Tea Cakes with Butter Frosting Recipe
Tea Cakes with Butter Frosting Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Tea Cakes with Butter Frosting Recipe

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This is an old-fashioned recipe that was given to me by a friend's grandmother. You can easily tint the frosting with food coloring for a festive look throughout the year.
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 25 min. + chilling Bake: 10 min./batch + cooling
MAKES:33 servings
Test Kitchen Approved
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 25 min. + chilling Bake: 10 min./batch + cooling
MAKES: 33 servings


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 to 5 tablespoons milk
  • Food coloring and colored sugars, optional

Nutritional Facts

1 serving (2 each) equals 257 calories, 9 g fat (5 g saturated fat), 42 mg cholesterol, 179 mg sodium, 42 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 3 g protein.


  1. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; add to the creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour or until easy to handle.
  2. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 1/4-in. thickness. Cut with floured 2-1/2-in. cookie cutters. Using a floured spatula, place 1 in. apart on greased baking sheets. Bake at 350° for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool completely.
  3. In a large bowl, cream the butter, sugar, vanilla and enough milk to achieve spreading consistency. Add food coloring if desired. Frost cookies; sprinkle with colored sugars if desired. Yield: about 5-1/2 dozen.
Originally published as Tea Cakes with Butter Frosting in Best of Country Cookies 1999, p46

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Reviewed Sep. 12, 2015

"Just awful. Extremely disappointed. First recipe I've tried from this site or magazine that was a complete waste of ingredients. Chilling the dough had no effect to the sticky mush, even overnight. Adding 3 extra cups of flour did absolutely nothing to help it not cling to every thing it touched. I even added corn starch to thicken it. It thickened. But was still so unbelievablely sticky I couldn't even make them into drop cookies. Don't waste all the flour. You will be disappointed."

Reviewed Dec. 14, 2013

"I made these last Christmas and these are by far my favorite sugar type cookie. Will be making them again this year!"

Reviewed Dec. 5, 2011

"Easy!!! Delightful!!! Its a must year round!!"

Reviewed Dec. 19, 2010

"First off I want to say I tried making these cookies a few times using different techniques like substituting butter for shortening, rolling on cold bake stone, freezing dough, etc. No matter what I did the dough is so sticky that it's impossible to roll. They taste okay as a drop cookie. I won't waste time or ingredients with these cookies again."

Reviewed Feb. 13, 2010

"I have made these cookies twice since the holiday issue came out. I get rave reviews everytime and may requests for the recipe."

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