We never forget those who are kid to us in our childhood.

  8. Barbara Burgess

    I make them,but I use self rising flour.

  9. Patricia Coffee Decker

    My Granny was from Alabama. She made tea cakes in her biscuit bowl. It was a simple recipe of milk, lard or Crisco, sugar and nutmeg.

  10. Mary Barnes

    HARRIETT POPE- I know Meme made teacakes. Do you have her recipe? ❤️

  11. My grandmother lived in southern Ala. and always had tea cookies “ripening” in her pie safe …..always my favorite…

  12. Josh Fulford

    Winton Fulford, Curtis Carter

  13. Verla Dennison

    High -light for southern children, getting off the school bus and find a large plate of Tea Cakes. Some-time Mom would make a chocolate icing for the cakes. What memories. ( IT MUST HAVE BEEN AN ALABAMA THING. )

  14. Holland Stallings

    Teresa G. Burgess Kenneth Jo Ann Higgins

    1. Teresa G. Burgess

      Guess I’ll have to make a batch!

    2. Teresa G. Burgess

      Might be able to make some gluten free w/ rice flour

  15. Emily Ritchie

    They were used for banana puddings too..

  16. My Grandmother,Mary Lou Jetton,made tea cakes that I tried to reproduce for years without success.Later in my life I added nutmeg and it finally tasted right.

    Also,she made the best applesauce cake.I cannot make it because she dried her apples on a tin sheet in the sun covered with screen to keep bugs off.I do not know what kind of apples she dried.
    Get the recipes while you can is all I can say

  17. My neighbor growing up in Ellisville, Jones County, Mississippi in the 1940’s-50’s, Nolan Mayfield aka ‘Nolie’, made the best I’ve ever eaten. She may have had Alabama roots.

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