18 Tea Party Classics, from Scones to Sandwiches

Cucumber-Rye Tea Sandwiches
Photo: © Con Poulos

Add some pizazz to a late-afternoon, British-inspired gathering with delicate tea sandwiches, scones, and sweet treats. Read on for our collection of favorite tea-time recipes.

01 of 18

Double-Lemon Scones

Double-Lemon Scones
© Marcus Nilsson

Lemon–poppy seed cake meets scones in this delightful recipe from F&W culinary director at large Justin Chapple.

02 of 18

Curried Egg Tea Sandwiches

Curried-Egg Tea Sandwiches


Cookbook author Martha Hall Foose says that in the early 1960s, The Time Life Picture Cook Book inspired Mississippi ladies to "go exotic" by adding ingredients like curry powder and orange zest to egg salad tea sandwiches.

03 of 18

Chocolate Ganache Sandwich Cookies

Chocolate Sandwich Cookies
Photo by Greg DuPree / Food Styling by Ali Ramee / Prop Styling by Christine Keely

Pastry chef Paola Velez's recipe for these chocolate sandwich cookies creates crisp, buttery cookies filled with rich, fluffy milk chocolate ganache. The creamy filling is made with chocolate and butter instead of the usual heavy cream, resulting in a softer ganache.

04 of 18

Cucumber-Rye Tea Sandwiches

Cucumber-Rye Tea Sandwiches
© Con Poulos

Little slices of party rye are a Southern favorite for tea sandwiches: "You don't see regular rye down here every day," Martha Hall Foose says. If party rye isn't available, use a cookie cutter to create rounds from regular bread slices.

05 of 18

Mini Chocolate-Hazelnut Cheesecakes

Mini Chocolate-Hazelnut Cheesecakes

© Fredrika Stjärne

Whole, cream-filled chocolate sandwich cookies are broken up in a food processor with hazelnuts and butter to create a super-crunchy crust for these delectable little cheesecakes. The cream filling in the cookies both sweetens the crust and prevents it from becoming too crumbly. 

06 of 18

Meyer Lemon Marmalade

Meyer Lemon Marmalade
© Tina Rupp

Likely a cross between an orange and a lemon, the Meyer lemon gives this sweet-tart marmalade a bright citrus flavor.

07 of 18

Mushroom Pomponnettes

Mushroom Pomponnettes
© James Baigrie

At restaurant Daniel, Daniel Boulud makes these popular bite-size mushroom quiches in individual molds, but mini-muffin pans are perfect substitutes.

08 of 18

Burnt Honey-Orange Tuiles

Burnt Honey Orange Tuiles
Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Torie Cox / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen

The beauty of this cookie-brittle hybrid is that you can make it with any croissant — homemade or store-bought. To get thin, even slices, freeze the croissants for about 15 minutes before slicing. To ensure a crispy tuile, let the croissant slices bake until they are a deep golden brown to give the sugar in the syrup time to caramelize and harden to the perfect texture.

09 of 18

Mini Brie Sandwiches with Quick Balsamic-Leek Jam

Mini Brie Sandwiches with Quick Balsamic-Leek Jam
Charissa Fay

These crisp, buttery, and supremely gooey grilled cheese sandwiches get fantastic tang from sourdough bread and a bright mustardy bite from leeks. They were inspired by a quiche that TV chef Alex Guarnaschelli ate years ago made from brioche layered with caramelized leeks and baked with Gruyère and Parmesan. In this version, she swaps in creamy Brie.

10 of 18

Strawberry-Ricotta Tartlets

Strawberry-Ricotta Tartlets
© Con Poulos

Pastry chef Heather Tirrell uses buttermilk to make the ricotta she piles on graham tartlet shells. But any good, store-bought ricotta would be fine, she says.

11 of 18

Buttermilk Crumpets

Buttermilk Crumpets Recipe
Photo by Greg DuPree / Food Styling by Chelsea Zimmer and Paige Grandjean / Prop Styling by Christine Keely

Crisp on the outside with an airy, spongy center, crumpets are lovely hot out of the pan but also reheat beautifully in the toaster. Buttermilk helps to keep them tender and light, while spelt flour lends a nutty flavor.

12 of 18

Coconut Cake

Coconut Cake
© Karen Mordechai

Coconut cake, a dainty dessert, was in vogue in the 1920s for ladies' gatherings. Traditionally made with marshmallow frosting, the cake was famously served to President Truman during a trip to Florida in the 1950s.

13 of 18

Two-Bite Parmesan Biscuits

Two-Bite Parmesan Biscuits
Caitlin Bensel

These biscuits are baked on a bed of grated Parmesan cheese, resulting in a crispy, cheesy crust around the bottom of each biscuit. Perfect on their own, try them drizzled with a bit of honey, or improvise by tossing a few handfuls of fresh thyme or chives into the dough to take them over the top. 

14 of 18

Chocolate-Dipped Florentine Shortbreads

Chocolate-Dipped Florentine Shortbreads

© Dana Gallagher

Here, pastry chef Pierre Hermé combines the tenderness of shortbread with the elegance of florentines, the caramelized almond cookies studded with glittering candied fruit.

15 of 18

Fresh Ricotta and Radish Crostini

Fresh Ricotta and Radish Crostini
© John Kernick

Homemade ricotta cheese is completely delicious and unbelievably easy to prepare — all it takes is milk, lemon juice, and a little heat. Chef Paul Kahan spreads it on crostini, then adds a few slices of pretty red radish and a sprinkling of pepper.

16 of 18

Lemon-Buckwheat Shortbread

Lemon Buckwheat Shortbread
Victor Protasio

Lemon filling highlights the nuttiness of buckwheat flour in these shortbread cookie sandwiches from 2017 F&W Best New Chef Nina Compton.

17 of 18

Ham and Cheese Puff Pastry Tart

Ham-and-Cheese Puff Pastry Tart
© Oddur Thorisson

Blogger Mimi Thorisson spreads store-bought puff pastry with mustard-shallot béchamel, then layers it with ham and cheese before baking it into a crisp, rich, croque monsieur–like tart.

18 of 18

Earl Grey Tea Bread

Earl Grey Tea Bread Recipe
Victor Protasio

Tea loaves have roots that branch out across Britain and Ireland. There are purists in all corners and plenty of debate about which version is best, but the basic premise remains the same wherever you go: Strong tea is used to make a silky, only lightly sweet cake batter, often with spices, which is then baked into a hearty loaf with dried fruit. Here, Earl Grey tea, along with the addition of a little orange zest, brings a welcome aromatic edge.

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