This is the fun part... picnic dessert ideas!

Enjoy ideas and suggestions we use for our picnics. They mostly come from our old recipe books... but you'll find new fresh ideas too! Often new recipes turn up at picnics when friends find something different...  and delicious.
So this collection of desserts is to help you think about what to take to your picnic... with recipes too of course!

These classic picnic dessert recipes will go down so well at the end of your delicious picnic lunch...
then you can lie back with your hat over your face, knowing you have organized a great picnic
... ah relax!

Make shortbread for an easy dessert to take.... and easy to make.

Shortbread with coffee at the picnic.

Sneak one or two when you make them... relax with a tea or coffee, or hot chocolate...
perhaps before bed, when you have everything packed ready for your picnic the next day.

... But before relaxing there is a bit of work to do, so where possible try to prepare these easy picnic dessert ideas in advance... makes life so much easier!

So if you know in advance that you have time to make a cake, or a slice, or to plan a special fruit platter that the kids will love, then gather these ideas and prepare to have a bit of fun!

TOP TIP... Prepare before if you can.

  • Cakes can be frozen
  • Slices and biscuits popped in an air tight container
  • Other ingredients can be gathered ready to make something special

Cake tins to fill with picnic cakes

Fill the cake tins with these picnic cakes and more....
It's fun to have a few old cake tins to fill with your baking... but make sure they are clean!
Some food really needs a more modern container, especially if it has to be frozen.
The plastic cake container above has a fitted plate with handles to lift it out.

Buy Me A Coffee

When you "buy me a coffee" it is very much appreciated.

You’re supporting the development of this site…

while I hunt for new delicious recipes … and more cake for you!

Berries for a picnic dessert

Suggestions for your picnic dessert ideas...

Find Below...

  • Easy, simple trifle.
  • How to poach fruit.
  • How to make scones... really lovely at the end of a picnic with jam and cream... below.
  • Little pastry baskets... recipe in picnic food ideas... a quick picnic idea.
  • Shortbread.... so very easy, you won't have to buy it again.

 Then find lots of cakes here... Easy picnic cakes...

  • Chocolate cake... made with black beans and dates... shown left.
  • A very special sponge cake... from my Mum.
  • Butterfly cakes... a bit of fun!
  • An easy banana cake with prunes... an old family favorite that my family has often made.
  • Cream cheese topping instead of icing.
  • Whole orange cake without flour.

Little strawberry baskets

Little pastry baskets with strawberries

An easy last minute suggestion for your picnic dessert ideas.

For a quick last minute dessert just remember to check picnic food ideas for this recipe. These little baskets are easy to put together and they will disappear in a flash! Use your favorite fruit.  Make extra!

I love it when our grandchildren help bake the cake

I love it when our grandchildren help bake the cake, or the cookies, for our easy picnic dessert ideas.

It usually means flour and bits all over the kitchen, but I wouldn't miss out on the fun for anything.

... and essential for decorating a cake, is a yellow ribbon tied to your wrist, with balloon attached!

Precious moments!

Easy picnic cake... Chocolate cake, without sugar, or flour... but very delicious!

Easy picnic cake... Chocolate cake, without sugar or flour...

This flourless and sugarless, delicious chocolate cake will bring great comments from friends and family when you bring this out for your contribution to the picnic dessert ideas.

I have made this cake from a couple of recipes I've used and have changed the fruit in it... and on it, depending on the time of year and what fruit is around.

As it is flourless and sugarless I don't use regular butter icing on it, but if that's what you like it would go well. A cream cheese topping would be really nice with it too. As you can see for this cake I sprinkled a little icing sugar over... looks good but not totally necessary. I did use plums in this cake because the trees were laden with the fruit... I just couldn't waste them!

Decorating the cake...

Mixed berries are always a favorite, but bananas with sliced kiwi fruit, or freshly sliced apricots, plums or peaches would be great too. A sprinkle of pomegranate seeds would be very festive.

If you have access to small edible flowers like those on this cake, just make sure they are clean and free of any dangerous sprays and sprinkle between the fruit. You only need a few to look spectacular!

Other Suggestions...

This cake can be easier to cut when made in a log tin. I have also used the recipe to make individual cakes like muffins, in a mold/muffin tin.

To make this cake above... click here to follow the recipe.

Join our free newsletter

Join our free VIP's "Picnic Chatter"

Extra hints and recipes... Let’s chat picnics!

Easy, Simple Trifle

A quick picnic dessert idea, using the sugarless chocolate cake with dates.

Not quite sure what to call this, non alcoholic, simple trifle?

Easy, Simple Trifle with cherries on top.

Friends called... and we rushed out with large really tasty, sandwiches... and this dessert to follow.

This was the picnic lunch with Mr Percival, the penguin at Clayton Bay.

From the chocolate cake, I made a really delectable last minute dessert using crumbed bits of the cake in the bottom of clear individual bowls... light weight bowls... not breakable of course!

To Make...

  • There was a small amount of chocolate cake left in the cake tin, so I crumbled a small amount (big crumbs) into the bottom of each container. Banana cake... most cakes really, would have been just as good.
  • A small amount of juice from frozen berries, or the cherries, was added to the cake, but it could be a slurp of Sherry for a more traditional trifle.

To poach cherries... or many different fruit... Pears and quinces and stone fruit especially good poached.

  • Simmer a small amount of water in a saucepan, about 1/2 a cup... then add a tablespoon of sugar, or honey... and simmer until dissolved.
  • Add fruit and simmer over low heat, gently basting and turning until fruit is poached. It must be low heat to keep the shape of the fruit.
  • You can stew the fruit by cooking faster and it will still taste delicious, but it won't look as beautiful as gently poached fruit.
Mixed berries in bowls for part of picnic dessert
  • Then plain yogurt was mixed with a dash of honey and cinnamon and poured over the cake.
  • Poached cherries... with very little juice... were loaded onto this and then it was all held together with biodegradable cling wrap.
  • Almost any fruit would be good with this. Poached peaches, plumbs, apricots... or frozen berries. Or raw bananas, grapes, berries  mango, or pawpaw... whatever is your favorite.
  • By the time we were ready to eat, the juice and creamy yogurt had softened the cake and mixed with it... yum!

  We all loved this simple dessert sitting by the lake in Clayton Bay!

Please warn people of cherry stones if they are still in the fruit!

Just remember to take a spoon for each person.

How to make scones... they are delicious at the end of a picnic.

You will find that almost everyone loves a moist fluffy scone... another idea from the picnic dessert ideas

and they are especially good with a coffee from the thermos, or with a take away from the coffee shop nearby, if you have one.

scones with plates

For a picnic, good moist and light scones like these, are still very moreish when cold.

This recipe has been great for functions too.... when you need to make a lot.

They freeze really well and you can just heat for a few minutes when they thaw... or even if still frozen.

This mixture will make about 40 small scones... obviously less if they are bigger.

You will need...

  • 6 cups of Self Raising flour
  • 90 gms cold butter cut into small squares
  • 3 level teaspoons Baking powder
  • 1 dessertspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups milk


  • Turn oven to 230C/ 450F... with shelves in the top 1/3 of oven.
  • In a large bowl add sugar and salt to sifted flour and Baking Powder.
  • Rub flour and cold butter together with fingers until it resembles crumbs... or use a hand held pastry blender if you have one.
  • Add 3 cups of milk... stir well.
  • With rubber scrapes, turn out onto a board to knead together.
  • Knead for about 3min.... don't overdo this, or they will be tough.
  • Add a little extra flour if it is too sticky
  • Rollout until 5cm / 2" thick. If you like even thicker scones, just make them thicker at this stage.
  • Cut into rounds from dough with a scone cutter, about 6cm, or 2 1/2" diameter... or a glass well works too. Just flour your cutter a little to stop sticking.
  • Place on an oven tray and brush with a little milk.
  • Cook for 10 min. until a light golden color.

Dollops of cream in a pot to take to a picnic.

Don't forget the pots of jam and cream! We like thick cream, not runny cream.

Whip it if you can't get thickened cream... or do you have clotted cream... very popular.

Home made jam will just finish your picnic amazingly!

A colander with teatowel and scones


Take a colander and line with a clean tea towel... find a good looking one... to put the scones in when they come out of the oven. They are then ready to take to the picnic.

This is something my Mother always did, so that the scones kept warm but didn't become sweaty and soggy, or dry out and become hard.

These scones are ideal to make en masse for functions where you make many and sell with tea or coffee... perhaps for a school fete.

Being a foolproof recipe you can share it with others to bake too... for the fete!

  • If you intend freezing them, just cook until they are very lightly browned... then when you reheat they will be a light golden color... perfect!.
  • Just reheat for a few minutes... time will vary with your oven. Make sure you have the timer on so that you don't dry them out.
  • If they are dry when taken out of the freezer, you can dip into a jug of water, or run under the tap for a second... then put into the oven.

N.B. Scones don't microwave well and will be leathery and tough and horrid if you cook or reheat this way!

Quick Shortbread... so simple!

Shortbread is very easy to make and looks and tastes great. Pop this picnic dessert idea into one of your old tins lined with baking paper.

Showing how to rub butter into flours for shortbread

You will need

  • 2 Cups of Plain Flour
  • 1/2 cup castor sugar
  • 1/2 cup ground rice
  • 250 gm butter... chilled


  • Sift flour, ground rice into a bowl
  • Rub chilled butter into the flours and gently kneed together until mixture is smooth.
  • Roll out until 2cm, or 3/4" thick, on a lightly floured board, or grease-proof paper.

A container of fresh shortbread, yum
  • Cut into blocks... approx. 5cm/2" squares, or rectangles... or cut into different sizes and shapes... and gently stab fork onto top to let steam escape.
  • Alternately,  roll out and cut into rounds.
  • Place on trays... not greased, but can be on baking paper.
  • Bake in mod oven 20- 30 min, or until barely pale golden.
  • Leave to cool for 10 minutes before removing from tray.
  • When cool sift soft icing sugar over them if you wish... or leave plain.

     Makes about 28-30 shortbread biscuits.

Top Tips...

  • Real butter is essential for making shortbread, margarine won't do.
  • Shortbread lasts well, but if you make it perhaps a week or more ahead, just freeze the biscuits.
  • They are easy to break, so make sure they are in a solid container. They will be softer than bought shortbread, but delicious.
  • It won't hurt to take them to the picnic frozen... they will thaw!

Back to TOP

Leap Home... Fill the baskets

Leap Home... Fill the baskets

Please join us on Pinterest...  and Facebook