Shake out your picnic blankets and prepare for a perfect day outside, complete with snacks and sweet treats to make everyone smile! Spring is the time to soak up some warm air after a long winter, and summer is packed with sunny adventures to be had. At the park, in your backyard or on a blanket in the living room, all you need are a few supplies and one or two delightful picnic dessert recipes! These picnic desserts travel well, don’t require refrigeration and are portioned out for sharing.
Simple Picnic Dessert Recipes for a Crowd
Picnics can be more fun when you invite your friends! Put your blankets together or drape them over a few picnic tables at a park pavilion for a sweet day in the sunshine.
Chocolate Chip Cookies
There’s a reason chocolate chip cookies are the most beloved cookie. When you bake a batch of these HERSHEY’S Classic Milk Chocolate Chip Cookies, everyone knows to expect perfect chocolate flavor and the right amount of chewiness. Plus, cookies travel well in a large container or individually bagged.
- Makes: about 60 cookies
- Variation: Swap half your baking chips for REESE’S Peanut Butter Chips for a salty and sweet twist.
Another classic crowd-pleasing recipe, brownies make a delicious end to any picnic. Our Deep Dish Brownies recipe has all the moist, chocolate deliciousness of a cake, but in shareable squares that can be easily handed out to all your picnic pals.
- Makes: 16 brownies
- Variation: Fold walnuts or baking chips into the batter before pouring into the pan.
Lemons are often associated with outdoor spring and summer fun because of their refreshing, sweet and tangy flavor. These White Chip Lemon Bars are a delightful picnic dessert featuring a crumbly crust, cool lemon filling and smooth white creme chips.
- Makes: 16 bars
- Variation: Swap your lemons for limes for another tangy citrus sweet treat.
Best Picnic Desserts for Hot Summer Days
The best picnic foods travel well and hold up in warm weather. While you should try to keep your picnic food and desserts out of direct sunlight or keep them protected in a cooler, these desserts for a hot weather picnic will wait for you as you enjoy your day.
Classic chocolate fudge is great for summer because while it might get soft when the temps rise, it won’t completely melt. Not to mention, fudge squares are a rich, decadent dessert for a picnic occasion that everyone will savor! This no-bake HERSHEY’S Rich Cocoa Fudge recipe is just what you need to put the “mm” in summer!
- Makes: 1 ¾ pounds
- Variation: Add chopped walnuts, almonds or pecans for a nutty crunch.
These cake-like cookie sandwiches are a fun, fan-favorite for your picnic. When you individually wrap each whoopie pie in plastic wrap, they’ll keep in a cooler or in a lunchbox in the shade. This recipe for Peanut Butter Whoopie Pies swaps the traditional filling with a REESE’S Creamy Peanut Butter center!
- Makes: 14 whoopie pies
- Variation: Celebrate those summer holidays with festive Red Velvet Whoopie Pies.
A classic cookie baked without chocolate, these Oatmeal Toffee Cookies can hold up to the heat and delight tastebuds at any picnic. Plus, there’s a sweet crunch in every bite thanks to HEATH BITS O’ BRICKLE Toffee Bits.
- Makes: 48 cookies
- Variation: Add traditional raisins or other dried fruit bits for a fun, chewy changeup.
What to Take to a Picnic
Picnic desserts? Check! Now, what else do you need to plan the perfect day?
Picnic foods should be simple meals you can pull together quickly when the weather is just right and you’re eager to get outside. You’ll also want items that can be eaten cold or at room temperature. Here are a few suggestions to get you started:
- Charcuterie (meats and cheeses)
- Vegetables with dip
- Sandwiches or wraps
- Pasta or potato salad
- Crunchy snacks like DOT’S Pretzels or SKINNY POP Popcorn
Before you find that perfect spot on the grass, there are a few perfect picnic items you’ll want to bring along.
- Picnic Basket or Cooler: You’ll want a sturdy way to transport your picnic lunch and desserts. A medium to large picnic basket is a classic, whimsical way to arrive, but you might want to think practical with a cooler to protect your food from the heat and insects.
- Picnic Blanket: Choose a large, washable blanket you don’t mind getting a little dirty.
- Bug Spray: While you’ve invited a few close family and friends, there will always be uninvited guests—bugs!
- Sunscreen: Even if you choose a spot in the shade, it’s a good idea to pack a little sunscreen if you’ll be taking a walk or playing Frisbee after you snack.
- Activities: Picnics are perfect for relaxing with a book or music, but you can also make them lively with yard games or a ball to toss.
- Trash Bag: Whenever you enjoy a moment in nature, always leave it the way you found it by cleaning up after your picnic. Or opt for reusable utensils, plates, cups and napkins you can wash when you get home!
Picnics are popular because they’re an easy, no-cost way to have some fun. Move date night to the daytime for a couple’s picnic at the park or gather the kids and get them out of the house for a change of scenery. With a little prep and some treats to sweeten the day, memories are just a moment away!