Pack It Up, Pass It Out: 10 Best Summer Desserts for Picnics and Backyard Parties

I love entertaining in the summer summer better than any other time of the year. The days are long and lazy, dinner can be a motley potluck of dishes added to the picnic table as guests arrive, and dessert...oh, dessert! With blueberries, strawberries, peaches, and plums all competing for attention on farmers market tables, summer desserts must be lavish affairs featuring the very best of the season.

A good picnic dessert must travel well and survive a few hours left in the shade. I love a good sheet cake, like the Blueberry Banana Cake pictured above, since it can be baked, transported, and served all in the same dish. Same goes for brownies and bar cookies. This said, my new go-to summer dessert might just be be strawberries simply dipped in chocolate.

Cobbler Transportation Tip!
One note on transporting crumbles and cobblers to parties. It's impossible to resist the lure of these fantastic fruit desserts, but they tend to be juicier and more liquidy than other summer pies and desserts. A bouncy car ride can cause the cobbler topping to collapse into the juicy fruit - still tasty, but not quite what we were going for. To avoid this, add an extra half-tablespoon or so of cornstarch to the filling to help it set and then wait until the crumble is completely cool before transporting it.

TOP ROW
1. Blueberry Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Icing
2. White and Dark Chocolate Strawberries
3. Dark Chocolate Brownies with Raspberry Goat Cheese Swirl
4. Strawberry Dessert Pizza
5. Individual Peach and Ginger Hand Pies

BOTTOM ROW
6. Blueberry and Apricot Crumble
7. Big Pink Rhubarb Cake
8. Chocolate Tart with Cherries
9. Gluten-Free Strawberry Cupcakes
10. Plum Crumble

What will you be taking to your picnics and parties this summer?

Related: 15 Fresh Picnic Salads for the 4th of July

(Images: See individual links)