Healthy Picnic Dessert Recipes

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

Staff Picks

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.

Spiced Pumpkin Cookies

Rating: 3.87 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.

Apple-Cinnamon Fruit Bars

Rating: 3.57 stars
4
These easy apple-cinnamon fruit bars make a big batch--perfect for fall potlucks and parties.

Banana-Bran Muffins

Rating: 4.83 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.

Blueberry-Lemon Ricotta Pound Cake

Rating: 4.41 stars
45
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.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Swirl Brownies

Rating: 3.75 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.

Bev's Chocolate Chip Cookies

Rating: 4.65 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.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Rating: 4.81 stars
12
This makeover recipe was one of the favorites chosen for our 30th anniversary issue. Tahini gives this cookie a subtle sesame flavor.

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.

Apple-Oatmeal Cookies

Rating: 4.5 stars
3
These healthy apple cookies made with oats, shredded apples and brown sugar make snack time enjoyable for everybody.

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.

Sweet Potato Pie with Cream Cheese Swirl

Rating: 4.29 stars
4
This creamy sweet potato pie recipe is seasoned like a pumpkin pie with plenty of cinnamon and nutmeg and gets nice ginger flavor from the gingersnap crust. For the best results, roast sweet potatoes in the oven; in a pinch, microwave them instead.
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Inspiration and Ideas

Key Lime Mason Jar Cheesecakes
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.
Deep-Dish Apple Pie
Rating: Unrated
7
With all that delicious fruit an apple pie should be healthy, but the truth is a slice can have as much as 750 calories and 30 grams of fat. For the most part, the culprit is the crust. We use whole-wheat pastry flour to add fiber and lower the saturated fat by replacing some of the butter with canola oil. The brown sugar-sweetened filling in this pie is made with two kinds of apples for the perfect balance. A slice has half the calories of a typical version and only 10 grams of fat--sweet!

Old-Fashioned Apple-Nut Crisp

Rating: 4.6 stars
8

Apples and nuts are a classic--and healthful--combination, especially when you cut back on the saturated fat that typically tops this sweet treat. Our version is just as delicious, and allows the flavor of the hazelnuts to shine through. A dollop of Vanilla Cream or scoop of vanilla frozen yogurt finishes this homey dessert beautifully.