3 ingredients to make the late Queen’s ‘penny’ sandwiches, the perfect royal tea-time treat for toddlers

Her late majesty used to love eating these at tea time

Queen Elizabeth II
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The late Queen Elizabeth II loved to eat 'penny' sandwiches at tea time, they're a prefect snack for toddlers and here's how you can make them with just three ingredients.

It can be difficult knowing what snacks to give your children, these Halloween Rice Krispie pumpkins, or bat and pumpkin Halloween cookies look delicious to make, but you might want them to have something like a small sandwich that will keep them fuller for longer.

But choosing the right filling can be the difference between it going down well or not getting eaten at all and it looks like the late Queen Elizabeth II had the perfect snack solution for fussy eaters - and it's got an adorable name too.

It's understood that the late monarch favoured "jam pennies" at tea time - these are tiny crustless raspberry jam sandwiches that are cut into circles about the size of an old english penny. Lavender and Lovage has the perfect recipe on its website which is suitable for kids to make too.

Bread and jam

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Former royal chef, Darren McGrady, who cooked for the late monarch for 11 years, revealed her love of Jam pennies during a YouTube Q&A. He said, "One of her favourites is Jam Pennies, they're just bread and jam," and pointed to a picture of small, round disks of white bread with a layer of strawberry jam in the middle.

The Queen was a fan of crustless sandwiches and traditional afternoon tea - which dates back to the 1840s and was created when the Duchess of Bedford called for a light meal to bridge the gap between lunch and dinner. And the late majesty stuck to a daily teatime meal - featuring delicate sandwiches with the crusts cut off.

Jam pennies recipe

round jam sandwich

(Image credit: Getty Images)


  • Good quality bread or if you prefer, use a rounded bread roll/ seed topped burger bun
  • Butter/ margarine spread (as desired)
  • High fruit content jam
  • (Cookie cutter/ pastry cutter to cut out the penny-shaped sandwiches)


  1. Take the bread and cut into round circles, removing the crusts. Either use a knife or to make them even all the way around and uniform size, or use a circular cookie or pastry cutter.
  2. Butter two of the bread rounds before adding a layer of jam
  3. Place the two rounds together as a sandwich
  4. Cover with a damp tea towel or wrap in clingfilm to stop the bread from drying out if making ahead of time.

According to another of the Queen's former chefs, Graham Newbould, the Queen prefers sandwiches that are shaped without points. So instead she was served small 'jam penny' sandwiches at high tea.

In the documentary Secrets Of The Royal Kitchen, Graham revealed, "The royals never have square sandwiches because tradition has it that anyone presenting them with pointed-edged food is trying to overthrow the throne of England."

The video clip below show's Darren making round 'jam pennies' as part of an afternoon tea selection.

The Queen's tradition of round sandwiches also comes from her great-great grandfather Prince Albert, who, according to reports by Hello! magazine had a superstition that it was unlucky to eat coffin-shaped food, and therefore royal chefs were instructed to cut off the crusts in circular motion for afternoon tea.

In other royal news, King Charles reveals his hopes that granddaughter Princess Charlotte will ‘look after him’ when he is ‘very old’ and Which Royal was given a £120,000 birthday ‘card’ for their first birthday? (it’s not who you’d expect) Meanwhile, in food news there's these easy recipes for kids

Selina Maycock
Senior Family Writer

Selina is a Senior Family Writer for GoodtoKnow and has more than 16 years years of experience. She specialises in royal family news, including the latest activities of Prince George, Charlotte, Louis, Archie and Lilibet. She also covers the latest government, health and charity advice for families. Selina graduated from the University of Sheffield in 2006 with a degree in Journalism, and gained her NCTJ and NCE qualifications. During her career, she’s also written for Woman, Woman's Own, Woman&Home, and Woman's Weekly as well as Heat magazine, Bang Showbiz - and the Scunthorpe Telegraph. When she's not covering family news, you can find her exploring new countryside walking routes, catching up with friends over good food, or making memories (including award-winning scarecrows!)