Savefor later Page saved! You can go back to this later in your Diabetes and Me Close

Afternoon tea

Afternoon tea is a Great British tradition that can be enjoyed by everyone. It can sometimes feel tricky as typical food and drink may be higher in saturated fat, sugar and salt, but remember you don't have to miss out.

We've developed a range of healthier options that are lower in sugar and fat that you can make at home, perfect for hosting your very own afternoon tea.

The variety of delicious treats available on an afternoon tea stand can make it more difficult for people with diabetes to have healthy options. There’s often a lot of food on offer, and this can make it harder to keep track of your portion sizes. 

Remember that people with diabetes can eat the same food as everyone else. Occasional treats shouldn’t affect your long-term diabetes management too much, but try to have healthier options most of the time. 

To make it easier, we've created some healthier alternatives – both sweet and savoury – to the traditional afternoon tea set up. Make finger sandwiches more nutritious by using our yummy courgette bread instead of a regular loaf, swap shop bought cakes for one of our delicious cake recipes that are lower in saturated fat and sugar. And why not add in an extra portion of fruit and veg with one our salads or fruit kebab recipe…

Sweet afternoon tea recipes 


Chocolate, almond and berry cake

A great centrepiece for your afternoon tea table.

Serves: 8–10

Prep: 20 minutes

Cook: 25 minutes + 1 hour cooling

Carrot cake 

This healthy version is easy to make. We cut it into 18 pieces but you could easily divide it into 24 small squares.

Serves: 18

Prep: 20 minutes

Cook: 20-35 minutes + 1 hour cooling

Sticky lemon polenta cake lemonpolenta200x186.jpg

This tangy, sticky lemon cake is gluten free and easy to make.

Serves: 8

Prep: 15 minutes

Cook: 25 minutes + 20 minutes cooling

Rich fruit cake

This tasty fruit cake is higher in fibre  than similar recipes due to the wholemeal flour and extra fruit.

Serves: 12

Prep: 20 minutes

Cook: 1.5 hours

Skewered fruit with dipping sauces 

A fun way to up your fruit intake. 

Serves: 3

Prep: 15-20 minutes

Savoury afternoon tea recipes

Courgette loafcourgettebread200x186.jpg

This bread contains a large amount of grated courgettes, tastes sweet, spicy and has the texture of banana bread.

Serves: 10

Prep: 15 minutes

Cook: 30-35 minutes

Mini bagels with smoked salmon spread

These mini bagels make a great addition to your afternoon tea, and are low in saturated fat.  

Serves: 2

Prep: 10 minutes

Cheese, onion and spinach sconescheesescones200x186.jpg

Delicious served with afternoon tea or great for a picnic. These savoury scones can be eaten warm or cold.

Serves: 10

Prep: 15 minutes

Cook: 15 minutes

Leek and potato salad

Homemade potato salad with yogurt instead of mayonnaise is lower in fat and a great addition for any afternoon tea or picnic. Keep cold in a cool bag and use ice blocks.  

Serves: 6

Prep: 10 minutes + 15 minutes to cool

Cook: 15-20 minutes

Tomato, olive, asparagus and bean salad 

Tomato, olive, asparagus and bean salad

Up your five a day with a variety of salads a make the next afternoon tea your own with a breakaway from traditional options. 

Serves: 4

Prep: 15 minutes

Cook: 5 minutes

Chickpea and tuna salad

Great for those who want an alternative to sandwiches.

Serves: 2

Prep: 5 minutes

Summertime tea and coffee


Iced tea

The ideal drink for afternoon tea on a hot summer’s day.

Serves: 8

Prep: 10 minutes + 45 minutes cooling

Iced coffee

Iced coffee aficionados insist on the coffee being cold brewed: this makes for a less bitter, more aromatic coffee. You can serve it with or without milk, sweetened or unsweetened.

Serves: 8

Prep: 10 minutes + 12 hours brew time

Back to Top
Brand Icons/Telephonecheck - FontAwesomeicons/tickicons/uk