Texture inside of a macaron. French dessert macaron filled with white chocolate and blueberry ganache. Macarons are on a dark background covered with fresh blueberries. Top view.

14 Classy and Cute Teatime Snacks

Whether you’re throwing a tea party for the whole neighborhood or enjoying afternoon tea alone, you need something to nibble on.

With so many tea varieties, finding versatile food pairings can be tough. You don’t want to overpower the flavor of the tea but also don’t want to munch on bland oyster crackers.

We have some adorable teatime snack ideas that will brighten up the table and enlighten your taste buds.

Cucumber Butter Sandwiches

Cucumber cream cheese sandwiches closeup on the wooden board on the table. Horizontal.
Image Credit: AS Foodstudio and Shutterstock

Starting with a classic, cucumber butter sandwiches are a quintessential teatime snack. This isn’t a fat hoagie or greasy melt; this is a light, elegant sandwich one can eat gracefully.

There are endless variations of this quaint sandwich, but the traditional one is white bread lightly buttered on both sides with thinly sliced cucumber, salt, and pepper in the middle. Take the crust off and cut them into neat triangles or squares.

You can add your own flair to this sandwich, such as using cream cheese in place of butter, adding fresh herbs, or playing with different seasonings and breads.

Earl Grey Cake

Sliced Earl Grey Cake on Marble.
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Considering these snacks are for teatime, Earl Grey cake seems like a no-brainer. This cake will have a soft lavender taste, and we love pairing it with a silky vanilla buttercream frosting.

Depending on your techniques and ingredients, an Earl Grey cake can be airy and light or dense and decadent. This could be a fancy tiered cake with frosting flowers or a simple loaf cake you can slice for guests.

Consider making a cake inspired by other teas, like chamomile or orange blossom. If you serve matcha or chai, let these drinks inspire your cake flavor.

Lemon Scones

Delicious and Fresh Homemade Lemon Scones.
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Lemon scones are delicate but rich at the same time, making them a perfect snack for teatime. Scones are easy to execute, especially if you’ve tried the recipe once or twice before.

While you can make any type of scone you want, from pumpkin to peach, we find the lightness and zestiness of the lemon to be ideal for afternoon tea. The gentle lemon flavor goes with most teas, such as green, Earl Grey, chamomile, and even English Breakfast.

Again, you can alter the scones to suit your preferences, subbing orange for lemon, adding fresh berries, or even bringing in a savory element like thyme.

Herb Cheddar Biscuits

Homemade garlic cheese biscuits on wooden background.
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It’s a common misconception that all teatime snacks should lean toward dessert. On the contrary, serving a savory snack can be a nice way to balance the sweetness of many teas.

However, we shouldn’t be serving chili. Your savory teatime food should still be light, which is why an herb-filled biscuit is perfect.

For this idea, we recommend being generous with the herbs and light with the cheese so the biscuits come out tasting garden-fresh and not cheese-heavy. Chives, parsley, thyme, and dill are fabulous options, but many other herbs will work.

Caprese Bites

A vibrant plate of Caprese Salad Bites. Bright engaging colours of red, white and green against a pale blue backdrop. These make the perfect appetiser, fresh, healthy, homemade.
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Caprese bites are simple and refreshing. They don’t require any cooking, so they’re wonderful for a busy teatime host. All you need is tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, basil, balsamic, salt, and pepper. Skewer the tomato, mozzarella, and basil on a toothpick, then season them, then drizzle balsamic, and they’re ready to go!

We recommend grape tomatoes, mozzarella pearls, fresh basil, and balsamic reduction, but there are many other versions of these ingredients that could work. For example, you could use slices of Roma tomato with dried basil and balsamic vinegar if that’s what you have on hand.

Lox Canapes

Salmon and Cracker Hor D'oeuvres with Chives and Sour Cream.
Image Credit: Brent Hofacker and Shutterstock

Nothing beats a lox bagel, except for maybe lox canapes. Lox bagels are delightful but can also be messy and cumbersome, not ideal for teatime.

These canapes are essentially a mini version of a lox bagel pre-assembled for guests to eat in a single bite. A traditional version calls for smoked salmon, cream cheese, tomato, capers, and red onion.

However, you can simplify it to just salmon and cream cheese or play with different ingredients. Fresh dill, lemon juice, cucumber slices, creme fraiche, and asparagus can be creative additions. Arrange the ingredients on bite-sized crackers, vegetable slices, or squares of bread.

White Cheddar Apple Gougeres

Freshly baked cheese snack buns close-up on a plate. horizontal view from above.
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Gougeres are French cheese puffs, but these put Cheetos to shame. They’re savory choux pastry dough mixed with cheese and baked until they puff up into little balls, like cream puffs.

Gruyere is a common choice, but you can use any cheese. To give the gougeres a little more elegance, add minced apple and extra sharp white cheddar cheese. These flavors are refined but cozy, creating a delightful balance of sweet and savory, juicy and crunchy.

For us, the sumptuous apple and white cheddar flavor is sensational for teatime, but you can try other variations, like mustard sesame, spicy fennel, or honey chive.

Orange Shortbread

Oranges with biscuits and orange juice.
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Shortbreads are a traditional snack for teatime, offering a delicate and fresh flavor that complements most teas. This one is simple, but there are many ways to make it your own.

Shortbread can be baked in any shape, from basic circular cookies to charming flower silhouettes. Consider dipping them in chocolate to make them sweeter and richer, or mix in another citrus flavor like lemon.

We think keeping it simple is best here, allowing the orange taste to shine. But we do love a light dusting of powdered sugar!

Lemon Meringue Tarts

Lemon meringue tart pie with torched meringue, garnished with dehydrated citrus slices.
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You can always make lemon meringue pie, but the mini version of this tangy dessert is enchanting. Every guest at teatime can have their own personal pie, complete with toasted meringue on top. This is the kind of teatime treat that will dazzle your guests.

For this idea, the smaller, the better. If you can make tarts small enough to eat in one bite, we think that’s perfect. However, slightly larger ones — think the size of an English muffin — are fine too; just make sure you provide forks.

If lemon meringue isn’t your jam, you can make tiny tarts inspired by almost any type of pie, like cherry, chocolate, blueberry, key lime, and pecan.

Fig and Goat Cheese Flatbread

Flat bread pizza with figs, arugula, caramelized onions and cheese, overhead scene on a rustic wood background.
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A flatbread is definitely not a traditional teatime snack, but when done well, it’s an excellent choice.

The key is to keep the flatbread neat and cut it into small, manageable pieces. That means no large slices or overflowing toppings. You can use fresh figs or fig jam and add leafy greens like arugula for more color and earthiness.

We encourage you to explore other flatbread variations, like caprese, lox, or gorgonzola-prosciutto. However, we caution you against anything too rich or savory, like a robust tomato sauce or hearty barbecue sauce, as these won’t taste great with a cup of chamomile.

Elderflower Macarons

Texture inside of a macaron. French dessert macaron filled with white chocolate and blueberry ganache. Macarons are on a dark background covered with fresh blueberries. Top view.
Image Credit: Photos and vectors and Shutterstock

This one is not for newbie bakers. French macarons are tricky and require finesse, precision, and practice. If you’ve never made them, maybe pick one of the easier treats off this list. But you can impress your guests with your skills if you finagle these dainty cookies.

Elderflower is a soft, floral flavor that brings a sweet and fragrant character to the cookie. This flowery taste is a brilliant pairing for almost every tea. It also plays well with others, so consider incorporating other ingredients and flavors like blackberry, orange, raspberry, lemon, lychee, or apple.

Rose Water Teacakes

White chocolate strawberry yogurt cake decorated with fresh fruits and chocolate chunk on wood table. Delicious and sweet pink strawberry cake for Valentines or birthday party. Homemade bakery concept.
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The definition of teacake is flexible. Some define teacake as a soft cookie, while others consider it a biscuit. For this list, we define teacakes as small, soft cakes comparable to a muffin.

Rose water teacakes are a floral treat that will dance beautifully with the flavor of the tea. If you need a theme for teatime, “roses” is a marvelous one, as you can serve rosehip tea with rose water teacakes and set the table with rose bouquets!

These teacakes can be made in the form of a bundt cake, a loaf cake, or a tiered cake, but we recommend making mini muffin-like cakes. Teatime and bite-sized treats just belong together.

Honey Ricotta Canapes

Snack with cream cheese ricotta cheese, honey, pear, thyme on marble white table. Toast, snack, appetizers. Close up.
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Refined and easy, honey ricotta canapes are the ideal teatime snack for those who are not confident in the kitchen. These canapes are toast topped with ricotta, a drizzle of honey, and a little seasoning.

Don’t be afraid to get creative with this idea! Make it spicy with red pepper chili flakes, juicy with peach slices, or tart with lemon zest. You could add candied pecans for sweetness and crunch or top it with fresh herbs for an earthy taste.

All these ideas are delicious, but when it comes to teatime, simplicity can be the best choice. Don’t feel the need to add on if it doesn’t call to you.

Pesto Avocado Sandwiches

grilled rye sandwiches with cheese, spinach, pesto, avocado and goat cheese. the toning. selective focus.
Image Credit: Nataliya Arzamasova and Shutterstock

If cucumber butter sandwiches aren’t exciting enough for you, you can make this equally elegant option. Pesto avocado sandwiches are vibrant and enticing, so they’ll look splendid in your tea table spread.

Again, we want to recommend you keep things simple here. These sandwiches should be petite; no one should have to unhinge their jaw to take a bite. Thin slices of fresh avocado and a light spread of pesto on whole-grain bread are enough.

You can make them more unique with thin tomato slices, a piece of provolone cheese, or fresh herbs.

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Veronica is a lifestyle and culture writer from Boston, MA, with a passion for entertainment, fashion, and food. She graduated from Boston University in 2019 with a bachelor's in English literature. If she's not in the kitchen trying new recipes, she's binging the latest HBO series, catching up on the hottest trends in Vogue, or falling down a research rabbit hole. Her writing experience ranges from global news articles to celebrity gossip pieces to movie reviews and more.
Her byline appears in publications like The Weather Channel, The Daily Meal, The Borgen Project, MSN, Wealth of Geeks, and Not Deer Magazine. She writes about what inspires her — a stylish Wes Anderson film, a clever cleaning hack, a surprising fashion trend. When she’s not writing about life's little joys, she’s keeping her dog away from rabbits and spending too much money on kitchenware.