Tennessee - T cakes

Tea Cakes are a very traditional, southern sweet.  Think cross between a cake and cookie with a not too sweet, vanilla flavor.  Some are dusted with sugar, others frosted and decorated, but all were served with tea (sweet, iced that is) or coffee.  

Now, Tennessee T-cakes are different and were made popular by an entrepreneur in Nashville named Frances Barkley.  She used her family's 100 year old recipe to start a thriving business with a unique product that made it onto Oprah's favorite things list one year. Unfortunately, Frances passed away and her business is no longer around - but I found a copy cat recipe for her famous T-cakes and wanted to feature it for Tennessee. 

what to expect...
While these little baked goodies are shaped like a  cupcake or muffin, and are called T-"cakes", they taste nothing like cake.  They are rich and gooey and in a category of their own that is hard to describe, even after eating a lot of them (in the name of research, of course)!  ; )  

3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup salted butter, melted and hot 
1 large egg
2 teaspoons bourbon vanilla
3/4 cup all purpose flour
powdered sugar, for garnish


  • preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • add the brown sugar and white sugar to the melted butter and set aside (some of the brown sugar will melt)
  • in mixer with paddle attachment, gently mix the egg and bourbon vanilla
  • add the butter and sugar mixture to the egg mixture and beat on low until mixed well
  • add flour all at once to mixer.  mix well until ribbon-like
  • bake in paper lined mini-muffin tin for 14 minutes, turning at 7 minutes.
  • dust with powdered sugar when cool

Simply ahhh-ma-zing!  Love these and can't wait to bake more!  



  1. I tried it and it works ! Yum Yummy

    Thank you, Marla Pardilla, Rio Rancho, NM

    1. Hi Marla! So glad that you tried the recipe and enjoyed them! I think they are pretty fantastic too! Thanks for the comment - let us know if you try any of the other state recipes!

  2. Delicious!!! So much so that I have a second batch in the oven ( an hour after making my first :-0 )

  3. Awesome....awesome....awesome....just like the ones Frances sold. Thank you.

    1. So glad you tried the recipe and loved it! They are addictive little treats, aren't they? Did you ever try any of the other T-cake flavors? I never had the pleasure of eating one of Frances' confections but I was so happy to be able feature these on Sweet State of Mine.

  4. I made these and they're wonderful. They're great with nuts, too. I've used cashews and pecans. People are beginning to ask me to bring "my" Tennessee Cakes. LOL

    1. I love the idea of adding nuts to these, Linda! Great addition - can't wait to try it myself! Glad you are enjoying this yummy recipe!

  5. I've had the original from Ms. Frances, but they are no longer. I understand her daughters have the original recipe but i am going to try these as I love to cook. Regards!!