20 Afternoon Tea Recipes for a Proper British Tea Party

scones with jam
Photo: The British Baker

Indulge in a proper British afternoon tea — a luxurious spread of dainty cucumber sandwiches, warm scones with jam and clotted cream, and a cake stand filled with an array of gorgeous miniature tarts, chocolate profiteroles, and other sweet treats. Whether you want savory tea party ideas or traditional tea cakes, we have recipes for all of these goodies and more to help you host the perfect afternoon tea at home.

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English Tea Cucumber Sandwiches

english cucumber sandwiches

Everyone loves a light and refreshing cucumber sandwich to start their afternoon tea! Cut bread slices into rounds with a cookie cutter for a lovely presentation and easy eating. "These came out very tasty," says reviewer Lisa Westrope. "I added a sprinkle of dill on top of the cucumber."

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Baby BLT

stuffed blt tomatoes

These bite-size cherry tomatoes, filled with a creamy bacon and green onion filling make a fantastic gluten-free replacement to finger sandwiches for afternoon tea. They may be a little time consuming, but you can make them a few hours in advance and keep refrigerated.

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Smoked Salmon Wraps

Be a little bit different and serve these salmon wraps instead of sandwiches at your afternoon tea get-together. They look great, and are so quick and easy to make just before your guests arrive!

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World's Best Scones! From Scotland to the Savoy to the U.S.

scones with jam
The British Baker

Warm scones, split in half and topped with strawberry jam and a generous spoonful of cream are a quintessential part of a traditional afternoon tea. "Wow!" says home cook bakingupastorm. "I just tried this recipe based on the rave reviews and it is by far the best scone recipe I have EVER had!"

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Flavor variations of these light, delicate, shell-shaped sponge cake bites are endless. Try adding cocoa, chocolate, lemon zest, or cinnamon. "This recipe turned out perfect for me! The cookies are light and sweet the perfect complement to coffee or tea," says home cook Patricia.

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Battenburg Cake

Battenburg Cake
Photo by Chestnuts. Chestnuts

Impress your guests with this easy almond flavored Battenberg cake that's wrapped in a homemade marzipan for a burst of sweetness in every bite. It's perfect for afternoon tea and you can make it days in advance!

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Pineapple Upside Down Cupcakes

pineapple upside down cupcakes

This top-rated cupcake version of the retro upside down pineapple cake will delight your afternoon tea guests. "I don't know why I never thought to make little individual cakes like this before!" says home cook Eliza. "Each little cupcake had just the right amount of caramel glaze!"

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Strawberry Cheesecake Bites

Strawberries are stuffed with a cream cheese filling and topped with graham cracker crumbs for a delicious afternoon tea treat with friends! "Its got cheesecake, strawberries and chocolate - what more could you ask for in two bites?" says reviewer Jillian.

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Lemon Curd Tarts

These easy to make, bite-size phyllo pastry tarts filled with zesty lemon curd and topped with cream are simply adorable. Their flavor and color make them an ideal choice for afternoon tea!

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Lavender Tea Bread

Home cook MOTTSBELA gave this recipe 5 stars: "It has a cake-like texture but isn't too heavy or too sweet. The lavender gives it an almost mint-like freshness that is really quite delightful. A lemon glaze or a bit of lemon zest in the dough would be a tasty addition."

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These heavenly French treats not only look irresistible but you can make them ahead of time and store in an airtight tin; sandwich the macaron halves together with melted chocolate, buttercream or jam as part of an impressive afternoon tea display.

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Mini Chocolate Chip Shortbread Cookies

These decadent shortbread logs with mini chocolate chips are perfect for adding some crunch to your selection of afternoon tea goodies. Dip one end of each cookie in melted chocolate. "They look very pretty and taste great!" says home cook Debbie.

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Lemon Cupcakes

lemon cupcakes

Whip up a batch of these heavenly melt-in-your-mouth lemon cupcakes to share with friends as part of your afternoon tea. Bake them in miniature cupcake pans for easy eating, and top the frosting with grated white chocolate, or one or two flaked almonds for crunch.

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Every afternoon tea party needs these irresistible choux pastry puffs filled with fresh cream and covered with warm chocolate ganache. "Wonderful recipe," says reviewer Lisa. "Turned out better than I expected. Very light and delicate. EASY to make took no time at all."

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Victoria Sponge Cake

victoria sponge cake with cream and strawberry jam

A Victoria sponge cake with a raspberry jam filling and fresh cream is a truly beautiful thing and still remains the classical centerpiece for your afternoon tea spread. Try using lemon curd instead of jam for a refreshing change, or make it extra special by topping with edible flowers.

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Mini Dessert Brownies with Raspberries

These cute, rich, chocolaty homemade brownie bites are perfect for triple helpings at an afternoon tea party! Top each one with a dollop of chocolate ganache and a fresh raspberry; dust with powdered sugar for a gorgeous presentation on your cake stand!

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Rose Petal Cookies

Glowing reviews all around for these rose petal cookies that will taste and look gorgeous served on a pretty platter. Allrecipes Allstar Buckwheat Queen says: "Sweet floral and delicate cookies that will make tea time bloom!"

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Mini Key Lime Pies

mini key lime pies on a large tiered stand

Miniature versions of anything are perfect for afternoon tea as it means everyone can have their own and go back for seconds! To serve, garnish each mini pie with a slice of lime and a swirl of whipped cream topping.

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Perfect Lemon Curd

With just a few ingredients, you can easily whip this up to wow your guests with a pot of homemade lemon curd. Serve with your freshly baked scones or spread as a filling for cake.

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Lavender-Earl Grey Tea Cookies

lavender earl grey cookies

Enjoy a spot of tea baked right into your cookies, too, with this lovely recipe featuring the floral flavors of earl grey tea and lavender.

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More Inspiration

trifle with layers of raspberries, cream, and cake
A proper English trifle. neve

See our related recipes and collections for more tea-time inspiration:

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