How to make tea sandwiches: Pinwheels, triangles, squares and fingers

Dainty and traditional, tea sandwiches never fail to please a crowd. Our easy instructions will show you how to make four variations of beautiful tea sandwiches.

How to make tea sandwiches: Pinwheels, triangles, squares and fingers
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Dainty and flavourful, everyone loves to indulge in tiny bites of traditional tea sandwiches. Though they appear finicky to make, these tea sandwiches are easy to assemble and entirely make-ahead.

Pinwheel Sandwiches   
Trim crusts from 5 slices white or whole wheat sandwich loaf, cut Pullman-style. (Ask bakery to cut sandwich loaf horizontally, or Pullman style.) Using rolling pin, flatten slices slightly. Spread with 1/3 cup (75 mL) butter, softened; spread with filling.

Place 1 asparagus spear (or 2 baby gherkins) along 1 short end of each. Starting at asparagus, roll up tightly without squeezing. Wrap each roll tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1 hour. With serrated knife, trim ends; cut each roll into 6 slices. Makes 30 pieces. Pinwheel Sandwich recipe: Curried Egg Salad

Triangle Sandwiches

Spread 16 thin slices whole wheat or white sandwich bread with 1/3 cup (75 mL) butter, softened; spread filling evenly over 8 of the slices. Top with remaining slices, pressing lightly. Place on rimmed baking sheet and cover with damp tea towel; cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour. Trim off crusts. Cut each sandwich into 4 pieces. Makes 32 pieces. Triangle Sandwich recipe: Ham Pickle Spread

Square Sandwiches

Make sandwiches as in Triangle Sandwiches above except use 8 thin slices white and 8 thin slices whole wheat sandwich bread. Cut each sandwich into quarters. Makes 32 pieces. Square Sandwich recipe: Pimiento Cheese Spread

Finger Sandwiches

Make sandwiches as in Triangle Sandwiches above. Cut each sandwich lengthwise into 4 fingers. Makes 32 pieces. Finger Sandwich recipe: Tuna Olive Salad

Planning a party? Our make-ahead Shower Menu for 16 has bite-sized h'ors d'oeuvres, sandwiches and desserts to please everyone on your list  >>

Tea sandwich smarts:
  • Allow 4 to 6 cut sandwich pieces per person.
  • Choose the best-quality bread. Never serve end slices. Freezing bread before cutting and then spreading makes for easier handling.
  • Bread should be lightly buttered no matter what the filling. Butter should be at room temperature before spreading. Sandwiches will not become limp and soggy as readily if you spread butter right to edge of bread.
  • Cut crusts off bread with long, sharp knife after (not before) assembling sandwiches. This keeps everything neater.
  • Since tea sandwiches should be delicate, cut each sandwich into thirds or quarters or in half diagonally. Or use cookie cutters to cut into decorative shapes.
Read more: Click to see four more tea sandwich recipes and variations by The Canadian Living Test Kitchen, including step-by-step images >>

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