"Supposedly, tea cakes were made about 200 years ago. Slaves used the ingredients they had: molasses instead of sugar, lard instead of butter," says Etha Robinson. Karen Grigsby Bates hide caption toggle caption Karen Grigsby Bates Code Switch Food To Celebrate Freedom: Tea Cakes For Juneteenth! June 19, 2016 Juneteenth, the day when many African-Americans mark the end of slavery, is also associated with traditional foods from the black community. One woman wants to revive a traditional treat: tea cakes.