Easy Vanilla Tea Cake Cookies
Vanilla Tea Cake Cookies are a simple buttery, soft vanilla tea cookies perfect for afternoon tea. Much like Scottish Shortbread, the ingredients are simple, but the texture and vanilla flavors are deliciously unforgettable.
It’s a classic, old-fashioned, perfect cookie. Whether you serve it with tea… or milk.
Make them ahead for the holidays, they are a crowd-favorite Christmas cookie.
Or simply to save for that rare quiet moment with a cup of tea and bite of something sweet.
I love these tea cookies, but I thought you might want to hear from others who like them too. These comments are on Pinterest:
“I tried it! It came out fantastic!! Light and delicious and did not take a lot of time! I WILL be making these again!!!”
“I never knew such a perfect cookie recipe could exist, but here we are eating the best cookie ever. My favorite cookie is chocolate chip, but this beats it.”
Vanilla Tea Cake Cookies Ingredients
This is a simple tea cake recipe made with pantry ingredients including butter, eggs, flour, sugar, vanilla, salt, and cream of tartar.
Is There a Substitute for Cream of Tartar?
This old family recipe does call for cream of tartar. This is what cream of tartar is, and a quick ingredient substitute if you don’t have it.
Cream of tartar is a great addition to pantry baking ingredients. And part of what makes Snickerdoodles so incredibly delicious.
Technically, cream of tartar is an acid and is most commonly used as a leavener and stabilizer.
If you need to substitute cream of tartar, here is a good rule of thumb. For every 1/2 teaspoon of cream of tartar in a recipe, use 1 teaspoon of lemon juice or white vinegar.
When to Serve Vanilla Tea Cake Cookies
There’s never a wrong time to serve these cookies… in my book.
But I particularly like to serve them for afternoon tea. They make a great accompaniment to other sweets or are delicious enough to serve simply with a cup of tea.
And, they are always a favorite on the cookie tray during the holidays. From Thanksgiving through Christmas. In fact, I make them ahead early in October and freeze them in an airtight container.
More Tea Cake Cookie Recipes
Favorite Christmas Cookie Ideas
- Russian Tea Cakes
- Peanut Butter Cookies
- Scottish Millionaire Cookies
- Scottish Shortbread
- All Christmas Cookie Recipes
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Vanilla Tea Cake Cookies
Vanilla Tea Cake Cookies are a simple buttery, soft vanilla tea cookie perfect for afternoon tea. Much like Scottish Shortbread, the ingredients are simple, but the texture and vanilla flavors are deliciously unforgettable.
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1 egg
- 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Combine the butter and sugar in a stand mixer or with a handheld mixer; beat until creamy, about 3 minutes. Then add the egg and vanilla; mix until combined.
- In a small bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt. Add the dry ingredients into the butter mixture and mix well.
- Shape the dough into balls, roll in granulated sugar, and transfer to the prepared baking pan.
- Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 36 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 112Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 19mgSodium: 107mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: 0gSugar: 8gProtein: 1g
I just got done baking these for the first time. I was out of Vanilla extract so I used 2 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste. I also had 1/2 cup unsalted American butter and 1/2 cup salted Irish butter on hane. Even with those minor changes, they were great. Thia recipe is a keeper. Thank you so much for sharing it. I read all the comments and your replys and I found that doing that was extremely helpful. I will be following you on Pintrest. Kindest regards, Mary
Hi Mary! I’m so glad you enjoyed these. I have a few in my freezer for teatime breaks now and again. I love them! The comments are always such a great source of additional information, I’m glad you found them helpful. Thank you so much for trying the recipe and letting me know how it works and any changes you made. Have a great day!
Hi. Can these be frozen after baked?
Hi Stormi, they can definitely be frozen. Hope you enjoy them!
Can I triple this recipe or is it better to make 3 single batches? I’m baking for a large Afternoon Tea fundraiser, expecting about 120 people.
Hi Heather! In theory, you should be able to easily triple this recipe. All of the ingredients can easily scale (1 egg to 3 eggs). While I have never tripled this recipe, I have doubled it. The biggest thing to consider is if your mixer will handle a triple batch. I would love to hear what you decide!
Thank you! I’ll let you know how they turn out.
I don’t see an quanity and how much cardamon?
This recipe makes about 36 cookies, depending on how large you make them. It doesn’t contain cardamom, although some readers have added it from 1/2 tsp to 1 tsp and loved it.
Do these need to be flattened before baking?
Hi Miller, they do not need to be flattened before baking.
Am I reading this correctly??
Does the recipe call for 1 and 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar?
Thank you for your reply!
Hi Gail, yes —. 1 1/2 “teaspoons” cream of tartar. Thanks!
These were really good. I made half the vanilla and the other half Cardamom, both were excellent!
Yum! I love the sound of cardamom — it’s one of my favorite spices! I’m so glad you liked them!