When it comes to camping, one of the most important things to consider is food. While it’s fairly easy to plan simple meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner, what about easy and delicious dessert options? That’s where make-ahead camping desserts are a fantastic option if you want a little something to keep the sweet tooth satisfied during your time enjoying the great outdoors!
We have shared some easy camping desserts, but many of those require more preparation and cooking and sometimes after a long day of hiking, swimming and exploring, you don’t want to cook more than you have to.
But still, you want to enjoy something sweet on your camping trip. Who doesn’t?
That’s why we love bringing some no-prep camping desserts with us too! Especially for weekend camping trips.
Make-Ahead Camping Desserts
Make ahead desserts for camping can come in a variety of forms, with some needing refrigeration, while others you can make ahead and store in an air-tight container and enjoy whenever you need a sweet treat.
Sure, making s’Mores around the campfire is a bit of a camping tradition, but sometimes you just want to make the whole time really easy and that’s where make-ahead meals, snacks and treats will simplify your whole camping trip!
Whether you’re a seasoned outdoor adventurer like us or camping for the first time, make-ahead camping desserts are a great way to add some variety to your camping menu. They are also the perfect dessert ideas to pack for a road trip too!
What Makes For A Good Pre-Made Camping Dessert?
The best easy desserts for camping are ones that require minimal effort. You just want to be able to grab it and eat it, without having to worry about any extra steps. Especially cooking!
Any desserts that don’t require refrigeration are an extra bonus too since that’s space in your cooler for dinner and drinks. The really important stuff, right?
We like to bring a mix of chill and no-chill food with us when we go camping. That’s easy when it comes to snacks but not always the case with desserts.
Of course, you can bring a packet of chocolate biscuits or lollies to share. But sometimes it’s far more fun to make something special.
The Best Make Ahead Desserts For Camping
We’ve put together a list of simple options you can make at home before you head off on your next camping trip. This includes some yummy dessert recipes and easy stuff to make ahead.
Cookies and Bars
Cookies and bars are a great option for camping because they are easy to pack and can be made in advance. Most of them can be stored in an airtight container or in ziplock bags as well, so you don’t need to worry about keeping them chilled.
Cakes can also be a good option for camping desserts, although you need to make sure you have enough room in the esky if you are taking anything with icing!
Muffins are always an easy make-ahead option for camping trips or road trips. You can bake up a batch of your favourite flavoured muffins or make a few different types for variety. And mostly, they can be kept in an airtight container for a couple days, depending on what you put in your muffins. Some might need to be chilled.
Other Camp Dessert Ideas
Other simple options include things like fruit salad or a tub of ice cream (homemade or store-made), custard or chilled pudding cups. Some of these might need to be eaten earlier in your trip to avoid melting or fruit going brown.
No Chill Camping Desserts
These yummy dessert recipes can be stored in airtight containers for several days so you don’t have to worry about keeping them chilled in your esky. Most of these camping dessert recipes are fine to be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 or 4 days.
Some will last longer so make sure you check the individual recipe for details.
You should consider the weather and average temperatures when you head off camping though as if you are camping in summer and it’s really hot, you don’t want a melted gooey mess of treats that would be fine on the kitchen bench at home. In these cases, you might need a spare esky to keep them at a cooler temperature.
Check out these yummy dessert ideas:
- Chocolate Revel Bars – Fudgey, chocolatey oat bars to grab and go.
- Banana Walnut Bread – A sweet and nutty banana bread that will keep for up to 4 days in an airtight container.
- 2 Ingredient Peanut Butter Fudge – Just 2 ingredients, peanut butter and condensed milk and can be chilled or stored in an airtight container.
- S’mores Cookies – There’s no reason to miss out on your favourite S’mores entirely. Mini marshmallows are a must in these cookies!
- Pear & Walnut Muffins – These sweet muffins can be a great camping breakfast or a dessert option.
- No Bake S’mores Treats – The kids will love these treats with mini marshmallows, chocolate chips and cereal.
- Peanut Butter Cheerio Bars – These cereal bars with M&Ms are sure to be a hit with everyone on your camping trip!
- Kitchen Sink Cookies – These copycat Panera cookies are loaded with sweet yumminess!
- Fudge Brownie Bites – Mini brownie bites for a quick and easy dessert for road trips or camping.
- Ritz Churro Bites – These candied churro bites are like having mini fried donuts!
- Chocolate Scotcheroo Bars – There are actually two different versions of these chocolatey bars in this recipe so you might like to try both!
- Oatmeal & Apple Cookies – A healthier cookie recipe that still gets your sweet craving met.
- Pumpkin Muffins With Pepitas – Nothing like the delicious crunch of these muffins with pepitas on top. Yum!
- Salted Caramel Rice Krispie Treats – If you love Rice Krispie treats, these salted caramel ones might be your new favourite.
- Chocolate Dipped Pistachio Biscotti – These dark chocolate-dipped biscotti are perfect served with a hot drink around the campfire!
- Double Chocolate Espresso Cookies – These espresso cookies are perfect for coffee lovers.
- Biscoff Blondies – These chewy biscotti blondies are topped with sweet cookie butter drizzle.
- Pear Cookies – Delicious and chewy pear cookies with chocolate chips.
- Zucchini Chocolate Chip Cookies – Got extra zucchini to use up before your camping trip? Turn it into some delicious prep ahead choc chip cookies!
- 3-Ingredient Peanut Butter Oatmeal Balls – These healthy energy balls with chocolate chips are great for a sweet energy boost after a hike or a big day of outdoor adventures.
- Lemon Blueberry Scones – Scones are always delicious on their own or bring your favourite condiments and a can of whipped cream to add some extra sweetness.
- Easy Coconut Ice Slice – This condensed milk coconut ice slice is easy to make and delicious for dessert.
- Biscoff Brownies – These fudgy biscoff brownies are packed with biscoff and chocolate and are totally indulgent.
- Chocolate Chip Sugar Cookies – These simple cookies are easy to bake and take.
- Orange Muffins – Citrus flavours that you can make ahead of time to enjoy when you need something sweet.
Make-Ahead Camping Desserts That Need To Be Chilled
These make-ahead camping desserts do require refrigeration so make sure you have room in your cooler to fit them and that you pack everything properly so you don’t risk contamination with other foods i.e. meat that is also in your cooler:
- Peanut Butter Protein Brownies – Protein-loaded brownie bites that are perfect for your next camping trip.
- Raw Energy Bars – Even if you’re trying to reduce your sugar, you can still enjoy these healthy treats while camping.
- Mini Apple Turnovers – These puff pastry apple turnovers are even better with some vanilla ice cream brought from home!
- Chocolate-Covered Pecans – You can’t get much easier than chocolate-coated nuts. You could try this with other favourite nuts too.
- Baked Strawberry Donuts – These cake mix doughnuts can also be made with powdered sugar on top instead of icing if you want to make them more camping friendly.
- Mason Jar Cakes – Turn your cake into mini individual cake servings in jars.
- White Chocolate Biscoff Rocky Road – Turn your love of rocky road into the best ever camp dessert!
- Carrot Cake Cookies – Your love of carrot cake in cookie form with a cream cheese frosting in the centre.
Tips for Successful Make-Ahead Desserts
When it comes to camping, make-ahead dessert recipes are a lifesaver. They allow you to enjoy a sweet treat without the hassle of preparing it on-site. Especially when you’ve already just spent an hour cooking an amazing camp dinner.
Here are a few tips to ensure your desserts go to plan:
- Choose the right dessert: Not all desserts are suitable for make-ahead preparation. Choose desserts that can be stored easily and don’t require heating.
- Consider the temperature: Make sure you store your desserts at the correct temperature. Some desserts require refrigeration, while others like brownies and cookies can be stored at room temperature.
- Label and organise: Unless you’re using clear containers, label everything so you don’t have to open every container to find what you’re looking for.
- Freeze for longer storage: If you’re bringing desserts that can melt, like chocolate-coated anything, freeze them before you leave and it will keep them a little longer, even if you don’t have room in the cooler. Tonight’s dessert might be defrosting while you set up the tent.
Making your camping desserts ahead of time can save you from having to spend as much time cooking and prepping food. Instead, you can sit back by the campfire with your favourite adult beverage and a treat in hand, relaxing with your friends and family!
What is your favourite camp dessert?