When we think of perfect picnic food, things like dips, simple sandwiches, and salads come to mind. But when it comes to dessert, it gets a bit trickier. A lot of our favorites just aren’t the best for serving while sitting on a picnic blanket, not to mention how you’d even transport them there in the first place. Check out our list of 37 picnic desserts for ideas!
First rule of picnicking is convenience. You’re not going to want to lug around a heavy serving dish (or heaven forbid, a chef’s knife), much less plates and silverware. Instead go for pre-cut bars and brownies, like our cowboy blondies, homemade granola bars, or raspberry cheesecake bars. The second rule is durability. These desserts have to last with minimal refrigeration (though we always recommend a cooler and an ice pack or two), and stand up to being jostled around on your way to the picnic area. It would be near impossible to serve a regular cheesecake at a picnic (even with a table), so we’ve included a number of cheesecake-inspired desserts, like our samoa cheesecake bars or blackberry cheesecake brownies. Same with cakes. Bringing a massive frosted layer cake to a picnic seems like a disaster waiting to happen, so instead bring cupcakes! Or combine the two, like with our mini cheesecake cupcakes or cheesecake-stuffed cupcakes.
Something about eating outside always makes us want to end the meal with s’mores, but we know it’s not always easy to have access to a fire pit or BBQ. Hedge your bets and bring a s’mores-themed dessert instead. Try our s’mores cupcakes or s’mores bars for all that graham cracker, marshmallow, chocolate goodness, with less mess.
If it’s nice enough to be outside, it probably means there’s still incredible produce in season. We’ve highlighted some of our favorite summer fruits in these desserts, like our cherry puff pastry hand pies, strawberry shortcake cookies, or lemon blueberry pie bars. If all else fails, go for a simple fruit salad—ours has a honey citrus dressing so good it can stand up to anything else on this list.