These cucumber sandwiches are light, fresh, and crisp with a creamy, flavorful spread that ties it all together.
This recipe is perfect for tea parties, as an easy snack, or a light lunch. Serve these sandwiches along with one of our easy salads or refreshing drinks.
Cucumber sandwiches have been around for over 100 years and they honestly haven’t varied much since they first started being made. They originated in the Victorian era of England and were enjoyed as a light snack or during afternoon tea. Since then, the popularity of cucumber sandwiches has spread worldwide and is enjoyed for tea parties, brunches, bridal showers, baby showers (or any other quaint gatherings where one might serve light finger foods).
What Are Cucumber Sandwiches Made Of?
Cucumber sandwiches are made to be very simple, light, and refreshing. They don’t require a lot of ingredients and they can be made in minutes! Though there can be many different variations on cucumber sandwiches, some things always remain the same: Bread, Cucumbers, and Spread.
The bread for cucumber sandwiches should always be soft and light. Some people even prefer the bread to be sliced very thin, which really helps to make the cucumbers the star of the show. White bread is always a popular choice. Some people like to use a soft wheat bread or pumpernickel. We prefer a good buttermilk bread because of the subtle buttery flavor and soft texture.
For cucumber sandwiches, you want to slice your cucumbers very THIN. They are meant to be layered on the sandwich between the bread slices. You can peel them first, leave the peels on, or use a fork or peeler to make a design in the peel before slicing. You can stack them (like in the picture), layer them halfway over each other in rows (like a stack of cards that has been spread out), or come up with your own creative way to layer them!
Cucumber sandwich spread is usually butter or cream-cheese based. Other ingredients can be added to the spread to add flavor or texture or it can be a simple spread using only softened butter or cream cheese. We like to use cream cheese but butter works great too (and some may argue it is more “traditional”) We like adding some mayonnaise, dill, and green onion to the spread to give it a flavor boost. You can also use some dry Ranch dressing mix, dry Italian dressing mix, or fresh, roasted garlic.
How Do You Keep Cucumber Sandwiches From Getting Soggy?
There are a couple things you can do to keep your sandwich from getting soggy. First, in a large bowl, lightly toss the sliced cucumbers in a little salt to draw out any excess moisture. Allow to rest for about 5 minutes. Drain off the excess liquid and then use paper towels to pat the cucumbers dry. They will still be crisp, just less watery.
Next, spread the cream cheese mixture thick enough so you don’t see the bread through the spread (see image below). This will create a barrier preventing the moisture from the cucumbers from seeping into the bread, making it soggy.
Low Carb Cucumber Sandwich or Snack Idea
One of our favorite things to do with the leftover cream cheese spread and cucumbers is to make filled cucumber boats. Peel and cut any leftover cucumbers in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. Spread any remaining spread in the well. Kick it up a notch by sprinkling bagel topping seeds over the top. You can serve it as one giant “boat” or cut into smaller bite-size pieces. It’s the perfect low-carb or Keto snack!
Get The Kids Involved:
My kids LOVE these sandwiches because they can easily help make them! My older kids can cut and slice the cucumbers. The younger kids can peel cucumbers and spread the cream cheese mixture on the bread pieces. So many different kitchen skills can be taught with these simple sandwiches. Also, if you get your kids involved they will be more likely to eat what they are preparing!
Any variety of slicing cucumbers will work great for cucumber sandwiches. Slicing cucumbers are usually dark green, uniform in color, and have a very mild taste. “Slicers” are the most common variety of cucumber in the United States. They are the kind you will easily find in most grocery stores. They have a thicker, tougher skin than European varieties which is why most prefer to peel them before slicing.
They are the same thing. Some may argue that “tea” sandwiches are cut into triangles or squares and “finger” sandwiches are cut into long, rectangular “fingers”. How they are cut actually doesn’t matter, no matter what you call them. “Finger” has less to do with the shape and more to do with the fact that they are eaten with your fingers.
Yes! They can be made up to a day ahead of time and still taste great. See the tips above for how to keep your cucumber sandwiches from getting soggy. Just keep them neatly stacked in an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to serve.
More Ideas For Tea Sandwiches (or Finger Sandwiches)
Make a variety of tea sandwiches to go with these cucumber sandwiches at your next tea party or brunch. We grew up eating these ribbon finger sandwiches (image below) made with deviled ham and cheese spread. They are delicious and so pretty for tea parties!
You can also make little egg salad sandwiches with this recipe, just cut them into bite-sized finger sandwiches or squares for easy serving. Try this method using our easy chicken salad sandwich recipe as well!
Easy Tea Party Recipes and Ideas
Complete your tea party with these other easy recipes and ideas:
- Peach Lemonade (we aren’t tea drinkers so we serve lemonade at our kids’ tea parties)
- Lemon Blueberry Scones
- Easy Phyllo Cups with Fruit
- New Orleans Beignets
- Peel cucumbers (if desired) and slice into thin slices. In a small bowl, combine softened cream cheese, mayonnaise, chopped green onion, and fresh dill. Stir until smooth and well combined.
- Lay out bread slices and spread about 2 tablespoons of the cream cheese mixture on each slice, or to taste.
- Layer cucumber slices on half of the slices and sprinkle with a little salt and pepper.
- Place the remaining slices of bread over the top of the cucumber slices. Press the sandwich together gently and use a sharp, serrated knife to cut off the crusts.Cut each sandwich diagonally into 4 triangles or 3-4 rectangular "fingers" (whichever you prefer).
- Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.