40 Church Picnic Desserts That'll Be The Talk of the Town
When we think of perfect picnic recipes, there are a few criteria that come to mind. First, it has to be portable. Chances are we’re packing these desserts into wicker baskets and piling into the car with our families, so elaborate layer cakes aren’t exactly the best option for easy transportation. Bars, cookies, pies, and cupcakes top our list of the best picnic desserts. Next, it’s important to consider the theme of the church picnic. We love to opt for classic recipes you’re sure to find at a church potluck—think pound cake and buttermilk pie—or something more seasonally inspired.
Whether you’re picnicking in the spring, summer, or fall, we have recipes to carry you through all the seasons. Easter time? Our Carrot Cake Cupcakes are the perfect way to celebrate. Tailgate season? Get in the spirit with Salted Caramel Apple Hand Pies. No matter the holiday or occasion, we have a picnic recipe that is sure to wow the al fresco dining crowd. With these all-star recipes, your sweet treats will be the talk of the town.
Peach Fried Pies
Recipe: Peach Fried Pies
No summertime picnic is complete without some Southern peaches, and these Peach Fried Pies will really wow the crowd.
Pecan Pie Brownies
Recipe: Pecan Pie Brownies
We combined two Southern-favorite desserts—pecan pie and brownies—to create the ultimate decadent treat.
Rose Petal Cupcakes
Recipe: Rose Petal Cupcakes
Add a touch of elegance to the picnic spread with these simple vanilla cupcakes. They’re garnished with rose petals for extra refinement.
Hummingbird Cupcakes with Candied Pineapple Wedges
Love the flavor of a hummingbird cake, but don’t want to mess around with stacking and assembling cake layers? Meet Hummingbird Cupcakes.
Recipe: Rhubarb Pie
Fresh, slightly-sour rhubarb is the star in one of our favorite summer pies. Add strawberries for extra sweetness.
Mixed Citrus Bars
Recipe: Mixed Citrus Bars
Lemon bars, grapefruit bars, orange bars, oh my! Grandma will love the countless twists we’ve put on her classic recipe.
Freezer Peach Pie
Recipe: Freezer Peach Pie
Make use of that bag of frozen peaches in this Freezer Peach Pie. It tastes as fresh as you can get.
Raspberry-Almond Crumble Bars
Recipe: Raspberry-Almond Crumble Bars
When you’re on-the-go, you need a dessert that’s easy to serve and mess-free. That’s why these sliceable Raspberry Crumble Bars are the ideal picnic food.
Ultimate Chocolate Cupcakes
Recipe: Ultimate Chocolate Cupcakes
If you like chocolate on chocolate, you’ll love these Ultimate Chocolate Cupcakes.
Blackberry-Peach Cobbler Bars
Recipe: Blackberry-Peach Cobbler Bars
No summertime church get-together is complete without fresh peach cobbler, but a gooey casserole isn’t necessarily the ideal portable picnic food. These Blackberry-Peach Cobbler Bars are the perfect alternative.
Carrot Cake Cupcakes
Recipe: Carrot Cake Cupcakes
Bake everybody’s favorite layer cake into easily portable, personal-sized cupcakes.
Chocolate Peanut Butter-Fudge Bars
Buttermilk Pound Cake
Recipe: Buttermilk Pound Cake
Serve this pound cake with berries and fresh cream or ice cream to make a lovely warm-weather dessert.
Recipe: Butterscotch Cookies
Those candies that Grandma always kept stocked in bowls around the house? Imagine those in cookie form.
Recipe: Strawberry-Blueberry Cupcakes
Make the most of that seasonal farmers’ market produce with these fresh berry cupcakes.
Toasted Oatmeal Cookies
Recipe: Toasted Oatmeal Cookies
Oatmeal-raisin may get a reputation for being boring, but these cookies are anything but. The recipe calls to toast the oats, which brings a nutty depth of flavor to the dough.
Recipe: Lane Cupcakes
The storied Lane Cake has been a Southern staple for decades, and we’ve just made it portable with these Lane Cupcakes.
Raspberry Jam Thumbprints
Recipe: Raspberry Jam Thumbprints
This classic cookie can be found at cookie swaps and church potlucks year-round, and your picnic simply wouldn’t be complete without a plate full of these thumbprints.
Pink Lemonade Cake
Recipe: Pink Lemonade Cake
Sip on some pink lemonade and add a touch of that same sour sweetness to the dessert spread with this pretty Pink Lemonade Cake.
Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Ramp up the flavors of a classic, yet often bland chocolate chip cookie with the addition of nutty brown butter.
Chocolate Pound Cake
Recipe: Chocolate Pound Cake
Transform Nana’s classic pound cake into a chocolate-lover’s dream with this decadent recipe.
Apple Pie Cookies
Recipe: Apple Pie Cookies
A cross between a hand pie and a cookie, these Apple Pie Cookies tuck luscious apple pie filling between layers of short cookie dough to accomplish a completely creative dessert.
Brown Butter-Caramel Blondies
Recipe: Brown Butter-Caramel Blondies
Talk about decadence. These blondies get a lovely swirl of homemade caramel on top, adding just enough salty-sweet flavor to complement the blondie dough.
Mini Red Velvet Cakes
Recipe: Mini Red Velvet Cakes
Bake red velvet cupcakes, then cut them sandwich-style and pipe the frosting in the middle for a whimsical way to enjoy this dessert classic.
Caramel-Frosted Pound Cake
Recipe: Caramel-Frosted Pound Cake
This indulgent pound cake, complete with delicate swoops of caramel frosting, is one of our all-time favorites. After just one bite, you’ll understand why.
Coconut Cheesecake Squares
Recipe: Coconut Cheesecake Squares
Bring a bit of tropical flair to the church picnic with these easily sliceable, perfectly bite-sized coconut cheesecake squares. There’ll be plenty to go around.
Salted Butter-Pecan Shortbread Cookies
No fall picnic is complete without a toasty butter pecan dessert, and these homemade shortbread cookies are the ideal vehicle for the crowning pecan.
Mini Triple-Chocolate Buttermilk Pound Cakes
When it comes to pound cake, we don’t want to share, and with these mini pound cakes, we don’t have to.
Recipe: Pecan-Peach Cobbler
Two Southern favorites, pecans and peaches, collide in this sweet and nutty cobbler.
Recipe: Classic Chess Pie
Chess pie is one of those staples that we’ll never stop making, and it’s sure to satisfy the church crowd.
Lemon-Coconut Chess Bars
Recipe: Lemon-Coconut Chess Bars
The whole crowd will be singing the praises of these tart, smooth Lemon-Coconut Chess Bars.
Salted Caramel-Apple Hand Pies
Recipe: Salted Caramel-Apple Hand Pies
If you’re having a fall picnic, these Salted Caramel Apple Hand Pies are the ideal on-the-go sweet snack.
Ultimate Dark Chocolate Brownies
Recipe: Ultimate Dark Chocolate Brownies
These are not your ordinary boxed brownies. Made with rich dark chocolate and finished with flaky sea salt, this recipe celebrates brownies in their best form.
Sweet Tea-and-Lemonade Cake
Recipe: Sweet Tea-and-Lemonade Cake
Sheet cake is our favorite hack for feeding a crowd, and this Sweet Tea-and-Lemonade cake hits all the right notes.
Luscious Lemon Bars
Recipe: Luscious Lemon Bars
Tart and sharp, the flavor of these lemon bars is offset by a silky-smooth texture that make this dessert utterly addictive.
Hello Dolly Bars
Recipe: Hello Dolly Bars
With coconut, pecans, chocolate, and butterscotch, these bars pack all of our favorite flavors into one portable package.
Southern Buttermilk Pie
Recipe: Classic Southern Buttermilk Pie
This recipe takes a page right out of the church potluck cookbook—it’s a tried-and-true classic that’s sure to please.
Cherry Pie Bars
Recipe: Cherry Pie Bars
You mean to tell us that we can have cherry pie without the finger-staining mess? Now that we’ve seen it, we certainly believe it.
Petite Blueberry Cheesecakes
Recipe: Petite Blueberry Cheesecakes
Don’t worry about slicing this cheesecake—it’s already split into perfect personal portions.
Cheerwine Cherry Cupcakes with Cherry-Swirl Frosting
Complement the picnic soda offerings with these Cheerwine Cupcakes and their stunning pink-and-white cherry swirl frosting.