22 March 2018

Toasted Teacakes - English Teacakes

Toasted Teacakes - English Teacakes / www.delightfulrepast.com

English teacakes are delightful warm from the oven, but they really come into their own when they’ve cooled and been split and toasted, up to two days later. Here in the US, various cookies and cakes are called teacakes, and in Scotland a teacake involves marshmallow and chocolate.

But in England (most of it, anyway), a teacake is a lightly sweetened and spiced, currant-filled (you can also use sultanas or other dried fruits) yeast bun, usually served toasted and generously buttered. Also enjoyed at breakfast, they are perfect for elevenses and afternoon tea.

I imagine myself in a cozy English cottage toasting them over an open fire. But having neither an open fire nor a set of toasting forks (never mind the English cottage!), I make do with a toaster or broiler.

The teacakes are split and toasted on the cut sides only under the grill (UK)/broiler (US). Fortunately, our two-slice toaster has what the manufacturer calls a bagel button that toasts just one side. Put the cut sides facing out, push down the lever, then press the bagel/teacake button.

Spread your toasted teacake with lashings of organic unsalted butter—no need for jam—and enjoy with a nice cup of tea. Have you ever had toasted teacakes? If not, start the lovely tradition today!

Toasted Teacakes - English Teacakes / www.delightfulrepast.com

Toasted Teacakes – English Teacakes


(Makes 12)

1 (8 fluid ounces/237 ml) milk
3 tablespoons (1.5 ounces/43 grams) cold unsalted butter
3 dip-and-sweep cups (15 ounces/425 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour, divided
1/4 cup (1.75 ounces/50 grams) sugar
2 teaspoons (0.25 ounce/7 grams) instant yeast
1 teaspoon mixed spice*
1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (5 ounces/142 grams) currants
1 large egg, room temperature, beaten, 1 tablespoon reserved for eggwash and mixed with 1 tablespoon milk and refrigerated until needed

* Since the mixed spice, a ready-made blend popular in the UK, is not readily available elsewhere, you may have to make your own. The amount to make depends on how frequently you’ll be using it. I usually stir up enough for 3 batches of teacakes, but just multiply these amounts if you’d like to make more: 3/4 teaspoon each allspice and cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon mace or nutmeg, 1/4 teaspoon each cardamom, cloves, coriander and ginger.

1 In 1-quart saucepan, heat the milk just until tiny bubbles start to form around the edge of the pan. Add the chunk of cold butter and stir until melted.

2 Measure 1/4 cup (1.25 ounces/35 grams) of flour and set aside. In 2-quart mixing bowl (I use this 2-quart glass measure – makes it easy to see when dough has doubled), whisk together 2 3/4 cups (13.75 ounces/390 grams) flour, sugar, yeast, spice and salt. Stir in currants, separating any that are stuck together. Make a well in the center.

3 Pour the warm milk mixture and beaten egg (don't forget to take out 1 tablespoon of it) into the well. Mix the flour in to form a soft, but not overly wet, dough. The dough should not be sticking to the bowl too much, but come away fairly cleanly.

4 Working from the remaining 1/4 cup (1.25 ounces/35 grams) of flour, lightly flour the work surface and turn the dough out onto it, Clean out the bowl (no need to wash it) and lightly oil it. Knead the dough, using flour from the 1/4 cup, until it is very smooth and silky, about 5 to 10 minutes. Put the dough into the lightly oiled bowl, cover,* let rise until at least doubled, about 2 to 3 hours.

* If you're using plastic wrap, tear off a 15-inch long piece so that you can use it again to cover the shaped teacakes.

5 Line baking sheet (I use this heavy-duty half sheet pan) with parchment paper. Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces--I, being who I am, 😁 weigh the batch of dough in grams (on this food scale) and divide by 12.  Shape each piece into a ball. Give it a little roll on the unfloured counter, a motion sort of like moving a computer mouse around, to make a smooth ball.

6 Place in 3 rows of 4 on prepared baking tray. Flatten each gently into a 3-inch disk about 3/4 inch (2 cm) thick. If using plastic wrap, spray with cooking spray the same piece of plastic wrap you used to cover dough, cover* buns lightly and let rise about 1 hour or so. They will not be doubled, just puffy.

* I use this half sheet pan cover for proofing buns.


Toasted Teacakes - English Teacakes (this photo - teacakes proofing) / www.delightfulrepast.com

7 During last 15 or 20 minutes (depending on your oven), preheat oven to 400F/205C/Gas6.

8 Just before popping them in the oven, brush the buns with the reserved eggwash. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove buns from baking sheet and place on wire rack to cool.

9 Then just split, toast, slather with butter, and Bob's your uncle!

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82 comments:

Angie Schneider said...

I don't think I have ever had an English teacake...they look simply lovely!

Thomas "Sully" Sullivan said...

86 the tea but push my bagel button, this does sound charming. Cozy cottage and fireplace crackling away does it for me. Also slathering scads of butter on toasted surface is in my wheelhouse. But the ultimate element(s) give the nod to Scotland. Yup, marshmallow and chocolate. If that isn’t an argument for Scotch supremacy, I don’t know what is.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Angie. You really must try them! They're quite easy to make.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

No, Sully, no, to the chocolate and marshmallow! Glad you appreciate the slathering of the toasted surface.

Beth L. said...

OHHH I must try these and I certainly
agree with Thomas "Sully" Sullivan who posted above!!!

Louca por porcelana said...

Hummm!Your post looks wonderful!Delicious and inviting!Hugs,dear Jean!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Beth, I hope you will. And do let me know how they turned out for you!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Maristella. And hugs to you!

Butterfly 8)(8 Bungalow said...

They look delicious. It sounds like you eat them like English muffins. xoxo Su

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Su! I like to make English muffins too. Anything in the bread department!

Ruth W said...

I was just looking at a tea cake recipe I haven't made for awile...thanks for the prompt. I think your recipe is pretty similar to mine. Just a family tradition I haven't been doing. Guess it's time! Thanks for linking to Tuesday Cuppa Tea!
Ruth

The Joy of Home with Martha Ellen said...

I've never had the pleasure of eating an English tea cake, Jean. But I can bet I would love them! They look wonderful. Any yeast bread is welcome in my home. ♥

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Ruth, yes, it's time! We must keep up those family food traditions!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Martha. If any yeast bread is welcome in your home, I'd feel right at home there! :-)

Tony Grant said...

Not a bad effort Jean. Yes, real butter. Nothing else. Oh ! and and of course, toasted.
Sultanas or raisins are good. Sultanas are best I think Jean.

Sandi@ Rose Chintz Cottage said...

Your tea cakes look lovely, Jean. I've never had the pleasure of eating one although they do sound much like spicy English muffins with currants and slathered with butter. I did make the tuna melts, or tuna rolls, which is what I have always called them. They are so much nicer on the toasted English muffins and I sprinkled the cheese on top instead of folding the usual chunks of cheese into the mixture. They were very good and this is how I will make them from now on. :-) Have a lovely weekend.

Richard Sheppard said...

I usually have muffins in the freeze ready for when I'm on the go in the mornings but these look delicious and would be a nice alternative and with probably less sugar too!

Mildred said...

I would love to try these.

kitty@ Kitty's Kozy Kitchen said...

Yes please, I'd love to try a toasted tea cake, Jean! I have a bagel setting on my Breville toaster/oven, and I'd happily enjoy one. Thanks for sharing the recipe that I'll try soon! They kind of look like little hot cross buns.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Tony. I like the currants better than sultanas or raisins in teacakes and scones because currants are a lot smaller.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Sandi. And I'm glad you like the tuna melts with cheese on top! I *am* geared up for a lovely weekend, since I get my stitches out tomorrow.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Richard. Yes, I'm all for anything that has less sugar!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Mildred, thank you. You should make a batch soon. They come together very quickly and don't require any special equipment.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Kitty, I think they probably are a bit like hot cross buns, only these are mashed flatter and have no frosting. I hope you'll try them!

kateonthinice said...

Mum used to always order such things when out and about for the day. Your brought back fond memories of her today - thank you #TriumphantTales

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks so much, Kate. I'm happy it brought you fond memories of your mum. (Readers, you may find Kate at https://kateonthinice.com/)

Margie said...

I've never tried toasted teacakes. I also didn't realized that toaster ovens come with a bagel setting?!?

The Margaret tea was from January 2015! It came in a sealed bag inside the tin so when I finally opened it 3 years (!!!) later, the tea still tasted good to me. HA!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Margie, I'm glad your tea was sealed well. It would've been a bummer to finally open it and find it stale. I don't know about bagel settings on toaster ovens. I was referring to my little 2-slice pop-up toaster. If I were going to toast more than one teacake (2 halves), I'd use the broiler feature of my toaster oven.

Zaa said...

The tea cakes sound delicious and it’s just the way I like them “ toasted”...I’ve never even thought of baking my own ( ha Ha)...I should try !!!... they’re would probably be even more delicious...I’ll have to check for that bagel setting..that would be a plus...I do love learning new things... Hope that your hand is better...Thanks for the yummy recipe...Hugs

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Zaa, thank you! And, yes, my hand is better. I'll be able to knead with *both* hands next time! I think you would really have fun making these.

Cheryl said...

I have certainly never had an English tea cake, but I think I need to remedy that! (Now I need to go to bed before I want to eat something. I am salivating!)

You had me at "generously buttered." :)

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

:D Cheryl, thank you. "Generously buttered" always gets me, too!

Cocoa and Lavender said...

I love the sound of your teacakes, Jean! With a fresh container of currants on hand, these just might be our Sunday treat for elevenses!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, David! We love them. Hope you will too. My fresh container of organic currants was labeled by my local natural food store as "currents" - wondered if I should correct them!

Cathy @ My 1929 Charmer said...

This look so good and I'm wishing I had one right now with my cup of tea!

Anne said...

These are my favourite treat, I love English tea cakes x

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Cathy. Finished the last one yesterday afternoon. Must make another batch!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Anne. I love them, too! The huge ones might be a little easier to get out of the toaster, but I prefer to make them this daintier size.

Mrs Shoes said...

I'm getting out the baking tools right now.... sounds so good.

Marisa Franca @ Allourway said...

I can't wait to make these teacakes!! They look so good and would be a perfect treat in the afternoon with my tea. I'm pinning so I can make the cakes when we get home.

Ms Bingles Vintage Christmas said...

They look delicious! have a cup of tea on me! Thanks for sharing! Leticia

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Mrs Shoes, let me know how you like them. What's not to love about bread, right?

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Marisa, do let me know how they turn out for you. They are soooo good with that afternoon cup of tea!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Leticia, thank you so much. I'm having that cup of tea right this minute!

Pauline Wiles said...

Jean, I absolutely adore a toasted teacake, especially mid morning. They're one of my go-to treats when out and about in England. And happily, widely available in cafes and so on. Thank you for this wonderful reminder.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Pauline, I thought you might be a fellow toasted teacake fan! Not many places to get them *here*!

Lowcarb team member said...

Perfect with a cup of tea and always spread butter on them!

All the best Jan

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Jan. Yes, balance out the carbs with lots of good butter!

allisamazing said...

They look delicious & a perfect pairing for afternoon tea!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, allisamazing!

Debbie Harris said...

Hi Jean! Due to some health issues with my dear mom I have been absent and have certainly missed my visits with you.
Oh...these look delicious!! Reminds me of a hot cross bun and we had our share of those while living in Canada, always at Easter time. You have inspired me to make these for my husband and share over the Easter weekend. Next best thing to a hot cross bun. ;)
When it comes to bread, I'm all in.
Bless you~

Sheri said...

Looks yummy. Thanks for sharing in the To Grandma's House We Go DIY, Crafts, Recipes and More Link party! Hope to see you again next week!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

So sorry about your mom, Debbie. It's so hard, I know. I hope the toasted teacakes turn out beautifully for you. Do let me know!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...


Thanks, Sheri!

Tony Grant said...

I have had a rethink Jean. What you have made are current buns. Of course current buns should have currents in them. Do you have hot cross buns in the States? I think they are a British thing. They were banned by the Puritans in the 1600s because of their Roman Catholic connections. They are very popular nowadays. IT is an Easter thing. All the shops have Hot Cross buns for sale right now. I toasted two for my breakfast today. There is a fossilized hot cross bun in the Tudor House Museum in Southampton. It was confiscated off the Mayflower. Somebody among the Pilgrims was a naughty boy or girl.Ha! Ha!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Tony, yes, hot cross buns are very popular in the US, but I don't make them (Mayflower Puritans on my paternal grandfather's side). They are rounder than toasted teacakes. Teacakes are always smooshed down a bit. Also, they may be more of a Northern than Southern thing, and my English relatives came from the Lake District and other parts of the north. Except for my line that came over on the Mayflower; they were from the south.

Debbie Harris said...

I must share with you that I couldn't wait until this coming week to try your recipe, just had to make these yesterday and oh my...So delicious!
You are so right, lots of butter, yummy!
Thank you again for sharing this recipe.
Thank you also for your sweet visit and precious comment, is always a joy having you.
Easter blessings~

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Oh, Debbie, thank you so much! I'm glad you enjoyed them. I'm making them again soon. I'm going to test how well they freeze, too.

Amy Johnson said...

I've never heard of English Tea Cakes before. They look delicious!

April J Harris said...

We really do love our teacakes over here in England, Jean, and homemade are the very best. Your recipe sounds delicious! Thank you so much for sharing it, and for being a part of the Hearth and Soul Link Party. Sharing on Twitter and on the H&S Facebook page. Have a lovely Easter week!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Amy. Hope you'll try them.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

April, thank you. My mum and grandmother would be pleased to see me keeping up the food traditions! :-)

magicalmamablog.com said...

These sound absolutely delightful! I'll definitely be giving them a try this weekend! Thanks for linking up to #TriumphantTales

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Sara, thank you so much! Do let me know how they turn out for you.

Tony Grant said...

Of course, Jean, if you had made current buns you could develop some rhymimg slang. Think of all the words that end in the same sound as ,"bun." Words like sun, son, done, begun and so on. I am sure you get the idea. If you have a son, you may well do, you could greet him with, " How are things today me old ,"current bun?" Or, if the sun is shining , you could say, "Core, the ,"current bun," is a bit 'ot today." The apostrophe for the h in hot is to emphasise the cockney accent. "Core, " is a Cockney word developed in the Middle Ages. It is a religious slang word referring to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Well, I must finish now. I think I am ,"current bun." The things you inspire Jean!!!!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Cor blimey, Tony, but I hadn't even thought about Cockney rhyming slang! You're right on top of things!

Marilyn Miller said...

Your teacakes sounds delicious.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Marilyn. You've probably noticed that all my food is tea food!

Alice Letters to my Daughter said...

Ooh I do love a good teacake! It's hot cross bun season at the mo with Easter looming - equally tasty! #BlogCrush

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Alice. And you can use this recipe for your hot cross buns; just leave them round instead of flattening them.

Kitchen Riffs said...

I've had thee, but never made them. Now that I have your recipe, I have no excuse not to make them, do I? :-) Good stuff -- thanks.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, John. No excuse whatsoever!

Cranberry Morning said...

I actually happen to have some 'mixed spice' from the last batch of teacakes I made (some time ago, though). These look delicious!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Judy! You know how I love all things English (*and* all things bread)!

Jann Olson said...

These look so yummy Jean! I have never made an English teacake before. Thanks for sharing with SYC.
hugs,
Jann

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Jann, thank you! Hugs to you.

JakiJellz said...

Perfectly timed for Easter - I enjoyed one just yesterday! Thanks for sharing with #TriumphantTales.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Jaki, just one?! :-) Have a wonderful week!

Grandma's Hosue DIY said...

Those look so good! Thanks for sharing with us at the To Grandma's house we go link party!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Grandma's House! Wish I had one right now!

Julie B. said...

This looks like my kind of recipe... the type that would make me gain 5 pounds in a week because I would eat them all... all day! Great recipe and photos, Jean!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Julie, thank you. I hope you'll try them and love them as much as we do!

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