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  • Nithya

Tea Cakes

There are so many unusual or unexpected ingredients that can be used when cooking or baking that add unique flavors, textures, and aromas to dishes. I am always fascinated with anything that involves different ingredients, and unusual methods resulting in unexpected flavors. I was quite intrigued when I came across this Original Tea Cakes recipe on Pinterest. Toasting dry milk powder is something that I would have never thought about. It is first toasted until golden, then mixed with buttermilk. Quite interesting!

I believe these are pretty popular cakes that are served in a bakery in California, they are called Martino Bakery's Original Tea Cakes. I got to know about it only when I read the original post. As per the actual recipe, there is a thin glaze on top which is made of butter and sugar. Since the cake had enough sugar, I did not want to add more, so I skipped the glaze.

These cakes are square, absolutely soft, and have a very tender crumb. You will taste the milk powder in every bite. I must say my house was filled with the aroma of milk powder. Toasting the instant dry milk powder gave a nice nutty and caramel flavor to the cakes. Just be careful as they burn pretty quickly, keep checking often while it is in the oven.

I used my Brownie pan to get the square shape, but feel free to use a muffin pan if that is what you have. Gently press the liners into the pan and the liners will conform to the square shape of the pan.

Here is the link to the video -



Makes 12 tea cakes

1/4 cup instant dry milk powder

3/4 cup, whole buttermilk at room temperature ( shaken well)

3/4 stick( 6 tablespoon ) butter, at room temperature

2/3 cup sugar

1/4 cup light brown sugar

1 egg, at room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/4 cup all purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1. Preheat oven at 300F. Spread the dry milk powder to a parchment lined baking tray. Bake/Toast for 3-5 mins or until golden. Be careful, they tend to burn very quickly.

2. Combine the toasted milk powder to the buttermilk( shaken well) and mix until it dissolves.

3. Increase the oven temperature to 350F. Line the brownie pan with cupcake liners. Set it aside.

4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together butter and both the sugars (Scrape the sides in between). This would take about 2-3 mins.

5. Add the egg and vanilla extract and beat until you see creamy, soft batter. Turn off the stand mixer.

6. Separately sieve flour, baking powder and salt. Mix well.

7. Now alternate between the flour and the buttermilk mixture - Add 1/3rd of the flour mixture to the butter mixture. Mix. Now add half of the buttermilk mixture, give it a quick mix. Again 1/3 of the flour mixture and then the remaining buttermilk mixture. Finally the remaining flour needs to be added and gently mixed.

8. Using a cookie dough scoop, fill each cavity of the pan ( about 3/4 full) with the cake batter.

9. Bake for about 18-20 mins, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow it to cool.




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