Traditional Tea Cakes from the 1920s

Fancy up some easy tea cakes using embossing stencils.

We hand-pick antiques for our readers and may earn a small commission if you buy something featured on this page.
old fashioned tea cakes recipe

Old-fashioned tea cakes are an integral part of tea time and have been popular for over a century. But would you dare try a cookie recipe from 100 years ago? This vintage recipe comes from a classic Art Deco-era cookbook and should be simple enough for beginner bakers to succeed.

Not surprisingly, this tea cake recipe is comparable to the ones you see today, and the only update we made was to include a general guideline for oven temperature and time to bake. In old cookbooks, people and recipes judged their ovens less precisely, using markers for temperatures like warm and hot and markers like quick or long for time.

The recipe suggests that you sift the flour and baking powder together three times. If you’re unfamiliar with the sifting process, here’s a quick starter video:

Also, if you want to make your teacakes more decorative like the photo you see here, use a cookie cutter that also has an embosser built into it. If you don’t have an embosser, any fancy cookie cutter will do.

Use a biscuit cookie embosser stamp to add a special touch to your tea cakes.


About the cookbook: The Mrs. Wilson’s New Cook Book was released by Mrs. W.H. Wilson in 1920 and contained a collection of original recipes and helpful household information.

old fashioned tea cakes recipe

Old Fashioned Tea Cakes Recipe

Serves: 30
Nutrition facts: 200 calories 20 grams fat
Rating: 4.8/5
( 4 voted )


  • 3 eggs
  • 3 level teaspoons baking powder
  • 2/3 cup butter or 1/2 cup fat
  • 3 cups flour sifted 3 times with [baking] powder.
  • 2 cups sugar


  1. Beat eggs light, add sugar, then softened butter.
  2. Mix into flour and add enough flour to roll into soft dough.
  3. Roll thin, sprinkle with sugar, and cut with fancy cutter.
  4. Bake in quick oven. [375 degrees for 7-8 minutes]
Did You Make This Recipe?
Share it on Pinterest and Instagram and tag @heirloomsathome.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. By clicking “Accept“, you agree to our website's cookie use as described in our Cookie Policy. Accept Read More