50 Mother’s Day Afternoon Tea Party Food Ideas

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Welcome to our Spring round-up of the top 50 Mother’s Day Afternoon Tea Party Food Ideas! From classic sandwiches and savory options to delectable scone recipes, with recipes for tasty creams, curds, jams, and sweet treats, we’ve got all you need to spoil the guest of honor this Mother’s Day. Happy party planning!

A collage of a savory, scone, curd, and sweet item for an afternoon tea party.

Tea Party Ideas for Planning a Lovely Afternoon Tea

No Mother’s Day afternoon tea is complete without the tea itself! Whether your preference is in the traditional or you’re ready to try new varieties, there are plenty of flavors to complement every item on your carefully selected menu of Mother’s Day tea party recipes.

From robust black tea to delicate white tea, a variety of teas lend their unique taste and character. Set out a try of the following so all participants can choose their favorite. 

  • Chai Tea: A spiced tea blend that combines black tea with strong, fragrant spices.
  • Chamomile: An herbal tea with a soothing, floral taste, perfect for relaxing.
  • English Breakfast: A hearty blend of black teas and a classic.
  • Earl Grey Tea: Black tea infused with bergamot oil, giving it a citrusy twist.
  • Green Tea: Known for its health benefits with fresh, grassy flavor.
  • Jasmine Tea: Green tea scented with jasmine flowers, providing a sweet and aromatic experience.
  • Oolong Tea: A traditional Chinese tea with a rich and complex flavor profile.
  • Peppermint Tea: Refreshing and invigorating, a caffeine-free option.

Choosing your tea pot

The teapot, a symbol of tea culture, has evolved over centuries from its origins in China to become a focus for today’s tea parties. Whether you’re serving a classic Earl Grey or a delicate green tea, choosing the right teapot can set your afternoon tea above expectations, making it a memorable celebration of motherhood. And, after all, isn’t that the goal?

Teapot materials and their benefits:

  • Cast Iron: Known for its durability and excellent heat retention, it’s great for keeping tea hot for longer parties.
  • Glass: Allows you to see the tea as it brews, perfect for blooming teas and appreciating the color of the tea variety.
  • Porcelain: Retains heat well and does not absorb flavors, making it perfect for those delicate white and green teas.
  • Silver: An elegant choice for ideal heat distribution, making it a choice for special tea parties.
  • Stainless Steel: Durable and practical, it’s a modern option that is easy to clean and maintain.
  • Yixing Clay: Ideal for oolong and black teas, it absorbs flavors over time, enhancing the tea’s taste.
A collage of Mother's Day Afternoon Tea Party Food Ideas.

50 of My Favorite Tea Party Food Ideas

When planning the perfect tea party menu for Mother’s Day, you will want to choose items that complement the ladies on your invitation list. That is why I am excited to share some tasty ideas to inspire your Mother’s Day Afternoon Tea Party! Take a look through this delightful spread of 50 recipes that cover tea sandwiches and savory options, a dozen delicious scone recipes, plus creams, curds, jams, and a sweet treat or two!

Consider the balance of flavors and textures to cater to a wide range of tastes, ensuring there’s something everyone will enjoy. Oh, and presentation makes a tea party! So, serve your dishes on beautiful platters and tiered cake stands to make the table look as inviting as the food itself. Let’s dig in!

Sandwiches and Savory Items

Begin your tea party menu planning with a selection of finger sandwiches, light bites, and more. I have included popular choices along with savory pastries, mini frittatas and sliders, crisp veggie bites, and deviled eggs.

1. Egg Salad Tea Sandwiches

These egg salad tea sandwiches prepared on soft white bread are the perfect way to add a fancy touch to your tea party, baby shower, or Mother’s Day celebration. They’re a lovely addition to a delightful afternoon tea experience.
Check Out the Recipe
Photo credit: bestappetizers.com
Egg salad sandwiches on white bread cut into triangles on a plate.

2. Indian-Style Tea Sandwiches

For all the crust-hating sandwich lovers, you'll love these finger foods that are packed with different chutneys and flavors from Indian cuisine. These three different varieties of Indian-style tea sandwiches are inspired by British afternoon tea time.
Check Out the Recipe
Photo credit: masalaandchai.com
Indian Style Tea Sandwiches on a wooden board.

3. Cucumber Sandwiches

A cucumber sandwich is perfect for brunch, lunch, or afternoon tea. It’s so easy, but more importantly, it’s incredibly delicious—cream cheese puts it over the top!
Check Out the Recipe
Photo credit: christinascucina.com
Cucumber Tea Sandwiches on a china plate.

4. Smoked Salmon Puff Pastry Bites

With only 4 ingredients, these Smoked Salmon Puff Pastry Bites are a delicious and easy appetizer you can serve in no time!
Check Out the Recipe
Photo credit: thecountrycook.net
Smoked Salmon Puff Pastry Bites on a Plate on a table.

5. Classic Egg Salad

Easy Classic Egg Salad is deliciously creamy, made with perfectly hard-boiled eggs, mayo, mustard, a little relish, and salt and pepper. Just right on crusty bread to make a delightful sandwich, or enjoy with crackers and with a spoon.
Check Out the Recipe
Photo credit: soulfullymade.com
Egg Salad on a croissant on a plate on a table.

6. Spinach Artichoke Mini Frittatas

Spinach Artichoke Sun Dried Tomato Mini Frittatas made with fluffy eggs, gooey cheese, and flavorful veggies — incredibly easy, nutritious, and tasty!
Check Out the Recipe
Photo credit: artfrommytable.com
Mini Fritatta on a plate with fresh fruit.

7. Classic Chicken Salad

For the Best Chicken Salad recipe, look no further. Using fresh herbs and lemon juice, this one is easy, creamy, and delicious! Serve with crackers and fresh fruit or as sandwich filling on your favorite bread.
Check Out the Recipe
a scoop of chicken salad on a bed of lettuce with Ritz crackers and a lemon wedge on the side.

8. Cheese Wafers with Pecans

Cheese Wafers with Pecans taste like a cross between the traditional Southern cheese straw and a pecan-covered cheese ball. Delicious!
Check Out the Recipe
Photo credit: gritsandgouda.com
A stack of pecan cheese wafers on a platter.

9. Cucumber Dill Bites

These fresh Dilly Cucumber Bites make a great healthy appetizer. Cucumber slices are topped with a fresh dill cream cheese and yogurt mixture, and finished with a juicy cherry tomato.
Check Out the Recipe
Photo credit: jessfuel.com
Cucumber slices with dill dip and tomatoes on a plate.

10. Lobster Deviled Eggs

Lobster Deviled Eggs are the perfect appetizer for spring and summer entertaining with their creamy, dreamy insides loaded with lobster and a perfect piece to garnish the top, too.
Check Out the Recipe
Photo credit: noshingwiththenolands.com
Lobster Deviled Eggs on a platter on a table.

11. Mini BLT Sliders

These mini BLT sliders appetizers have all the vibrant flavors of your favorite bacon lettuce and tomato sandwich on a toothpick. They’re easy to pick up and eat, and your guests will love the flavors of these small bites!
Check Out the Recipe
Photo credit: bensabaconlovers.com
Mini BLT sliders on a wooden table.

12. Pimento Cheese Spread

My savory peppery Homemade Pimento Cheese is prepared with fresh ingredients — like hand-grated cheddar cheese, mild pimento peppers, white onions, silky cream cheese, and mayonnaise — combined into a cheesy, fluffy, spreadable texture.
Check Out the Recipe
a bowl mounded full with homemade pimento cheese with crackers on a plate.

Delicious Scone Recipes

Scones are the tea time food item you cannot skip. And you would be surprised how easy they are to make from scratch. Light and flaky scones are moist and versatile, just right for enjoying with a cup of delicious tea. Here are a dozen flavors I love.

13. Classic English Scones

Classic English Scones are different from the large, super sweet and glazed scones you can find in North American cafes. Sometimes this classic recipe topped with Devonshire cream and preserves or jam.
Check Out the Recipe
Photo credit: theteacupoflife.com
An English scone on a china plate with a tea cup on a table.

14. Strawberry Scones

This Fresh Strawberry Scones Recipe with Lemon Glaze is laden with sugary-sweet berries, brushed with rich, heavy cream, and topped with a light citrus glaze and a dusting of crunchy sugar.
Check Out the Recipe
a plate of fresh strawberry scones on a table with a bowl of berries in the background.

15. Orange Scones

Light, tender, moist, and flaky Orange Scones are a spot-on Panera Bread orange scone recipe! Cream scones are made with fresh orange juice and zest, bursting with bright citrus flavor. Glazed with fresh orange vanilla butter icing, tastes like spring!
Check Out the Recipe
Photo credit: thefreshcooky.com
Orange Scone on a plate with an orange slice.

16. Lemon Blueberry Scones

Bursting with fresh berries, easy Blueberry Scones made with yogurt are no-knead, no-fuss, and bake up light and flaky—a delicious breakfast treat!
Check Out the Recipe
two blueberry scones on a white plate with blueberries scattered on the side.

17. Petite Vanilla Bean Scones

Petite Vanilla Bean Scones are little melt-in-your-mouth treats that are both crumbly and soft. These delicious vanilla scones are topped with a vanilla bean glaze, and freeze well!
Check Out the Recipe
Photo credit: suebeehomemaker.com
Petite vanilla bean scones on a plate.

18. Lemon Almond Scones

Start your morning off on a sweet and tangy note with these delicious lemon almond scones. Made with freshly squeezed lemon juice and topped with lemon glaze and a sprinkle of slivered toasted almonds, these lemon scones are the perfect balance of zesty and nutty flavors.
Check Out the Recipe
Photo credit: xoxobella.com
Glazed lemon scones with almonds stacked on a plate on a table.

19. Blackberry Scones

These Blackberry Scones are a tender, buttery, lightly sweet American-style scone packed with juicy blackberries. They’re perfect for an afternoon snack or a lazy weekend morning!
Check Out the Recipe
Photo credit: houseofnasheats.com
Blackberry Scone on a plate on a table.

20. Apple Pie Scones

These delicious apple pie scones have a delicious layer of apple pie filling and streusel topping over a delicious scone base. They are made in a scone pan to make it easy and they're perfect for breakfast, dessert, or a snack.
Check Out the Recipe
Photo credit: keepingitsimpleblog.com
Apple Pie Scones with a pie server on a plate.

21. Mixed Berry Scones

Easy mixed berry scones with a delicious butter lemon glaze are incredibly moist, packed with flavor, perfect for brunch, garden parties, bridal and baby showers, Mother’s Day, Sunday brunch, and so much more! I used blueberries and raspberries, but use what you have!
Check Out the Recipe
Photo credit: thefreshcooky.com
Mixed Berry Scones on plate with raspberries and mint leaves.

22. Earl Grey Scones

These vanilla Earl Grey scones with vanilla bean glaze are the perfect morning treat! Try these bergamot scones and you won’t need any other Earl Grey scones recipes!
Check Out the Recipe
Photo credit: cheneetoday.com
Earl Grey Vanilla Scones stacked three-high on a table.

23. Bacon Cheddar Scones

Bacon Cheddar Scones, filled with cheese, crispy bacon, and green onions are a wonderful addition to brunch menus and even pair perfectly with a savory soup.
Check Out the Recipe
Two bacon cheddar scones on a plate.

24. Classic Buttermilk Scones

These light, flaky and easy-to-make classic buttermilk scones are perfect with jam, lemon curd or just eaten plain with butter.
Check Out the Recipe
Photo credit: theunlikelybaker.com
Buttermilk Scones in a bowl on a table.

25. Lemon Poppy Seed Scones

These Lemon Poppy Seed Scones are the perfect balance of sweet and tangy and pair just perfectly with a cup of tea or coffee.
Check Out the Recipe
Photo credit: jessfuel.com
Lemon Poppy Seed Scones on a blue plate on a table.

26. Cinnamon Crunch Scone

Buttery, flaky, and tender scones that are full of sweet cinnamon flavor. The sweet crunch on top of this Cinnamon Crunch Scone is the best part!
Check Out the Recipe
Photo credit: freshaprilflours.com
A cinnamon chip scone on a white plate on a table.

27. White Chocolate Cranberry Scones

Lightly sweetened with dried cranberries and glazed with white chocolate, White Chocolate Cranberry Scones are a festive—and tasty—holiday treat.
Check Out the Recipe
A plate of White Chocolate Cranberry Scones on a table

Creams, Curds, and Jams

Serve your scone selection with a selection of fresh homemade creams, curds, and jams. Let everyone choose some fresh berries and a dollop of these creamy additions to add to their plate.

28. Clotted Cream

If you’re looking for homemade Devonshire cream, this is a simple four—ingredient recipe: cream cheese, heavy cream, white sugar, and vanilla extract. BONUS: Whip it up in just five minutes!
Check Out the Recipe
Photo credit: brooklynfarmgirl.com
Clotted Cream piled high in a floral bowl.

29. Lemon Curd

This easy homemade Lemon Curd is smooth and bright, with the best sweet-tart lemon flavor — it tastes like a jar of liquid sunshine! There are countless ways to use a batch of lemon curd, from filling cookies, cakes, and tarts to spreading over biscuits and scones!
Check Out the Recipe
Photo credit: houseofnasheats.com
A jar of lemon curd with a spoon and sliced lemons on a table.

30. Strawberry Curd

Whether spreading it on toast, swirling it into yogurt, or using it as a filling for your favorite pastries, our homemade strawberry curd will surely become a staple in your kitchen.
Check Out the Recipe
Photo credit: nourishandnestle.com
Strawberry Curd in a jar on a counter.

31. Peach Curd

Sweet and creamy peach curd made from fresh peaches and a few simple ingredients. Perfect for filling cakes, pies, and cupcakes, or using as a spread or topping.
Check Out the Recipe
Photo credit: freshaprilflours.com
A jar of peach curd on a table with peach slices.

32. Calamansi Lime Curd

This Homemade Easy Calamansi Lime Curd Recipe is thick, tangy, sweet and overflowing with fresh lime flavor. You only need 4 ingredients and under 30 minutes.
Check Out the Recipe
Photo credit: greedygirlgourmet.com
Lime Curd in a jar on a table.

33. Cranberry Curd

Turn fresh cranberries into tart and sweet cranberry curd with just a few simple ingredients. Perfect for spreading on seasonal goodies and breads or using as a topping or filling for cakes, cupcakes, pies, cheesecakes, and more!
Check Out the Recipe
Photo credit: freshaprilflours.com
A spoon in a jar of cranberry curd on a table.

34. Strawberry Jam

Make this Easy No-Cook Strawberry Freezer Jam using half of the amount of sugar than other strawberry jam recipes but with all the incredible fresh strawberry flavor!
Check Out the Recipe
a jar of strawberry freezer jam on a table with a basket of bagels.

35. Plum Jam

Sweet, juicy plums and warm cinnamon spice in my Easy Homemade Plum Jam Recipe make a flavorful and fruity breakfast jam made in the Instant Pot without pectin.
Check Out the Recipe
a jar of plum jam with a spoon inserted.

Sweet Treats

Whether you are serving a dish of fresh fruit and whipped cream, or one of these sweet treats, no party is complete without a sugary ending. And honestly, tea party desserts are bite-sized delights perfect for anytime.

36. Mini Strawberry Tarts

Make the components of this mini strawberry tarts recipe ahead of time for a special yet quick dessert. And with a strawberry tartlet, you get the benefit of satisfying your sweet tooth without the guilt of a big dessert!
Check Out the Recipe
Photo credit: nourishandnestle.com
Mini Strawberry Tarts on a plate.

37. Lemon Ricotta Cake

Lemon Ricotta Cake is an Italian dessert with refreshing citrus notes, a light, fluffy texture, and ricotta cheese to keep it rich and moist. It’s much like a classic lemon cake, but a little less sweet and far more flavorful!
Check Out the Recipe
lemon ricotta cake garnished with whipped cream and berries on a plate.

38. Cherry Coffee Cake

Made with fresh cherries and a sugary butter streusel topping, this easy and beautiful Cherry Coffee Cake Recipe is a delicious summertime treat that can be enjoyed for breakfast, brunch, or dessert.
Check Out the Recipe
Photo credit: theforkedspoon.com
Slices of cherry crumb cake on a table.

39. Lavender Lemon Cupcakes

These lavender lemon cupcakes are perfect for springtime! Fluffy lavender cupcakes with lemon cream cheese frosting — so delicious!
Check Out the Recipe
Photo credit: cheneetoday.com
Lavender Lemon Cupcakes on a cake stand.

40. Mini Chocolate Cheesecakes

Chocolate Mini Cheesecakes provide perfect portion control while providing a rich, dreamy chocolate indulgence! Life is all about balance and a healthy meal can be topped off with a delicious Individual Chocolate Cheesecake Recipe.
Check Out the Recipe
Photo credit: thatskinnychickcanbake.com
Mini Chocolate Cheesecakes garnished with a hershey bar candy.

41. Mini Fruit Tarts

These sweet but tart Easy Mini Fruit Tarts are absolutely delightful tea party food. These bursts of flavor in flaky tart shells take just a handful of common ingredients and can be made in just minutes. I absolutely love these easy berry tartlets for a brunch or afternoon gathering!
Check Out the Recipe
Photo credit: mommyevolution.com
Mini fruit tarts on a wire rack.

42. Shortbread Cookies

Classic Shortbread Cookies! These perfectly buttery shortbread cookies have a wonderful, rich flavor and crisp texture. With just 4 ingredients, they couldn’t be easier to make.
Check Out the Recipe
Photo credit: baking-sense.com
Shortbread cookies stacked on a plate on a table.

43. Lavender Cookies

Lavender cookies are delicately flavored shortbread with floral hints, for a subtly delicious tea biscuit. They pair well with a cup of tea.
Check Out the Recipe
Photo credit: whatagirleats.com
A shortbread lavender cookie and a cup of tea on a table.

44. Thumbprint Cookies with Jam

Lemon shortbread cookies filled with fruit spread are a delicate, bite-sized treat! Add a drizzle of sweet almond glaze as a finishing touch.
Check Out the Recipe
a plate of jam thumbprint lemon short bread cookies with raspberry and orange marmalade filling..

45. Lavender Cream Puffs

These elegant Lavender Cream Puffs are light and airy French pastries filled with whipped cream and garnished with a lavender glaze. This are one of my personal favorite tea party food ideas.
Check Out the Recipe
Photo credit: thefoodieaffair.com
Lavender Cream Puff on a china plate on a table.

46. Chocolate Cream Puffs

We’re getting pretty fancy by making a decadent French pâte à choux—which translates to “pastry shaped like a cabbage.” But you may know them better as Cream Puffs, a light and airy pastry with a decadent chocolate filling.
Check Out the Recipe
A chocolate cream puff on a plate with more cream puffs in the background on a wire rack.

47. Coconut Cake

This Coconut Cake is fluffy and moist, completely made from scratch, and easier than you think! It's made with shredded sweetened coconut, coconut extract, and coconut milk to give you the best coconut flavor.
Check Out the Recipe
Photo credit: houseofnasheats.com
Coconut Cake on a pedestal with a slice being lifted out.

48. Crepe Cake

Using classic French techniques and accessible ingredients, this dessert is perfect for those moments when you want to offer something special without hours in the kitchen. Fresh berries and a gentle dusting of powdered sugar complete the dish, for a dessert that’s as beautiful as it is delicious.
Check Out the Recipe
Photo credit: pinchandswirl.com
A Crepe Cake on a cake stand with a slice missing.

49. Individual Lemon Pavlovas

These Individual Lemon Pavlovas are light as air, with a lovely lemon curd filling and topped with whipped cream, and are the ultimate finish for any brunch or afternoon tea.
Check Out the Recipe
Photo credit: noshingwiththenolands.com
Mini Lemon Pavlovas on a cake stand on a table.

50. Strawberry Lemon Pavlova

Whether you're looking for a show-stopping Easter dessert or a refreshing summertime finale, this recipe is sure to impress. It makes 8 large pavlovas or 16 mini strawberry pavlovas.
Check Out the Recipe
Photo credit: farmhouseharvest.net
Strawberry Pavlova with Lemon Curd side view on a table.

Serving suggestions

Now that you have chosen your menu, there is one more thing to decide on. I think you would agree that setting a proper tea table is essential. After all, the table sets to mood!

Start setting up with a clean, pressed tablecloth, preferably in light colors, to complement the delicate tea service. Centerpieces can include floral arrangements that aren’t too tall, allowing for easy conversation across the table.

Each place setting should have a small plate for food, a teacup and saucer, and the appropriate utensils with a cloth napkin. Remember, the goal is to bless those you are serving with personal touches, making the tea party a joy for the mothers you love.

Tea party ideas for decorating

Decorating for a Mother’s Day brunch is all about creating an environment that’s warm, inviting, and elegant. I like to see soft, pastel colors, the soft glow of candles, and the natural beauty and aroma of fresh flowers. 

Vintage tablecloths and delicate china, handwritten place cards, and perhaps a handmade party favor for each mother add a personal touch. By blending the classic charm of a traditional tea party with your own unique touches, you’ll set the room for an unforgettable experience that celebrates Mom with class and personal flair.

Give them a personal party favor

A thoughtful way to put the icing on your Mother’s Day cake, so to speak, is by presenting each mom with a small gift or favor. It can be anything from practical to decorative, just to remind them of the special day. Then set a tray of favors by the door to take as they leave, or put one at each place setting. The choice is yours!

Ideas for small gifts or favors

  • Sugar Cubes: Attach a bag of flavored and shaped sugar cubes to a small stash of tea bags with a little thank you note.
  • Personalized Tea Blends: Create custom blends for each guest, packaging them in adorable little tins or sachets.
  • Tea Infusers: Choose a decorative tea infuser that can be used for their favorite loose-leaf teas.
  • Miniature Teapots: These can serve as a delightful reminder of the day, perfect for a cup of tea.
  • Tea-scented Candles: Combine the comfort of a tea bag attached to a scented candle.
  • Vintage Tea Spoons: Spend a day shopping for spoons at antique shops for a gift that’s personally chosen by you!
  • Tea-themed Recipe Cards: Share recipes for some of the day’s tea party foods, giving guests a way to recreate the experience at home.
  • Individual Tea Cups: A beautiful cup can make their daily tea even more special.
A dining room table set with china and tea cups.

Beyond the Recipes: What is High Tea?

High tea (just a mention), contrary to what many assume, is not the elevated, fancy version of afternoon tea. In Britain, high tea was actually a working-class meal served on high tables, thus, the name. Interesting, right?

This break from the day was for the laborers who returned home after a long day’s work. This meal included a spread of meats, bread, cheeses, and pies served with a cup of tea.

Most people now use “high tea” to refer to a more luxurious or elaborate tea service. But originally, the meal was about a hearty meal and good company over a cup of hot tea.

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Sheila Thigpen, blogger

About Sheila Thigpen

Recipe Developer, Food Photographer, Food Writer

Sheila Thigpen is the publisher of Life, Love, and Good Food — a Southern food blog — and the author of Easy Chicken Cookbook and The 5-Ingredient Fresh and Easy Cookbook. After 20+ years in the publishing industry, she retired in 2018 to focus on her own creative endeavors full time. She and her husband live near the beautiful Smoky Mountains and have a precious little granddaughter who has stolen their hearts. As an influencer, Sheila has collaborated with brands like Creamette, Kroger, HERSHEY’S, Hamilton Beach, Garafalo Pasta, OXO, Smithfield, Valley Fig Growers, and more.

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One Comment

  1. Love, love, love tea parties and this is an amazing list of ideas! I cannot wait to plan something for Mother’s day!

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