Southern Tea Cakes

Moist, dense and tender Southern Tea Cakes topped with a delicious almond and vanilla glaze.

There is nothing little about these Southern Tea Cakes. It can be hard to tell scale in photographs but these tea cakes are massive. They are also delicious, rich and tender. Don’t think of a traditional puffy, fluffy cake. These Southern Tea Cakes are very moist and dense.

My favorite ingredients for Southern Tea Cakes

The original recipe from Cookies and Cups calls for the seeds from a vanilla bean pod. I went a different route and skipped the seeds and used Almond Bakery Emulsion. I have found emulsions to have a better, less fake and harsh flavor than extracts. They say you can use them 1:1 for extracts, but I would be careful for very strong flavors, like almond. I think they are a bit more potent so for almond I reduce the amount just a little bit.

I love the LorAnn Oils line of baking emulsions. We’ve used Princess Cake and Cookie Flavor, and Buttery Sweet Dough Flavor in other baked goods and they were both great. I pick mine up at Michael’s crafts store.

Southern Tea Cakes
Southern Tea Cakes

Southern Tea Cakes

Moist, dense and tender Southern Tea Cakes topped with a delicious almond and vanilla glaze.
4.75 from 4 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 27 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 15 cookies
Calories 325 kcal


  • Parchment Paper Sheets
  • Baking Sheet


Tea Cakes:

  • 1 cup butter room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 cups flour


  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3-4 Tbsp milk
  • 1/8 tsp. LorAnn Oils Almond Bakery Emulsion or Almond Extract
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract


  • Preheat oven to 350° f.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone mat. Set aside.
  • In bowl of stand mixer beat butter and sugar together for 1 minute until mixed. Add in eggs and vanilla and mix until incorporated, scraping sides as necessary.
  • Add in baking powder and salt, continuing to mix and finally the flour. Mix until dough just comes together.
  • Form dough into 2 inch balls and place on lined baking sheet.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes until slightly golden. Don’t over-bake.
  • Allow to cool on wire rack while preparing your glaze
  • For glaze whisk ingredients all together in a bowl. Pour directly over the tea cakes.
  • Allow glaze to set before eating.


Calories: 325kcalCarbohydrates: 49gProtein: 4gFat: 13gSaturated Fat: 8gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 55mgSodium: 253mgPotassium: 44mgFiber: 1gSugar: 29gVitamin A: 415IUCalcium: 46mgIron: 1mg
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Slightly adapted from Cookies and Cups.

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  1. Found this recipe on Pinterest and they are really great! I actually couldn't wait to get parchment paper to make them so I ended up using foil (whoops!) mine turned out a little dry, but I think this is because I used tin foil. Next time I won't add the entire amount of milk to the glaze right away. Even after the cakes cooled, the glaze was very, very thin. Yes, probably common sense, but don't bake a whole lot 🙂 wonderful flavour. My daughter is sat at the dining room table making crumbs as we speak!