15 Classic Recipes for Mother's Day Tea
There is no more elegant way to celebrate your mom than to host her for a traditional afternoon tea. Little nibbles, savory and sweet, pots of tea, and maybe even some champagne make for a wonderful gathering and leave plenty of time for visiting. Even better, most of the offerings can be made well in advance, which is a godsend for any host. You can certainly adjust the menu easily to accommodate any dietary restrictions, age, and palate. It is a perfect time to break out the fancy serving pieces and the good plates, too. Here are our best recipes for a lovely and sophisticated tea service in honor of Mother's Day.
The Perfect Cup of Tea
First and foremost, it is essential to learn how to brew a proper cuppa before your Mother's Day tea. Whether you are going traditional with Earl Gray, trying out a fancy green, or even going iced for a twist, here is our guide to making a perfect pot every time.
Hot and Spicy Himalayan Tea (Chai Tea)
Any tea party is made a little bit more special if you have a bonus offering that is something new and different. This version of a spiced Chai is a welcome addition to any tea party; the spices can help cut through some of the rich food.
Cucumber Sandwiches III
It isn't a proper Mother's Day tea without a cucumber sandwich. This recipe is easy and beautiful.
Curried Chicken Tea Sandwiches
Another fun tea sandwich, and a twist on your basic chicken salad, this curried chicken salad is a lovely addition to your savory offerings. For a tea service, serve the chicken salad on bread rounds. If you have leftovers, you can serve them on slider buns for easy lunches.
Frosted Sandwich Loaf
Back when afternoon card game parties were all the rage, the frosted sandwich loaf was in every hostess's repertoire. It is time they made a comeback! Simple to assemble but with showstopper impact on the buffet, you can adjust fillings to your personal taste.
It won't be a real tea without a scone. These fast bakes are endlessly adaptable, freeze beautifully, and can be topped with any number of garnishes to make them sing. They're also a great baking project to do with kids and serve to grandmother.
Lemon and Lavender Scones
When you are honoring mom, delicate flavors are the order of the day, and these lemon and lavender scones are one of our most special versions. The bright fruit and floral notes play off each other well.
Chef John's Clotted Cream
The traditional topper for any scone at afternoon tea is clotted cream, widely available in the U.K., and rarely seen in the wild here in the U.S. Luckily, it is not hard to make your own! This is a very worthwhile project for any home cook who is hosting a tea party.
Rose Petal Jam
The best accompaniment to scones with clotted cream is jam. And while you can source any number of delicious jams and jellies at your store, a rose-petal jam is a really special addition, one worth making. If possible, ask your florist to source roses that have been grown without pesticides, or if you have a garden or a friend with one, you can source locally.
Every tea party needs a teacake, and while these delicate little morsels are French, they are so perfect with tea that we will depart from our traditional British offerings to recommend them.
Date Nut Loaf Cake
A sweet loaf cake is always a welcome addition to any tea party, and this date and nut loaf is one of our favorites. Not too sweet, and great on its own, but you can also use it to make little sandwiches with cream cheese inside.
Sweets are at least half of the menu at any afternoon tea, and these days it is always nice to have one that is gluten-free in case you have a guest with sensitivities. A pavlova is always a stunning dessert, and endlessly adaptable.
A light and refreshing mousse or parfait is always welcome, and if you have never tried a traditional syllabub, an airy confection with wine and cream, now is the perfect time.
Trifles may be the single most classic British dessert, but this version could not be more American. If your mom is a chocoholic, this is the dessert for her.
Finally, no tea service is complete without petit fours. Tiny frosted cakes, decorated, they are the epitome of elegance and sophistication. Put them on the buffet or wrap some up to give to guests as parting gifts.