Teacakes for Spring and Weddings

old-fashioned teacakes
MaMa’s Teacakes

Old-fashioned teacakes make me think of my grandmother, my dad’s mother. I called her MaMa, an endearment that I’ve seen spelled numerous ways. In fact, I’ve spelled it differently at various times in my life. It sounds like MawMaw and Momo, maybe somewhere in between. Sort of like MawMo. It’s a southern thing. But then, I’m from the South. Not just from the South, though. I’m talking about Deep South. East Texas kind of South. We have our own kind of southern drawl. But to make things simple in this blog post, I’ll stick to MaMa.

When I went to visit MaMa, she would have teacakes stacked in a big glass container on the table. Usually, the teacakes would be iced with either white or pink icing. I looked forward to those teacakes. A favorite pastime at her house for me was to go out on the front porch with a cup of crushed ice and an iced teacake. MaMa’s tin measuring cups had handles. The ice tray was the kind that had a lever to push to crush the ice, and the freezer part of the frig was on the bottom.

Holidays were fun at MaMa’s. Christmas Day and Easter were my favorites. The table would be packed with festive food and desserts – and those teacakes.

Easter Eggs
Me at MaMa’s for Easter

What especially made holidays so enjoyable was getting to see the extended family. It was just a small group of us that usually showed up on Christmas Day. I remember more relatives coming on Easter.

I always looked forward to seeing my aunt, Daddy’s sister, and my cousin, Tawnya.

I’ve been thinking a lot this Easter week about fond memories at MaMa’s. This past Good Friday, my cousin’s daughter was married. Our wedding invitation from Kelley and her fiance included a note asking family, those who would like to participate, to bring favorite desserts enjoyed by the family. Such a fun idea! Of course, I thought of the teacakes.

Family Dessert Table

There’s a mystery about the teacakes. MaMa didn’t need a recipe. We’re sure she had one, just not sure where it is. My mother came up with a teacake recipe with icing that was very close to MaMa’s. Mother passed away in 2008. Friday I made my version of how I remember the teacakes MaMa made.

What Are Teacakes?

Teacakes are somewhat like sugar cookies, but the texture is different. They’re sweet but not too sweet. You can find several recipes, some simple and others more complicated, on Pinterest for old-fashioned teacakes. Most likely, all of them taste wonderful. But when you’ve been raised with teacakes of a certain texture and icing, you are never satisfied with any other.

My mother’s teacakes, “Nana’s Teacakes”, became popular in her Southeast Texas community. My mom would let my daughter help her make the cookies sometimes. She recalls her Nana letting the teacakes sit overnight before icing them. She used certain tricks for producing the perfect teacakes that she sold thousands of. One thing Mother wasn’t keen on doing was sharing her recipe with everyone.

The mystery of my family’s secret recipe continues. Family members make them, and the teacakes always taste delightful.


Consider making teacakes for your wedding reception. One of my nieces had teacakes at her wedding reception. You can dye icing whatever color you desire, but imagine the light-colored cakes drizzled with white icing – beautiful! Let me share with you three links to a few of my favorite old-fashioned teacakes found on Pinterest:

Maybe you’ve followed this blog for awhile and have read about the southern family recipe book coming in the near future by Kitchen Southern Hospitality, aka kitchenhospitality.com. If you like teacakes and want to find out more about the mystery teacakes, stay in tune for updates on the cookbook.


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  1. Your Teacakes look fantastic. My Grandmother made Teacakes and these remind me of her, thanks so much for sharing with us at Full Plate Thursday!
    Miz Helen

  2. You talked about your MaMa and her secret recipe. Those old southern cooks didn’t really have recipes. My grandmother had a lot of “formulas” for making things. They just knew what it should look and feel like. I’m not sure I’ve ever had a tea cake. Are they similar to those soft, iced sugar cookies that are sold in the grocery stores?

    1. Author

      True. My grandmothers and mother usually didn’t write their recipes down. However, family rumors say there is a recipe somewhere for MaMa’s. Probably my aunt or mother asked her how she made them and wrote it down. No one seems to know where it is now. Mother tried her best to come up with teacakes like MaMa’s, and hers tasted very similar to them. The ones I made on Good Friday remind me very much of MaMa’s. My brother told me they tasted like hers, too. They are similar to the soft, iced sugar cookies you’re referring to but yet different.

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