Whether it’s a large picnic gathering, a hiking picnic, or even a simple afternoon tea picnic, no alfresco feast would be complete without a sweet treat at the end.
Sometimes the thought of picnic desserts can be a little overwhelming. We need portable desserts, preferably make-ahead desserts, and sweets that will last the distance without failing or fouling.
The beauty of the picnic dessert is it doesn’t have to be a lavishly creamy affair.
As we say in our essential picnic tips, it can be as easy as a homemade cookie to satisfy the sweet tooth or compliment a hot cup of tea. A simple, yet sophisticated tart that pairs wonderfully with your picnic wine or a rich, gooey brownie that will finish a bottle of red beautifully.
Super Portable Make Ahead Picnic Dessert Ideas
We've rounded up loads of picnic dessert ideas that meet the criteria of the portable feast. They are easy to make, can all be made in advance, are portable, and most of all, they are all decadently delicious.
Many even err on the healthy side so you can enjoy an extra bite or slice, and there are loads of sweet options for gluten-free and vegan picnic desserts.
From picnic bars to delicious flourless cakes, energy balls, and fruit ladened tarts, we've got your picnic sweet tooth covered.
Apple Puff Pastry Tartlets
Delightfully grown-up Apple Puff Pastry Tartlets made with Brie (that's the adult part), dried currants, and a drizzle of honey make a quick and easy dessert. They also make a lovely and very portable picnic dessert.
They are so simple to make, you can whip up these charming tarts in under 30 minutes and pack them steaming hot straight from the oven. We give you the know-how for keeping your picnic food hot here. Although, much like apple pie or even strudel, these lovelies are also delicious served cold.
A great addition to a fall-inspired picnic menu or an afternoon tea picnic.
Gingerbread Loaf Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting
Enjoy the flavours of gingerbread any time of year with this beautifully moist gingerbread loaf topped with lush cream cheese frosting. An easy dessert to make and transport, especially for the fall and winter picnic months.
Easy White Chocolate Fudge
It doesn't get much more portable than fudge. Quick and easy to make, this White Chocolate Fudge recipe is perfect for picnics. It's adaptable to the seasons; switch almonds for macadamia nuts or pecans. Add a sprinkle of sea salt or mint crisps for a grown-up sweet treat or rainbow sprinkles for a kids picnic sweet.
You only need four ingredients and minimal effort for a very portable and elegant picnic sweet.
Dark Chocolate Sweet Potato Fudge
Like a rich, dark chocolate fudge? This Sweet Potato Fudge recipe is soft, super creamy (thanks to the star ingredient - sweet potato) and decadently chocolatey. It is also low carb and no-bake so it's guilt-free and easy.
Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
Super moist and subtly spiced, these easy to make Carrot Cake Cup Cakes are a great make-ahead picnic sweet treat. You can even pre-make these cupcakes and keep some in the freezer. Defrost overnight in the fridge and top with fresh cream cheese frosting for a delicious portable picnic cake.
Lemon Blueberry Bars
Heavy on the lemon flavour with a pop of blueberry, these Blueberry lemon bars are a refreshing twist on a cheesecake.
Super portable for picnics and can be made well in advance - even the day before, they are a great sweet treat for all your alfresco adventures.
What I also love about these picnic bars is the versatility of the recipe. Switch out ingredients to create flavours and textures to your liking. Also, it is so easy to make these sweet treats, both gluten-free and vegan.
Classic Italian Crostata - Jam Tart
Crostata is a traditional Italian dessert that is fragrant, with a crumbly yet melt-in-your-mouth texture.
Believe it or not, this sassy Italian jam tart comes together in 45 minutes. You can make a whole pie or little individual picnic-sized pies, so you don't have to share.
You can also make these tarts with any choice of fillings to suit your style or picnic menu. We love versatile picnic recipes like this.
Wash it down with a thermos of tea or coffee, or let it be the finishing dish for the last of that bottle of picnic wine.
Low Carb Keto Pumpkin Muffins
For a guilt-free fall picnic idea that is easy to make, keeps well and can stand up to an extended period in the picnic basket– look no further than these deliciously seasonal low carb keto pumpkin muffins. With the decadence of a sweet muffin, but without the guilty carbs, you'll love these moist and fluffy muffins for any occasion.
5 Unique Brownie Recipes for Your Next Picnic
Trying to find the world’s best brownie recipe? – well, it could all come down to a matter of taste.
Brownies are such super portable make-ahead picnic desserts, so of course, we were tempted to dive into the diverse world of cakey, fudgy, crackly, and crisp chocolate goodness.
We’ve rounded up 5 unique brownie recipes that will appeal to all kinds of brownie aficionados and even cater to range dietary requirements.
Who knew brownies could be so versatile.
Keto Chocolate Cake With Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting
Delicious chocolate on chocolate. This super easy Keto Chocolate cake with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting is a gorgeous guilt-free indulgence. Make it in advance for a low carb chocolate cake everyone will love.
No Bake Coconut Balls
Little bite-sized truffles are perfect for picnics. These no-bake Coconut Balls come together in under 20 minutes for a sweet treat elegant enough for grown-ups and deliciously sweet for kids. They are also Keto friendly, vegan and dairy, gluten and nut-free with only four ingredients.
Fresh Peach Crumb Bars
Let's face it; picnic bars and slices are the kings of portable desserts. When you are looking for portable picnic desserts, this homemade Peach Crumb Bar has wrangled some all-time favourite desserts into a bar.
Juicy spiced peaches surrounded in a buttery crust with sweet crumble topping – We're talking peach pie but in bar form or a super portable peach cobbler. Do we have your attention?
Sweet, caramelized, buttery, and crispy crumbly with hints of vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg to compliment the sweet peach flavour. Best of all, they are so simple to make, can be served hot or cold and you can switch fresh peaches for tinned if you want to make them out of season.
Don't like peaches or want to stay seasonal; simply switch out the fruits as you please to change the flavour.
Flourless Peanut Butter Loaf Cake Recipe
Incredibly simple to make, this flourless peanut butter loaf cake recipe makes an ideal picnic dessert.
The batter comes together in one bowl, add it to the pan and bake for 30 minutes, it's that simple. Perfect for impromptu picnics.
It has a rich, peanut butter and maple flavour but has endless alternatives if those flavours don't tickle your picnic fancy. Try different nut butters such as cashew or almond. Add chocolate chips, cinnamon, or even nuts for a bit of crunch.
It's deliciously moist and flavourful, and being flourless (which gives it it's pleasing texture) it's gluten-free, so you don't have to worry about dietary issues.
Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
A cookie or a dessert bar? Wonderful worlds collide with this portable picnic sweet treat.
Baked oatmeal chocolate chip bars are so easy to make and travel well for any style of picnic. Combining soft and chewy cookie, the layers of chocolate and caramel, and the crunch of the nuts and oats are everything you need in a dessert bar.
For ease of application, this recipe uses refrigerated cookie dough but you can also adapt to make your own dough. And, as with most of our versatile picnic sweets, you can switch out nuts and flavourings to suit.
Lemon Sugar Cookie Bars
Whip up these fresh and zesty Lemon sugar cookie bars in less than 30 minutes for an easy picnic dessert.
Light and lemony, these bars are incredibly easy to pull together. Made with easy to find, simple ingredients, the dough whips up in just a few minutes, pour in a pan and bake for 20 minutes.
Tender and moist, these sugar cookie bars, filled with lemon zest and topped with a crunchy sugar crust. will keep for 3-4 days so are a perfect make-ahead picnic sweet.
Double Chocolate Zucchini Cake
Want a decadent picnic dessert that is also pretty healthy for you? This Double Chocolate Zucchini Cake is a chocolate lover's dream. Incredibly moist with a deep, rich chocolate flavour.
It is a much healthier way to indulge your chocolate cravings while still being wonderfully delicious. It has less fat, so fewer calories, less sugar, and chocolate chips are used instead of frosting. It is also loaded with nutritious zucchini.
Did you know zucchini is technically, or rather botanically, a fruit? So it's not that weird after all to pop it in a chocolate cake.
No Bake Chocolate Granola Bars
Naturally sweet with crunchy almonds, these no-bake Chocolate Granola bars are about as picnic-friendly as it gets. Whip them up in under half an hour for a deliciously portable picnic sweet treat kids and adults will love.
Chocolate Orange Madeleines
While these chocolate orange madeleines may look fancy, you’ll find these tasty little French treats are actually very easy to make and are a perfect picnic dessert.
I love that you can conjure up this little French delight in 30 minutes (perfect for last-minute picnic plans) and that they transport so well - so compact.
Pair them with an end of picnic coffee, a glass of red, or for anyone who dares bring a warming tipple of Port to a picnic - sweet accompaniment solved.
I love these simple yet sophisticated additions to a picnic hamper. So easy to make - whip them up in 25 minutes, these Coffee Financiers – aka French Friands – are the perfect treat to finish a picnic or serve as part of an afternoon tea picnic.
Financiers are little almond-based cakes that can be flavoured with many many different ingredients. They are deliciously fluffy, airy and buttery and are especially delicious when flavoured with coffee.
Easy Jam Bars
These delicious and easy to prepare Jam Bars are going to be your new favourite picnic recipe. They’re so simple.
Prepare and cook in 30 minutes (you will have to wait for them to cool) – The base and topping are made from the same mixture and they are filled with a delicious jam of your choice.
They are also easy to adapt to gluten-free and of course, work equally well with store-bought or homemade jams.
Vegan Pumpkin Spice Muffins
Looking for more fall-inspired picnic desserts? Look no further than these Pumpkin Spice Muffins, brimming with sweet, warm and earthy flavours.
Bringing together all the elements of classic muffins rolled into a whole-grain, nutritious treat – soft and moist Vegan and Gluten-Free Pumpkin Muffins.
Oatmeal Bars with an applesauce filling are easy to make and delicious for an end of picnic treat or snack. These bars are always a hit with even the pickiest of eaters.
So simple to make, you don't even have to use homemade apple sauce. These are a perfectly portable addition to any picnic hamper, especially for hiking picnics or afternoon tea picnics.
Healthy Chocolate Pretzel Bars
Gluten-free Chocolate Pretzel Bars, sweetened with dates and using coconut oil instead of butter, they make for a healthy and delicious picnic snack or dessert.
So easy to whip up, they are ready in a little over half an hour. Pack them in your picnic backpack for a hiking picnic or serve them as an after picnic snack.
Squidgy Date and Coconut Flapjacks
Flapjacks are the British version of what others might call muesli or granola bars. These squidgy, coconut and date flapjacks are a delicious twist on a British tea-time treat.
Packed with oats, dried fruit, and flavoured with rich date syrup and a pinch of spice, these traditional British treats, are begging to be washed down with a hot thermos of tea.
They're also pretty healthy for you in the grand scheme of things.
Chocolate Flapjacks - A Great British Snack
Take your classic Britsh flapjack to a whole new level of decadence by dressing them up with chocolate.
With oats, butter, sugar and chocolate, these flapjacks are a delicious picnic sweet treat. Especially for kids who might prefer a chocolate finish over a raisin or date ladened flapjack.
They are so simple to make, easy to pack for a picnic, and they make virtually no mess other than the odd crumb. Perfect picnic finger food.
Healthy Yoghurt Cake
Who doesn’t love a simple and delicious yoghurt cake that’s so easy to prepare and involves hardly any cleaning up? Sounds picnic-perfect to me.
Simply mix a few ingredients in one bowl, and bake. The result? A moist and mouth-watering cake loaded with yoghurt with hints of lemon and fruit jam.
Not only is this picnic cake delicious, but it's also low sugar and packed with nutrients.
Zucchini Muffins with a Zesty Lemon Glaze
Zucchini Muffins with a Zesty Lemon Glaze are way too delicious and so picnic portable.
The perfect combo of carrot cake, zucchini bread, and oatmeal cookies all rolled into one. These muffins come together in less than 30 minutes and are a great way to incorporate a healthy sweet treat into your picnic menu.
Even kids won't notice the vegetables when they fall for the sweet and tangy flavour of these super moist muffins.
Peach Hand Pies
With just 3 simple ingredients, these small handheld desserts are the perfect picnic treat. So easy to make, these tasty sweet parcels come together in 20 minutes.
Serve them as a hot or cold dessert at your next picnic.
Cocoa Peanut Butter Fat Bombs
In the realm of energy bites, you can't go past these deliciously decadent yet healthy cocoa peanut butter fat balls. Chocolatey, nutty with hints of coconut, you can whip these satisfying sweet treats up in around 10 minutes for a very portable picnic dessert.
Cranberry Almond Energy Bites
Cranberry Almond Energy Bites – a no-bake energy bite that is easy to make and a perfect addition to your picnic pack for a quick, healthy snack or treat. Especially great for a hiking picnic menu for that quick pick-me-up snack or post-lunch sweet treat.
Oats, chopped almonds, dried cranberries, almond butter, honey, chia seeds and cinnamon combine to create a sweet, delicious bite.
No-Bake Chocolate Chip & Tahini Energy Balls
Another nod to the simplicity of a well made energy ball. These decadently healthy tahini and chocolate chip bites come together in under 15 minutes, are vegan and gluten-free friendly and incredibly delicious. You don't get much more picnic portable than a good protein ball.
Strawberries and Cream Energy Balls
Strawberries and Cream Energy Balls are a healthy snack or dessert both kids and adults will love. Vegan, Paleo, and free of refined sugar, these tasty treats come together in just 10 minutes.
Perfect little picnic treats and another vote as a great addition to a hiking picnic menu.
Cranberry Coconut Energy Balls
Energy balls are like the ultimate picnic snack. They're portable, delicious, and loaded with the good stuff to give you a boost - Perfect for hiking and walking picnics.
Cranberry coconut energy balls make a perfect energy-boosting snack. These bite-sized balls are no-bake, very easy to make, tasty and yield an extra boost of energy using a combination of walnuts, dates along with cranberries and shredded coconut.
Blueberry Crumble Bars
Delicious Blueberry Crumble Bars with layers of buttery oatmeal crisp and sweet, juicy blueberry filling. This recipe is everything you love about fruit crisp in a handy, portable dessert perfect for picnics, BBQs and pot lucks.
These bars can be easily made gluten-free and simply replace butter with coconut oil for a dairy-free version. Blueberries not in season? No worries, frozen berries work just fine.
Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
Gluten-free peanut butter chocolate chip cookie bars are the ultimate crowd pleaser.
Perfectly moist, flaky yet chewy and gooey, these bars take their cue from cookies – just in bar-form.
Sweet with the ultimate salty balance, moist and chocolatey, believe it or not, they're also refined sugar-free. Guaranteed to make a sweet statement at any portable feast.
Paleo Blueberry Crumb Bars
A perfectly healthy yet delicious sweet picnic treat. Paleo Blueberry Crumb Bars are grain-free, refined sugar-free and dairy-free using almond flour, coconut oil and pure maple syrup.
A lovely healthy picnic dessert recipe with loads of flexible recipe adaptations to suit your tastes, diet or the season. So flexible, yet so simple.
No-Bake Blueberry-Almond Oatmeal Bars with White Chocolate
These addictively delicious no-bake oatmeal bars feature crunchy almonds, sweet-tart blueberries, and creamy white chocolate. And with no baking, they're so quick and easy to make. You'll be all done in less than 20 minutes.
This nutrient-loaded snack will satisfy your sweet tooth and fuel you up to keep you going strong. Another candidate for those picnics that incorporate a long walk.
Rock Cakes from Harry Potter (Rock Buns)
Rock cakes are a delightfully British picnic treat. Serve them warm or cold washed down with gallons of good old British tea.
These rock cakes are nothing like those in Harry Potter. These are deliciously light and fluffy loaded with sweet raisins. You can pop a batch out in around 20 minutes and load them hot into your hamper for a warm after picnic treat or as part of a picnic afternoon tea.
Seasonal Picnic Desserts
Celebrate the seasons with these seasonal picnic dessert ideas.
Summer Picnic Desserts
Make your summer picnics special with these gorgeous summer picnic dessert ideas. With fresh ideas for fruit salads and fruit platters, portable summer desserts using seasonal berries and fresh cake ideas, there are lots of wonderful summer sweet treats for the summer picnic basket.
Delicious Fall Picnic Desserts & Sweet Treats
Fall is a wonderful time for picnic desserts. The season's harvest gives us loads of inspiration for deliciously comforting fall picnic dessert ideas.