NZ Woman's Weekly

Retro recipe – Tea cakes

The lovely tradition of morning and afternoon tea – old-fashioned cakes, a teapot, milk jug and sugar bowl – has been largely lost, as our lives have become too busy for such nonsense.

But I’m all for reviving the special occasion – especially at the weekends when you can invite some friends over for the afternoon. Buy a nice stand for the baking, make a few of these treats, and don’t forget to warm the teapot first, then turn it three times clockwise and three times anticlockwise before leaving for three minutes to steep.

My mother copied this recipe out for me from an old family cookbook, and says these made regular appearances at morning and afternoon teas during her childhood.

Tea Cakes

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 100g butter
  • 2 eggs
  • A little milk
  • 1 large cup sultanas

1 Sift the flour, baking powder, sugar and nutmeg together. Rub in the butter until fine.

2 Beat the eggs and add to the mixture. Add a little milk if you need to make a firm dough, and then mix in the sultanas.

3 Tip the dough out onto a floured board and divide into four parts. Pat like a scone mixture until 5cm-thick, then cut into large squares.

4 Cook in a 180ºC oven for about 20 minutes or until golden.

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