Nothing goes better with a cup of tea than a few tea cakes. Long a favorite around the globe, tea cakes are a sweet treat enjoyed by adults and children alike. Different countries and customs have different styles of cakes, but the tea cakes we're most familiar with resemble small versions of traditional cakes, but designed to be a light tea complemented by hot black or grey tea.
TEA CAKE CREATIONS
There are all manners of tea cakes from those resembling simple cookies to more ornate petit fours. Often the cakes are created with a small bit of batter or dough left over from larger baking projects, but the best tea cakes are created from scratch with intent to make a delicious morning or afternoon treat.
MAKING TEA CAKES
To make tea cakes, you don't need a great deal of time, just some basic ingredients, especially if you want to create the most simplistic, old-fashioned tea cakes. To begin your baking project, gather the following ingredients:
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 tablespoons buttermilk
- 3 eggs
- 5 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- You'll also need a stand or hand mixer as well as an extra bowl on the ready.
Put the butter into the mixing bowl and cream. While beating the butter, gradually add sugar. Once the sugar is blended into the butter, add eggs on at a time and continue to beat. Next, pour in the buttermilk and beat the mixture until smooth. Put this creamed mixture aside.
In a separate bowl or large measuring cup, combine the flour and baking soda. Then slowly add the flour mixture into the large mixing bowl stirring slowly to ensure smoothness and minimal messes. Finally, add the vanilla and stir.
The dough will need to chill for hours, possibly overnight. To roll and cut the tea cakes, you'll need firm dough, so it is far better to wait a bit than try to work with dough that is too soft.
When your dough is firm enough, roll it to 1/4 inch thickness on a lightly floured surface. Cut the dough into circles using a biscuit cutter or cookie cutter. The ideal size should be about 3 1/2 inches in diameter. Place each cake onto a greased cookie sheet and sprinkle each cake with sugar.
Bake the cakes at 400 degrees for 7-8 minutes until the edges are a light brown. Before serving, remove the cookies and let them cool completely.
SERVING TEA CAKES
The old fashioned tea cakes you've created have been served for generations in households across the United States and England. To serve the cakes properly, you should arrange them on a piece of serving ware along with other small food items such as tea sandwiches and fruit and pour yourself a cup of hot tea. Then you can sit back and enjoy your afternoon snack in the way it was intended.