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Weeping Tea Cakes

Subject: Re: Tea Cakes
From: Keith
Date: 5/4/2019, 2:50 PM

On 5/4/2019 1:58 PM, Keith wrote:

Dear Uncle Phaedrus,


When I was a tiny child, my mother went back to work, and I was kept by an old woman 
who lived near us.  She was probably in her early 80’s in the 1950’s when she kept me.  
She made me what she called “tea cakes” all the time.  They were plain most of the 
time, but, for special occasions, she iced them with chocolate or vanilla icing. They 
were, I guess, cookies, but were cake-like.  Wonderful little treats.  Not too sweet, 
but just right.
All I remember is that she baked them on a round cast iron baker with a handle on it.  
They were not uniform in shape; so I guess she dropped them.  The one thing I remember 
most is that the next day after they were made and stored in a red glass container 
with a ribbed clear glass lid, they developed “weeping” on their tops just like meringue 
does. I always wanted the one with the most little syrup drops on top.

I would give anything to find a recipe for these.  I have tried many over the years, 
but have never been able to replicate hers.  Any help you could give me would be much 

Thank you, Uncle Phaedrus, and may God richly bless you!


Hi Keith,

Well, I was a young child in the 1950s myself, and my maternal grandmother made tea cakes after they cooled. I have no idea about her recipe.

There are "syrup tea cakes" recipes, as well as "molasses tea cakes" recipes, but I found none that mentioned "weeping".

It's extremely difficult to find a particular recipe from a description with no unique name and no hard facts about the recipe, just subjective memories. I found a lot of tea cake recipes called "old-fashioned", but I could not find a single tea cake recipe that mentioned the "weeping." Even "old-fashioned" recipes for such things that I find on the web have been updated to modern cooking methods, even though our grandmothers may have cooked them on pot-bellied wood stoves or on a cast iron baker.

I have some old-fashioned and Southern tea cakes recipes on my site here:


Tea Cakes

I found an entire book about tea cakes, with old recipes, here: "The TeaCake Project" by Elbert Mackey

Perhaps you can find a recipe among those that will at least taste like what you remember. I did not find any among them that mentioned the "weeping."

I will post this for reader input. Perhaps someone will remember "weeping" tea cakes and can tell us how to make them.


Hello Phaed,

I just really thank you so very much. If I could get close to those, it sure would bring back some wonderful memories of a wonderful lady who really loved and cared for me.

My grandmother cooked on a cast iron wood stove. She was one good cook. I always wondered how she could keep the temperature right. I’d have everything either raw or burnt to a crisp.

I’m going to look at what you found, and even a book, wow!

If one of your readers comes up with something, that would be great.

Many, many thanks. Have a blessed evening!


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