Tea party recipes are usually smaller, more dainty-looking portions of delicious sweet and savory treats.
From classic cucumber sandwiches and elegant petit fours to buttery English shortbread and a variety of finger sandwiches, the key is to keep things neat and bite-sized.
In truth, you could serve almost anything you want at a tea party, though I think tea is mandatory!
But if you want it to be authentic, it’s best to stick with some tried-and-true English recipes that are sure to wow your guests.
I’ve gathered 30 terrific tea party recipes, so put the kettle on, and let’s get cooking!
This is probably one of the first things to come to mind when you think of a tea party, right?
Those cute little sandwiches with the crusts cut off are in almost every picture when you look online.
They’re a favorite for a reason! Not only do they look great, but they’re also pretty light and easy to make.
This recipe is extra special because it includes some dill and chives in the cream cheese.
You can’t have a tea party without scones, and if you’re making scones, they really should be the best they can be!
This recipe is perfect for a party because it’s so easy to modify.
Make one big batch, break it up into smaller bowls, and flavor them however you want.
I think raisins are a must, but so are blueberry and chocolate chips!
Or, if you want something different, try cutting back on the sugar and adding shredded cheese, bacon bits, garlic, rosemary, or jalapeños.
Petit fours are bite-sized cakes that look stunning on a fancy cake stand.
They can be any flavor you like, but I think a vanilla or almond sponge is best as it allows for better coverage with a light glaze.
An effortless way to make these is to make and freeze one large sheet cake.
Once it’s solid, cut your squares and allow them to thaw slightly before glazing.
Just like the bite-sized cakes above, these mini-quiches will look adorable on a tea party cake stand.
I know how finicky pastry can be, especially when working in smaller portions.
I almost always use frozen mini-pie crusts for recipes like this. They look perfect and will cut your prep time in half!
Don’t these just look fantastic? It’s incredible how a simple cookie cutter can elevate your sandwich game!
A great way to cut down on waste is to buy an uncut, white loaf of bread.
Then, instead of cutting slices across the width, try cutting lengthways. It will give you a lot more area to work with.
No tea party table is complete without a selection of butter, jams, and tasty spreads.
Blackberries make a beautiful jam and give such a unique flavor. Anyone can make strawberry jam, after all!
This might not be the most traditional, but I guarantee it will be the most popular! Who doesn’t love brownies?!
Since these are made to be bite-sized, they’ll only need around 12-15 minutes in the oven. Any longer, and they won’t be fudgy.
The Brits love their tea strong and milky. No, not like a latte (that’s sacrilege!), but with enough milk so you can taste it and no lemon in sight.
The trick is to boil the water and pour it over the tea bag. This stimulates the tea leaves and helps the flavor to steep into the cup.
The longer you leave it, the stronger it will be.
My brother likes what’s known as “builder’s tea,” which means he lets it steep for a solid 3-5 minutes before adding a dash of milk and way too much sugar.
I like to leave the tea for a couple of minutes before gently squeezing the bag against the side of the cup. Either way, milk is a must.
I can’t overstate this: this recipe is genius! It’s such a clever little hack for making what can be quite a complicated recipe.
Instead of making lemon curd and a pie crust and then agonizing over the meringue (which can go weepy in the blink of an eye), you’ll use store-bought meringue nests and a quick lemon cheesecake filling.
Top the whole thing with some crumbled ginger biscuits, and these will be ready in a matter of minutes!
Just like you can buy mini-pastry shells for quiche, you can also buy sweetened crusts that work so well for these little fruit tarts.
Although, sugar cookie shells are extra tasty, and if you use ready-made cookie dough, they’re a cinch to whip up.
If you want the filling a touch more indulgent, try using mascarpone instead of cream cheese.
It’s not as tangy but will give you an ultra-silky finish.
Shortbread is akin to sugar cookies; only the good stuff keeps it much simpler.
The key to the perfect shortbread is to keep it short.
That means you’ll need a high fat to flour ratio, and you need to handle it as little as possible to ensure you get that amazingly rich and crumbly texture.
The best recipes will have just three ingredients – butter, sugar, and flour (though some include cornstarch) – and don’t need long in the oven.
It should be super pale when you pull it out.
These might not be as bite-sized as the petit fours, but they’re single-serve and super cute!
I’m sure you have some ceramic ramekins at home, and they’re just the right size for these babies.
One ramekin is equal to one cake. Just let them cool, cut them in half, and fill them with frosting.
Much like the scone recipe from above, you’ll make one big batch for this that you can then go on to flavor however you choose.
Mini-chocolate chips would work a treat, and so would a scoop of pie filling on the top.
Of course, a dollop of whipped cream would be more than enough, or you could always take it up a notch by adding some peanut butter to the mix.
You’ll need a mini-muffin pan for these, and I highly recommend going for silicone if you don’t already own one.
That’s because you can get the cheesecakes out so easily by gently pushing from the bottom.
Smoked salmon is one of those ingredients that people just love. Not only is it delicious, but it’s also vibrant and super easy to work with.
Since it’s not the cheapest ingredient, I like to keep things simple. You won’t want to overpower it with too many extras.
That’s why these little crostini are the perfect option.
In fact, the dill cream cheese for this recipe is almost exactly the same as the one used in the cucumber sandwiches, so you can use it in both recipes.
If you don’t have a mini-cupcake pan, these mini-cupcake liners are a must-buy.
They’re so pretty with the pink and gold lining; plus, they don’t need a special pan and can be lined up on a regular baking sheet.
This recipe says to bake these for 18 minutes, but I think that’s a typo. They will only need about 8-10 minutes since they’re so small.
I was given a mini-bundt pan as a gift, and I can honestly say I’m surprised at how often I use it.
Instead of cupcakes, I find myself reaching for the bundts.
They’re so precious, and they don’t need a huge batch of sickly sweet frosting.
Instead, you can whip up a quick ganache or glaze and just pour it right over.
These look extra special when they’re finished with some fancy sprinkles or edible glitter.
This definitely isn’t a traditional British tea party recipe, but we’ll let that slide.
One bite of these, and you won’t give those cucumber sandwiches a second look!
If you have the time and energy, feel free to cook your own shrimp. That will give you the chance to add some spices if you want to.
Otherwise, pre-cooked, frozen shrimp will work just as well.
Be sure to thaw it overnight in the fridge and drain off any excess liquid before adding to the mix.
If you’ve never tried lemon-pepper seasoning before, now’s the time! It has such a zesty and unique flavor, and it pairs so well with tuna.
I’ve actually made this recipe with salmon before, and it came out so great, and the pink color added to the tea party theme.
If you’re not a goat cheese lover, simple cream cheese (or maybe even Brie) would be a great substitute.
I know that most egg salad recipes have a pretty smooth consistency. Yes, they have lumps, but not usually too much crunch.
That’s probably why I avoid it. Texture is a big deal in my house.
But this egg salad takes crunch to a whole new level!
It’s still super creamy, but there are also crisp bites throughout from chopped celery and red onion.
Not to mention, there’s a kick in the mayo with a spoonful of dijon mustard and a dash of lime juice.
Do all Brits drink tea? Pretty much. Do they all dunk biscuits in said tea? Absolutely!
In lieu of these classics – which you can’t always find over here, across the pond – why not try a batch of tea cake biscuits?
They’re buttery, sweet, and just the right size to dunk in a cuppa.
As pretty as lavender shortbread can be, I find it too overwhelming to eat. The smell gets in the way, and I just can’t enjoy the cookie.
But these early grey bites are exactly what your next tea party needs.
The flavor is wonderfully subtle but strong enough you can smell it on the cookies.
I tried adding the tea to the butter, and also with the sugar, and found the latter much quicker, and the results were more or less the same.
So, if you’re in a rush, don’t worry about working the tea leaves with the butter.
In need of something vegan and gluten-free? Then this recipe is for you!
Not only is the filling crazy-creamy thanks to the cashews and coconut cream, but the crust is deliciously nutty and crumbly to boot.
I love that this recipe suggests the shortcut of using boiling water to soak the cashews.
I almost always forget to put them in a bowl to soak overnight, so this is a time-saver, for sure!
I know what you’re thinking, but these are for the grown-ups, too!
Admittedly the butterfly shape is very much for the kids, but you can forgo that if you prefer. Either way, the taste stays the same.
I’d never thought of mixing raspberry jam into marshmallow Fluff before, but now that I’ve tasted it, I don’t think I’ll eat it any other way.
And with Nutella, it’s dangerously addictive.
Mr. Kipling’s Battenberg is famous for its color and incredible flavor.
It’s not the easiest cake to make, but it’s so worth it when you make that first slice.
This cake isn’t tricky in terms of technique, but rather the number of steps it takes to perfect.
You’ll make one cake batter that gets split, with half colored in pink, before being baked.
Then, you’ll trim the excess cake and make a long, even rectangle.
These need to be “glued” together with jam to create the checkerboard look, and the whole thing gets covered in marzipan.
Deviled eggs are a straightforward and relatively cheap little recipe.
Plus, if you’re making egg salad, you’ll already be boiling eggs, so why not make a few extra?
Once they’re boiled and cooled, gently cut them in half and scoop out that yolk.
I like to mash this up pretty smooth before adding in the mayo to prevent any little lumps.
This is best served right away, so keep the filling in the fridge until just before you need it.
Pipe it, or scoop it into the cavities, and dust with a bit of paprika.
Here’s another recipe you probably won’t find at a traditional tea party, but I think it’s a nice idea to include something warm to the table.
Everything on this list is served cold, which means you can make it all ahead and keep it in the fridge until tea time!
But if you’re hosting your party in the winter, I’m sure plenty of people will thank you for these warm and filling chicken pot pie bites.
And since you’ll use crescent rolls, frozen veggies, canned soup, and leftover chicken, they don’t take long to make.
Here’s another recipe that uses a round cookie cutter to make the sandwiches look extra cute.
Although, I like the look of long rectangles or small triangles, too, and with those shapes, you have so much less waste.
Whatever shape you go for, your guests will love these crab sandwiches.
Made with canned wild-caught crab meat, red onion, peppers, and a tangy yet creamy dressing, they will be gone before you know it.
The issue with making mini-cupcakes or brownies is that they’re so easy to overbake.
Being so small, just a minute too long can leave them dry and sad.
This recipe has a little trick to help ensure your crumb stays perfectly moist – pudding!
Adding instant pudding to your cake batter (straight out of the packet, not made up with milk) will not only infuse flavor but will help to keep your cakes tender and soft.
These avocado, cucumber, and sprout sandwiches will be a welcome sight to your vegetarian and vegan guests.
Just don’t forget they need to be made right before serving, or the avos will go brown!
Sprouts, microgreens, or garden cress are a lovely addition here, giving you some nice crunch and fresh green flavors.
If you’re interested, microgreens are super easy to grow at home, and you can get started with a simple kit in no time.
These lemon drop cookies are equal parts buttery and zesty.
They have lemon zest right in the cookie dough, which adds a very subtle flavor to the cookie.
They also have a wonderful lemon glaze over the top to help boost the flavor.
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