Tennessee T Cakes {Secret Recipe Club}

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Tennessee T Cakes

I picked up an extra reveal for this month’s Secret Recipe Club at the last minute – and I am sure glad that I did! These little tea cakes come via Angela of Spinach Tiger. Angela’s site has a wealth of recipes. She’s a Nashville blogger, too, which makes me wish I still lived there so we could hang out! Or, you know, she could make me dinner. I wouldn’t mind having these chicken thighs with pavlova cups for dessert. I’m only 2 hours away, Angela! You let me know when!

Anyway, when I saw the link to her recipe for Tennessee T Cakes, it definitely brought a picture to my mind. I live in Chattanooga, after all, just an hour-and-a-half from Knoxville.

But the recipe really led to a lovely tea cake recipe, made famous by a baker in Nashville when Oprah named her cakes one of her favorite things in 2006. While a quick skim shows that it was a secret recipe but consisted of just flour, sugar, eggs, butter, and vanilla, Angela adds cream cheese to her recipe for a divine richness.

These tea cakes are not quite cake, definitely not the cookie type – they are gooey caramel deliciousness. They come together in a snap with ingredients you probably have around. Make some for a quick treat for the family!

Tennessee T Cakes

Tennessee T Cakes

Yield: 12 tea cakes

Recipe from Spinach Tiger


  • 1 c. brown sugar
  • 1/2 c. unsalted butter
  • 4 oz. softened cream cheese
  • 1 T vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • powdered sugar


Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare muffin tin by spraying with cooking spray or lining with papers (I use silicone muffin liners).

In a small saucepan, melt brown sugar and butter together on medium-low heat, stirring often. Once melted, turn heat to low. Add cream cheese and whisk until cream cheese is all melted and the mixture is uniform. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla and apple cider vinegar. Let cool to room temperature.

Meanwhile, whisk flour, salt, and baking powder in a small bowl.

When the brown sugar mixture is cooled off, whisk an egg into it. Add flour mixture gradually and stir until all the flour is incorporated.

Divide batter among the muffin cups. Bake 20-25 minutes*, until a tester comes out mostly clean and tops don't look gooey.

Sift powdered sugar over the tops. Cool and then enjoy!

*Angela said hers only took 16 minutes. My muffin liners are kind of small, so my muffins may have been taller and taken longer to cook. Start checking muffins for doneness around the 16-18 minute mark.


8 thoughts on “Tennessee T Cakes {Secret Recipe Club}

    • We love Chattanooga! But reading your posts about Nashville restaurants makes me want to move back there. We lived there for 5 years but were young and broke and couldn’t afford to hit up some of those nicer restaurants. I ate a lot of Baja Burrito, though! 🙂

    • Is Nashville the new It Place for bloggers? It seems wild how many are there now! And how many restaurants have opened since we moved away 4 1/2 years ago.

      Chattanooga is a wonderful place, though, and you definitely should visit. We have some pretty great restaurants too. It’s a great place to live with kids.

      • glad to hear it! we love nashville but i’m not sold on living in a big city forever. so i could totally see us moving someplace smaller at some point. not this year or next, but maybe 5-10 years out. who know though! nashville is just growing so much, but maybe i’m just overwhelmed because i’ve never lived in a big city before.

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