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What To Serve for Afternoon Tea Third Course?

Once you’ve conquered your afternoon tea menu plans for your first and second courses with the delicious savory tea party food and a collection of scones, what’s next? Here’s what to serve for an afternoon tea third course that will keep your guests happy and satisfied.

Keep reading for the full scoop on the delicious third course served at a traditional afternoon tea. You’ll find over 75+ delicious ideas and recipes to serve for that final course at your next afternoon tea or tea party.

The Three Courses Served During Afternoon Tea

Food during any tea party or afternoon tea always goes from savory to sweet. Each course as the tea moves along will become sweeter than the last.

And the third and final course at any afternoon tea is where the sweetest food comes in.

  1. First Course: Savory snacks and tea sandwiches
  2. Second Course: Scones and all the trimmings
  3. Third Course: Sweet desserts, pastries and sweet small bites
what to serve for tea third course
The third course of afternoon tea is sweets

What is the Third Course for a Tea Party?

No matter where you have afternoon tea, whether at a posh hotel, or a casual gathering, the third course is always made up of sweet treats, sweet pastries, and sweet desserts. My favorite course!

If you’re hosting your own tea, the dessert courses goes on the very top level of a three-tiered tray. Isn’t this an adorable option to the standard china three tiered model? If your style leans more contemporary, this would be the perfect option.

Or you can stick with the fancier, more formal ones, especially if it’s one that’s been handed down!

SwallowLiving Farmhouse 3 Tier Tray, White Three Tiered Tray Wood Stand with Shabby Chic Beaded for Home & Kitchen or Coffee Bar Decorations, 12.4 x 12.4 x 16.5 inchs

How many servings for each guest for the third course?

A good rule of thumb when you’re planning the third course of an afternoon tea is to estimate 2-3 servings per guest. This may seem like not many per guest, but remember this is the third course and your guests will have already enjoyed the savory course and the scones course!

What Kinds of Sweets Should You Serve for the Third Course?

Since most tea parties require the guests to balance a cup of tea and a small plate, it’s best to serve sweet treats that can be eaten without a fork and knife, but if it’s your own tea party, you can change things up.

Serving sweets that can be finished off in one to three bites seems to be the perfect “sweet” spot for most gatherings.

The ideas really are endless. Here are a few to get your creative juices flowing:

Third Course Sweet Ideas for an Afternoon Tea

Whether you’re looking for sweet tiny bites, or showstoppers for your next tea themed party, take a look at these ideas. With so many ideas, you may want to schedule a few more afternoon teas!

Third Course Tea Party Cakes to Die For

Looking for an impressive cake for your tea party themed baby or bridal shower? Take a gander at these. From simple and elegant to absolute amazing, there’s a cake here for everyone.

cake ideas for tea party
Take a look at these gorgeous showstopper cakes for your next tea party.

Delicious & Elegant Mini Desserts

These mini desserts are perfect because you won’t need a fork and knife to serve. Perfect small bites that guests can serve themselves from the top tier of a tea tray.

mini desserts tea party
Mini desserts are easy to eat in one or two bites.

More Sweet Recipes for Tea Parties

So many delicious and sweet recipes for your third course, it’s hard to choose just a few. Here are 15 more deliciously tempting ideas for your third course.

recipes for tea party sweets
So many ideas for sweet tea party recipes!

Chai Spiced Desserts Perfect for a Fall Afternoon Tea

What’s more warming than the fall inspired taste of chai? These chai inspired desserts would be perfect for a fall themed tea party, or any other time if you’re a chai lover like me.

chai spiced desserts
Chai spiced desserts are perfect for your third course

Sweet Treats to Please any Matcha Lover

Matcha may not seem like the obvious choice for a traditional tea party, but these sweet matcha flavored desserts are perfect for the guest who loves the distinctive slightly grassy taste of matcha. Matcha is amazing when baked or mixed into a dessert.

Matcha dessert recipe showing matcha tiramisu.
Matcha desserts are sophisticated and delicious!

Sweet Third Course Ideas are Plentiful and Delicious!

So there you have it! So many ideas and recipes for third course tea party food that it will be hard to choose! Have fun planning your next afternoon tea and enjoy!

third course ideas for afternoon tea
Pin to your favorite tea related Pinterest board and pass it on!