Finger sandwiches

Finger sandwiches
  • Serves icon Each filling is enough for 15 finger sandwiches
  • Time icon 35 min hands-on time, 25 min cook time, plus cooling

Our selection of dainty finger sandwiches for afternoon tea have fillings ranging from classic cream cheese and cucumber to tea-smoked salmon.

Get more afternoon tea inspiration from our afternoon tea recipe collection.

Per egg mayo and pancetta sandwich: 205kcals, 15.9g fat (4.4g saturated), 7g protein, 8.5g carbs (0.7g sugars), 1g salt, 0.5g fibre
Per cream cheese and cucumber sandwich: 156kcals, 12.2g fat (7.1g saturated), 2.4g protein, 8.9g carbs (1g sugars), 0.5g salt, 0.7g fibre
For the tea-smoked salmon filling: 140kcals, 6.9g fat (2.2g saturated), 9.8g protein, 9.7g carbs (1.7g sugars), 0.5g salt, 0.6g fibre


  • 10 slices of bread
  • Butter, for spreading

For the egg mayonnaise and pancetta filling:

  • 6 medium free-range eggs
  • ½ tsp English mustard
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 75ml olive oil, plus extra for frying
  • 75ml groundnut oil
  • Cayenne pepper, to taste
  • 10 thin slices of pancetta
  • Wild rocket leaves, to serve

For the cream cheese and cucumber filling:

  • 1 cucumber
  • a drizzle of olive oil
  • 300g cream cheese
  • A squeeze of lemon juice
  • ½ crushed garlic clove
  • ½ tbsp gently toasted onion seeds
  • Salt and black pepper, to season

For the tea-smoked salmon filling:

  • A good handful of tea leaves (we used Earl Grey)
  • 2 lemons, 1 juiced and 1 zested
  • 1 tbsp soft brown sugar
  • 4 salmon fillets
  • A large spoonful of crème fraîche
  • 2 tbsp rinsed capers
  • Watercress, to serve


  1. For each filling, remove the crusts from the bread and lightly butter. Spread the filling (see below) over half the bread slices and top with the remaining ones. Cut each one into 3 finger sandwiches.
  2. For the egg mayonnaise and pancetta filling: Bring a large pan of water to the boil, lower in five of the eggs and simmer for 8 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon, run under a cold tap until cool, then peel and set aside. In a bowl, whisk an egg yolk with the English mustard and white wine vinegar. Gradually whisk in the olive oil and groundnut oil until thickened. Season well with salt, black pepper and a good pinch of cayenne pepper. Chop the eggs roughly and fold through the mayonnaise. Heat a pan with a little splash of oil and fry the pancetta until crisp. Fill the sandwiches with the egg mayo, pancetta and rocket leaves.
  3. For the cream cheese and cucumber filling: Peel and slice the cucumber into rounds, put in a bowl and toss with a pinch of salt and a drizzle of olive oil. Set aside. Beat the cream cheese with a squeeze of lemon juice in a bowl to loosen. Add the garlic and onion seeds, then season with black pepper. Thickly spread your sandwiches with the cream cheese mixture and layer the cucumbers on top.
  4. For the tea-smoked salmon filling: You will need a deep roasting tin with a rack that fits comfortably inside and comes about halfway up the side of the tin (you could use chicken wire and a wok instead). Put the tea leaves into the tin and put the rack on top.
  5. Mix together the lemon juice and soft brown sugar. Stir to dissolve, then brush onto the flesh of the salmon fillets. Put the fillets, skin-side down, on the rack and cover the whole tin with a large piece of lightly greased foil, making sure it’s sealed well.
  6. Put on the hob, spanning a couple of rings, over a medium-low heat. Cook for 10 minutes – it will smoke a bit, so keep the windows open. Turn off the heat and wait for 10 minutes, without opening, then peel away the foil. Carefully lift out the salmon and leave to cool. Flake into pieces and discard the skin. Gently mix with the crème fraîche, zest and capers.
  7. Fill your sandwiches with the creamy salmon and a handful of crisp watercress.

delicious. tips

  1. Marguerite Patten, the Delia of her day, says: “It’s doubtful whether we would have removed the crusts back in 1953, for we felt no food should be wasted. But we’d cut the sandwiches into neat shapes. They were made with lighter white bread, after years of heavy [wartime] wholemeal.”


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