Cucumber Sandwich Recipe for Afternoon Tea

The most iconic menu item for an afternoon tea is the cucumber sandwich. Many variations have evolved from this classic, but there is only one original. The simplicity of these little treats requires quality ingredients and attention to detail. Fortunately the most common error is simply not making enough.


  • 1 English or seedless cucumber
  • 1 loaf Pullman style bread, thinly sliced  (A Pullman loaf is a dense sourdough bread baked in a square pan with a lid to produce square slices with minimal crust. If your bread is presliced a little too thick you can cheat by gently rolling the slices with a rolling pin to make them thinner)
  • Juice from 1/2 of a lemon
  • Unsalted real butter
  • Kosher salt


Peel the cucumber, cut into thin slices, and sprinkle the slices with lemon juice. Place in refrigerator for fifteen minutes. Remove from refrigerator and lay out on a double layer of paper towels. Cover with a double layer of paper towels. This will reduce the moisture to help prevent soggy sandwiches.

Cut the crusts from the bread then butter very lightly to create a moisture barrier.

Assemble the sandwiches with a layer or two of cucumber slices, seasoned lightly with kosher salt. Cut the sandwiches diagonally twice to make little triangles.

The finished cucumber sandwiches may be served right away or placed in a container with paper towels on the bottom and between each layer of sandwiches and then refrigerated for up to 24 hours.

Serve with hot tea and polite conversation.