(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.