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recipes for a high tea

High Tea cakes and sandwiches with champagne glasses

From sweet cakes and iced biscuits, to savouries and elegant, mini sandwiches, we have a range recipes for a high tea which are sure to inspire you.

What you can have on your High Tea menu is as individual as you! Feel free to use these high tea food ideas to generate cakes or sandwiches that please your own palate - you can be flexible with the flavours!

We are big fans of preparing foods the day before, so they only need to be served up on the day, because a stressed host is no fun! This means we can really enjoy the High Tea occasion with our friends! With that in mind, the following recipes are special, delicious, and can be prepared one or two days in advance! Yay!

on this page you will find...

sweet treats

(savoury & sweet)


high tea sweet treats

Cake at a tea party with cups of tea surrounding

Consider having a freshly baked cake as your centrepiece.

What is your favourite cake? Plate this up in the centre! It's always nice to decorate with fresh flowers, and edible leaves such as nasturtiums or mint!

A quick and easy cake to make is the "One Bowl Orange Cake" recipe which can be made in a round cake tin, or into cupcake patties for individual servings!

one bowl orange cake with orange cream CHEESE ICING

I don't have a picture of this one as I haven't made it in ages but trust me, it is so easy and absolutely delicious!

Makes 10 slices or cupcakes


  • 2 eggs
  • 125g soft butter
  • 190g caster sugar
  • 225g self-raising flour
  • 65ml full cream milk
  • Grated rind and juice of 1 orange


  • 125g cream cheese
  • 125g sour cream
  • 60g icing sugar
  • 15ml orange juice
  • Orange rind to taste


  1. Heat oven to 180°C. Brush or spray a cake pan with oil and line with baking paper.
  2. Place all ingredients into a bowl and beat for 3 minutes using an electric beater (simple, right?)
  3. Pour the mixture into your cake pan and bake for 30-35 mins.
  4. When cooled, ice with orange cream cheese icing, edible leaves/flowers and blueberries.


  1. Sift the icing sugar into a bowl to remove lumps, and then add all the other ingredients. 
  2. Beat together until combined.
  3. Ice the cake
  4. (optional chef's privileges - lick the bowl!)

fancy iced biscuits

Fancy Iced Biscuits

This gorgeous iced biscuits recipe comes from BBC Food online.

Biscuits are not often on a High Tea menu, but why not? I think they should be, especially if they are as beautiful as these ones!

Fancy Iced Biscuits - BBC Food

sponge kisses

Sponge Kisses

My mother used to make Sponge Kisses for her afternoon tea parties and I think they're worthy of a High Tea.

If you make them small (1 or 2 bites) they will stack prettily on a plate and be easy to manage.

There is nothing quite like a freshly made, real-cream sponge kiss with a cup of tea. Mmm, scrumptious!

Sponge Kisses - Recipe from McKenzies Foods

sandwich recipes for a high tea

Sandwich recipes for a high tea are limited only by your imagination however, there are some classic combinations which can regularly be seen at High Tea establishments around town.

chicken and almond / walnut / pine nut sandwiches

Chicken and almond sandwiches

These delicious sandwiches come from a recipe at Recipe Tin Eats, where they use walnuts to add extra crunch to their sandwich. However, I have been making these sandwiches with roasted slivered almonds (you could use flaked almonds too) and they are delicious!

You could also try substituting roasted pine nuts... mmm...

Recipe at Recipe Tin Eats

cucumber and cream cheese sandwiches

Cucumber and cream cheese tea sandwiches

Here is another recipe that I have tested which is really delicious. This time from The Spruce Eats.

As for how to cut them, the image here suggests triangles however, for a High Tea, I think it would be more elegant to cut them into either finger slices or into squares (with the crusts removed, of course!)

Recipe at The Spruce Eats.

smoked salmon and cream cheese MINI crepes

Smoked salmon mini crepes

I make these sometimes, just for a bit of "something special" and they look so elegant that I think they make the cut for a High Tea menu item. They're super easy, soft and creamy, and very quick to make.

Makes 16 Mini Crepes


  • 250g cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • Zest of 1 large lemon 
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup dill, chopped
  • Packed of 16 plain (not sweet) mini crepes/pikelets or make them yourself (omit sugar from your own recipe)
  • 250g smoked salmon slices


  1. Mix cream cheese, sour cream, garlic powder, lemon zest, salt and dill together 
  2. Spread some of this cream cheese mix onto a crepe
  3. Top with a piece of the smoked salmon
  4. Continue until all crepes are done
  5. Optionally garnish with chives or more dill
  6. Place into an airtight container, then chill them in the fridge for 4 hours or overnight.
  7. Serve with wedges of lemon and extra dill for garnish

japanese fruit sandwiches

These delicious sandwiches are everywhere in Japan, and aren't they just adorable? Don't you think they would really make an impact at your High Tea? They're easy to make, too!

baked savoury recipes for A high tea

Mini sausage rolls

Some of the following items are quickly and easily available in your local supermarket's freezer section, which makes preparing for your High Tea much simpler and faster. However, if you love tinkering in the kitchen, here are some lovely recipes I found for bite-sized savouries!

Mini Quiches - Australian Women's Weekly

Scrumptious Cheese Scones - Delia Online

Bite Sized Sausage Rolls - BBC Good Food

how to plate up your high tea

Plate of rectangular tea cakes

So you've selected your recipes for a High Tea and now you need to plate up...

To be honest, there are some fanatics out in the world of High Tea that insist that, if the food isn't on a multi-tiered cake plate then it's not a real High Tea. But, in my humble opinion, a modern day High Tea is an extra special afternoon tea service that you share with close friends and family. It is the company that really makes a High Tea the extra-special event that it is.

So, if you want a multi-tiered cake plate then please go ahead! (They do look very fancy, don't they!)

Otherwise, dust off your nicest plates, give your champagne glasses a quick wipe to remove fingerprints, and plate your delicious goodies up to display them elegantly across your dining table. Add a bunch of flowers for a touch of prettiness, too.

If there isn't enough room for all the delicious treats, you might consider having a trestle table (covered in a lovely tablecloth) to act like a separate serving table. This will free up your dining table for all the delicious teas you will serve your guests.

So, I hope you have a terrific High Tea party - and if you would like to share some photos with us please feel free to upload them to the section below! We would love to hear from you!

have you held a high tea?
Please share how it went below!

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