Tea parties are great ways to socialize with friends and family while enjoying a good cuppa (British slang for cup of tea) and some tasty nibbles (snacks).
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It’s so much fun to have a tea party. While some people associate tea parties with spring, a fall tea party when the weather is turning cool can also be super special. If you don’t have cute little tea cups and teapots, you can rent them if you live near a larger city.
These parties are usually small, lively affairs with only a small group of people, and while they are called “tea parties,” the tea party snacks are the real stars of the show!
If you’re looking for some great tea party food ideas, you’re in luck.
There are countless tea party recipes to choose from, and nearly all of them have variations to make them unique.
For example, scones are a famous British pastry served at many tea gatherings, but they come in lots of different flavors.
And let’s not forget about the sweets!
Almost any reputable tea party will have several delicious sweet treats to choose from. These can range from tea cake cookies to tarts, cakes, and pies.
If you’ve got a sweet tooth, a tea party is the place to be!
Plus, these social gatherings really bring folks closer together and are filled with wonderful conversation and laughter.
Also, these parties aren’t just for ladies, guys can also enjoy the friendly and relaxed atmosphere.
Of course, you might have to lure them in with some pretty amazing food. Fortunately, we have that part covered.
Below we’ve curated 31 sensational high tea menu items sure to make your next event a blinding (great) success!
1. Cucumber Avocado Tea Sandwiches With Dill & Mint
One staple on any tea party menu is tea or finger sandwiches. This delicious recipe for Cucumber Avocado Tea Sandwiches With Dill and Mint is absolutely brilliant!
These little finger sandwiches have tasty ingredients such as avocados, cucumber, and dill. But, it’s the freshly chopped mint that really brings it all together.
It’s really amazing how delicious avocado tastes with cucumber, dill, and mint, flavors you would never expect to taste good together.
This light and flavorful dish is an excellent and refreshing complement to a hot spot of herbal tea.
2. Mini Fruit Tarts
Tea party food offerings without the presence of sweets are unthinkable.
And when it comes to sweets, these plucky little mini fruit tarts are a fabulous offering for your guests to munch on.
These tarts consist of a sweet (but not too sweet) buttery shortbread crust filled with tart vanilla custard and top with fresh sweet berries and fresh fruits.
Best of all, just about any fresh fruit tastes amazing on tarts, so you can really get into experimenting with different flavors, colors, and intricate designs.
One fun party game is having a tart decorating contest.
Try them with whipped cream topping.
3. Roses Are Red Violets Are Blue Mini-Cupcakes
While we’re talking about sweet tea party ideas, let’s talk cupcakes.
This recipe for Roses Are Red Violets Are Blue Mini-Cupcakes taste and look amazing!
The delicious buttercream frosting is homemade and takes no time to whip up.
And for this recipe, you’ll need a piping bag with a star nozzle.
It may take a few practice tries, but soon you’ll be able to pull off amazing and consistent frosting art for every cupcake!
You can also pick up some great frosting techniques on YouTube.
This recipe makes 32 delicious mini-cupcakes.
4. Downton Abbey Egg Salad Tea Sandwiches
Downton Abbey, the British period drama that became an international phenomenon, has inspired a renewed interest in British traditions such as tea parties.
It’s also incredible when you hear about how many husbands and single guys watched the show. And, of course, the food the Crawley’s served was exquisite.
This is why programs as good as Downton Abbey require tea party sandwiches befitting the show’s classy atmosphere.
Now you can enjoy your favorite episode with a few close friends while snacking on these delicious Downton Abbey Egg Salad Tea Sandwiches.
These crustless delights use only a few ingredients but pack incredible flavor.
This is one seriously delicious finger sandwich, folks.
Try some at your next tea party, and you won’t regret it.
5. Earl Grey Shortbread Cookies with Lemon Glaze
For the perfect complement to Earl Grey tea, try adding these Earl Grey Shortbread Cookies with Lemon Glaze to your afternoon tea menu.
The contrast of the subtle tea-flavored shortbread mixed with the tangy sweetness of the lemon glaze puts these cookies in a league of their own.
Tea-flavored cookies are fairly common in Britain and they really add a unique depth to the flavor profile of certain sweets.
Best of all, you can make everything from scratch in almost no time!
This recipe makes about 36 cookies, more than enough to keep your guests happy.
6. Battenberg Cake
This classic British cake recipe is sure to make your tea parties the talk of the town.
Battenberg cakes are double marble cakes that use precise food coloring to produce beautiful colors and patterns within the cake.
However, this cake’s more than another pretty face. The delicious frosting and apricot jam holding the squares together give this pastry a unique taste.
This cake’s origins date back to 1884 when the first Battenberg Cake was baked in England to celebrate the marriage of Prince Louis of Battenberg to Princess Victoria, Queen Victoria’s granddaughter and future Grandmother to Prince Phillip.
Now, while reproducing these amazing patterned results might seem a bit daunting, it’s really a “piece of cake.”
Saw that one coming from a mile away, didn’t you?
7. Crab Salad Tea Sandwiches
It’s no secret that the British love their seafood, and these delicious Crab Salad Tea Sandwiches are the perfect way to introduce a seafood favorite into your tea parties.
Now, for crabmeat recipes, we always recommend using real crab meat, not the fake stuff. It can be a bit more pricey, but well worth it.
Good quality crab meat can make or break your crab salad, so don’t settle for less.
Also, with your biscuit or cookie cutter, you want to press down firmly on two slices of bread, but don’t twist – this creates ragged edges. Instead, just press down firmly, and you’ll make perfect circles every time.
8. The Perfect Cup of Tea-British Style
According to Brits, Americans have no clue when it comes to making the perfect cuppa.
But not to worry, we’ve found some helpful advice on making the perfect cup of British-style tea sure to impress even the Queen of England!
Keep in mind that every blend of hot tea has to be brewed a little differently to bring out maximum flavor.
That’s where temperature plays an important role. Believe us, the Brits have tea brewing down to almost an exact science!
There’s also a debate on whether or not sugar ruins tea, with some claiming that tea is meant to be bitter.
However, we’re sure that we’re ready to jump on board that train.
9. Basil-Shrimp Tea Sandwiches
Continuing our seafood theme is this recipe for Basil-Shrimp Tea Sandwiches.
In this recipe, you’ll make a shrimp spread to go between your bread. The mix has an unbelievable flavor with basil, green onion, fresh parsley, and lemon juice.
Now, the recipe calls for using pre-cooked shrimp. But, you can always steam, bake, stir-fry, or grill your own to add even more flavor.
You can also use this spread on buttery crackers or as a dip or filling.
10. Traditional Lemon Drop Cookies
These traditional British delicacies are soft but not too sweet. Lemon Drop Cookies have a subtle flavor, with the lemon glaze adding most of the sweetness.
In Britain, cookies are called “biscuits,” which is pretty accurate when comparing the amount of sugar in their cookies to American versions.
But, worry not, these cookies will most certainly not disappoint, as your guests will be pleasantly delighted by their soft texture and sweet (but not overpowering) lemon flavor.
These pair very well with black tea.
11. Two Bite Fudgy Crinkle Top Brownie Bites
Brits are gaga for chocolate, and these sinfully decadent Two Bite Fudgy Crinkle Top Brownie Bites are sure to send your guests over the moon!
Mini, moist brownies with chocolate chips, creamy fudge frosting, and sugar crystal flakes create an experience like nothing else.
A few tips for creating those distinctive crinkle tops is to use both melted chocolate and cocoa powder.
Also, beat your eggs and sugar together for a solid minute before mixing in your other ingredients – this forces the air into your batter, producing a meringue-like top that crinkles during the baking process.
And you’ll want to use your electric mixer for this recipe as a whisk simply won’t do the job.
12. Mini-Chicken Pot Pies
While this may not be a “traditional” British-style tea party recipe, Mini-Chicken Pot Pies are nonetheless adorable savory dishes.
When finger sandwiches are not enough to satisfy your guest’s appetites, these mini chicken meat pies hit the spot.
Plus, they are super easy to make since most of your ingredients are already cooked, such as a rotisserie chicken (you can buy at the store), frozen vegetables, and thin-cut mushrooms.
Once you’ve garnished the tops with nigella seeds, you can either bake them right away or freeze them for a future event.
13. Blackberry Jam Recipe
Toast and jam are staples in British tea party culture and make for delightful and straightforward desserts.
Instead of going out to the store and buying a jar of processed jam with very little fruit in it, you can make homemade Blackberry Jam that’s far more delicious.
Full sugar jams tend to taste more like candy, but with this recipe, you’re bringing the flavor of blackberries to the forefront without sacrificing sweetness.
But feel free to adjust your sugar ration to your own tastes.
14. Mini-Lemon Rasberry Cakes
Raspberries are terrific for adding a unique flavor to your lemon cakes, and this recipe also adds crunchy toasted almonds to the mix for an amazing combination of flavors.
And let’s not forget the sweet, creamy, and tangy homemade lemon icing!
These cakes also look as good as they taste, making them a proud centerpiece for any respectable tea party.
We loved these with our green tea, but they also taste amazing with peach iced tea.
15. Mini-Double Chocolate Cakes
If you really love chocolate the way we do, why not double down?
These Mini-Double Chocolate Cakes are for serious chocolate lovers and are guaranteed to be a smash hit at your next tea party.
Each cake has a total of three layers featuring buttercream milk chocolate and white chocolate frosting.
Decorate the top with sprinkles and chocolate stars for an incredible effect.
Your guests won’t stop raving about how cute these little cakes are – unless they’re too busy eating them!
These also make wonderful cakes for mom on Mother’s Day.
16. Mini-Chocolate Bundt Cakes with Caramel Frosting
Continuing our chocolate tea party desserts tour, we have this recipe for Mini-Chocolate Bundt Cakes with Caramel Frosting.
The creamy homemade caramel frosting in this recipe adds dynamite flavor to the moist, rich chocolate cake.
Everything about these dangerous little cakes screams pleasure.
These also pair very well with ice cream. Our personal favorite is Vanilla Bean.
17. Turkey, Gouda & Apple Tea Sandwiches
Finger sandwiches are fairly common at most tea parties, but that doesn’t mean they have to be “common.”
For deliciously “uncommon” tea sandwiches, upgrade from your traditional ham and cheese or turkey and cheese fare to something a bit more sophisticated.
This Turkey, Gouda, and Apple Tea Sandwich recipe delivers the taste of deli turkey, smoked Gouda cheese, apples, and cranberry sauce to deliver eyebrow-raising delicious flavors.
These sandwiches are simple to make and easy to fall in love with.
Substituting the cranberry sauce for dijon mustard was also delicious.
18. Easy Mini Fluffernutter Tea Sandwiches
Tea parties are all about cute and dainty little sandwiches. And this Easy Mini Fluffernutter Tea Sandwich recipe fits the bill brilliantly.
Those not familiar with fluffernutter sandwiches are made of equal parts marshmallow creme and peanut butter on white bread.
This mini-bite-sized version uses Nutella, a popular hazelnut spread for a nutty and unique flavor.
While these sandwiches might show up at many British tea parties, they were actually invented in the states, Massachusetts to be exact.
Nevertheless, this is a delicious treat with a global appeal.
19. Petit Fours
Oh…there is something so amazing about biting into an icing-rich petit fours cake.
While these cakes are usually seen at baby showers and weddings, there’s no reason why they wouldn’t make a fantastic tea party dessert.
Petite fours originated in France, and their name means “small oven.” This is because petit fours were once baked using the residual heat from brick ovens after making bread.
However, the modern version of these cakes is quite simple to make.
And you can make a batch and freeze them for up to three months, allowing the cakes to thaw slightly at room temperature before applying your white chocolate fondant.
20. Tuna Salad Tea Sandwiches
This updated recipe for Tuna Salad Tea Sandwiches uses several tasty ingredients to give these sandwiches a distinct personality apart from any tuna sandwich you’ve ever eaten.
The recipe includes ingredients like sour cream, tarragon, paprika, olives, onion, peppers, and mayonnaise to deliver a creamy and savory taste that’s anything but plain.
While white bread is traditionally used for this recipe, you can certainly experiment with other types of bread such as wheat and sourdough.
Preparation for ten servings is about 20 minutes, and we suggest using canned white tuna.
21. Jam-Dotted Tea Cake Cookies
These sweet cookies are made for dunking into your tea. And this recipe for Jam-Dotted Tea Cake Cookies adds the flavor of your favorite jam.
This recipe has a total of nine ingredients, and it takes less than 20 minutes to prepare and bake nine cookies.
Of course, using the assembly line process and a large oven, you can bake even more in roughly the same amount of time.
Also, try topping them with powdered sugar.
22. Cucumber Sandwiches
Nothing says “afternoon tea party” like a cool and delicious cucumber sandwich. The crustless finger food was introduced in England back in the 1800s and has been a staple at tea parties ever since.
This recipe takes a page from the American-style version of this dish by adding a creamy herb spread between the bread slices.
You can also make open-face sandwiches using crostini bread.
Best of all, the ingredients are super-inexpensive, and the recipe takes almost no time to put together.
23. Classic Deviled Eggs Recipe
This recipe shares some convenient tips for making the very best deviled eggs.
First, you want to ensure that your eggs are not too young. If you happen to buy farm-fresh eggs or raise chickens, you want eggs at least two weeks old.
This is because eggs that are younger than two weeks tend not to peel as easily.
And while there are lots of ways you can hard boil an egg, such as using the oven, microwave, or instapot, boiling is still the best, delivering the most consistent results.
This recipe uses six simple ingredients and gives detailed instructions on how best to prepare them.
24. Mini-Lemon Meringue Pies
Making lemon-meringue pie can be a bit of a headache.
However, this recipe makes things simple by using premade miniature tart shells and homemade microwave-made lemon curd.
You can also buy a lemon meringue topping or make your own (they provide a different recipe).
For something different, try mixing your lemon curd with other fruits like strawberry, blueberry, and blackberry, or top your pies with a fruit preserve instead of only meringue topping.
25. Mini-Bacon Quiche
One of the things we really love about this recipe is the boundless possibilities for remixing it into lots of delicious variations.
For example, by adding chopped cooked spinach, roasted red bell pepper, fresh minced dill, and crumbled feta cheese, you’ve made a Greek version.
There are also more examples of alternatives on the recipe page, but the original version is delightfully flavorful with crispy bits of bacon, ham, and lots of delicious cheese.
These are seriously delicious little bites that taste almost like mini omelets.
26. Smoked Salmon Tea Sandwiches (Canapés)
Another excellent seafood dish for any tea party is these savory Smoked Salmon Tea Sandwiches.
This recipe only has five simple ingredients, and you can put together lots of sandwiches since they all use only a single baguette slice.
Plus, most of the ingredients in the spread also double as your garnish.
How cool is that?
Also, try this spread with other recipes, such as chicken sandwiches or egg salad!
27. Basic Scone Recipe
A tea party isn’t just a tea party without scones. If you’re not featured at your gatherings, you and your guests miss out on a real treat!
This recipe for making the perfect scones allows you to add your own variety of mix-ins, such as blueberries, strawberries, chocolate chips, chive, cheese, or other herbs.
Scones can be either hearty or sweet, or a bit of both. They indeed are a very versatile pastry.
Some folks even add ingredients like rosemary, garlic, bacon, and Jalapenos!
For a more traditional experience, try topping your scones with a clotted cream like Devonshire cream.
28. Creamy No-Bake Vegan Lemon Bars
Finding a delicious vegan-friendly dessert doesn’t have to be a hassle.
Over the years, there have been tons of new recipes recreating classic meals without the use of animal byproducts. The results have been nothing short of remarkable!
This recipe for No-Bake Vegan Lemon Bars packs all of the delicious sweet and tart lemon flavors into bite-size squares that contain zero eggs.
That’s right. This recipe doesn’t use eggs. Instead, it uses coconut milk, flour, and other ingredients to create a creamy texture.
You can also use a pinch of turmeric to give it more lemon color.
29. English Shortbread Cookies
Shortbread is much like the sugar cookies Americans enjoy, only they are much easier to make.
The secret to making the perfect shortbread is keeping the process short.
This means you want to have a higher fat to flour ratio to ensure that you get a richer, more crumbly texture.
Also, you can use buttermilk or heavy cream. However, both offer a unique flavor. For example, if you’d like your cookies a bit tangier, buttermilk’s the way to go.
Positively, delicious with raspberry jam!
30. Mini-Cheesecake Bites
This recipe for Mini-Cheesecake Bites with strawberry jam is very adaptable to other fruit flavors.
For instance, you can use other preserves such as blueberry, blackberry, apricot, and cherry to create a wide variety of cheesecake treats for your tea party.
Now, keep in mind that you’ll need to allow your cheesecake to chill for at least four hours with this recipe.
For more fantastic tea party food ideas, be sure to check out the video below.
Last, and anything but least, is a delicious pastry known as Rugelach.
Rugelach are crescent-shaped cookies with centers you can fill with all kinds of delicious ingredients like cream cheese, cinnamon, chocolate, strawberry preserve, and much much more.
This recipe will also show you how you can swap out the filling and outside flavoring.
Some of our favorites are the cinnamon and cream Rugelach that features a center of cream cheese mixed with butter (or almond butter), chopped pecans, and cinnamon.
You can dust the outside with light cinnamon and sugar for that recipe.
And try dipping your cinnamon Rugelach in homemade cream cheese frosting, you won’t be sorry!
30+ Tea Party Recipes (+Downton Abbey Style Egg Salad Sandwiches)
- 6 chopped hard-boiled eggs
- 6 Tablespoons finely chopped red onion
- 6 Tablespoons finely chopped celery
- 4 teaspoons fresh lime juice
- 4 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1/3 cup olive oil mayonnaise
- 1 loaf French bread with crusts removed
- Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
- Spread egg salad on bread.
Organize all the required ingredients.
Enjoy the food.
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