Old Fashioned Tea Cakes

READY IN: 20mins
Recipe by gourmetmomma

These are the cookies from my childhood. The recipe is originally from the Red River Cookbook of Shreveport LA, published in 1953. This makes the perfect sugar cookie dough for cutting out shapes. The dough is relatively easy to work with and does not seem to toughen up with repeated rollings. Best of all, the cookies do not puff up, they retain the shape they were cut into. The cooled cookies are slightly crisp, very thin, and have almost a shortbread texture. The dough will freeze in rolls for slicing or shaping at a later date. The yield will depend on the size of cookie cutter you are using. We normally end up with about 4 pans full of cookies. If you keep to simple shapes, the cookies pack and travel well with minimal breakage.

Top Review by TexasRedHot

I have been looking for this recipe forever! Thanks for posting. I have loved these cookies from childhood also.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Cream butter and sugar.
  2. Add egg.
  3. Sift flour and baking powder together.
  4. Add to first mixture.
  5. Add vanilla.
  6. Roll on floured board to about 1/4 inch thick and cut with cookie cutter. (I use powdered sugar to roll out the cookies, it makes life a bit more fun for my kids). If the dough gets a little hard to work with (on the 2nd or 3rd rolling of "scraps"), form a ball and place it (wrapped) into the refrigerator for 10 minutes to let the dough firm back up.
  7. Decorate with colored sugar and sprinkles if you want to do so before baking.
  8. Bake 7 - 10 minute in oven, preheated to 350 degrees.
  9. Allow the cookies to cool slightly before removing to a cooling rack with a flat metal spatula (pancake turner). Cool completely before decorating with icing.
  10. I've tripled this recipe without any issue. If you scale up, keep most of the dough in the refrigerator and work a reasonable quantity at a time.

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