Afternoon Tea Recipes


Scones are best served warm and fresh, split open, and topped with either lemon curd or thick homemade jam and clotted cream (Devonshire cream or creme fraiche).

It is thought that the name comes from the Stone of Destiny (or Scone). Scottish kings have been crowned upon this stone for more than a thousand years. The present British Queen Elizabeth II was crowned on the Stone in 1953. The original version of scones was made with oats and griddle baked. Today they are flour-based and baked in the oven and come in various shapes (triangles, rounds, squares, and diamonds).


When transporting already baked scones to a tea event and they have gotten cold re-heat them in a crock pot. Take a dry tea towel and put in bottom of pot, add scones, and place another dry tea towel on top. Turn temperature to medium when you arrive at your site and the scones will heat through by the time your are ready to serve your guests.

Cream Scones

1 c.s flour sifted with 3 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 T. sugar
1/4 c. butter
1/2 c. cream
2 beaten eggs

Cut butter into sifted dry ingredients. Combine eggs and cream and add. Pat to 3/4-inch thick. Cut in squares or triangles, sprinkle with sugar and bake at 375° until lightly brown, about 20 minutes. Serve hot with any jams, preserves or Traditional Tea Spreads. Makes 1 dozen.

Cheese Scones

1/2 c. self-rising flour
1 egg
2 T. margarine
1/2 c. Lancashire or Cheddar cheese, grated
A little milk
Pinch of salt
Pinch of cayenne pepper
A little beaten egg

Put the flour and margarine into the food processor and process until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Add the cheese, salt, and cayenne and process to mix-just a few seconds. With the machine switched on add the egg, together with just enough milk to make a soft pliable dough. Roll out on a lightly floured board and cut into rounds using a pasty cutter. Place on a greased baking tray, brush with beaten egg, and bake for about About 20 minutes at 425°.

Cranberry Scones

2 c.s all-purpose flour
1/4 c. sugar
1 T. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/3 c. butter, diced
1 c. whipping cream
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 egg white
1 tsp. orange zest
1 c. fresh cranberries, chopped

Preheat oven to 375°. In large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Gradually add butter until mixture is course and crumbly. Add whipping cream and stir until mixture is moist. Mix in cranberries, nutmeg, and orange zest.

Place on a lightly floured surface and knead 6 or 7 times. Roll until 1/2-inch thick. Cut with a biscuit cutter and place each scone 2 inches apart on a lightly greased baking sheet.

Brush tops of scones with egg white and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. 12 servings.

English Tea Scones

2 c. flour
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 T. baking powder
1 c. heavy cream

In a large bowl, sift dry ingredients together. Add teh cream, a little at a time, to form a soft ball. Knead gently and roll out to 1/2-inch thick. Cut wtih a round cookie cutter. Bake at 425° on an ungreased baking sheet for 10 to 12 minutes, until golden. Serve with Devonshire Cream. Makes 8 to 10 scones.

Kensington Palace Scones

1/3 c. Crisco
1/3 c. milk
1/3 c. butter
1 egg, beaten
2 c. flour
2 T. sugar
3/4 tsp. salt
1 T. baking powder

Preheat oven to 415°. Sift dry ingredients together; mix with shortening, using a pastry cutter or food processor. Add milk and egg; mix lightly with a fork until just mixed. Turn out onto a floured board. Knead 8 to 10 times, folding over into itself at final kneading. Pat gently to about 1/2-inch thickness and cut with a biscuit cutter, going straight down and straight up (if you twist, the scones will bake lop-sided).

Scones may be coated with an egg wash before baking, if desired. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until golden.

Wonderful Scones

3 c. all-purpose flour 3 T. sugar 1 T. baking powder 1/4 tsp. salt 1/2 c. chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces 1 c. raisins 3 eggs, divided 1 c. plus 1 T. milk, divided

Preheat oven to 450°. Spray a large baking sheet with vegetable-oil cooking spray. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. With a pastry blender or two knives, cut butter into flour mixture until particles are the size of small peas; stir in raisins. In a medium bowl, beat 2 eggs lightly with 1 cup milk. Add to flour mixture; stir just until mixed.

On a lightly floured surface, knead dough gently. Pat or roll out the dough into a circle 1/2-inch thick. Using a lightly greased and floured 3-inch biscuit cutter, cut into rounds, cutting close together to generate as few scraps as possible. Dip cutter into flour as often as necessary to keep dough from sticking. Push scraps of dough together so that edges join; firmly pinch edges with fingertips to make a partial seal. Pat this remaining dough to 1/2-inch thick; continue to cut 3-inch rounds. Space 1-inch apart onto prepared baking sheet. NOTE: When making scones, work the dough quickly and do not over mix.

In a small bowl, combine 1 egg and 1 tablespoon milk; brush onto scones. Bake 15 to 18 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and serve warm. Yields 12 to 14 scones.

Traditional Tea Spreads: Devonshire Cream, Orange Marmalade, Strawberry Jam, Honey, Cinnamon and Sugar, Apple Butter, Strawberry Butter, Raspberry Preserves, Apricot Preserves, Apple Chutney

Devonshire Cream

(Originally from Devonshire County, England, it is a thick, buttery cream often used as a topping for desserts. It is still a specialty of Devon, Cornwall, and Somerset as this is where the right breed of cattle are raised with a high enough cream content to produce clotted cream. It is also known as Devon cream and clotted cream. Clotted cream has a consistency similar to soft butter.

Before the days of pasteurization, the milk from the cows was left to stand for several hours so that the cream would rise to the top. Then this cream was skimmed and put into big pans. The pans were then floated in trays of constantly boiling water in a process known as scalding. The cream would then become much thicker and develop a golden crust which is similar to butter.)

3 oz cream cheese
1 T. powder sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. whipping cream

In large bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar, salt, and vanilla until well blended. Stir in whipping cream and beat mixture with an electric mixer until mixture is stiff. Cover and chill at least 2 hours. Spread on scones. Keep stored in refrigerator.

Devonshire Cream II

8 oz. cream cheese
1/2 c. sour cream
2 T. powdered sugar

In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the sour cream and sugar; beat well. Refrigerate until serving. Make 1-1/3 cups.

Honey Butter

3/4 c. honey
3/4 c. butter, soft
3/4 c. powdered sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon

Blend all ingredients together. Store in refrigerator. Makes 2 cups.

For easy spreading, set out 20 minutes or so before serving.

Lemon Curd

3 large lemons
5 eggs
1 c. granulated sugar
8 T. unsalted butter

Grate the lemon and set aside. Squeeze the juice and put into a blender or food processor. Add the remaining ingredients and process until smooth. Pour the mixture into a very heavy sauce pan or the top half of a double boiler. Stir in the lemon rind and cook over low heat or over simmring water for about 10 minutes, until thickened. Stir the mixture with a wire whisk if it appears lumpy. Chill the lemon cord before serving; it becomes thicker as it cools. This is a delicious easy-to-make sweet lemon butter that is used as a spread on crumpets, muffins, and toast. Yield: 1-1/3 Cups.


* Allow 4 to 6 cut sandwich servings for each person.

* Choose the best-quality white or wheat bread as possible. Never serve end slices. Freezing the bread before cutting and then spreading makes for easier handling.

* Bread slices should be lightly buttered not matter what the filling. Unsalted butter should always be used. Butter should be at room temperature before spreading. Sandwiches will not become limp and soggy as readily if you spread the butter to the edge of the bread.

* Cut the crusts off the bread with a long, sharp knife after the sandwiches are filled. This keeps everything neater.

* Since tea sandwiches should be delicate, cut each sandwich in half on the diagonal or into thirds or fourths before serving. Decorative shapes can be made with cookie cutters.

* Making Sandwiches Ahead of Time:

* If you need to make tea sandwiches in advance and need to keep them from drying out, cover them l oosely with a sheet of wax paper and then place a damp kitchen towel over the wax paper (never place a damp towel directly on top of the bread because the sandwiches will become soggy). Refrigerate. When ready to serve, remove from refrigerator. Uncover sandwiches just before serving.

Chicken Curry Tea Sandwich

2 cooked whole chicken breasts, finely chopped
1/4 c. finely chopped nuts
4 celery stalks, finely chopped
Salt to taste
Mayonnaise (enough to moisten)
Curry powder or paste to taste
16 slices best-quality white bread
1/2 c. unsalted butter, room temperature

In a large bowl, combine chicken, nuts, celery, salt, and mayonnaise; stir until well blended. Add curry powder or paste (Remember, a little goes a long way with curry - be careful).

Spread one side of each piece of bread lightly with butter. Top the buttered side of 8 slices of bread with some of the chicken mixture and top with the remaining bread slices, buttered side down.

Carefully cut the crusts from each sandwich with a sharp knife. Cut the sandwiches in half diagonally and then cut in half again. Yields 8 whole sandwiches or 16 halves or 32 fourths.

Egg Salad Sandwiches

3 hard-boiled eggs, chopped fine
1/2 c. mayonnaise
1 T. finely chopped green onion
Salt & Pepper, to taste
10 slices bread

Mix salad ingredients until well-combined. Spread half the bread with a thin coating of mayonnaise; spread the other half with the egg salad. Assemble sandwiches; cut off crusts and cut into 3 parallel sections.

Ham and Pineapple Tea Sandwiches

16 slices whole wheat bread
1/2 T. honey mustard
1/4 lb. lean cooked ham, chopped finely in a food processor
32 tiny wedges of fresh pineapple
1 T. mayonnaise
Fresh cilantro

Remove crust from bread and cut out into desired shapes. Mix ham, mayonnaise, and mustard together. Spread mixture over each bread cutout. Top with fresh pineapple and cilantro. Makes 32 sandwiches.

Pineapple-Cream Cheese SandwichesM

3/4 c. soft butter
1 tsp. cinnamon or nutmeg
20 slices bread of your choice
11/2 c. soft cream cheese
1/2 c. pineapple, finely chopped
1/2 c. finely chopped nuts
Salt and pepper

Combine the butter with cinnamon or nutmeg and spread the mixture over 1 side of each slice of bread. In a small bowl, cream the cream cheese, if necessary, and stir in the pineapple and nuts. Add salt and pepper to taste. Spread the cream cheese mixture evenly over 10 slices of bread and top with the other 10 slices. Remove the crusts and cut. Makes 40 quarter tea sandwiches.

Putting on the Ritz Egg Salad Tea Sandwiches

8 hard-cooked eggs
1/2 c. mayonnaise
Salt and pepper to taste
1 T. finely chopped fresh dill
6 T. unsalted butter, room temperature
20 slices best-quality white bread

Peel eggs and place into a medium bowl. Slice eggs and then coarsely mash them with the back of a fork. Add mayonnaise, salt, pepper, and dill; stir until well blended. NOTE: This mixture can be refrigerated, covered, up to two days.

Spread butter onto one side of each slice of bread. Spread the buttered side of 10 slices of bread with 2 tablespoons egg mixture. Top with remaining slices of bread, buttered side down.

Carefully cut the crusts from sandwich with a sharp knife. Cut in half diagonally, then cut in half again. Yields 10 whole sandwiches or 20 halves or 40 fourths.


High Tea Lemon Cookies

2 c. butter, room temperature (not soft or melted)
2/3 c. powdered sugar
1 tsp. grated lemon zest
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 c. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 CUPS cornstarch
Lemon Frosting (recipe below)

Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, beat butter until creamy looking. Add powdered sugar; mix until light and fluffy. Add lemon zest and vanilla extract; beat well. Add flour and cornstarch into butter mixture and mix well until well combined. NOTE: At first the dough will look dry - but don't worry, as the dough slowly comes together as you mix it and the butter melts into the dry ingredients.

Do not refrigerate this dough, as the butter will harden hard and make the dough unmanageable for rolling. Using your hands, roll cookie dough into 1-inch balls. Place onto ungreased cookie sheets and bake 15 minutes or until bottoms are light brown. Remove from oven, carefully remove from baking sheet, and cool on wire racks (when warm the cookies are delicate). When cool, spread Lemon Frosting onto top of cookies. Yields 6 dozen cookies.

Lemon Frosting:

1/3 c. butter, room temperature
1 tsp. grated lemon zest
1/3 to 1/2 c. freshly squeezed lemon juice
4 c.s powdered sugar

In a medium bowl, combine butter, lemon zest, lemon juice, and powdered sugar; stir until well mixed. Dip the tops of the cookies into frosting. Recipe makes enough for a double batch of cookies.

NOTE: Additional lemon juice may be needed to get the frosting thin enough.

Lemon Bars Deluxe Crust: 1-3/4 c. all-purpose flour
2/3 c. powdered or confectioner's sugar
1/4 c. cornstarch
1/4 tsp. salt
1 c. unsalted butter, room temperature
Extra softened butter for greasing pan

Preheat oven to 350°. Adjust oven rack to middle position. Lightly butter a 13-x 9-inch baking dish and line with parchment or wax paper allowing edges to come over the sides.

Pulse flour, powdered sugar, cornstarch, and salt in food processor. Add butter and blend, 8 to 10 seconds, and then pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. Sprinkle mixture into prepared baking pan and press firmly into an even layer with slightly raised sides to hold in the filling. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes and then bake until golden brown, about 20 to 30 minutes; remove from oven and let cool slightly. After crust is finished baking, reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees.

Lemon Filling:

4 large eggs, beaten lightly
1-1/3 c. granulated sugar
3 T. flour
2 tsp. finely grated lemon zest (from two large lemons)
2/3 c. fresh lemon juice, strained
1/3 c. whole milk
1/8 tsp. salt
Extra powdered or confectioners' sugar to decorate finished bars

While crust is baking, make the Lemon Filling: In a medium bowl, whisk eggs, sugar, and flour; stir in lemon zest, lemon juice, milk, and salt to blend well. Pour mixture onto the pan on top of the warm crust.

NOTE: You may set prepared Lemon Filling aside until crust is finished baking. When ready to pour on warm crust, re-blend Lemon Filling mixture and pour into the warm crust.

Bake for 20 minutes, or until the filling feels firm when touched lightly. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and cool for 30 minutes. Grasp the parchment and carefully lift the bars onto a cutting board. Cut into serving size squares or bars, wiping your knife clean between cuts if necessary. Sieve powdered or confectioners' sugar over bars and serve. NOTE: The powdered sugar will start to be absorbed into the Lemon Filling after several hours, but it can be reapplied before serving.

Storage: 3 days at room temperature, 3 weeks refrigerated (individually wrapped in plastic wrap to prevent drying), or 3 months frozen. Yields about 2 dozen bars.

Quick Shortbread Cookies

1-1/8 c. of Butter or Margarine
5/8 c. of Sugar
2-1/4 c. of Sifted Flour
1 tsp. of Vanilla
Powdered Sugar for topping

Mix all ingredients well and roll into small balls. Flatten with fingers onto a cookie sheet.

Bake at 350° for 10-12 minutes. As soon as you take them out, dust them with powdered sugar.

Victorian Kisses

9 eggs
White sugar

Beat the whites of nine fresh eggs to a stiff froth.

Mix egg white mixture with fifteen spoonfuls of fine white sugar and five or six drops of essence of lemon.

Drop mixture on paper with a teaspoon, sift sugar over them, and bake them in a slow oven.

Tea Cakes

2 c. sugar
3 eggs
1 stick butter, room temperature
1/2 c. plain Crisco
3 T. sweet milk
3 c. all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. vanilla

Cream sugar, butter, and shortening together very well. Beat in eggs, one at a time; then add milk. Sift together flour and baking powder; add in two parts, mixing well. Add vanilla and mix well. Chill dough for two hours.

On floured board, and with stockinette cover on rolling pin, roll to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut with cookie cutters. Place cookies on greased cookie sheet and bake at 350° for 10-15 minutes, or until cookies are golden brown. Remove to cooling racks and when completely cool, frost.

Tea Cake Icing

1 large bag powdered sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
2 T. softened butter
Enough milk to bring to right consistency for frosting
Paste food colors

Mix all ingredients in mixer except for paste food colors. When icing can be easily spread with a knife, transfer to small bowls or teacups, dividing evenly. Be sure to leave some plain white icing for accent purposes. Color rest of icing with paste food colors in the desired amounts/hues, stirring with toothpick. Also, it's good to have on hand the following:

Tiny nonpareils
cinnamon red-hots
melted semisweet chocolate
mini chocolate chips
colored sugars

These are used for additional decoration for the tea cakes. When iced, store tea cakes between pieces of waxed paper in tightly covered containers. YIELD: 5-6 dozen, depending upon size cut.


Cheddar Cheese Wafers

2 c. sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
2 c. self-rising flour
2 c. crispy rice cereal
2 sticks butter, softened
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. red pepper

Mix all ingredients by hand in a large bowl. Roll into small balls. Place on an un-greased cookie sheet and flatten each with a fork. Bake at 350° for ten minutes. Makes 3 dozen.

Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries

Keep the stem on the berries. Dip individual strawberries half-way into melted semi-sweet chocolate. Allow to harden.


2 tsp. yeast
1 tsp. sugar
1/4 c. warm water
1/3 c. milk
1 egg, lightly beaten
4 T. butter, melted, divided
1 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt

Mix yeast with sugar, add water and let stand about 5 minutes until foamy. Stir in milk, egg and 1 tablespoon butter. Add flour and salt; mix until well blended. Cover with damp towel and let stand in warm place about 45 minutes, or until almost doubled in volume. Brush four 3-inch flan rings and bottom of heavy frying pan with remaining melted butter. Heat over low flame and place 2 tablespoons of batter inside each ring. Cook for 7 minutes, or until tops are dry and holes appear. Remove rings and turn crumpets. Cook about 2 minutes, or until bottoms are lightly browned. Repeat with remaining batter. Serve warm with preserves and Devenshire cream. Yield: 7 dozen

Cranberry Tea

3 cinnamon sticks
30 whole cloves
3-1/2 qts. plus 2 c. water, divided
1 lb. can cranberry sauce
2 (6 oz) cans frozen orange juice concentrate
1 c. sugar
6 T. lemon juice

Combine cinnamond sticks, cloves and 2 c. water in a small saucepan; bring to a boil, and boil for 10 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine cranberry sauce, orange juice, sugar and lemon juice; add boiling liquid, straining cinnamon sticks and cloves. Pour mixture and remaining water into a slow cooker and heat on low to keep warm before serving. Makes about 5 quarts. A delicious tea ... and it makes the house smell great!

Victorian Lavender Lemonade

(During the Victorian era, drinking lemonade on one's porch was a popular pasttime in the summers. A "ladies-only" light luncheon may also have been served. Below is the simple recipe for lavender lemonade, a drink enjoyed during the 19th century.)

5 cups water 1 1/2 cups sugar 12 stems of fresh lavender 2 1/4 cups lemon juice

Boil 2 1/2 cups of water with the sugar. Add the lavender stems and remove from heat. Place on the lid and let cool.

When cool, add 2-1/2 cups of water and the lemon juice. Strain out the lavender.

Serve the lavender lemonade with crushed ice and garnish with lavender blossoms.

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