Take the hard work out of planning a Mother’s Day afternoon tea with this full menu, step-by-step cooking schedule, and consolidated grocery list. You’ll even have time to relax before your guests arrive!
Mother’s Day is right around the corner and you want to show your mom how much you appreciate her! Why not show her you care by throwing a full Mother’s Day afternoon tea?
Seem overwhelming? It doesn’t have to be!
The Mother’s Day Afternoon Tea Menu
To make things super easy, I’ve planned a whole menu for you for 6 people. It’s easy to sub out any of the items for a similar item and still have the benefit of most of the planning done for you!
There are a lot of recipes on this Mother’s Day afternoon tea party menu, but don’t be overwhelmed! MUCH of this can be made in advance, and I’ve put together a grocery list for the complete menu. I’ve also made a resource for you that includes the full recipes and a schedule for when to make everything, as well as shortcuts for which recipes you can sub store-bought items for!
Do you have more than 6 people? No problem! Just adjust the number of servings in the recipe card below to get a customized grocery list that has the quantities you will need. Hover over the number of people and it will give you a slider that allows you to adjust the number of servings. The labor time doesn’t go up very much at all when you make a larger quantity of the same recipes.
You can do this AND not stress out!!
All right. Here we go!
Tea is arguably the most important component of a tea party, although I love all the bite-sized foods just as much!
If everyone has similar tastes, you can make one big pot of looseleaf tea — or, provide an assortment of tea bags for people to choose from. Having at least one type of black tea and one type of herbal tea will accommodate anyone, whether they’re avoiding caffeine or not!
Boil water in a kettle on the stove or in an electric tea kettle. Microwaved water is just BAD and will not steep your tea properly! If you have no tea kettle, boil water in a pot.
- Assortment of tea, including at least one black tea such as Earl Grey or English Breakfast and one herbal tea
If your Mother’s Day afternoon tea is going to serve as a full lunch meal, I’d plan on 4-6 tea sandwiches or savories per person, assuming you get 3-4 finger sandwiches from one full sandwich. So everyone essentially gets one and a half white-bread sandwiches’ worth. Personally, I’d err closer to 6 per person because I know I’d want at least two of each thing — Plus, the tartlets below are a little smaller than your average tea sandwich.
Lemon Tarragon Chicken Salad Tea Sandwiches
- Lemon Tarragon Chicken Salad (1 recipe, pictured above)
- White bread (6-8 slices)
You know what to do! Just make the chicken salad, put it between two slices of bread, cut off the crusts, and cut each full sandwich into 3 fingers, 4 triangles, or 4 squares. Make 12 tea sandwiches.
Pimento Cheese Tartlets
- Southern Pimento Cheese (1/2 recipe, pictured above)
- 12 mini pie crusts (that’ll be half of the ones you make for the Mini Lemon Meringue Pies)
You can make the pimento cheese into tea sandwiches if you’d like, but for this Mother’s Day afternoon tea menu I have something a little more exciting planned! In the name of adding more variety to the menu, you can make your pimento cheese into little cold or broiled tartlets!
The best part is, you’re already making tartlet shells for mini lemon meringue pies – you’ll just fill half the shells with pimento cheese instead of lemon curd!
Alternatives: Use the pie shells for Mini Jam and Brie tartlets or mini quiches instead!
Smoked Salmon and Asparagus Pinwheels with Lemon Chive Cream Cheese Spread
These you’ll make just as written! They just TASTE like spring and rainbows! And they’re so so cute. Make 12 sandwiches.
Alternatives: Make some of these Marinated Carrot and Cucumber Tea Sandwiches. Vegetarian!
Mini Lemon Meringue Pies
- Mini Lemon Meringue Pies (1 recipe, sort of. See note)
Make the full number of pie/tartlet shells but only make half of them into lemon meringue pies! Use the other half of the pie shells to make mini pimento cheese tarts (see Savories section above). Half the recipe will make 12 mini pies – 2 per person.
Alternatives: Make the pie shells but instead fill them with homemade whipped cream. Top with fresh berries!
Chocolate-Covered Coconut and Nut Butter Truffles
This will make 18 truffles – 3 per person!
Cardamom Orange Scones
Each of these recipes makes 18 mini scones, so each person will get three! The shopping list includes ingredients for the Cardamom Orange scones.
These are to serve alongside your scones! Pick 2-3 contrasting options for spreads.
- Easy Lemon Curd (1 recipe)
Use half for the mini lemon meringue pies and serve the other half with your scones. Feel free to use store-bought lemon curd instead (make sure you have about 16 oz. worth!).
Clotted Cream or Homemade Whipped Cream
Jam of your choosing
Read below for a detailed breakdown of your cooking schedule – which things you can make ahead of time and how far in advance, and a day-of schedule that still leaves you time to relax before your guests arrive!
Mother’s Day Tea – Full Menu and Cooking Schedule
- 12 bags assorted teas some caffeinated and some decaf or herbal options
- Cream or half and half
Lemon Tarragon Chicken Salad Tea Sandwiches (makes 12)
- 2 cups cooked chicken finely diced
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1/3 cup finely diced fennel bulb
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon
- 1/8 tsp onion powder
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- salt and pepper
- 8 slices white bread
Pimento Cheese Tartlets (makes 12)
- 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 2 oz jarred pimentos drained
- 2 oz cream cheese softened
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1/8 tsp garlic powder
- 1/8 tsp onion powder
- 1/8 tsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp pepper blend (I use Jane’s Krazy Mixed-Up Pepper)
- 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/8 tsp Old Bay seasoning
- 12 Mini Tartlet Shells (see recipe)
Smoked Salmon and Asparagus Pinwheels (makes 12)
- 9 stalks asparagus ends snapped off
- 6 slices white bread
- 3 tbsp lemon chive cream cheese spread (see recipe)
- 6 oz smoked salmon
Lemon Chive Cream Cheese Spread (makes 3 tbsp)
- 2 oz cream cheese softened
- zest from 1/2 lemon about 2 tsp
- 1/2 tsp finely chopped chives plus more for garnish
- 1/2 tsp mayonnaise
Chocolate Covered Coconut and Nut Butter Truffles (makes 18)
- 1/4 cup butter softened
- 1/4 cup gourmet nut butter such as almond butter, cashew or macadamia nut butter
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 tbsp coconut cream (from the top of an unshaken full-fat can of coconut milk)
- 2 tbsp marshmallow fluff
- pinch kosher salt
- 1 cups powdered sugar extra if necessary
- 1/2 cup shredded coconut
- 6-8 oz Ghirardelli dark chocolate melting wafers
- Crushed nuts or almond cookies for topping
Mini Tartlet shells (makes 24)
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 tbsp cold unsalted butter cut into small pieces
- 1 tbsp ice water
- 1 egg yolk
Mini Lemon Meringue Pies (makes 12)
- 12 Mini Tartlet Shells (see recipe)
- 1 cup lemon curd (see recipe)
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 egg whites
Cardamom Orange Scones with Orange Glaze
- 1 orange zested and juiced (about 2 tbsp of the juice)
- 2 cups flour
- 1 egg
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 8 tbsp cold unsalted butter diced
- 1/2 cup heavy cream plus a little extra for brushing tops of scones
- 2 tsp cream
- Sugar with large crystals like what you would get for cookie decorating
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
- 1/2 tsp vanilla bean powder
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (for dough)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract (for icing)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 4 lemons juiced and zested (about 1/2 cup juice and 2 tsp zest)
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 4 eggs two whole and two yolks
- 8 tbsp butter
- 1 small jar jam or marmalade
- 1 jar clotted cream
Make up to 3-6 days ahead
- Chocolate Covered Coconut and Nut Butter Truffles (will take 1 hour 30 minutes)
- Lemon curd (will take 35 minutes)
- Pimento Cheese (10 minutes, plus time for cream cheese to soften)
- Lemon Chive Cream Cheese Spread (5 minutes, plus time for cream cheese to soften)To maximize efficiency, make the Pimento Cheese on the same day so you only have to soften your cream cheese once!
Make 1-3 days ahead
- Mini Tartlet Shells (from recipe for Mini Lemon Meringue Pies). Store in a sealed plastic bag at room temperature. Save extra egg white(s) in a sealed container in the refrigerator for the meringue.
Make 1 day ahead
Day of Tea: 4 hours before
- Set the table and make sure decorations are in order. Set a three-tiered plate stand on the table, without the plates, where you’d like it to go. Make sure bathroom is clean and there is enough toilet paper.
- Set a sugar bowl and honey bowl on the table with spoons for serving.
- Spoon half the lemon curd, jam, and clotted cream into small bowls with tiny spoons. Fill creamer with half and half or cream. Cover and refrigerate.
Day of Tea: 3 hours before
- Set out pimento cheese and lemon chive cream cheese spread to soften for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
- Put bread for Lemon Tarragon Chicken Salad Tea Sandwiches in the freezer for 30 minutes.
- Make meringue for Mini Lemon Meringue Pies. Keep in the refrigerator until ready to assemble pies.
- Using the other half of the lemon curd, assemble Mini Lemon Meringue Pies, and fill the other half of the tartlet shells with pimento cheese.Set Pimento Cheese Tarts aside. Broil Mini Lemon Meringue Pies for 4 minutes or until meringue is golden brown on top.
- Arrange Mini Lemon Meringue Pies and Chocolate Covered Coconut and Nut Butter Truffles on a plate. Cover and refrigerate.
Day of Tea: 2 hours before
- Follow steps 2-6 of Smoked Salmon and Asparagus Pinwheels. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes until ready to plate everything.
- Remove bread from freezer. Spread half the pieces with 1/2 cup of chicken salad each and top with the other half of the bread. Trim off crusts and cut each sandwich into 3 fingers, 4 triangles, or 4 squares.
- Remove Smoked Salmon and Asparagus Pinwheels from refrigerator and cut each roll into four pieces.
- Arrange Smoked Salmon and Asparagus Pinwheels and Chicken Salad Tea Sandwiches on plate, leaving room for Pimento Cheese Tartlets. Cover and refrigerate.
Day of Tea: 1 hour before
- Take a deep breath and pat yourself on the back! You’ve got everything under control and ready to go. Take this opportunity to relax, freshen up, walk the house, and double check that everything is in order.
Day of Tea: 10 minutes before
- Put kettle on to boil.
- Turn oven to broil and toast pimento cheese tartlets for 4 minutes or until melty. Add tartlets to sandwich plate.
- Arrange scones on a plate. Set sandwich plate, sweets plate, and scones plate on a three tiered plate stand.
- Take curd, jam, and clotted cream out of refrigerator and set on table with little spoons or knives. Put creamer of milk or half and half on table.
- Welcome your guests and enjoy the fruits of your labor!