Aunt Evelyn’s Virginia Tea Cakes


Virginia Tea Cakes

Virginia Tea Cakes

Helen Reporting,

This handwritten recipe also has, as a subtitle, (Tea cakes / Aunt Mary Campbell). Not sure who she was but if she had a hand in these cookies, her distant descendants are grateful. We know these cookies come from Virginia and the relatives there raved over them. They are delicious, faintly sophisticated, perhaps British. The perfect thing to keep on hand in case company drops by.

This is a deceptively simple recipe. I made it several times and settled on the proportions in the parentheses below:


1 cup butter

2 eggs

2 cups light brown sugar

3 to 5 cups flour (3 1/2 cups)

2 to 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder (2 teaspoons)

1 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon allspice


  1. Cream butter and sugar until fluffy.
  2. Add eggs, one at a time.
  3. Add baking powder and spices.
  4. Add flour until stiff.
  5. (Roll into 1 inch balls—these should be small—and put on a lightly greased cookie sheet.)
  6. Oven—450°—about ten minutes