Top 10 picnic dessert ideas


Spend some time outdoors this summer with a jam-packed picnic spread. Fill your picnic basket with savoury treats like pies, pasties and sandwiches, but don’t forget an indulgent dessert to finish it off.

We’ve collected simple, impressive recipes for picnic desserts like brownies, loaf cakes, traybakes and more – all easily packed, unpacked and enjoyed without any hassle.

For the ultimate selection of simple bakes, see our complete picnic dessert recipe collection.

1) Lamingtons

Lamingtons

Lamingtons are the perfect portable treat for a picnic feast. This traditional Australian bake is filled with cream and jam, coated in a chocolate icing and rolled in coconut. These little squares pair beautifully with a thermos of hot tea.

2) Coffee walnut millionaire’s shortbread

Combine millionaire’s shortbread with classic coffee and walnut flavours for a two-for-one picnic pud that’ll knock everyone’s socks off. Walnut shortbread topped with espresso-spiked caramel and plenty of chocolate make for a sophisticated finish to your feast.

3) Lemon & buttermilk pound cake

Lemon & buttermilk pound cake

Slices of this moist buttermilk poundcake are a welcome addition to any summery spread – bursting with citrus from sponge to icing, it’s portable and easy to eat with your hands if you don’t have cutlery.

4) Strawberries & cream cheesecake jars

Strawberries & cream cheesecake jars

What’s better suited to a picnic than a dessert in a jar? Fill old jam jars with a biscuit crumb base, creamy cheesecake filling and ripples of sweet strawberry purée. Top with a few slices of fresh strawberries, secure the lids and chill until ready to pack.

5) Easy carrot cake

Easy carrot cake

Cut this decadent carrot cake into easy-to-pack slices to whip out when everyone’s finished snacking on the savoury. The moist sponge is lightly spiced with nutmeg and cinnamon and topped with a creamy soft cheese frosting and chopped walnuts.

6) Coconut & jam macaroon traybake

Coconut Macaroon Jam Traybake

If you’re looking for an easy bake, try this macaroon traybake with minimal ingredients. Combine egg whites, caster sugar, vanilla and desiccated coconut and pour into a tray. Add dollops of your favourite jam, then bake for 30 minutes. Once baked and cooled, drizzle with dark chocolate.

7) Vegan brownies

Vegan brownies

Following a plant-based diet? Try these squidgy brownies using clever dairy substitutions like ground flaxseed instead of eggs. Use rich, meted dark chocolate and add half a teaspoon of coffee to enhance the flavours.

8) Cupcakes

Cupcakes

Classic vanilla cupcakes are sure to be a hit with your fellow picnickers. We’ve topped ours with swirls of buttercream, some mixed with vibrant food colouring. They’re perfect for an outdoor birthday celebration.

9) Lemon curd & orange cake

Lemon curd & orange cake

Using lemon and orange juice ensures this zingy cake is full of plenty of bright flavour. Yogurt keeps the sponge moist, and toasted, flaked almonds add a delicate crunch.

10) Pistachio, courgette & lemon cake

Pistachio, courgette & lemon cake

This is summer in a traybake. Pistachios are blitzed and added to the cake batter with grated courgette for a moist, nutty sponge. Bake until golden, then drizzle with generous helpings of icing and lemon curd.

Enjoyed these recipes? See more inspiration…

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