Cucumber Tea Sandwiches

Elegant and tasty, cucumber tea sandwiches are flavored with cream cheese and dill.  Perfect for afternoon tea, luncheon, book club or garden party.

cucumber tea sandwiches

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I first discovered Cucumber Tea Sandwiches in 2013 when a friend made them for a Downton Abbey party.  Yes, you can’t get more perfect for a British themed party than an elegant English Tea Sandwich! 

Later I learned that my kids, as well as my book club, also loved them.  And I knew I needed to add them to my blog. 

Fast forward and one of those school kids is now all grown up–and one even got married during the pandemic!  When we did the post-pandemic garden party reception, and these were a perfect addition to that menu too!  ‘Cause what’s more elegant than petite British sandwiches

Elegant and tasty, cucumber tea sandwiches are flavored with cream cheese and dill.  Perfect for afternoon tea, a shower, book club or garden party.

What are Cucumber Tea Sandwiches?

Per Wikipedia, a cucumber sandwich is “a crustless tea sandwich (or finger sandwich) composed of thin slices of cucumber situated between two thin slices of lightly buttered white bread.”

Subsequent to it’s origin in the United Kingdom, a common variation on the traditional cucumber sandwich recipe has been to include cream cheese. I’ve chosen to include this because… everything’s better with cheese!

cucumber tea sandwiches

Why You’ll Love This!

Simple. This recipe only requires six ingredients.

Fast. The whole thing comes together in just twenty minutes!

Tasty. These savory and refreshing sandwiches will be the talk of the party.

Light.  This makes them perfect for a buffet table with other foods.

Elegant and tasty, cucumber tea sandwiches are flavored with cream cheese and dill.  Perfect for afternoon tea, luncheon, book club or garden party.

What You’ll Need

Ingredients

  • Bread. This is the base for the sandwiches.
  • Cucumbers. This provides delicious flavor and a refreshing crunch.
  • Cream Cheese. This provides a creamy contrast to the cucumber.
  • Garlic Powder. This accents the cream cheese flavor.
  • Salt. This enhances the sweet and tangy taste of the cucumbers.
  • Fresh Dill. This provides a fresh herbal flavor.  If you can’t get fresh dill, use 1 teaspoon of dried.

Special Tools

  • A stand mixer. This is optional but will make whipping the cream cheese faster and easier.

Step by Step Directions

Cucumber Tea Sandwiches are super easy! 

To start, you cut cucumber into thin slices (I used a mandolin and couldn’t decide if I preferred 1/8” or 1/4“).

Whip together softened cream cheese, salt, garlic and dill until smooth.

Remove crusts from bread.  (Save crusts for breadcrumbs or compost.) Spread bread with cream cheese mixture, layer with cucumber slices, then top with second piece of bread also spread with cream cheese.

Cut the sandwiches into four, roughly equal quarters. Cut Cucumber, Dill & Cream Cheese Tea Sandwiches

Decorate with dill and serve.

How to Serve

Cucumber Tea Sandwiches make a simple elegant dish that is perfect for warmer weather. Often they are served as an appetizer or as part of a light lunch. 

At home for any casual, classy event, I would serve these “finger sandwiches” at a garden party, bridal shower, or ladies tea party. 

Of course, since my kids were excited to add them to school lunch and my husband chowed down just because, I guess they’re probably at home almost anywhere!

Cucumber Tea Sandiwches with tea

Variations

While white bread is traditional, you can make cucumber sandwiches on rye or wheat.  Just make sure you use a tender bread in keeping with the delicacy of the sandwich. 

Want to make vegan cucumber sandwiches?   Simply use a vegan cream cheese or make the cucumber tea sandwiches without cream cheese, which gives a nod to their origin anyway.

I like my cucumber sandwiches with dill, but if you aren’t a dill lover you can make cucumber sandwiches without dill too.

Tips & FAQs

More years than not, cucumbers do poorly on EWG’s list of fruits and veggies with the most pesticide residue.  So, this is an ingredient I try to find organic.

English cucumbers, which many Cucumber Tea Sandwich recipes call for, are slimmer, with less pronounced seeds.  While they are lovely in this, a regular cucumber can work fine too.  Just look for one that isn’t too “fat.” 

I think that salt is a big flavor enhancer for these sandwiches.  I started out sprinkling it on each sandwich but forgot so many times, I just added it to the cream cheese.

I save the leftover crusts for homemade breadcrumbs.  In selecting my bread, I look for large, square bread slices.  This makes for nice even quarters when you cut them smaller. 

I use a mandoline to cut my cucumber slices.  It is easy and fast and less scary now that most come packaged with “safety gloves.”  But you can easily cut by hand as well.

Consider hiding the sandwiches in the ‘fridge until needed.  Did I mention that my husband ate 16  when left alone with them? (Shhh!)

cut cucumber with mandoline

Cucumber Tea Sandwiches

Elegant and tasty, cucumber tea sandwiches are flavored with cream cheese and dill.  Perfect for afternoon tea, a shower, book club or a garden party.
Author: Inger
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Course sandwich
Cuisine British
Servings 24
Calories 66 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1/2 English cucumber or slim regular cucumber
  • 8 ounces reduced fat cream cheese room temperature
  • 1/8 t garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 T chopped fresh dill
  • 12 slices white bread

Instructions
 

  • Cut cucumber into thin slices.
  • Whip together cream cheese, salt, garlic and dill until smooth.
  • Remove crusts from bread. (Save crusts for breadcrumbs or compost.) Spread bread with cream cheese mixture, layer with cucumber slices, then top with second piece of bread also spread with cream cheese. Cut into four, roughly square quarters.
  • Decorate with dill and serve.

Nutrition

Calories: 66kcalCarbohydrates: 8gProtein: 2gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 7mgSodium: 152mgSugar: 1g
I am not a health professional and nutrition data is calculated programatically. Accuracy may vary with product selection, calculator accuracy, etc. Consult a professional for the best information.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Originally published in 2013, previously updated in May 2021.

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Elegant and tasty, cucumber tea sandwiches are flavored with cream cheese and dill.  Perfect for afternoon tea, luncheon, book club or garden party.

55 thoughts on “Cucumber Tea Sandwiches

  1. David Scott Allen

    For tea sandwiches were always my favorite as a child. But in addition to the crust having to be trimmed, the cucumbers definitely had to be peeled! (I was a picky little child…) and, you know me, I don’t think the sandwich even begins to need that little bit of garlic powder…

  2. John / Kitchen Riffs

    I haven’t had cucumber tea sandwiches in forever! It’s a great sandwich — nice snappy flavor, and a bit of crunch to it as well. Really good idea adding salt to the cream cheese — I’m SO going to steal that idea. 🙂

  3. Lisa Kerhin

    Two things: I love the cream cheese mixture! I could eat it just as is. Now, I also love these sandwiches and I’d have plenty to eat because no else in my house would eat them…aversion to cucumbers lol

    1. Inger Post author

      Aren’t they! I know some people leave the crusts but I think they are daintier with them!

  4. Balvinder

    We love cucumber sandwiches and these are my favorite food to take it to any small gathering. I make slight changes every time I take.

  5. Pingback: Easy Homemade Italian Breadcrumbs | Art of Natural Living

  6. morristownmemos by Ronnie Hammer

    That’s a terrific idea for our book club meeting. We try to serve ethnic food depending on the book when the meeting is at our houses. My book will be “Prague Winter” by Madaline Albright. It’s about her life in Czechoslovakia. Do you know any typically Czech recipes?

    1. Inger Wilkerson

      Mmmm, Czech food should be delicious! My mom used to make great cabbage rolls, but that might be a big hard for book club… You should post whatever you do!

    1. Inger Wilkerson

      I need to use up the rest of the cucumber and was thinking of the Packer game on Saturday–so I hope they aren’t too sophisticated 😉 Actually DH has a party so it will just be us girls and I may get away with it. Perhaps I can color the cream cheese yellow for this!

  7. Needful Things

    Now I know what to take for my book club meeting next Friday.
    Cucumber sandwiches were a staple at tea parties back home. I haven’t had one in years and years… thanks for reminding me how much I love them.

  8. grace

    i can’t say i’ve ever eaten a sandwich like this either! i have, however, seen downton abbey, and i love it. 🙂

  9. Lisa @ Lisa Living Well

    I’m so glad they turned out well for you. I don’t think I told you this, but I hunted for what I thought would be the perfect recipe for weeks! I’m picky like that though, especially when I have the time to look. I was actually surprised at how good the leftovers were a day later because from what I read, I expected them to get soggy. I definitely want to make the recipe on a Sunday night so I can have some sandwiches for the work week.

    What book did you read for your club?

    Oh and your shortbread was superb! I love shortbread and actually hadn’t made it myself until last year. The lavender flavored one was perfect.

    1. Inger Wilkerson

      I am happy to hear that the leftovers were good because there were a few quarters left that the kids took off to school for lunch and I was also afraid they’d get soggy (though they looked fine). This was the perfect recipe for Sunday–and equally good for book club (where they also got some leftover shortbread–my husband couldn’t believe I bought yet another shortbread mold;-) )!

      We read Caleb’s Crossing for this month. I love being in a book club. I can procrastinate (especially with discretionary activities) so it keeps me on task–and of course the meetings are fun!

      I am looking forward to the Oscar party!

  10. Molly @pbpickles

    So great that you made these for your book club! I thought Lisa did a fabulous job for our party 🙂 My mom used to always take thin slices of rye bread and top them with cream cheese, cucumber slices, and then sprinkle on a coarse seasoned salt like Jane’s Krazy Mixed Up Salt and we’d live on these in the summer time!

    1. Inger Wilkerson

      They had a package of rye that would have been perfect–thin, small and even square–and I was soooo tempted to use that. Perhaps next time! Thanks for your variation–I know I am always buried in CSA cucumbers in the summer.

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