Grace’s Tea Cake Recipe

Almost every year, I throw a Garden Party and  the item which must be on the menu are Martino’s teacakes, moist and delicious teacake_cranberryheavenly confections. Martino’s has been around for decades and is located in Burbank.  In an effort to duplicate the recipe, my friend Ann Jones provided me with a recipe that she hears is pretty close in the results in flavor and texture.


A teacake is different in various parts of the world.  In the Southeastern United States, a tea cake is a traditional dense large cookie, made with sugar, butter, eggs, flour, milk, and flavoring.In the rest of the United States, a tea cake is a spice cake topped with powdered sugar. Sometimes it may contain fruits such as apricots, blueberries, or cranberries.

  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons brown sugar, packed
  • 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 cup oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 large eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1 3/4 cups buttermilk, divided us
  • For the glaze
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 tablespoons boiling water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk or sift together flour, baking soda and salt in a bowl.  In another bowl, cream sugars and oil. Add vanilla.
Add 1/3 of the eggs to sugar mixture and mix. Repeat 2 times. Mix for 3 minutes. Add 1/2 of the buttermilk and mix. Add flour mixture and mix 3 minutes. Finally, add the remaining buttermilk and mix until smooth. Batter will be thin. Pour into cupcake tins.

Bake 20 minutes. Test with a clean toothpick to make sure cupcakes are done. Frost with a glaze.
To make the glaze, melt butter until golden. Add to confectioners’ sugar, along with vanilla and water. Whisk until the texture is smooth and creamy. Dip cooled teacake tops into the glaze. Place on a rack and let them sit until the glaze hardens. If it is a humid day, refrigerate them in order to speed the process. Makes about 24.

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