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Jun 8, 2007 02:39 PM

Tea Cake Recipe - not the cookies

I am looking for a recipe for Tea cakes like from Martino's Bakery in Southern California -

They are rectangular shaped little cupcake type things, but are very, very moist and more airy than a regular cupcake.

I tried searching in old cookbooks, and found a recipe and tried it, but it came out very dense.


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  1. These tea cakes remind me of the ones I used to buy as a kid at Grace's Pastries on Jefferson and Crenshaw Blvd. in L.A. They were my favorite! Someone told me that a recipe was posted in a Japanese language paper. I will try to get that for us! Thanks for reminding me of one of my long ago favorites.

    4 Replies
    1. re: mochi mochi

      OMG you're right! They remind me of packaged Japanese sponge cake with a lemon glaze.

      1. re: mochi mochi

        Those tea cakes were my absolute favorites too!

        I went to check out Angel Maid Bakery (Culver City) when I heard they made tea cakes just like those at Grace's. But they're not (they didn't even have any glaze on top) so -- alas, my quest continues . . .

        If you can share the recipe, that be great! I'll just bake my own!

        1. re: Nermie

          I contacted the Rafu Shimpo last month and never got a reply. So I have to see if any of my buddies saw the recipe. I miss those tea cakes! I will be sure to post if I ever find it.

          1. re: mochi mochi

            Thanks for trying!! I'm keeping my fingers crossed!!!

      2. Is it like a sponge cake? In UK, we have songe cakes called fairy cakes cooked like cupcakes but you could use batter for any shape. Here is a link. coach/articles/0,,177274_673444,00.html - 49k -

        A tea cake to me is like a scone, full of currants and a bit lumpy.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Densible

          It is more like a sponge cake than a scone. Thanks for the link I will try this recipe

          Also, I now know what Paul Mccartney is referring to in his song where he says "Nanny bakes, fairy cakes on Sunday morning!"

          1. re: Densible

            Made these tonight. They are delicious! I haven't put any frosting on them yet, but I like them. They still don't have the flavor of the tea cakes, but they have a similar texture. I looked on the bakery's website and they call that tea cake flavor - buttermilk -- so I think next I will try a buttermilk cake recipe.

            This recipe will be my new yellow cupcake recipe! Thanks so much!

          2. I made the Buttermilk cupcakes from Epicurious -

            They came out very similar in texture to the tea cakes, but totally missed the flavor of them. I think the tea cakes are more moist

            The frosting recipes were nothing like the glaze on the tea cakes, and everyone preferred the lemon frosting over the chocolate. The frosting recipe also made way to much frosting.

            My search continues.

            1. OMG, I am looking for this recipe too! Did you ever find it?


              1 Reply
              1. re: debisusan

                Not yet. I found some that are close. I've got a couple recipes to try, I'm just waiting for it to be cool enough to bake!
                There is another person tryin to find a recipe for this as well.

                You can follow her progress here

              2. I found an old LA Times article that indicates that the elusive flavor is from cooked milk.

                "Not vanilla in flavor, nor like a white, spice or yellow cake, the glazed squares have an elusive flavor produced by cooking the milk used in the batter. That yields delicate caramel tones and makes the small, pale gold cakes irresistible and homey. "

                Sorry, no recipe. I gather it's a trade secret, so if you develop a 'copy' you may have something quite valuable.