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James Carrier Photo by: James Carrier

Tea Cakes

As a child, Wallace Yvonne McNair, the administrator and curator of the Black American West Museum & Heritage Center in Denver, often craved this snack—a glass of milk and one or two of the big, soft, jam-dotted cookies that her mother called tea cakes.

Sunset JANUARY 1998

  • Yield: Makes 9 cookies


  • 1 tablespoon butter or margarine, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon peel
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 2 tablespoons nonfat milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons raspberry or strawberry jam


1. Beat butter with sugar and lemon peel until well blended.

2. Beat in egg whites, milk, and vanilla.

3. Beat in baking powder.

4. Add flour and stir until batter is evenly moistened.

5. Drop batter in 2-tablespoon portions about 3 inches apart on nonstick baking sheets.

6. Onto the center of each cookie, spoon 1/4 teaspoon jam.

7. Bake in a 350° oven until cookies are pale brown on top and golden on bottom, 13 to 15 minutes. Transfer to racks to cool. Serve warm or cool.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 94
  • Calories from fat: 14%
  • Protein: 2.3g
  • Fat: 1.4g
  • Saturated fat: 0.8g
  • Carbohydrate: 18g
  • Fiber: 0.4g
  • Sodium: 82mg
  • Cholesterol: 3.5mg

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Tea Cakes Recipe