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Wanted: Recipe for Tea Cakes with Buttermilk

Headland, AL(Zone 8a)

My great grandmother used to make tea cakes whenever we would visit her. She used buttermilk. When I asked her for the recipe, she gave me a list of measures, just a list. I finally found a recipe with the same ingredients in my Mom's old Betty Crocker cookbook. The problem is that my mom is deceased and her cook book is long gone. The copy I used to have of the same cook book was lost in a move. I bought the new 75th edition cookbook, which has heirloom recipes in the back...but no recipe for tea cakse that uses buttermilk. I've seen recipes for teacakes, but none that called for buttermilk.

Someone on the canning forum told me there is a 1950s edition of the same cookbook on ebay and I have written the seller to find out if it has the teacake recipe in it. If it does, it might be worth buying the cookbook....because if it has that recipe, it probably has other heirloom recipes that I would enjoy. Meanwhile, it has got me to thinkig that I sure would enjoy some tea cakes...LOL!



Hulbert, OK(Zone 7a)

Hi Marcie,

Is this the one?

A recipe for old fashioned buttermilk tea cakes, similar to sugar cookies.


5 to 6 cups flour
4 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 cup butter
1 cup thick buttermilk
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla


Put 5 cups of flour in a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the center. Add remaining ingredients to the well of the flour. Gradually stir in flour as you mix the ingredients in the well of the flour.

Continue until you make a stiff dough, adding more flour if needed. On a floured surface, roll out to about 1/8-inch thickness; cut out and bake on lightly greased baking sheets at 350 until brown around the edges.

Makes 6 to 7 dozen tea cakes.

Headland, AL(Zone 8a)

PERFECT! Thank you so much!

Pocahontas, TN(Zone 7b)


Thanks for the recipe!!! I love tea cakes.


-South Central-, IL(Zone 6a)

I'm gonna try them soon!

DFW area, TX(Zone 7b)

I'm gonna try this too. Sounds marvelous. Thanks.

Philadelphia, MS(Zone 7b)

I baked some yesterday. They are even better today! Took some to my MIL and FIL for them to enjoy as well. I had never had them or baked them so I learned a few things along the way. Have fun! This recipe is very easy and makes LOADS of teacakes!

-South Central-, IL(Zone 6a)

mfg, what did you learn? Anything I need to know before I begin??

Tulsa, OK(Zone 7a)

Tea cakes are for? or are these biscuts? thanks

Philadelphia, MS(Zone 7b)

Flwrlady, no, it was just me. I had never made them before and made them a little too big. I needed to use a smaller cookie or biscuit cutter. My DH kept saying he thought they were missing something. I looked back over the recipe and I had forgotten the vanilla! I was talking on the phone while mixing. I can't do two things at once. They were obviously pretty good - there are only 3 left! Also, I had to turn my oven to 325....the first batch burned a little on the bottom. Mine oven runs a little hot anyway.

-South Central-, IL(Zone 6a)

OOOhhhhh!!! That vanilla makes a big difference! My mom made cornbread not long ago and she left out the salt... same thing... big difference!!

Headland, AL(Zone 8a)

Hope, teackaes are a sort of shortbread type cookie. If you make them thick they have a cake like texture to them, or you can make them thin and they are crispy like cookies. MY Great grandmother mad ethem as sort of drop cookies, so they had the cake texture. My cousin made them yesterday and rolled them very thin so they had a very crisp texture to them.

Philadelphia, MS(Zone 7b)

Did I ever say thanks for the recipe. I'm definitely trying it again (this time without being on the phone). I went out and bought me a new cookie sheet just for this and my AIL's sugar cookie recipe. Needed an excuse, I guess.

Headland, AL(Zone 8a)

Actually, it is Wuvie's recipe...I just asked for it. LOL! Glad you guys are enjoying it, though. I haven't had a chance to make them yet. I used to make them years and years ago but had lost the recipe.

I did make a wonderful cream cheese pound cake the other day to enjoy with the fresh strawberries I had leftover from making jam. DH had never had a home made pound cake before ( funny, we've been married seven years and I never thought to make a lot of this stuff till we moved down home...go figure!) DH has never been a big cake eater...till he met me. Now he loves red velvet cake and he says that he used to love Sarah Lee pound cake...till he tried my cream cheese pound cake. Now he says that Sarah Lee needs to take cooking lessons from me....

Talbot, Australia

Can someone tell me is 'Tea Cakes' like a scone? I have posted a pic of our version of a Tea Cake. This one is Apple. Also what would thicken buttermilk be? Is this like double cream perhaps!!!! The recipe sounds so good, I am going to have a go. Thanks :-) Lee

Thumbnail by leelovespigs
-South Central-, IL(Zone 6a)

A tea cake is a "cookie", or some folks overseas (like Singapore) call them "biscuits". They are sweet and Oh! so good with milk or coffee.

Headland, AL(Zone 8a)

I've also heard of them referred to as single serving scones....

Talbot, Australia

Thanks guys, they sounded soooo good that I want to make some. My next problem is how (or what) is thicken buttermilk. Is it double cream (or thicker cream) then normal????
I have the rest of the ingredients but am unsure of the thicken buttermilk!!!! :-) Lee

-South Central-, IL(Zone 6a)

After whole milk is churned, it creates two things: butter and buttermilk. In the US we can find it in the store with whole milk, 2% milk, 1% milk, skim milk, cream, buttermilk...

As for the "thick" part, I don't know what to tell you. I think if you just find some "buttermilk", you'll be okay. Check out this link:

1 cup buttermilk = 1 cup yogurt
1 cup buttermilk = 1 cup milk PLUS 1 Tbsp vinegar or lemon juice (let stand for 10 minutes before using in recipe)
1 cup buttermilk = 1 cup milk PLUS 1-3/4 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 cup buttermilk = 1 cup water PLUS 4 Tbsp powdered buttermilk (reconstitute before using or add dry to dry ingredients and wet to wet ingredients before mixing
1 cup buttermilk = 1/4 cup milk PLUS 3/4 cup yogurt
1 cup buttermilk = 8.5 ounces
1 cup buttermilk = 242 grams

lee, hope this helps! Pat

Headland, AL(Zone 8a)

When I was a kid, we used to use the milk and vinegar combo since we never had buttermilk in the house. As an adult, though, if I am cooking somethig that calls for buttermilk, I run out and get it.

Philadelphia, MS(Zone 7b)

I've started using "Bulgarian" buttermilk when I can afford it. The other stuff is all "non-fat" or some such stuff. It just doesn't work as well as the "good-ole-days". The Bulgarian seems to be thicker and works better in some things....of course, its more expensive.
I've used the vinegar and milk mixture in an emergency...also have used lemon juice and milk in a real pinch.

Headland, AL(Zone 8a)

I guess I'm old fashioned... I don't use low fat anything. I use real butter...and if it calls for milk, I usually use half and half. I'm 5'7" and I only weigh 130 as long as I eat sensible portions, it doesn't affect my weight.

My grandmother's brother was a doctor and he always ate a big country breakfast every day...fried eggs, pork chops, biscuits, gravy.... One day my uncle (whose wife had been feeding him flavorless food for a couple of years in an effort to keep him 'healthy') asked him how a man of medicine could eat such a high fat diet. My grand uncle told him that if he ate a perfectly healthy diet, in the end, it might prolong his life by two weeks...and it wasn't worth depriving himself of something he really enjoyed (Southern cooking).

Of course, he had really good genes...all the heart disease was on the other side of the family.

Talbot, Australia

Thanks for the help on Buttermilk everyone. I had a look around our local supermarket and actually found 'buttermilk', so will be trying that in the recipe. It's amazing what you find when you go looking for certain things!!!!! I'd never heard of it before, but apparently quite a few people use it in their cooking!!!! Deprived person as what I am, my mother never used it!!!

BamaBelle: the 'Southern Cooking' that you talk about sounds just like ours. One BIG Fry Up!!!! And boy it's good to eat it occassionally. Unlike ourself, I am 170 centimetres tall and weigh 85 Kilo's (and still to loose a further 5 to 10 kilos to reach my 'ideal' weight!!!). I can't afford to look at that type of food - let alone eat it!!! LOL

:-) Lee

Headland, AL(Zone 8a)

I've been at both ends of the spectrum. At one point I weighed 170lbs. Then I had my last hip replacement and had to have it revised two months later, I got down to 120. Then I bounced back up to 150 once I got happy again. Then I got cancer and got down to 103. I could NOT gain an ounce no matter what I did. My tummy was so small that if I ate three bites, it hurt like I'd eaten myself sick. The doc to put me on a med that make me eat like I had a tapeworm. In two weeks I was back up to 123 and I stopped taking it. I have to fight to stay down around 130, but the trick for me is quantity...portion size. If I deprive myself of high fat/fried foods, I will just eat and eat and eat. I have to eat what I crave...but small portions of it.

When I buy steak, instead of putting the whole steak on my plate, I cut it in half and only put half of the steak on my plate (and I cut it up into lots of tiny pieces before I sit down to eat so it covers my plate and looks like a lot)..then I freeze the other half to use in barbecue or soup.

When the peaches were in season, I would take three peaches and squish them up, then I'd add a small scoop of ice cream and mush it up with the peaches. It tasted decadent...but was mostly peaches and very little ice cream.

Little tricks to fool the mind into thinking that I am indulging myself, when in actuality, I am being relatively good. Hope this helps you some...

Hulbert, OK(Zone 7a)


If you have the time, and don't mind sharing, may I ask what the
doctor put you on?

I, too, have had issues trying to keep weight on. As a younger girl
I weighed a healthy 128 at 5'7". After child number one, I could not
get above 112, after child number two (five years later) it was hard
to maintain at least 108. Maybe it's because I hit forty, but I now weigh
112-115 on average. If I could just have ten more pounds, I'd be happy,
but noooooo.

You name it, I've tried it. And the tapeworm note, I completely understand.
I often have to drink instant breakfast shakes before bed so I can make
it through the night. It's like my body processes food faster than I can take
it in! Often you hear someone say they wish they had this problem. Trust
me, ladies, you don't.

:-) Karen

Talbot, Australia

I have never had that problem! I just look at other people's plate of food and put that much food on. At the minute I am mantaining at 85kgs but can not get that final 5-10 kilos off!!! I'll just have to keep trying I suppose!! Because we went away for the weekend and indulged with food and drink - I will have to VERY, VERY good for the next couple of weeks!!!! LOL :-) Lee

Headland, AL(Zone 8a)

Sorry to be away so long....I've been down with a lupus flare. Karen, not sure of the spelling. It was an older antidepressant that is hardly ever prescribed any mroe because of the side effect of rapid weight gain. The name of it is Mirtazapam. You might want to ask about the spelling, though.

Katy, TX(Zone 8b)

Mirtazapine REALLY works. After a recent surgery I went from 134# to 103.
The dr. said maybe I was depressed and she ordered the med. to "undepress" me. Don't know about the depression but I finally gained up to 123# and am quite happy.


Headland, AL(Zone 8a)

Yep. the only thing they typically prescribe it for anymore is for anxiety/depression related 'anorexia' (not to be confused with anorexia nervosa). It is a great med...but you do have to be careful about how long you take it or you will really blimp out. While I was on it, I couldn't stop eating...if I was awake, I was eating! But, it also was a wonderful sleep aid. Wish I could take it just for the restorative sleep. If it weren't for the pigging out, it would be a perfect med for fibromylagia. I'd be big as a house if I took it now!

Talbot, Australia

There's where my problem is. I'm actually on that drug for depression. Although I must say that it has the opposite affect on me. I don't enjoy eating as much but when I do, I just add lots of kilos. I have reduced my weight over the last 10 months. I have lost about 21 kilos with a further 10 kilos to loose before I get to that 'ideal weight for my height'. Sometimes I think that these measurements are a bit unrealistic!!!! LOL :-) Lee

-South Central-, IL(Zone 6a)

Go Lee! Good job on the weight. I personally weigh more right now than I ever have, and I'm older now that I've ever been. I need to take off quite a few pounds. I don't know how pounds relate to kilos, but I lost 30 pounds last time, but I've gained them all back + some.

Headland, AL(Zone 8a)

OMG! FlowrLady! You are actually older now than you have ever been??? Ack! And I bet you are even older now than when you wrote that post! I am having the same problem. Every single time I look in the mirror, I'm older than I was the last time I looked in the exact same mirror! It's a conspiracy...I know it is...OMG, what will they do to us next?

I'm just yanking your chain...tongue in cheek...having a little fun at your expense. Please forgive me...I'm not a mean person, just full of mischief...and you opened the door so lovely there, I couldn't resist putting my foot in it..and suddenly finding that same foot in my mouth. Now how did that happen? Another conspiracy????

I've gained and lost, gained and lost, and gained again..... at least a whole other person since I had my son 21 years ago. Right now the doctor's scales say that I am at my 'ideal weight'. If that is true, how come I have this big old poochy belly sticking out in front? And why don't my clothes look nice on me? Why do I have to wear baggy clothes to hide my belly if I'm 'ideal'???? Whose ideal is it? I think those weight charts should be broken down by gender, age, weight history, whether or not you have had kids and how many, your bone structure and stature (like my couisn is big boned and she would be skinny as a rail at my weight, but because I have a small frame, I look like I need to lose at least 15 lbs.) I know they do have charts broken down like that, to some extent...but the doctor's offices just have one one size fits all??? I don't think so!

-South Central-, IL(Zone 6a)

Belle, I was wondering if anyone would pick up on that older thing...

My problem is not my tummy... You can see when I turn and walk away where my problem is... If women were built to be pear-shaped, I'm a perfect example if you look at me walking away!!! LOL

I'm with you on those weight charts... who thought them up, anyway?

Headland, AL(Zone 8a)

Men...who think up all the things that become the bane of women's existance? Bras? Men! Pantyhose? Men! Stilleto heels? Men! Having to be anorexic to be 'beautiful'? Men! Everything that curses women is caused by men...menarch, menopause, menses, mental get the drift....

Auburn, AL(Zone 8a)

lol all of ya'll who are skinny are evil evil people LOL :P~

Headland, AL(Zone 8a)

All of y' are a true Southern Lady Araness! You should have seen me trying to explain the difference between "y'all" and "all y'all" to my DH after we moved down here. If anyone needs further clarification, please refer to the thread on the Jokes and Chat forum about Speaking Southern.

Auburn, AL(Zone 8a)

lol...try to explaining it to my DH who is from Chile. When he moved to Alabama he was so lost.

Headland, AL(Zone 8a)

ROFL! I bet the Southern idioms drove him nuts!

Valley Village, CA

Thank you Wuvie - I just love Tea Cakes. That reminds me I have a old Betty Crocker Cookbook on a top shelf in my kitchen and it must be at least 35 years old. I must get it and look over the receipes.

Jill and Jolie

-South Central-, IL(Zone 6a)

I just made scones. I really couldn't figure out what they were supposed to be, but when I pulled them out of the oven and tasted them, they're like my mom's biscuits!

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