If you’re wondering what to serve with your afternoon tea, you’ve come to the right place.
In this article, I list 45 of the most popular side dishes for afternoon tea.
In a rush? Here’s the short answer.
The best dishes to serve with afternoon tea are raspberry scones, cream puffs, orange sour cream pound cake, and lime macarons. For savory dishes, try coronation chicken sandwiches, mini crab cakes, cucumber rounds, or parmesan puffs. For a centerpiece, go for a chocolate pecan tart.
Ready? Let’s jump right in.
Coronation chicken sandwiches
Dainty sandwiches are a must with afternoon tea.
My favorite? These coronation chicken sandwiches.
This spiced savory filling first appeared in 1953 during Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation (hence the name).
It was originally made with curry powder, but this recipe uses curry paste to make the sandwiches aromatic and flavorful, minus the heat.
Why we love this recipe: everyone will be clamoring for second helpings.
I firmly believe in not messing with the classics, but these raspberry scones are a must-try.
It’s a simple twist, but the fresh berries add a burst of sweet and tart goodness to every bite of the buttery scones.
And the best part? You can use frozen or fresh raspberries for this recipe so you can make it all year round!
Pssst… don’t forget the clotted cream.
Why we love this recipe: you can make and shape an extra batch of scones, then freeze them for when the cravings hit. I have a great article on the best way to reheat them.
Brown butter chocolate pecan tart
An afternoon tea party isn’t complete without a show-stopping centerpiece like this chocolate pecan tart.
It may look complicated, but it’s actually really easy to make.
The crust is graham crackers mixed with cocoa powder and butter – no rolling or chilling required.
And you can use your trusty microwave to melt the chocolate for the filling. Easy-peasy!
Psst… no cocoa powder? Check out these cocoa powder substitutes.
Why we love this recipe: it’s great for beginners.
No afternoon tea would be complete without some picture perfect macarons.
The lime buttercream gives these treats a refreshingly zesty flavor that will help balance out all the other sweet treats you have.
Precise measurements are a must with these pastries, so I recommend getting a digital scale to ensure you get them right.
Why we love this recipe: they’re excellent for gifting.
Truffle deviled eggs
This recipe elevates your standard devilled eggs into a fancy refreshment with the help of white truffle oil.
It’s not the cheapest ingredient, but a little goes a long way. You only need one tablespoon for 12 eggs here.
Psst… truffle oil is great in creamy pasta dishes or on fries too.
Why we love this recipe: its bite sized luxury.
These parmesan puffs are a cross between puff pastry and crackers.
They’re buttery, flaky, and oh-so-cheesy, with crispy bottoms reminiscent of grilled cheese sandwiches.
This recipe calls for grated parmesan cheese… but a little tip, you’ll get a lot more flavor if you shred your own cheese!
Why we love this recipe: they last for up to 5 days, so they’re perfect if you want to make some things in advance.
Mini crab cakes
Mini crab cakes are an excellent addition to your afternoon tea party’s savory course.
These ones are packed to the brim with sweet, juicy crab… there’s barely any filler in there!
And they can be easily modified to suit a range of diets including keto and gluten free.
Pro-tip: brush the cakes with butter and lemon before baking for a tasty finishing touch.
Why we love this recipe: these are highly addictive.
Grilled Caprese zucchini roll-ups
Afternoon tea is usually served with lots of decadent treats, so why not add some nourishment with these fresh zucchini roll-ups?
The ingredient list is short and simple, allowing the natural flavors of the produce to shine through.
And you can serve them raw, or you can quickly pop them on the grill for a hint of smokiness.
Why we love this recipe: they’re low-carb and healthy.
Orange sour cream pound cake
If you’re more of a cake person, this pound cake loaf is for you.
The key to perfecting the cake is to whip as much air into the wet batter as possible to keep it light.
Then you need to fold the dry ingredients in slowly to make sure you don’t push out all the air.
Psst… use full-fat sour cream for best results.
Why we love this recipe: it’ll make everyday feel like summer.
These classic cream puffs are made from choux pastry, which is notoriously difficult to get right.
But boy are you rewarded when things do.
The main issue people face is deflation, which happens when you open the oven too early or take the pastry out too soon.
Why we love this recipe: these look like they came from a high-end patisserie.
Mini quiche bites
Go full on British with some mini quiches.
Other recipes leave them crustless (essentially making frittatas) for ease, but this recipe is clever and uses phyllo dough.
It’s easy to work with, and crunchier than the traditional crust. Genius!
And if you’re making them in advance, here’s everything you need to know about reheating quiche.
Why we love this recipe: you can get creative with the fillings.
Cucumber rounds with cream cheese
These fancy cucumber rounds topped with cream cheese are perfect hors-d’oeuvres to serve before you get started with afternoon tea.
They’re really light so won’t fill anyone up and are super refreshing.
It’s really easy to mix up the cream cheese flavor too – I like to add some chili for a little surprise.
Why we love this recipe: you can’t get much more simple.
Lemon thyme cupcakes
These lemony cupcakes deserve a spot in your baking repertoire.
Thyme and rosemary may not be common ingredients in desserts, but their earthy flavors are used here to offset the strong, citrusy flavors of lemon.
Just make sure you chop the herbs finely so they get properly incorporated in the batter.
Why we love this recipe: they’re delicious and unique.
Smoked salmon crostini
Skip the usual sandwiches and go for an open-faed crostini instead.
They look better than sandwiches, and have an irresistibly crunchy texture.
Pro tip: these are best eaten within an hour, so plan accordingly. You don’t want the crostini to get soggy.
Why we love this recipe: these crostini look and taste gourmet.
Peach swirl cheesecake bars
The peach puree swirls in these cheesecake bars not only look gorgeous, but they taste amazing too.
The fruity sweetness is a delicious pair for the slightly tangy cream cheese mixture.
And luckily making the bars is a breeze, as long as you remember to start with room-temperature ingredients (this keeps the mixture silky smooth).
Why we love this recipe: they’re kid-friendly.
The best side dishes to serve with afternoon tea
- Coronation chicken sandwiches
- Raspberry scones
- Brown butter chocolate pecan tart
- Lime macarons
- Truffle deviled eggs
- Parmesan puffs
- Mini crab cakes
- Grilled Caprese zucchini roll-ups
- Orange sour cream pound cake
- Cream puffs
- Mini quiche bites
- Cucumber rounds with cream cheese
- Lemon thyme cupcakes
- Smoked salmon crostini
- Peach swirl cheesecake bars
What To Serve With Afternoon Tea
- Cucumber rounds
- Orange pound cake
- Lime macaroons
- Coronation chicken sandwiches … and more
- Prepare your afternoon tea according to your favorite recipe.
- In the meantime, choose one of the following sides to serve alongside it.
- Side dishes include: coronation chicken sandwiches, raspberry scones, brown butter chocolate pecan tart, lime macarons, truffle deviled eggs, parmesan puffs, mini crab cakes, grilled Caprese zucchini roll-ups, orange sour cream pound cake, cream puffs, mini quiche bites, cucumber rounds with cream cheese, lemon thyme cupcakes, smoked salmon crostini, and peach swirl cheesecake bars.
- Serve immediately and enjoy!