Do you have tea cake memories? What is your favorite recipe like?
Mention tea cakes to any Southerner and chances are their eyes will glaze over as they’re taken back in time to Grandma’s kitchen…waiting on that warm, buttery goodness to emerge from the oven.
Most of my kitchen time was spent with Granny or Mama, but it was my great-grandmother who made the best tea cakes. As soon as I walked in the door of her house I would ask for them, and if there weren’t any in the cookie jar then we would head to the kitchen. When the tea cakes were done, Grandma would lift one from the pan and give it to me. It would be so hot I’d have to dance it from hand to hand, but that first bite was special…warm, buttery and soft.
When I was 12 years old, I asked Grandma for the recipe, but, of course, there was no recipe. Butter, eggs, flour, sugar and you just poured it in “until it looks right.” But she pulled some measurements out of her head and I wrote them down—I still have this piece of paper. And it says, “1 stick melted butter, 1 egg, 1 and 1/2 cups sugar and add flour—until it looks right.” That last part has been hanging me up for more than thirty years.0