Martino's Bakery Original Tea Cakes Copycat Recipe - The PKP Way (2024)

Whip up a batch of the world famous original tea cakes from Martino’s Bakery in Burbank, California in your own kitchen with this copycat recipe.

Martino's Bakery Original Tea Cakes Copycat Recipe - The PKP Way (1)
Over the holiday season, I had the pleasure of tasting tea cakes from Martino’s Bakery in Burbank, California. Their original tea cakes are world famous and it is not uncommon for people from near and far to come grab them by the dozen before they sell out.

The original tea cakes are square in shape, have a soft and tender crumb, and are topped with a thin glaze that hardens to create a sweet crinkly shell topping.

Upon first bite, the cake base is reminiscent of vanilla, but as the flavors continue to reveal themselves, you’ll notice there’s an underlying nutty, caramel flavor.

Martino's Bakery Original Tea Cakes Copycat Recipe - The PKP Way (2)
Martino’s Bakery also offers blueberry and cranberry tea cakes, which I also tried and thought were delicious, but nothing was quite like the original.

After trying the tea cakes, I just had to recreate it in my own kitchen. I was on a mission and spent days baking nothing but tea cakes. I finally landed on a recipe that I’m proud to share with you so that you can whip up a batch of the original tea cakes in your own kitchen!

How to Make Martino’s Bakery Original Tea Cakes

First thing’s first. You will need a square cupcake pan. The tea cakes have a signature square shape, so if they’re not square to begin with, they wouldn’t be much of a copycat recipe.

Martino's Bakery Original Tea Cakes Copycat Recipe - The PKP Way (3)
I bought this Wilton Brownie Bar Pan from Amazon, but have also seen it at Joann.

Good news is, that’s the only special piece of equipment you’ll need. Line the pan with standard sized, round cupcake liners that you probably already have in your kitchen. Gently press the liners into the pan and the liners will conform to the square shape.

Martino's Bakery Original Tea Cakes Copycat Recipe - The PKP Way (4)
Next, you’re going to develop that rich and nutty caramel flavor I mentioned earlier. I did this by roasting instant dry milk in a low temperature oven for a few minutes.

Spread the dry milk powder on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Pop it into the oven until golden brown. It only takes a few minutes so monitor it closely and don’t go far. Otherwise you may end up with burnt milk and you’ll have to start over again!

Martino's Bakery Original Tea Cakes Copycat Recipe - The PKP Way (5)
Once the milk is toasted and cooled, add it to shaken room temperature buttermilk using the parchment paper to help you. Stir until the toasted milk has mostly dissolved. It’s ok if a few granules don’t dissolve.

Pro-tip: It’s important to shake buttermilk while in the carton before pouring in order to evenly distribute any contents that may have settled. Making sure that the buttermilk is at room temperature before using will help it incorporate easily and thoroughly into the cake batter.

No buttermilk? No problem!While I HIGHLY recommend using real buttermilk, if you need an emergency substitute for buttermilk, stir 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar into 1 cup of whole milk and let stand for a few minutes. Then, only use the amount called for in the recipe.

Alternatively, you can substitute the equivalent amount of buttermilk called for in the recipe with plain yogurt.

Martino's Bakery Original Tea Cakes Copycat Recipe - The PKP Way (6)
Next, whisk together the dry ingredients – flour, baking powder and salt.

Then, cream together room temperature margarine, sugar and brown sugar until it resembles a soft dough.

Martino's Bakery Original Tea Cakes Copycat Recipe - The PKP Way (7)
A little bit of history: After a little bit of research around the web from newspapers and Eat Like Walt, I found that the tea cakes were developed after World War II. So to keep to the ingredients of that time period, I chose to use margarine. I also tried butter, and while they were still delicious, they changed the flavor slightly. But feel free to use butter when in a pinch.

Martino's Bakery Original Tea Cakes Copycat Recipe - The PKP Way (8)
Once creamed, alternate the addition of the flour mixture and the buttermilk mixture.

Then, fill the lined pan ¾ full. I filled it with 2 ounces (4 tablespoons) of batter, using this 1-ounce scoop twice.

Finally, bake, cool, and glaze!

Martino's Bakery Original Tea Cakes Copycat Recipe - The PKP Way (9)
If you’re ever in the area, make sure to visit Martino’s Bakery and pick up a dozen (or two) of their original tea cakes!

Martino’s Bakery
335 N. Victory Blvd.
Burbank, CA 91502
Tel: 818-842-0715
https://www.martinosbakery.com

Martino's Bakery Original Tea Cakes Copycat Recipe - The PKP Way (10)

Print Recipe

4.79 from 38 votes

Martino's Bakery Original Tea Cakes (Copycat Recipe)

Yields 12 tea cakes

Prep Time15 minutes mins

Cook Time20 minutes mins

Cool and glaze45 minutes mins

Total Time35 minutes mins

Course: brunch, Dessert

Cuisine: American

Servings: 1 tea cake

Calories: 283kcal

Author: Patty K-P

Ingredients

Tea Cake

  • 1/4 cup instant dry milk or milk powder
  • 3/4 cup whole buttermilk, shaken, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons margarine, cubed, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Glaze

  • 3 tablespoons margarine
  • 4 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 drop yellow liquid food color (optional)
  • 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • Dash of salt

Instructions

Tea Cake

  • Heat oven to 300°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread the dry milk/milk powder in a thin layer onto the parchment paper. Heat in the oven for 5 minutes, until golden brown.

  • Stir the browned milk powder with the buttermilk in a small bowl until mostly dissolved.

  • Turn the oven up to 350°F. Line a brownie bar pan with standard round cupcake liners.

  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the margarine and sugars on medium-high speed until it resembles a soft dough, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

  • Reduce the speed to low and add the egg and vanilla. Mix until combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

  • Add about a third of the flour mixture followed by half of the buttermilk. Mix until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the second third of the flour mixture followed by the remaining buttermilk. Mix until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the remaining flour mixture. Mix until just a few streaks of flour remains. Using a rubber spatula, stir any remaining streaks of flour into the batter by hand.

  • Fill each cavity of the pan 3/4 full (2 fluid ounces or 4 tablespoons). Bake for 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

  • Allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.

  • Once cooled, make the glaze.

Glaze

  • In a medium saucepan, heat the margarine on medium until melted. Add the water and brown sugar and stir using a whisk until the sugar has dissolved. Do not boil.

  • Turn off the stove and stir in the vanilla and food coloring (if using). Whisk in the powdered sugar and salt. Glaze should be slightly thickened and shiny.

  • Dip the tops of the cooled tea cakes in the glaze, allowing excess to drip off. Place on a cooling rack set on top of a baking sheet to allow the glaze to set and harden.

  • If at any time the glaze in the saucepan begins to harden, reheat over low heat while stirring with a whisk until a thin and dippable glaze consistency is reached.

Notes

Martino's Bakery Original Tea Cakes Copycat Recipe - The PKP Way (11)

Glaze adapted from Eat Like Walt

This recipe has no association with Martino’s Bakery. I am just a huge fan of the original tea cakes and wanted to recreate it in my home kitchen. Any resemblance to the actual recipe is purely coincidental.

Note:This pagecontains affiliate linksthat helpmakeThe PKP Waypossible.Should you choose to purchase anything via those links, I will receive a small commission paid by Amazon, not you.

Martino's Bakery Original Tea Cakes Copycat Recipe - The PKP Way (2024)
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