Southern Tea Cake Cookies

healty meal, low carbs meals, keto meal

Southern Tea Cake Cookies are a timeless, classic dessert that hails from the heart of Southern hospitality. These cookies are perfect for afternoon tea, a sweet snack, or a delightful dessert. They are simple, buttery, and flavored with a hint of vanilla, making them a favorite for all ages.


  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 stick unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg (room temperature)
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract


1. Preheat the Oven and Prepare the Baking Sheet

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

2. Mix the Dry Ingredients

  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon baking soda. Set aside.

3. Cream the Butter and Sugar

  • In a large mixing bowl, beat the room temperature stick of unsalted butter and ¾ cup granulated sugar together until light and fluffy. This should take about 3-5 minutes using an electric mixer on medium speed.

4. Add the Egg and Vanilla

  • Add the room temperature egg and 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract to the butter-sugar mixture. Beat until well combined.

5. Combine the Wet and Dry Ingredients

  • Gradually add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients, mixing on low speed until just combined. Be careful not to overmix the dough.

6. Scoop and Shape the Dough

  • Using a cookie scoop or tablespoon, drop rounded balls of dough onto the prepared baking sheet, spacing them about 2 inches apart.

7. Bake

  • Bake in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes, or until the edges are lightly golden. The centers should still be slightly soft.

8. Cool the Cookies

  • Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Cook’s Notes and Variations


  • Room Temperature Ingredients: Ensure that both the butter and egg are at room temperature to achieve a smooth and well-combined dough.
  • Measuring Flour: Use the spoon-and-level method to measure the flour to avoid packing too much into the cup, which can result in dense cookies.
  • Storage: Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.


  • Lemon Tea Cakes: Add 1 teaspoon of lemon zest to the dough for a citrusy twist.
  • Almond Tea Cakes: Substitute 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract with almond extract for a nutty flavor.
  • Spiced Tea Cakes: Add ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon and a pinch of nutmeg for a warm, spiced version.

Keto and Low-Carb Version

Keto Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups almond flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 stick unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • ¾ cup erythritol or other keto-friendly sweetener
  • 1 large egg (room temperature)
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Keto Instructions:

  1. Follow the same instructions as the original recipe, but use the keto ingredients. The method remains the same, ensuring a delicious low-carb treat.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Can I make the dough ahead of time?

A: Yes, you can prepare the dough ahead of time and refrigerate it for up to 24 hours. Let it come to room temperature before baking.

Q: Can I freeze the baked cookies?

A: Absolutely! Once baked and cooled, you can freeze the cookies in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature before serving.

Q: What type of butter should I use?

A: Unsalted butter is recommended for this recipe to control the amount of salt. Ensure it’s at room temperature for easy mixing.

Q: How can I make my cookies softer?

A: Avoid overbaking the cookies. They should be just lightly golden on the edges when you remove them from the oven.

Q: Can I use a different extract instead of vanilla?

A: Yes, you can use almond extract, lemon extract, or any other flavoring you prefer. Adjust the quantity to your taste.

Southern Tea Cake Cookies are a delightful, nostalgic treat that’s perfect for any occasion. Whether you enjoy them with a cup of tea, as a snack, or as a dessert, they’re sure to bring a smile to your face. The simple ingredients and easy preparation make them a go-to recipe for bakers of all skill levels. Plus, with the keto and low-carb variation, everyone can enjoy these tasty cookies. Happy baking!

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