The Vintage Kitchen

Sweet and Savory Tea Sandwiches

Plate of sandwiches. Each sandwich is cut 1 inch by 4 inches, and they radiate out from the center of the plate.
Sweet sandwiches filled with flavored cream cheese or marmalade.

Sometimes you want to serve something unusual that doesn’t take three days to make. These Sweet and Savory Tea Sandwiches offer four options for quickly made, tasty sandwiches. Serve them at your next vintage-style small gathering or formal tea. And if you’ve never hosted a formal tea but always wanted to, these sandwiches will start you off.

Paging through a Twenties magazine one day, I came across the recipe for these sandwiches. It was only a paragraph, tucked into a longer article, but they intrigued me. I liked the idea of sandwiches that didn’t include watercress and cucumber! Plus, sweet sandwiches proved very popular in the Twenties. It was time I tried them myself.

Small chicken salad sandwiches arranged on a round plate.
Savory chicken salad sandwiches on home made dinner rolls. Yummy!

Warm Weather Sandwiches

Designed for warmer weather, these light tidbits are cool and easy to eat. You could certainly serve them in the dead of winter as well, but you might want to pair them with something heavy like chocolate brownies or a fluffy cake for dessert.

One of the things I liked best about these sandwiches was that they sounded easy. I don’t mind spending hours in the kitchen, but it’s nice to find those recipes that taste special but go together fast.

These Sweet and Savory Tea Sandwiches use cream cheese, a spicy pepper jelly, honey, and pecans –– not all together! Other sandwiches use marmalade as a filling. Then to balance out all that cream cheese you make simple chicken salad sandwiches served on dinner rolls as a savory option.

A stack of square sandwich bread slices nestled next to three small bowls of sandwich fillings. One bowl is white with brown specks, one is a light orange, and the third is a deep orange marmalade.
Three fillings ready to be made into tasty tea sandwiches.

Twenties Fast Food

Really, for as much time as the Twenties cook spent in the kitchen, these quick sandwiches are equivalent to fast food. I used a mix and made my own dinner rolls, since I need to eat gluten free. However, if I bought the rolls and the sandwich bread, I could throw these together for any party almost at a moment’s notice. 

My sandwich bread was pretty small, as gluten free bread tends to be, and I used about 1 ounce of cream cheese plus added flavors per sandwich. So from eight ounces of cream cheese and its mix-ins, plus 1/2 cup of marmalade, I could easily get a total of 9 sandwiches that I then cut into one-inch wide strips. Actually, since I was feeding only three of us, I made one of each type plus several chicken salad rolls. And I had plenty of the fillings left for another round.

If you use Parker-House size dinner rolls, you should be able to get six chicken sandwiches from the amounts I list in the recipe. If your dinner rolls are larger, you may want to double the recipe if you need half a dozen sandwiches.

A small bowl of chicken salad next to a plate of three dinner rolls.
Twenties chicken salad is very simple. Mixed and ready to fill those little rolls.

Assuming you plan to feed 3-6 people, I give you recipes that start with 1/2 cup of cream cheese or marmalade. After all, a party of two can be fun, but it’s a pretty small party. If you find that you have leftovers, they’re still tasty the next day. Store them in the refrigerator.

And if you want to add some 1952 munchies to your party, try the original Chex Mix Recipe. You can find it here.

Sweet and Savory Tea Sandwiches

Brighten your next gathering with these sweet and a little bit spicy tea sandwiches in three flavors.
Prep Time20 minutes
Total Time20 minutes
Course: Luncheon, Tea time
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6 people
Author: VintageJenny


  • small bowl for mixing ingredients


  • 18 slices white bread
  • 6 small dinner rolls

Sweet and Spicy Pepper Filling

  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 2 tbsp hot pepper jelly or spread I used Meijer brand

Sweet Pecan and Honey Filling

  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 4 tbsp chopped pecans
  • 2 tbsp honey

Marmalade Filling

  • ½ cup orange marmalade

Savory Chicken Salad Filling

  • 1 chicken breast, cooked
  • 1 stalk celery
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise or more as you prefer
  • tsp salt
  • tsp pepper


  • Remove the crusts from the bread slices. It's easier to trim the crusts before you make the sandwiches. Then stack the slices in pairs so they match. (If you like, transfer the crusts to your favorite freezer container and freeze them. You can use them for croutons, bread pudding, or something else later.)
  • Slice the dinner rolls horizontally to make small sandwich buns. Set them aside.
  • To make the Sweet and Spicy Pepper Filling: Mix the cream cheese and the pepper spread/jelly in the bowl with a cooking spoon until completely combined. Spread the filling on three slices of bread, top with three slices, and set them aside. If you have any filling left, transfer it to a small container for the refrigerator. Wash your small mixing bowl.
  • To make the Sweet Pecan and Honey Filling: Mix the chopped pecans and honey with the cream cheese in the mixing bowl until completely combined. Spread the filling on three slices of bread, top with three slices, and set them aside. If you have any filling left, transfer it to a small container for the refrigerator. Wash your small mixing bowl.
  • To make the Marmalade Filling: Spread the marmalade on three slices of bread, top with three slices, and set them aside.
  • Refrigerate until you are ready to serve. Then cut each sandwich into 1-inch slices and arrange on a serving plate.

To Make the Chicken Salad Filling

  • Mince the cooked chicken breast. You should have about one to one and a half cups of minced chicken. Place the minced chicken in the mixing bowl.
  • Trim the celery and mince it. Add it to the chicken.
  • Stir in the mayonnaise.
  • Add the salt and pepper. You can add more or less than the amount listed, to taste.
  • Spread the chicken salad onto the lower half of the dinner roll, and top with its top half.
  • Refrigerate until you are ready to serve. These sandwiches are best assembled right before serving.