Tea Sandwiches

5 from 4 votes

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Whether you’re hosting a special event or enjoying a high-end snack at home, these Tea Sandwiches are the perfectly beautiful way to add a tasty treat to your tea. 

Ribbon Finger Sandwiches

Tea Sandwiches

Where we grew up, in Cedar City, UT, it seems there was never a baby shower, bridal shower, or wedding reception that didn’t have these tea sandwiches. I don’t know if it was just a Cedar City thing or if it was just the times, but we had these all. the. time. And not just any ribbon finger sandwiches — these EXACT ones. The ones with a layer of deviled ham and a layer of Cheese Whiz (I know it sounds weird, but stick with me here).

A couple of weeks ago, our nephew had his wedding reception in Cedar City and they served these as one of the appetizers. Of course, a flood of memories came rushing back and I wondered why I have never had these little sandwiches outside of our hometown. In fact, whenever I have mentioned them to others since, they look at me like they have no idea what I am talking about; which is a shame because I think they are so cute!

A Tea Sandwich By Any Other Name…

Perhaps you’ve heard of these sandwiches by one of their other names. Ribbon Sandwiches or Finger Sandwiches. No matter what you call them, they are a fun, versatile option to consider next time you’re in charge of the party food.

Perfect for Parties of Every Size

A few days ago I decided to do a tea party with my kids and made these as one of the finger foods. They were a HUGE hit with my little girls (my husband helped himself to a few and was pleasantly surprised how good were). They are just so dainty and are perfect for little tea parties (or showers, birthdays.. etc..) plus, they are SUPER easy to make.

I actually called the bakery in Cedar City to see how they make them and they told me exactly how they do it. I know the Cheese Whiz sounds strange but it holds the sandwich together better than any other cheese. Cream cheese will rip the delicate bread apart and other cheeses won’t hold the bread together and will make it hard to cut (as explained to me by the bakery workers).

Try a Little Variety

You can make a variety of sandwiches as well using egg salad, chicken salad, or tuna as layers, just make sure you chop or process the ingredients up enough so it spreads easily. As a quick added note: usually when I have had these in the past (and how the bakery still does them), the layers of bread are colored either pink, white, and green or pink, white, and orange, but obviously they all taste exactly the same. I stuck with all white bread for the sake of ease but by all means if you want to go all out, make your own bread and dye them different colors!

Storing Suggestions

These can be served immediately but in my opinion they taste best when refrigerated at least 3-4 hours. They will easily keep if made a day ahead of time. Makes 24 servings (2 finger sandwiches per serving).

More Finger Food Recipes

There’s something so fun about a variety of finger foods at any social function. If you want to mix things up at your next event, try these Ham Roll Ups with Pickle and Phyllo Cups with Fruit at your next party. Or if you want a tray of all kinds of finger foods, a Charcuterie Board is the way to go.

How To Make Tea Sandwiches

Ribbon Finger Sandwiches

Ribbon Finger Sandwiches (AKA Tea Sandwiches)

5 from 4 votes
These are so dainty and are perfect for little tea parties (or showers, birthdays.. etc..) plus, they are SUPER easy to make.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 0 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Course Lunch
Cuisine American
Servings 48 sandwiches


  • Food Processor


  • 2 loaves white bread I like to find the largest size I can find, or 36 large slices
  • 1 pound sliced deli ham
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 12 ounces Cheez Whiz (the spreadable kind in the glass jar)


  • Lay out 3 rows of 12 slices of bread.
  • In a food processor, process ham (in batches if needed) until ham is well chopped. Place ham in a medium-sized bowl and stir in mayonnaise until smooth and well combined.
  • On 12 slices of bread, spread about 2 Tbsp. of Cheez Whiz (like you would peanut butter).
  • On another 12 slices, spread the ham mixture.
  • Top the cheese slice of bread with the ham spread slice, then top with the plain slice of bread. Repeat with all bread slices.
  • Using a sharp knife, gently cut away the crust from each “sandwich”. Cut each square in half and then half once again in the same direction (making long rectangles as seen in the picture).
  • Place finger sandwiches (trying not to overlap) in large Ziploc bags and refrigerate until ready to serve (up to a day ahead of time– *see above note).

Nutrition Information

Calories: 59kcalCarbohydrates: 1gProtein: 3gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 12mgSodium: 243mgPotassium: 44mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 48IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 26mgIron: 1mg

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About the author

Erica Walker

Erica lives in Boise, Idaho with her husband, Jared, an attorney, and her three beautiful girls. Beyond the world of recipes, she loves adventuring with everything from kayaking, to cruising, to snowboarding and taking the family along for the thrill ride.

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  1. 5 stars
    I love these–they’re my go-to item for holiday pot-luck parties, and always get raves from the other guests. For colors in the bread, I use pumpernickel (dark brown) and potato bread (yellow). Yes, the loaves are all different sizes and shapes, but you’re going to cut off the edges anyway, so it doesn’t really matter. And I always toss those scraps out into the back yard for the birds and squirrels to lunch on. My favorite fillings: ham salad from the local supermarket deli, and spinach leaves cut chiffonade-style and whipped into cream cheese. To introduce ribbon sandwiches to picky-eater kids, try a good old PBJ so it’s still familiar food, it’s only a different presentation.

    1. You can make either ahead of time. The sandwiches can easily be served the next day if made ahead of time. Just be sure to store them in an airtight container so they don’t dry out. Hope this answers your question!

  2. I was thrilled to come across this recipe! My mom used to make these all the time for various parties. As a child I loved the colored bread! I have thought about these from time to time and wondered how to get the colored bread. My mom always did the deviled ham filling and possibly one other that I can’t remember, so these suggestions are all great. My mom is gone now so I appreciate you rekindling the memory.

    1. So glad this recipe brought back fond memories for you! This is our main goal here at FFR! We want to gather families around recipes that they loved when they were growing up and bring back fond memories such as this one. <3 Thank you for sharing!

  3. 5 stars
    I I used to make these with bread that I got the bakery to slice horizontally, I could do a whole loaf at once! Just made some for a tea party with grandkids. Whipped cream cheese with chives, chicken salad a d cream cheese with grape jelly. Thanks for memories

    1. Gret idea! It is definitely easier to get a whole loaf and slice it yourself, horizontally. Huge time saver!

  4. Surely these are known almost everywhere (bur Cedar City) as club sandwiches or is it the fact that you cut them narrower that makes them a teensy bit different. Most would cut in three lengthwise. Personally I prefer to cut in half as you do and then in thirds crosswise making six dainty sandwiches easy to arrange on a plate and to pick up.
    I’m sorry to say that I can’t think of anything worse to put on them than ‘cheese whip’ out of a jar. You can add pretty much anything to cream cheese which make it as easily spreadable as soft butter. I buy the spreadable variety in the first place. Below are a few suggestions (which also add a colour variation to the layers without the (mind-boggling) idea of dyed bread – shudder).
    A little lemon juice and finally chopped fresh (soft-leafed) herbs of your personal preference (basil and coriander are mine) with the second layer thinly sliced cucumber – a touch of green
    With any cold meats try beetroot relish; spiced orange & apricot chutney; onion marmalade or caramelized onion relish; bell pepper relish.
    I love sweetcorn relish (super colourful as it also contains red capsicum/bell pepper). It blends more easily with the cream cheese if you add a little lemon juice and you may need to chop it up a bit more. Great with pastrami.
    For a little more texture very finely chop one of the following to blend with the cream cheese and partner with ham: gherkins; tinned pineapple (dry with paper towel).
    Fed up with cream cheese? Very thinly sliced chicken breast is fantastic with cold cooked stuffing mixed with mayonnaise, as is finely chopped celery and walnuts (don’t use too much of either so the flavours both come through).
    This is all making me hungry so I am leaving to make an entirely different kind of sandwich: thinly sliced (long strips) of cold raost carrots placing them on freshly made, thickly sliced, multigrain toast with mayonnaise and lettuce. Yes, lettuce with hot toast! Yum.

    1. Wow thank you for this wonderful comment and all the delicious suggestions! We will definitely have to try some of them!

  5. 5 stars
    I grew up in northern Minnesota and I remember helping my mother make these. For showers and ladies church meetings. So it not just a Utah thing. Thanks the teciperecipe.

    1. Yes, I think Ribbon Sandwiches were very popular during the 70’s. It’s funny how food trends come and go. This is one I’ve definitely missed!

  6. I worked there in college and I was thinking we put cream cheese and relish in the ribbon sandwiches. We would whip the cream cheese and add just a little bit of relish. This would be one layer and the cheese wiz the other. I wasn’t sure so I googled. I will now try the ham and see if that brings back the memories. Thanks for the post!

    1. Oooh relish would be a great addition! It seems like some of the sandwiches we had in Cedar DID have relish in them. Gonna have to order some next time I am back in town 😉

  7. I loved the raisin filled cookies. That was my lunch many times in high school. I would get a half dozen of those and buy a milk and be a happy girl!! lol

  8. Oh my heck! I’m so excited to see this here. I loved ribbon sandwiches and cherry chip cookies. I wish that the bakery had never gone out of business. I’ll definitely give them a try very soon! SO AWESOME! 🙂

  9. I definitely remember and loved these. There is nothing quite as wonderful as Rob and Chris’s bakery! Thank you for sharing.

  10. Whenever my family had an event, we ordered finger sandwiches from Ron and Chris’ bakery. Apparently growing up in Cedar City made everyone love them! I went to Pinterest looking for a recipe to recreate the goodness and found your post.

  11. We had these often at ladies’ activities when I was growing up ( Salt Lake City) and well until my adult years (Provo) we served them for Young Women and Relief Society (Church) activities. Maybe they’re a Utah thing but I kind of doubt it.