35 Church Picnic Desserts That'll Be The Talk of the Town

Cherry-Swirl Frosting
Photo: Antonis Achilleos; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall; Prop Styling: Kathleen Varner

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.

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Peach Fried Pies

Peach Fried Pies
Iain Bagwell; Prop Styling: Mindi Shapiro Levine; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Recipe: Peach Fried Pies

No summertime picnic is complete without some Southern peaches, and these Peach Fried Pies will win rave reviews from the after-church crowd.

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Pecan Pie Brownies

Pecan Pie Brownies
Micah A. Leal

Recipe: Pecan Pie Brownies

We combined two Southern-favorite desserts—pecan pie and brownies—to create the ultimate decadent treat.

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Hummingbird Cupcakes with Candied Pineapple Wedges

Hummingbird Cupcakes with Candied Pineapple Wedges
Photo: Victor Protasio; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Recipe: 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.

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Freezer Peach Pie

Freezer Peach Pie
Iain Bagwell; Prop Styling: Mindi Shapiro Levine; Food Styling: Torie Cox

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.

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Raspberry Crumble Bars

Raspberry-Almond Crumble Bars
Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Christine Keely; Food Styling: Chelsea Zimmer

Recipe: Raspberry 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.

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Blackberry-Peach Cobbler Bars

Blackberry-Peach Cobbler Bars
Hector Sanchez; Styling: Heather Chadduck

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.

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Carrot Cake Cupcakes

Carrot Cake Cupcakes
Antonis Achilleos

Recipe: Carrot Cake Cupcakes

Bake everybody's favorite layer cake into easily portable, personal-sized cupcakes.

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Chocolate Peanut Butter-Fudge Bars

Peanut Butter-Fudge Bars
Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Christine Keely; Food Styling: Chelsea Zimmer

Recipe: Chocolate Peanut Butter-Fudge Bars

Kids and adults alike will fall for these fudge bars, which combine chocolate and peanut butter in beautifully stacked layers.

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Buttermilk Pound Cake

Buttermilk Pound Cake
Southern Living

Recipe: Buttermilk Pound Cake

Serve this pound cake with berries and fresh cream or ice cream to make a lovely warm-weather dessert.

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Toasted Oatmeal Cookies

Toasted Oatmeal Cookies Recipe
Hector Manuel Sanchez

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.

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Cheesecake Cookies

Cheesecake Cookies
Caitlin Bensel

Recipe: Cheesecake Cookies

Pack all the flavor of Mama's famous cheesecake into shareable cookies that will leave an impression on the dessert table.

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Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Jennifer Causey

Recipe: 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.

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Chocolate Pound Cake

Chocolate Pound Cake
Victor Protasio; Prop Styling: Heather Chadduck; Food Styling: Erin Merhar

Recipe: Chocolate Pound Cake

Transform Nana's classic pound cake into a chocolate-lover's dream with this decadent recipe.

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Apple Pie Cookies

Apple Pie Cookies
Micah A. Leal

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.

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Mini Red Velvet Cakes

Mini Red Velvet Cakes
Southern Living

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.

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Caramel-Frosted Pound Cake

Caramel-Frosted Pound Cake
Southern Living

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.

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Lane Cupcakes

Lane Cupcakes
Southern Living

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.

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Coconut Cheesecake Squares

Coconut Cheesecake Squares
Southern Living

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.

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Cherry Flag Pie

Cherry Flag Pie
Photo: Greg DuPree; Prop Styling: Heather Chadduck Hillegas; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Recipe: Cherry Flag Pie

You might need a trusted pie carrier to get this patriotic dessert to the picnic, but it will no doubt become the day's starring confection.

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes
Victor Protasio, Food Stylist: Emily Nabors Hall, Prop Stylist: Kathleen Varner

Recipe: Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

If peanut butter cups make your list of favorite candy, these chocolate delights will quickly become a must-have dessert at any gathering.

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Salted Butter-Pecan Shortbread Cookies

Butter-Pecan Shortbread Cookies
Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

Recipe: 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.

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Mini Triple-Chocolate Buttermilk Pound Cakes

Mini Triple-Chocolate Buttermilk Pound Cakes
Alison Miksch

Recipe: 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.

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Pecan-Peach Cobbler

Pecan-Peach Cobbler
Beth Dreiling Hontzas

Recipe: Pecan-Peach Cobbler

Two Southern favorites, pecans and peaches, collide in this sweet and nutty cobbler.

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Chess Pie

Classic Chess Pie
Jessica Colyer

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.

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Salted Caramel-Apple Hand Pies

Salted Caramel-Apple Hand Pies
Hector Manuel Sanchez; Styling: Katie Jacobs

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.

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Ultimate Dark Chocolate Brownies

Ultimate Dark Chocolate Brownies
Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Christine Keely; Food Styling: Chelsea Zimmer

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.

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Sweet Tea-and-Lemonade Cake

Sweet Tea-and-Lemonade Cake
Hector Sanchez

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.

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Luscious Lemon Bars

Luscious Lemon Bars
Southern Living

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.

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Hello Dolly Bars

Hello Dolly Bars
Jennifer Davick; Styling: Lydia DeGaris Pursell

Recipe: Hello Dolly Bars

With coconut, pecans, chocolate, and butterscotch, these bars pack all of our favorite flavors into one portable package.

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Southern Buttermilk Pie

Classic Buttermilk Pie
Iain Bagwell

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.

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Cherry Pie Bars

Cherry Pie Bars
Greg Dupree

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.

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Petite Blueberry Cheesecakes

Petite Blueberry Cheesecake
Jennifer Davick

Recipe: Petite Blueberry Cheesecakes

Don't worry about slicing this cheesecake—it's already split into perfect personal portions.

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Cheerwine Cherry Cupcakes with Cherry-Swirl Frosting

Cherry-Swirl Frosting
Antonis Achilleos; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall; Prop Styling: Kathleen Varner

Recipe: 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.

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Coconut-Citrus Bars

Coconut-Citrus Bars
Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Giulietta Pinna; Food Styling: Ali Ramee

Recipe: Coconut Citrus Bars

These handheld treats pay tribute to a Southern holiday staple: ambrosia. Serve the classic year-round with these two-bite bars.

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Strawberries-and-Cream Sheet Cake

Strawberries-and-Cream Sheet Cake
Hector Sanchez

Recipe: Strawberries-and-Cream Sheet Cake

If your church picnic is scheduled during the height of strawberry season, this 9x13 dessert is practically required baking.

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