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Lemon tea cakes being served from a baking sheet after baking
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5 from 7 votes

Lemon Tea Cake Recipe

Made with simple, pantry ingredients and baked to chewy, buttery citrusy perfection, this lemon tea cake recipe is perfect for lovely taste of the South!
Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time11 mins
Chill Time2 hrs
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: soul food, Southern
Servings: 16 servings
Calories: 136kcal


  • 8 tbsp unsalted butter 1 stick
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 medium lemon
  • 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  • Place 1 stick unsalted butter in the bowl of a stand mixer (or a large bowl if mixing by hand or with an electric hand mixer). Let the butter and 1 large egg sit out at room temperature until the butter is softened.
  • Finely grate the zest of 1 medium lemon, then juice the lemon until you have 1 teaspoon juice. Place 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/4 teaspoon baking soda in a medium bowl and whisk to combine.
  • Add 3/4 cup granulated sugar to the butter and beat with the paddle attachment on medium-high speed until fluffy and smooth, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the egg, lemon zest, lemon juice, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and beat on medium speed until well incorporated. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour mixture in 3 additions, beating well after each addition to incorporate.
  • Cover and bowl and refrigerate at least 1 or up to 3 hours to firm up the dough.
  • Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 325ºF. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Scoop out tablespoon portions of the dough and roll each portion into a ball. Using your thumb, gently press the center of each ball to flatten slightly. Place on the baking sheets, up to 12 per baking sheet with at least 1 1/2 inches between each dough ball.
  • Bake one sheet at a time until golden brown around the edges, 9 to 11 minutes. Let cool for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.


Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature up to 1 week.


Calories: 136kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 25mg | Sodium: 59mg | Potassium: 28mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 191IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 7mg | Iron: 1mg