Summer's 15 Best Portable Picnic Desserts

overhead view of homemade Apple Hand Pies on a cooling rack
Photo: Kari Bailey

Bringing just the right dessert to a picnic can be a little tricky. You want it to be easy enough to transport without spilling or getting smooshed, it should be simple to serve without a lot of fuss, and it should look good enough to make your picnic feel like a party. These top-rated desserts are all that and more. Take a look, and take them along on your next outing.

01 of 16

Apple Slab Pie

1050640 Apple Slab Pie 19460 SunnyDaysNora

Pies are always a picnic favorite, but they can be fussy to get from point A to point B, let alone slice and serve. Try a slab pie instead — it's classic picnic pie, but baked in a shallow pan instead of a pie dish. The result is everything you love about pie, but you can pre-slice it and easily dish it up to your picnic crowd.

02 of 16

Cheesecake in a Jar

Cheesecake in a Jar
Allrecipes Magazine

Talk about cute and convenient. These fillable, chillable, stackable, portable dessert jars will be your go-to all summer long. Infinitely customizable, they can be filled with endless combinations of cheesecake and fresh fruit. Choose a jar shape that's easy to stack in your cooler so they can stay properly chilled until you're ready to pass them around.

03 of 16

Creamy Chocolate Cupcakes

chocolate and cream cheese cupcakes
Linda Evon

If you've ever tried to bring cupcakes to a picnic without using a special cupcake carrier, you know the heartbreak of smooshed frosting. But who wants to wrestle with another big thing to carry from the car? Try these no-frosting cupcakes instead. Their baked-in cheesecake centers are rich enough to satisfy the frosting factor, but they're easy to stack and pack. If your cupcake are very moist, put a sheet of waxed paper or parchment between layers of cupcakes.

04 of 16

Brookies (Brownie Cookies)

Brookies (Brownie Cookies)
Photo by SunnyDaysNora.

There's a practical reason why brownies and cookies are classic choices for picnic desserts. Aside from their comfort-food-level deliciousness, you can bake them in big batches and they're easy to pack. For best results, choose recipes without gooey toppings and frostings so they don't get smooshy or sticky.

05 of 16

Watermelon Cookie

Watermelon Cookies II
Nancy S English

Why choose these particular cookies over the hundred upon hundreds you can find on Allrecipes? Because they look like adorable little slices of watermelon! Are they picnic-perfect or what?

06 of 16

Fruity Fun Skewers

Fruity Fun Skewers

Raise fresh fruit to the level of dessert by threading it on long bamboo skewers. Use sturdy fruit that doesn't brown easily: Colorful grapes, melon, berries, and pineapple are excellent choices. Serve with fruit dip, and you've got a party on a stick.

07 of 16

Blueberry Crumb Bars

two Blueberry Crumb Bars on a white plate

Bars are easy to make in a big batch, and you can slice them up before you take them along. "These are delicious! They are best a little warm with vanilla ice cream melted on top. The crust and crumble topping are great and stay crunchy days later. I used fresh blueberries the first & third time I made these and black raspberries the second," Darcy says.

08 of 16

Easy Fruit Cobbler

Easy Fruit Cobbler

If you're taking a cobbler to a picnic, why not make it a super easy one? Use your favorite summer fruit to make this no-fuss cobbler, whether that's peaches, berries, or cherries. It takes just 15 minutes to prep!

09 of 16

Fruit Salad in Seconds

Fruit Salad in Seconds

We call it a salad, but let's be real. Fruit coated strawberry yogurt can totally double as (healthy) dessert.

10 of 16

Melt In Your Mouth Blueberry Cake

Melt In Your Mouth Blueberry Cake
Caitlin Bensel

"This is a nice tender cake — one of my Mom's specialties from years ago. It is a great cake to take along to a picnic," says IRENED. Mary Ann Liptak agrees, saying, "I never make a new recipe for a party, but I had so many fresh blueberries that I thought why not? Such a great recipe! It came out so good and NOT mushy or dry like most blueberry cakes I've tried. Follow the recipe exactly and you can't go wrong. Prep time is more like 45 minutes."

11 of 16

Peach Financiers

Peach Financiers
Cameron Rodriguez

"There are many different techniques used for making financiers but, as usual, I've chosen the easiest one. This recipe works beautifully with pretty much any summer fruit like berries or other stone fruit. Remember, the fruit is really just a garnish so don't use too much. These little cakes are rich, buttery, and moist," Chef John says.

12 of 16

Apple Hand Pies

overhead view of homemade Apple Hand Pies on a cooling rack
Kari Bailey

Everyone will love the convenience of helping themselves to individual grab-and-go minis instead of having to deal with a whole pie. For one thing, you don't need plates and forks. To give these hand pies extra eye-appeal, use a cookie cutter to cut the pie dough into stars or circles, put a tablespoon of filling in the center of half the cut-outs, top with the other half, crimp with a fork to seal, cut steam vents, and bake until golden brown.

13 of 16

Guyanese Lime Cookies

Guyanese Lime Cookies

"Outstanding, refreshing, and uniquely-flavored cookie, unlike anything I've ever had before. You can taste both the lime and the nutmeg, a spice I generally don't care for, yet the two combine and blend to create a delicious flavor." — naples34102

14 of 16

Raspberry and Strawberry Buckle

A slice of fruit coffee cake with streusel topping
Pictured: Raspberry and Strawberry Buckle. Allrecipes

A summer dessert should look and taste like summer. For this easy buckle (it's a kind of cobbler that leans more towards cake), you'll use summer's best strawberries and raspberries. "This was delicious. Most of the people I served it to had never heard of a buckle but I quickly converted them to buckle enthusiasts. This recipe is the perfect blend of tartness and sweetness." — JESSTAG

15 of 16

Mango Squares

Mango Squares

Bar cookies are about the easiest make-ahead picnic dessert ever. "I had just enough left in a bag of dried mango and cherries to make this recipe so I left the cherries in. This baked up into a flavorful bar cookie." — lutzflcat

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