Traditional English Recipes
Afternoon Tea Treats

Baking has a long tradition in England and if you're looking for something unusual to rustle up, there are traditional English recipes aplenty, many of them named after the location where they were first made.

So we have Bath Buns, Devon Scones, Dorset Treacle Tart, Manchester Pie, Durham Date Slice and Chelsea Buns.

The famous Bakewell Pudding (never call it a tart!) came about when a flustered cook in a little market town in Derbyshire put the beaten egg mixture on top of the strawberry jam instead of the pastry base - but the result became a true hit.

And if you happen to visit Bakewell, in the Peak District, make sure you try the original with a pot of Earl Grey tea in the famous Bakewell Pudding Shop.

I don't have the sweetest of teeth, but I love afternoon tea and all its treats. So here is a rather lengthy and steadily growing list of traditional English recipes for afternoon tea treats. Try and enjoy!


Crumpets are divine with tea. But they must be hot, straight from the oven or grill, and must be simply smothered in butter or (at a pinch) lemon curd. Avoid when on a diet - or wait until you've reached your goal weight to indulge in this most English of traditional English recipes.

Mince Pies

Mince Pies are commonly associated with Christmas. But don't miss out - they make excellent teatime treats as well.

Devon Scones

Bake some of these tasty Devon Scones and join the age-old debate: jam and then cream? Or cream and then jam? I can't tell you who's right. I find both ways equally delicious.

Orange Marmalade Cake

This cake is an excellent way to put your marmalade making skills to good use. Once you've made Orange Marmalade, you can go right on making this cake. Serve it with a cup of Earl Grey tea and you're in afternoon tea heaven.

Empire Biscuits

If you want to introduce your kids to the joys of baking or have a childrens party to cater for, then this is the recipe you should turn to. Everyone loves Empire biscuits, and they're easy to make.

Chelsea Buns

Once the favourite pre-party snack of Kings George II and George III, Chelsea Buns are still a beloved teatime treat. And even though this traditional English recipe requires a little effort, they taste best when home-made...

Eccles Cakes

Lovingly called squashed fly biscuit by those in the know, Eccles cakes are an excellent afternoon pick-me-up. Children love them, so why not use the recipe to get the kids interested in baking?

English Muffins

English Muffins are a kind of leavened bread roll cooked on a griddle. As such they're good for breakfast, either with poached egg or butter and jam. But they're just as great for tea.

Hot Cross Buns

I love spiced fruit bread since they're less sweet than many cakes and Hot Cross Buns, fit the bill perfectly when I'm looking for an afternoon tea treat. Once specifically associated with Easter they're now available year round. And why not?

Devonshire Apple Scones

These have to be some of the easiest tea treats in the world. If you love apples, or have a few too many in the garden that you know what to do with, here's a jolly tasty idea.

Apple Turnovers

Freshly made, all crunchy shell and fragrant filling, apple turnovers are truly delicious. As long as you never commit the crime of serving them when the pastry has gone floppy and soft, you're on to a teatime winner.

Lemon Drizzle Cake

I love lemony things and, when properly made, Lemon Drizzle Cake is as light and zingy as sunshine on a plate. It's a great cake to offer friends coming round for tea.

Bakewell Pudding

You could argue forever if Bakewell Pudding is actually a pudding or a tart. I don't rightly care. It's most often served at teatime, rather than at the end of a meal, and apart from that, it's grand. So there!

Apple Crumble Cake

Apple Crumble © One of the fastest cakes in my repertoire and one of the many traditional English recipes that will never disappoint. If you get a call after lunch that there will be guests for tea, then dig out this recipe.

As I pointed out at the beginning, there are many traditional English recipes for teatime treats. And that's just as it should be. There's nothing nicer than being served a slice of something freshly baked alongside a cup of tea. Not to mention how inviting your home will smell while there's a cake in the oven.

So I don't feel that I need to apologise for the length of this page... or the fact that it's going to get longer.