Healthy Picnic Dessert Recipes

Find healthy, delicious picnic dessert recipes, from the food and nutrition experts at EatingWell.

Staff Picks

Spiced Pumpkin Cookies

Rating: 4 stars 11
The deep flavors of molasses, cinnamon, ginger, allspice and nutmeg make these wholesome pumpkin cookies delicious without the addition of butter--and they lend themselves beautifully to the inclusion of whole-wheat flour. They are also the perfect texture for a sandwich cookie--fill them with a slightly sweetened cream cheese frosting.
By EatingWell Test Kitchen

Fresh Apple Squares

Rating: 3.5 stars 5
One batch of dough does double duty as both the crust and streusel topping to make one of the easiest desserts around.
By EatingWell Test Kitchen

Blueberry-Lemon Ricotta Pound Cake

Rating: 4.5 stars 58
This healthy pound cake recipe isn't just delicious--it also only requires one bowl to make. For the best cake texture, be sure to beat the sugar and butter together long enough in Step 2 to look creamy--the time it takes to get there varies according to the type of electric mixer you have. Serve with brunch or alongside a cup of coffee in the afternoon.
By Stacy Fraser

Banana-Bran Muffins

Rating: 5 stars 49
By the end of the week, any bananas left in the fruit bowl are past their prime--just right for these moist bran muffins. Add a handful of dark chocolate chips to entice children to enjoy a fiber-rich treat.
Patsy Jamieson
By Patsy Jamieson

Chocolate-Fudge Pudding Cake

Rating: 4.5 stars 6
When you have a craving for a comforting dessert, try this pudding cake, which forms its own rich-tasting sauce as it bakes. The coffee flavor is subtle, but it adds complex depth to the cake's flavor.
Patsy Jamieson
By Patsy Jamieson

Bev's Chocolate Chip Cookies

Rating: 4.5 stars 88
EatingWell reader Beverley Sharpe of Santa Barbara, California, contributed this healthy chocolate chip cookie recipe. She gave chocolate chip cookies a healthy update by cutting back on sugar and incorporating whole grains. To increase protein, Sharpe replaces the rolled oats with 1 cup almond meal.
By EatingWell Test Kitchen

Apple-Oatmeal Cookies

Rating: 4 stars 3
These healthy apple cookies made with oats, shredded apples and brown sugar make snack time enjoyable for everybody.
By EatingWell Test Kitchen

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Rating: 4.5 stars 12
This makeover recipe was one of the favorites chosen for our 30th anniversary issue. Tahini gives this cookie a subtle sesame flavor.
By EatingWell Test Kitchen

Meringues

Rating: 4.5 stars 2
Perfect meringues depend on totally yolk-free whites. The seemingly fussy step of separating each egg into a small bowl before combining them guarantees yolk-free whites for bakeshop-quality meringues every time. These crispy little morsels travel well and make great gifts too.
By EatingWell Test Kitchen

Apple-Cinnamon Fruit Bars

Rating: 4 stars 4
These easy apple-cinnamon fruit bars make a big batch--perfect for fall potlucks and parties.
By EatingWell Test Kitchen

Pumpkin Cheesecake Swirl Brownies

Rating: 3.5 stars 5
For bigger hits of chocolate goodness, use chopped bittersweet chocolate in place of the chips. Hold on to the leftover pumpkin puree--it's yummy stirred into your morning oatmeal or yogurt.
By Molly Stevens

Key Lime Mason Jar Cheesecakes

Rating: 5 stars 1
These mini mason jar desserts are not only adorable; they also keep portion sizes in check! These beauties can be prepped in under 20 minutes.
By Diabetic Living Magazine
Advertisement

Inspiration and Ideas

Chocolate Decadence
Rating: Unrated 16
Inspired by the old-school, ultra-rich, mousselike chocolate cake that usually called for a whole pound of chocolate, half a dozen eggs and lots of butter, this enlightened rendition has deep bittersweet chocolate flavor and dense melt-in-your-mouth texture. No one will guess it's healthier. The secret is excellent natural cocoa powder and good-quality bittersweet chocolate, preferably with 70% cacao. Although the cake can be eaten once it's completely cool, it comes out of the pan much easier and even tastes better if it has been chilled at least overnight.
Peach Custard Pie
Rating: Unrated 4
We use low-fat milk along with nonfat Greek yogurt in the creamy custard for this peach pie. The yogurt gives the custard a smooth texture without using cream or too many egg yolks. A slice is just as delicious served warm from the oven as it is chilled. For an added treat, serve topped with fresh blueberries.
Chocolate Zucchini Brownies
Rating: 4.5 stars 4

The batter for this healthy one-bowl brownie recipe is stirred together right in the saucepan used to melt the butter and chocolate--no mixing bowl needed and less cleanup for you. Using shredded zucchini in this healthy dessert recipe creates a tender, moist brownie with about half the amount of butter and sugar found in a classic recipe--and it's virtually undetectable in the baked brownies.