The American South is known for many things, but if there are any two to come to mind- it is good food and iced tea. From sweet, dripping pitchers of Sweet Tea, to buttery goodness that is Southern cuisine – it’s a great place to cheat a little on your diet. One such treat to have with your tea, whether you have “Sweet Tea” or not, is a Tennessee Tea Cake.
As the blog Being the Secret Ingredient describes their recipe,
“Dense, chewy, sweet, and dark blonde. The first bite is perhaps unspectacular, but something in it beckons you on to bite two.
By the time you are licking the powdered sugar off your fingers, ready to put the lid back on the tin and call it a day, something lingering on your palate draws you back for more….
Before you know it, your mom’s footsteps down the hall call you back to consciousness, as you shuffle to stash the suddenly empty, powdered-sugar-speckled tin and the mountain of muffin liners that surround you”
In short, they’re good. It could be the perfect thing to set off your tea or impress your friends when you have tea – serving a not so common, but definitely delicious treat with tea. Here is the recipe to Make Tennessee Tea Cakes:
According to legend, a 17-year-old Southern Belle wanted to impress a confederate major before he went off to war but didn’t have enough ingredients to make a cake. Instead she used what she did have on hand to make him tea-cakes, and he loved them so much, he returned safely from the war and made her his wife. Frances Barkley claimed Tennessee T-Cakes followed the very same recipe. The recipe below is my homage to a true Nashville treasure.
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
1 T pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp apple cider vinegar
4 oz (1/2 a standard package) Neufchatel or reduced-fat cream cheese, not whipped
1 large egg
1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a 12-cup standard-size muffin pan with muffin liners.
2.In a small bowl whisk together flour, salt, and baking powder. Set aside.
3.In a medium-sized saucepan, melt butter and brown sugar over med-low heat, whisking to combine. Bring just to a boil, remove from heat, and add vanilla, vinegar, and cream cheese, whisking until smooth. Thoroughly whisk in the egg. Whisk in the dry ingredients.
4.Divide the mixture evenly among the 12 muffin cups in the prepared pan. Cups will be about 1/2 full. 5.Bake at 350 degrees F for 16 minutes. Cool completely and sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving. Store tightly covered at room temperature for up to 5 days.
And there you have it, a great recipe to make Tennessee Tea cakes. They’re compact, sweet, and a great treat to have with tea – just don’t get too carried away.