Who doesn’t love afternoon tea? Even though it’s lovely to spend a few hours with friends at a luxurious hotel, there are also plenty of ways that you can emulate your favorite hotel-style afternoon teas from the comfort of your very own home.
The only question is, which afternoon tea recipes are the best?
Regardless of whether you have been nominated to host a themed afternoon tea for your friends and family, or you’re planning on expanding your afternoon tea recipe collection, we’ve got you covered.
In this post, you will find a breakdown of the best afternoon tea party recipes out there.
So, without further ado, kickback, curl up with a cup of tea and just keep reading, we’re going to be showing you the top afternoon tea party recipe ideas that you’re positively sure to love!
Kicking our list off, we’re starting with a sugary sweet favorite that’s sure to go down a treat.
mini fruit tarts! As we’re sure you might agree, when it comes to afternoon tea, an assortment of sweet desserts are a must at any afternoon tea party.
This recipe will allow you to prepare sweet crusts filled with vanilla custard and sweet berries – they’re sure to be a hit!
What goes perfectly with earl gray tea? Shortbread cookies drizzled with deliciously tangy lemon glaze, of course!
A true crowd pleasing dessert, these shortbread cookies are elevated by the sweetness of lemon glaze, and the best part? This recipe is suitable for beginners.
A classic British favorite, Battenberg cake (see also ‘20 Flavors That Are Amazing In Any Celebration Cake‘) is the perfect way to not only elevate your afternoon tea with flavor, but also with color!
This patterned cake is traditionally pink and yellow, but you can quite easily customize the colors you want your battenberg cake to be with any food coloring that you’d like.
This recipe also utilizes marzipan and apricot jam, so it’s sure to be a hit.
Even though seafood isn’t to everyone’s taste, it’s a staple at afternoon tea parties!
If you’d like to prepare some for your guests, then you can’t go wrong with these delicious crab salad sandwiches.
In keeping with the seafood theme, we’ve also selected these delicious shrimp (see also ‘17 Of The Easiest Recipes Using Frozen Shrimp‘) and basil sandwiches.
In order to make these shrimp and basil sandwiches, you will need to combine a variety of ingredients including everything from green onion, parsley and lemon juice.
You’ll also need pre-cooked shrimp for convenience. Trust when we say – if you’ve got any seafood fans in the house, your guests are going to be seriously impressed!
Here we have another delicious cookie recipe that’s sure to go down a treat – lemon cookies!
Just like the other cookies we have mentioned above, this recipe will require lemon glaze and consist of a subtle sweetness that will complement a range of different teas including herbal.
What would an afternoon tea be without some kind of chocolate dessert?
Next up on our list we have selected this delicious brownie bites recipe!
Incorporating de cadenet lashings of fudge (see also ’23 Best Fudge Recipes’) and chocolate chips, this recipe is sure to have your afternoon tea guests reaching for second helpings.
Even though you can buy your own jam at the grocery store, if you have enough time and want to wow your guests – then why don’t you consider making your own jam?
This blackberry jam is simple to make and can be used on a variety of foods including scones.
As we have already mentioned above, what’s an afternoon tea without chocolate?
If you want to treat your guests to an assortment of chocolate treats, these mini chocolate cakes are sure to be the star of the show. Follow the recipe to make them in just a few simple steps.
Along with sweet treats, finger sandwiches are another common occurrence at afternoon tea parties.
These turkey and apple finger sandwiches are totally delicious and particularly complement black tea.
If you’re in the mood to add more seafood options to your assortment of food that you’ll be offering at your afternoon tea, these smoked salmon finger sandwiches will make a great addition.
12. Simple Scones
Like we’ve said above, afternoon tea just isn’t complete with scones!
If you’re planning on making your own scones instead of buying them at the grocery store – follow this recipe to make your very own scones at home.
13. Vegan Lemon Bars
On the search for a vegan alternative that you can offer your guests?
In keeping with the lemon theme that we’ve been following above, these vegan lemon bars have a hint of creaminess and are totally dairy-free (see also ‘27 Easy Dairy-Free Dessert Recipes‘) – so they’re suitable for any vegan guests you might have.
A true British classic, shortbread biscuits are similar to sugar cookies and taste very buttery.
They can be combined with a variety of different other desserts and light treats – and complement a variety of different teas including earl gray.
Add them to your list of food that you’re going to be offering at your afternoon tea event, and your guests are sure to clear the plate!
15. Mini Cheesecakes
Are you a fan of cheesecake? If you are, a perfect lighter alternative to a slice of cheesecake are these mini bites that are just perfect for an afternoon tea!
This recipe that we have here works perfectly with strawberry jam, but they can also be enhanced with various other delicious jams such as raspberry or apricot!
Top tip: If you’re going to be making your own mini cheesecake bites for your afternoon tea event, make sure that you allow your cheesecake to set a few hours before you go ahead and serve them.
One of the biggest benefits of this delicious quiche recipe is just how versatile and customizable it is!
This yummy quiche recipe incorporates little bacon bits into its recipes, although you do have the option of adding in various other ingredients if your guests have any particular preferences or dietary requirements.
For example, along with making bacon quiche, when following this recipe you can also quite as easily add in any other additional ingredients that you and your guests may like such as spinach, cheese, mushroom and more!
The best part about this recipe is that the quiche sizes are only bitesize, which will mean that your guests will be able to enjoy these little quiche bites without becoming too full.
Even though lemon meringue pie can be one of the trickier afternoon tea desserts to make, this recipe helps to make the preparation process a breeze!
In order to ensure that even the newest of bakers can prepare these lemon meringue bites perfectly, this recipe goes for convenience and utilizes pre-baked tart bases…although you will need to prepare the curd yourself!
If you want to make these lemon meringue bites extra delicious, why don’t you consider adding some fresh berries on the top?
Believe it or not, strawberries, blackberries and blueberries pair very well with the sharp sweetness of the lemon curd, and help to balance out the flavors without being too overpowering.
On top of all that, this fruity mixture also complements a variety of different kinds of tea, including the herbal variations.
Who doesn’t love deviled eggs? The perfect canopy food, deviled eggs are totally scrumptious, but they can be a little tricky to perfectly prepare.
Luckily, though – this recipe provides foolproof instructions that will ensure you serve restaurant-worthy deviled eggs that your guests won’t be able to get enough of!
Along with following the recipe that we have linked, we also recommend making sure that you are avoiding using eggs that are too young.
This is because fresh eggs do not peel as eggs that are two weeks or older, and appearances are everything when it comes to creating an afternoon tea spread.
The recipe that we have selected only requires you to use just 6 ingredients (you’ve more than likely already got the ingredients that you’ll need sitting in the kitchen) and breaks down the infamously tricky process into simplified steps ideal for cooks of all experiences.
Next up on our list? Cucumber sandwiches, of course! We’re sure that you’ll be in total agreement with us when we say that, when it comes to afternoon tea parties, a classic staple that simply has to make an appearance is cucumber finger sandwiches!
This refreshing and light offering consists of no crusts and was first created in Britain way back in the 1800s.
In the modern day, cucumber finger sandwiches are still very popular and offer a light and cool alternative to some of the other popular finger sandwich fillings that are often included in an afternoon tea spread.
Top tip: If you want to liven up your cucumber finger sandwiches, why not give them a fiery kick by sprinkling some chili flakes on the cucumber pieces? While this might not be to everyone’s taste, chili pairs very well with cucumber sandwiches and helps to add more warmth and dimension to the flavor – this works especially well with brown bread!
Tuna salad finger sandwiches can easily become a pretty boring food option to offer at an afternoon tea party, but this tuna salad finger sandwich recipe adds a few twists to make them deliciously different from a typical tuna sandwich.
Wondering what the secret ingredients are? Well, unlike a traditional tuna sandwich recipe, this recipe incorporates a variety of different ingredients that pack plenty of interesting flavor, including paprika, peppers, onions and even chopped olives!
Ideally, for the best flavor we recommend using white bread, although this recipe works just as well with brown bread, too.
If you are planning on making this tuna salad recipe to serve to your guests at your afternoon tea party, we recommend opting for canned tuna (see also ‘33 Scrumptious Canned Tuna Recipes To Try At Home‘) as this will allow you to prepare your chosen sandwiches in just 20 minutes or so.
21. Petit Fours!
Moving back to sweet treats, this delicious pastry is the perfect accompaniment to a cup of tea after your guests are done tucking into their chosen finger sandwiches!
It’s light, airy and oh so sweet. Trust us, your guests will be asking for seconds!
If you aren’t overly familiar with what petit flours are, they are a French pastry cake that are typically coated in a delicious white chocolate sauce.
On the inside, petit flours are usually filled to the brim with freshly whipped buttercream and lashings of fresh raspberry jam, although keep in mind that you can use different fillings if you want to customize your recipe.
When it comes to tea parties, the cuter the food the better! So, our list just wouldn’t have been complete without a fluffernutter sandwich recipe – keep reading to learn more about what this unique finger sandwich is all about!
Dainty in size, fluffernutter finger sandwiches are usually made of marshmallow and nutella (hazelnut spread) and are traditionally used with white bread, although keep in mind that you can also opt to use brown bread if you prefer.
Unlike other finger sandwiches that we have already mentioned on this recipe roundup, the bread used to make fluffernutter finger sandwiches are usually cut into circles and given around 5 or 6 layers.
To help add a cute visual appeal, marshmallow and nutella layers are typically used interchangeably to create a striking contrast, and the finished result often loosely resembles the appearance of a macaroon.
If you want to offer your guests something different from the norm, then why don’t you consider adding gouda and apple finger sandwiches to your lineup of finger sandwiches that you plan to offer your guests?
While they aren’t the most common of finger sandwiches typically offered at afternoon tea parties, these apple and gouda sandwiches are super tasty and refreshing, and complement herbal, black and earl gray tea.
If you’ve got some guests with a sweet tooth that are going to be attending your afternoon tea party – these caramel bundt bitesize cakes (see also ‘33 Bundt Cake Recipes‘) are sure to be a hit. They also look great and make a perfect table centerpiece.
Truly scrumptious and mouth watering, these caramel bundt bitesize cakes consist of a yummy homemade caramel frosting sauce that complements the fresh and delicious moistness of the chocolate sponge used to create the cake.
If you really want to wow your guests, you can even serve them with some vanilla ice cream.
As a side note, keep in mind that these caramel bundt bitesize cakes take some time to prepare, so make sure that you are giving yourself plenty of time to prepare your caramel bundt bitesize cakes before the big day.
Following on with the sweet treats, another delicious recipe that’s perfect for any afternoon tea party is this double chocolate mini bite one!
Guaranteed to impress, these mini bites feature three layers (yes, you read that right) that consist of chocolate, white chocolate and yummy buttercream.
Across the top of these indulgent chocolate mini bites, this recipe also includes a variety of moreish toppings including sprinkles that will not only taste delicious, but look totally cute and adorable.
so don’t be surprised if you find your guests instagramming these little cakes!
What better way to throw an afternoon tea party than to mark the special event with some delicious Downton Abbey themed egg salad finger sandwiches?
Yes, you read that right! This yummy recipe incorporates the massively popular British period drama that is still to this very day a much-watch show.
Paying homage to the Crawley’s (characters in the show) this recipe is inspired by the food that they made while entertaining guests and is sure to impress your guests during your afternoon tea.
They are completely crustless and only require a few ingredients so they’re easy to make – but don’t’ be put off by the simplicity of this recipe because these sandwiches are super tasty, and complement a variety of teas.
Following on with our theme of British afternoon tea favorites, we have selected these totally adorable red and blue cupcakes that are sure to take centerplace on any afternoon tea spread.
Consisting of buttercream frosting that has been whipped to perfection and vibrant colors of blue and red, these mini cupcakes are scrumptious, fluffy and will only require a few ingredients to make.
Even though cucumber sandwiches are a common staple at any afternoon tea event, if you’re interested in offering your guests something else – another refreshing and cool alternative that we recommend offering them are these avocado and dill sandwiches.
Super refreshing, these avocado and dill sandwiches are suitable for vegetarians and are super easy to make.
They also pair well with a variety of teas and are an ideal option for those wanting to offer their guests some non-traditional finger sandwich options.
If you wanted to, you could even sprinkle some mint to give these finger sandwiches an extra hint of freshness.
In the mood to make a dessert option fit for a queen? You’ll be making a good choice to prepare Banbury apple pie!
A true favorite, this sweet pie hails from England and can be cut into small portions that can then be shared between your guests.
What would an afternoon tea recipe roundup be without at least one vanilla cake option?
Keeping things simple, we’ve decided to select this vanilla cake bites recipe (see also ‘18 Cakes that Come from Italy‘).
Easy to make, this vanilla cake recipe only requires a few ingredients and can be elevated with a variety of beautiful toppings for decoration.
31. Butterscotch Pie
Even though its customary to offer your guests scones, finger sandwiches and other small sweet treats at an afternoon tea – another popular food option are sweet pies!
If you want to wow your guests with a scrumptious homemade pie, they’ll love this butterscotch pie recipe!
Simple, quick, and easy to make, this old-fashioned cherry cake recipe (see also ‘27 Easy Cherry Desserts You’ll Love‘) is light, fluffy, and elevated with the tantalizing tanginess of the sweet cherries on top. Your guests will love biting into a slice!
Last but certainly ot least, we just had to roundup our list with some helpful tips and tricks on preparing the perfect cup of tea for your afternoon tea guests – English breakfast style.
A tried and trusted favorite, along with any herbal teas that you plan to offer your guests, making sure that you know how to make the perfect English tea will be crucial to wowing your guests on the big day.
For this reason, we’ve found this helpful guide filled with tips and tricks on how to make the perfect tea and ensure maximum flavor and enjoyment – regardless of what preferences your guests might have.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is A Typical Afternoon Tea Menu?
Even though afternoon tea can be customized to suit your preferences or even a specific theme, a typical afternoon tea typically tends to consist of light foods such as scones, sandwiches and small dessert treats such as brownies and lemon curds.
Along with this, just like the name might suggest, afternoon tea also consists of an assortment of different teas including English breakfast tea, earl gray tea and even a variety of herbal teas.
What Should I Serve For Afternoon Tea?
Are you planning on hosting your very own afternoon tea?
If you are, then if you want to make sure that you impress your guests, you’re going to need to make sure that you include an assortment of light foods including finger sandwiches, scones, brownies and other dessert-style foods such as lemon curds.
Along with these types of foods, you are also going to need to make sure that you are offering cream, jam and marmalade for the scones, as well as a range of different teas including both standard tea, as well as herbal tea.
Along with this, you can also feel free to customize your afternoon tea as you see fit.
There are many people who tend to tweak the assortment of foods that they offer in accordance to their guests preferences or even if there is a specific theme.
If you’re planning on tweaking the basic menu of food and drink offered at an afternoon tea, then we recommend taking a closer look at some of the recipes that we have shared with you above.
How Many Sandwiches Do I Allow Per Person For Afternoon Tea?
Ideally, the most common amount of sandwiches typically allocated per guest at an afternoon tea is usually around 3-4.
In addition to this, for the best taste we also recommend that you refrain from preparing the sandwiches too early, otherwise you might find that the sandwiches become far too soggy by the time you are ready to serve them.
This is especially true if you are going to be using water-based fillings such as cucumber.
Over to you! Even though it’s lovely to go for afternoon tea at a hotel or restaurant, we hope that you will have been able to see from our recipe selection above that there are plenty of ways that you can recreate your favorite afternoon tea assortments from the comfort of your very own home.
Thanks for reading our post, we hope that it has given you plenty of inspiration for your next afternoon tea get together!