Mom’s Russian Tea Cakes

This was the first thing my Mom let me make as a kid. I remember standing on a chair at the counter beside her when I was four or five years old as she showed me how to mix these little tea cakes up and bake them. I loved rolling them in the powdered sugar almost as much as I enjoyed eating them.

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword holiday, Russian tea cakes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 15 cookies
Author Chef Alli


  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 Tbs. honey
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup plus 2 Tbs. flour
  • more powdered sugar for rolling the tea cakes in, before and after baking


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the margarine and powdered sugar with the honey, salt, and vanilla. Stir in the flour, working until the ingredients come together to make a soft dough.
  3. Portion the dough into 1” balls, rolling each one in powdered sugar and placing them onto a greased cookie sheet, about 2” apart.
  4. Bake tea cakes, uncovered, on the center oven rack for 12-14 minutes, until the bottom of each tea cake is nicely browned.
  5. Remove the tea cakes from the oven, letting them rest on the baking sheet for a few minutes; roll each tea cake in powdered sugar once more while still warm, then place them onto a cooling rack until fully cooked.
  6. Store tea cakes in an airtight container for up to a week, or freeze for up to 6 months. Dough freezes well, too.
  7. Makes 12-15 tea cakes, depending on the size of the balls....and how much of the dough you “sample”.

Recipe Notes