How To Make Sandwiches For Afternoon Tea

The 5 Best Recipes To Make Traditional Afternoon Tea Finger Sandwiches


Are you looking to impress your guests with a classic afternoon tea spread? Look no further! This article will show you how to make five easy, elegant finger sandwiches perfect for any afternoon tea occasion. 

From tips on the best bread to use to the traditional sandwiches served, these recipes will give you the confidence to create the perfect bite-sized treats everyone can enjoy. So get ready to master the art of sandwich making and create a delightful afternoon tea experience.

Types Of Sandwich Traditionally Served For Afternoon Tea

Afternoon tea is a traditional British meal that consists of tea, sandwiches, cakes, and pastries. The first course is usually served with traditional finger sandwiches. These are cut into four equal pieces. 

There are five types of sandwiches which are typically served, including:

  • cured ham and mustard
  • cucumber with mint cream cheese
  • egg salad
  • smoked salmon with lemon butter
  • chicken salad.

Each type of sandwich has a unique flavour profile that makes it stand out in the spread. For example, cured ham and mustard offer a savoury taste, while cucumber with mint cream cheese provides a refreshing palate cleanser.

Egg salad adds a hearty touch to the mix, while smoked salmon with lemon butter adds an elegant finishing note. Finally, chicken salad is always popular because it’s easy to make and can be tailored to anyone’s tastes by adjusting the ingredients or adding different garnishes.

How Many Sandwiches Do I Allow Per Person For Afternoon Tea?

When hosting an afternoon tea, it is important to consider how many finger sandwiches should be served per person. Generally, you should allow one sandwich per person for a light snack and two sandwiches if you want to provide a more substantial meal. However, this can vary depending on the size of the sandwiches and the number of guests.

If you are making small finger sandwiches, serving two or three per person may be necessary. On the other hand, if your sandwiches are large enough to be cut into four equal pieces, then one sandwich per person should be enough.

Ultimately, the amount of food required will depend on the size of your gathering and what other dishes you plan to serve alongside your finger sandwiches. Considering these factors when planning your afternoon tea menu, you can ensure that everyone has plenty of delicious food to enjoy!

How Far Ahead Can You Make These Finger Sandwiches?

Some popular choices include white bread, sourdough, and brioche. White bread is light and fluffy, ideal for buttered fillings like cucumber or egg.

Sourdough has a bold flavour and a chewy texture that works great with savoury fillings like smoked salmon—Brioche’s rich sweetness pairs perfectly with sweet fillings like jam or honey. 

Whichever type of bread you choose, it should be thinly sliced so that the filling doesn’t overpower the delicate flavours of the sandwich. Finally, use fresh and high-quality ingredients when preparing your sandwiches!

Tips For Making The Perfect Afternoon Tea Finger Sandwiches

Afternoon Tea Finger Sandwiches

The quality of the components is crucial because these recipes are so precise. You don’t require a lot of any one ingredient, though. Choose the higher-quality ingredient, even if it costs a bit more if you have a choice.

Ham And Mustard Finger Sandwiches

Use high-quality, air-dried cured ham that is not overly fatty and parma ham-free. We prefer Honey, Balsamic, & Whole Grain Mustard Sauce, or “süßer Senf”, as it is known in Germany. If not available, substitute whole-grain mustard. Use less regular mustard if you want the ham to stand out. Any kind of bread can be used for these afternoon tea finger sandwiches.

Cucumber And Cream Cheese Sandwiches

For these cucumber finger sandwiches, white bread is required. About 20 minutes before use, remove the cream cheese from the refrigerator. The herbs will be simpler to incorporate as a result. Finely chopped herbs will prevent anyone from getting herb particles stuck in their teeth.

You can use any cucumber, but English cucumbers are the best as they are less watery because they contain fewer seeds. 

Smoked Salmon Finger Sandwiches

Although the highlight of this dish is the smoked salmon, it pays to get a better brand if it is available. Since you won’t require much, the cost is fair. To make it simpler to mix in the butter and butter the bread without leaving holes in it, remove the butter from the refrigerator at least 20 minutes before using. 

Take your time when incorporating the lemon juice into the butter; it won’t initially appear to be combining. Most people use brioche for this recipe, but you can use any bread you choose.

Egg And Cress Finger Sandwiches

To make these egg salad and cress sandwiches, you should hard boil the egg long enough. We advise cooking the egg for 8 minutes until it is set but not yet dry. One large egg is more than enough to make one sandwich. You should use two eggs if you have a medium-sized one.

You can use any mayonnaise, but egg mayonnaise is best recommended. Make use of what you have. Ensure the chives are finely chopped and taste-test the amount of mustard before adding it. Use either a garden or watercress, depending on what is available. If the pieces are a little big, give them a rough chop before using them.

Coronation Chicken Finger Sandwiches

Buy pre-cooked chicken to save time. To avoid large lumps in the afternoon tea finger sandwiches, cut or shred the chicken into small pieces.


Making finger sandwiches for afternoon tea is a classic way to showcase your skills. With these five easy recipes by PL Catering, you can create an elegant afternoon tea experience for your friends and family!


How do you cut your finger sandwiches for afternoon tea?

Cut crusts off the bread with a long, sharp knife after (not before) assembling sandwiches. This keeps everything neater. Since tea sandwiches should be delicate, diagonally cut each sandwich into thirds or quarters or in half. Or use cookie cutters to cut into decorative shapes.

Which type of bread is the best for tea sandwiches?

Most fillings call for soft white bread, while stronger flavours like smoked salmon pair nicely with stronger bread like pumpernickel. Whole wheat bread is perfectly acceptable, but the main thing is to use fresh bread, nothing approaching stale.

What are the most popular sandwich fillings?

Five of the most popular sandwich fillings for everyday occasions:

  • Cheese.
  • Ham and cheese.
  • Ham salad.
  • Sausage.
  • Cheese and onion.
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