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Cucumber Sandwiches - Cooking Classy

Classic Cucumber Sandwiches! Light, refreshing, and unbelievably easy to make, they’re a staple finger food for afternoon tea, baby showers, bridal showers, picnics, and every occasion in between! 

Close up photo of stack of cucumber sandwiches on a cake stand.

Where Did Cucumber Sandwiches Originate? 

Cucumber sandwiches are often thought of as an English tradition. So, you might be surprised to learn that they were originally created in India. From there, they spread to China, the Middle East, and Europe. 

It is said that the sandwiches were created by British colonists in India who were trying to find foods that would fill their bellies and relieve them from the intense heat. The sandwiches then made their way back to England and became a staple component of Victorian-era high teas. 

Today, they remain a popular recipe and are enjoyed all over the world. Quick, easy, and delicious, it’s not hard to see why they have been enjoyed for thousands of years. I’ll show you how to make them in minutes for the perfect snack, appetizer, or light lunch! 

Ingredients used to make cucumber sandwiches.

Cucumber Tea Sandwiches Ingredients

  • Cream cheese: Plain-flavored cream cheese forms the base of the sandwich filling. I recommend using a full-fat version for the richest taste and creamiest texture, but reduced-fat varieties will work fine. 
  • Mayonnaise: Either full-fat or reduced-fat can be used. 
  • Fresh herbs: Fresh chives, fresh parsley, and fresh dill create a vibrant flavor. 
  • Lemons: You’ll use both the juice and the zest for this recipe. I recommend zesting your lemons before you slice them to make the process easy! 
  • Garlic: Whole fresh garlic cloves taste best. 
  • Cucumber: I prefer to use English cucumbers (also known as burpless or European cucumbers) because they are less watery and have a thinner, less waxy skin that doesn’t need to be peeled. 
  • Bread: Use white, wheat, or multigrain sandwich bread. 

Mixing cream cheese with herbs and lemon. Spreading cream cheese filling on sandwiches.

What How to Make Cucumber Sandwiches with Cream Cheese

  1. Whip the cream cheese: Place the cream cheese in a medium mixing bowl, and use an electric hand mixer to whip it until it is fluffy. 
  2. Create the sandwich filling: Add the mayonnaise, herbs, lemon zest, lemon juice, and garlic to the bowl of cream cheese. Stir to combine, and season the mixture with salt and pepper to taste.  
  3. Form your cucumber sandwiches: Spread the cream cheese mixture on the tops of the bread slices. Arrange cucumbers on half of the slices, and top them with the remaining bread to form sandwiches. 
  4. Serve: Slightly press down on the sandwiches to seal the cream cheese together. Then, trim the crust edges, if desired, and cut the sandwiches. Enjoy right away! 

Toppings sandwiches with cucumbers and slicing.

Tips for Cutting Cucumber Sandwiches 

When it comes to cucumber sandwiches, the crust is optional. However, slicing them is an absolute must! 

  • Halves: Use a sharp knife to cut the sandwiches in half any way you’d like. 
  • Quarters/Triangles: Cut your sandwiches in half diagonally. Then, slice each half in half again. 
  • Circles: Use a biscuit cutter or glass to cut round shapes into the bread. 
  • Shapes: Use cookie cutters to make festive sandwiches for every occasion. 

Cucumber sandwiches stacked on a white scalloped cake platter.

Serving Suggestions

Cucumber sandwiches are an extremely versatile dish that can be served alongside all your favorite snacks, appetizers, and finger foods. For example, some of my favorite pairings include: 

Tea plate with cucumber sandwiches and tea served to the side.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use a different type of cucumber? 

If you can’t find English cucumbers, Persian cucumbers can be substituted. Both have fewer seeds and thinner skin than other cucumber varieties. 

Do I need to remove the cucumber skin? 

It’s up to you! I don’t find it necessary to peel the skin, but you can if that’s what you prefer. 

How do I prevent cucumber sandwiches from becoming soggy? 

As long as you use English or Persian cucumbers and coat both pieces of bread with cream cheese, you shouldn’t have a problem with soggy sandwiches. However, if you want to take extra precautions, slice the cucumbers, sprinkle them with salt, and set them aside for about 30 minutes before assembling your sandwiches. Just don’t forget to pat them dry! 

Can I make this recipe ahead of time? 

These cucumber sandwiches are best enjoyed right away and will last for a couple of hours. However, if you want to prepare in advance, you can create the cream cheese filling, and keep it stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days! 

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Close up photo of stack of cucumber sandwiches on a cake stand.

Cucumber Sandwiches

Classic Cucumber Sandwiches! Light, refreshing, and unbelievably easy to make, they’re a staple finger food for afternoon tea, baby showers, bridal showers, picnics, and every occasion in between! 

Servings: 4

Prep20 minutes

Ready in: 20 minutes

  • In a medium mixing bowl using an electric hand mixer whip cream cheese on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes.

  • Fold in mayonnaise, chives, parsley, dill, lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic and season with salt and pepper to taste.

  • Spread the cream cheese mixture over top side of bread slices. Top four of those slices with plenty of cucumbers then top each with another slice of bread, cream cheese covered side facing down over cucumbers.

  • Slightly press down on sandwich, if desired trim crust edges. Then cut into halves of quarters as desired. Serve right away.

Nutrition Facts

Cucumber Sandwiches

Amount Per Serving

Calories 483
Calories from Fat 252

% Daily Value*

Fat 28g43%

Saturated Fat 13g81%

Trans Fat 0.01g

Polyunsaturated Fat 5g

Monounsaturated Fat 7g

Cholesterol 60mg20%

Sodium 616mg27%

Potassium 522mg15%

Carbohydrates 44g15%

Fiber 6g25%

Sugar 7g8%

Protein 10g20%

Vitamin A 2363IU47%

Vitamin C 24mg29%

Calcium 241mg24%

Iron 4mg22%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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