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Almond-Orange Mini Tea Cakes with Brown Butter three ways - blueberry, vanilla bean and pistachio.

Almond-Orange Mini Tea Cakes with Brown Butter Recipe

Little flavor bombs with a burst of citrus, almond and vanilla! A lovely addition to your special occasion or simply to enjoy with tea. I've included three variations on Almond-Orange Mini Tea Cakes with Brown Butter - blueberry, vanilla bean and pistachio! Quick to whip up and easy to share. 
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American
Keyword Mini Tea Cakes, Petit Four, Tea Cake Recipe, Tea Cakes, Teacakes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 24 mini tea cakes
Calories 122kcal
Author Traci York | Vanilla And Bean


  • 14 Tbs (200g / 7oz) Unsalted Butter cut in pieces, for brown butter
  • 1 Tbs Unsalted Butter melted, for preparing the pan
  • 3/4 C + 1 Tbs (110g) Powder Sugar
  • 1 C (115g) Almond Flour
  • 1/3 C + 2 Tbs (75g) All Purpose Flour
  • 3/4 C (180g) Egg Whites* (see note) room temperature, about 6 eggs
  • 2 tsp Orange Zest
  • 1 Vanilla Bean seeds scraped, or 1 tsp vanilla bean paste or extract

Options to Include:

  • 24 Blueberries fresh or frozen
  • 3 Tbs Raw Pistachios rough chopped


Brown the Butter:

  • In a medium sauce pot, add 14 Tbs of butter and heat on medium-low. Swirl the pan occasionally to melt the butter. Take your time here. Cook on medium-low for about 6-7 minutes. Notice it will bubble and sputter. Swirl again. The solids will begin to sink to the bottom and brown. It's ready when the butter and solids are a golden brown. But watch it! It burns easily, so adjust the heat as needed. Quickly remove the brown butter from the heat and pour it into a heatproof jar (you want to stop the cooking) - include all the brown solid (nutty/tasty) bits. Set aside to cool. Food52 has a video that shows how to brown butter if needed. 
    Preheat oven to 400F (204C) and set rack to center of oven. 

Prepare the Pan:

  • In a muffin pan, using a pastry brush, brush the the entire cup and top rim with melted butter. Pop the pan in the refrigerator so the butter firms up. This will make it easier to remove the little cakes. If you need to bake in two batches, the remaining batter can rest on the counter. Allow the baking pan to cool before preparing it for the next batch.  

Make the Cake Batter:

  • In a large mixing bowl, sift in the powder sugar, almond and all purpose flour. Whisk in the egg whites until the batter comes together and there are no dry patches. Add the cooled brown butter, orange zest and vanilla beans (or paste/extract). Whisk until the batter comes together. 
  • Scoop the cake batter using a slightly overfilled #50 scoop or heaped tablespoon (1 1/4 Tbs) to portion each tea cake. Top with one blueberry each (nestle the blueberry in just a smidge), and/or a sprinkle of pistachios and/or leave plain. 
  • Bake tea cakes at 400F (204C) for 5 minutes, then reduce the heat to 375F (190C) and bake for an additional 8-9 minutes, until lightly golden and a toothpick inserted in the center of a cake comes clean. 
    Cool for 10 minutes on a cooling rack, then remove the cakes from the pan. If they need a little nudge, gently slide a pairing knife between the cake and the pan. Cool completely before storing them at room temperature in a lidded container. 


*I use leftover and previously frozen and thawed egg whites. They work beautifully in this recipe. 
As with all cakes, these are best the day they're made. But, I've enjoyed these up to three days after baking. Reheating them in a 400F oven (a toaster oven works great) for about five minutes will freshen them up. They're fabulous warm too! 
I enthusiastically recommend an oven thermometer! I’ve baked in commercial bakery and home ovens, old, lightly used and brand new ovens – they all have their own personalities with temperature variations and fluctuations. Knowing the temperature of your oven is important for the best outcome, especially when it comes to baking.


Calories: 122kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 19mg | Sodium: 14mg | Potassium: 26mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 225IU | Vitamin C: 0.4mg | Calcium: 13mg | Iron: 0.3mg