Healthy Picnic Dessert Recipes

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

Staff Picks

Blueberry-Lemon Ricotta Pound Cake

Rating: 4.39 stars
30
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.

Fresh Fruit Salad

Rating: 5 stars
2
This refreshing fruit salad is a classic combination that will be the favorite at any potluck or cookout. Serve with a creamy yogurt dressing to take this side (or dessert) to the next level.

Bev's Chocolate Chip Cookies

Rating: 4.65 stars
61
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.

Lemon Squares

Rating: 2.5 stars
2
Lemon squares are so delicious, but classic lemon square recipes tip the scales with their calories and saturated fat. Our healthy lemon squares recipe shaves almost 200 calories and more than 5 grams of saturated fat per lemon square. For a variation, use lime juice in place of the lemon juice.

Mini Angel Food Strawberry Shortcakes

Rating: 4 stars
1
These adorable strawberry shortcakes are made with mini angel food cakes. These single-serve desserts are perfect for a picnic or party on a warm summer day.

Chocolate Zucchini Brownies

Rating: 4.25 stars
3
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.

Mini Blueberry-Lemon Cheesecakes

This muffin-tin mini cheesecake recipe is an adorable, healthy dessert that's the perfect cute size. If making 2 dozen seems like overkill, the recipe can easily be cut in half. If you avoid gluten, use gluten-free graham crackers to make the crust.

Fresh Apple Squares

Rating: 3.5 stars
4
One batch of dough does double duty as both the crust and streusel topping to make one of the easiest desserts around.

Meringues

Rating: 4.4 stars
1
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.

Lemon Thins

Rating: 3.54 stars
5
These lemon cookies are made healthier with whole-wheat pastry flour and they get their zippy flavor from fresh lemon zest and juice rather than lemon extract. This lemon cookie recipe would be the perfect accompaniment to afternoon tea.

Purple Fruit Salad

Rating: 5 stars
2
Serve this refreshing fruit salad featuring juicy plums, grapes and berries on its own or with other colorblock fruit salads (like red, green and orange) for a fun, crowd-pleasing rainbow side dish.

Chocolate-Cherry Snack Bars

Rating: 3.4 stars
4
These cereal bars are chewy, crunchy and delicious with good-for-you seeds, nuts, fruit and little explosions of chocolate. We like the flavor of dried cherries or cranberries, but any coarsely chopped dried fruit will work.
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Inspiration and Ideas

Lemon Pound Cake

Rating: Unrated
1
This wonderful rich, sweet lemon pound cake is downright zingy and the candied lemon slices are a beautiful bittersweet topping that's better than frosting. The best part, though: when you taste it you won't miss all the butter we cut out compared with a traditional pound cake recipe.

Almond Butter-Quinoa Blondies

Rating: Unrated
10
People likely won't even notice that these delicately nutty, just a little chocolaty, blondies are gluten-free. They use quinoa flour, which you can find in well-stocked supermarkets and natural-foods stores, in place of all-purpose flour. To make your own quinoa flour, grind raw quinoa into a powder in a clean coffee grinder. (Adapted from Quinoa Revolution by Patricia Green and Carolyn Hemming.)

Chocolate Decadence

Rating: 4.62 stars
11

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.