Miss Vivian’s Tea Cakes – Gluten-Free Version

The story of Miss Vivian’s Tea Cakes is not my own, but the beautiful memory my friend and fellow author Dera R. Williams shares in her blog Vanilla Memories. Dera discusses her childhood memories of her grandmother serving sweet tea and tea cakes on the porch in Arkansas. She talks about getting the recipe from her own mother and trying them out herself.

When I first read “Vanilla Memories,” I immediately felt as if I were sitting on the front porch in Arkansas, sipping on tea and eating her mother’s tea cakes.

Dera R. Williams is a profound author, genealogist, and storyteller based out of Oakland, CA. Dera’s gift of storytelling is able to pull the reader into a world of her characters, real or imaginary. I would highly encourage you to read more about Dera’s work and try out her mother’s delicious tea cake recipe included in “Vanilla Memories.”

Making the Tea Cakes

When I first decided to make Miss Vivian’s Tea Cakes – Gluten Free Version, I had to look at Dera’s recipe to see what adjustments I had to make. I have discovered in gluten-free baking, that it’s important to add in additional liquid to keep your treats from being too dry. I actually only increased the vanilla. The only other addition I made was using baking powder instead of baking soda and cream of tartar, it offers the same result.


Making the tea cakes was easier than I anticipated. The process and baking time were both pretty quick. The flavor was fantastic. Though this was my first experience making traditional tea cakes, I was quite pleased with the result. They were moist, buttery, and not too sweet. Tasting them brought me to a familiar place that I still don’t recognize, perhaps a memory I cannot recollect. Either way, making Miss Vivian’s Tea Cakes, even gluten-free was delightful.


The recipe I have posted below is from Miss Vivian’s Tea Cakes, however I did adapt it to be gluten-free. If you would like to try the original tea cake recipe, please check out Dera’s blog, Vanilla Memories. She has included her mother Miss Vivian’s recipe.

Whichever version you try, I pray you will have a delightful experience. I definitely did.

Be Well!

Tea Cakes on a While Plate

Miss Vivian’s Tea Cakes – Gluten-Free Version

Tea cakes are a delightful addition to any tea time ritual, or afternoon snack. Whether traditional or gluten-free, these tea cakes are moist and flavorful.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes


  • 1 Large bowl
  • 1 Tablespoon
  • 1 Teaspoon
  • 1 Measuring cup
  • 1 Wisk or fork
  • 1 Baking sheet
  • 1 Spatula
  • 1 Cooling rack optional


  • 2 sticks butter Room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar I use either coconut or date sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 2 cups flour I use Gluten-free
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp milk I use almond or cashew milk


Preheat your oven to 350.
Place your softened butter, sugar, egg, and vanilla in a large bowl and mix together. 
Add the baking powder to your flour and slowly pour into the wet ingredients while stirring. 
Pour in the milk and mix until completely combined.
Drop a tablespoon full of batter onto the baking sheet until you have about a dozen.
Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes. 
Let cool, serve, and enjoy.

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