By the time summer arrives, we're all champing at the bit to spend as much time outside as possible – and who doesn't love eating al fresco? Of course, while sandwiches have long been hailed as the go-to transportable lunch item, dessert is a little trickier.
Obviously there's nothing wrong with popping a pack of biscuits in your bag, but if it's a special occasion and you want to impress, we think we've found the perfect solution. Jar desserts.
Built into and eaten out of glasses or jars, these puds are spot-on as on-the-go afters – just pop them into a chiller when you head out. And obviously, don't forget the spoons!
banoffee pie jars
Sweet but pleasingly guilt-free, these creamy banoffee pie jars combine toffee yogurt with light mascarpone, greek yogurt and sliced banana – toasted oats make the perfect, crunchy topping. For a more indulgent twist, try grating a little chocolate on top, or drizzling over a little caramel sauce.
This super easy strawberry shortbread dessert is simply an assembly job. Break shortbread biscuits into small pieces and put enough in the jar to cover the base. Add a layer of mascarpone mixed with a spoonful of icing sugar and a few drops of vanilla extract. Cover with a layer of Extra Special Strawberry Conserve then top with fresh strawberries and a sprig of fresh mint.
CHOCOLATE AND ORANGE ZINGER
The only cooking involved in this chocolate and orange zinger dessert is melting a bit of dark chocolate. Cover the base of the jar with small pieces of biscuit. Add a layer of mascarpone mixed with a little melted dark chocolate and a dash of single cream. Top with tinned mandarin segments and a sprinkling of grated dark chocolate.
peach and lemon trifle
Pack these Italian-inspired desserts on your next picnic – flavoured with grape juice and limoncello, sponge fingers are topped with a mixture of cream and mascarpone, and then a dollop of passionfruit pulp. Post lunch perfection!
Frozen and fresh blueberries go into this speedy crumble recipe. Topped with a buttery crumble and hazelnut topping, this is the perfect summer pud. We've topped ours with yogurt as we think it tastes nicer cold than custard. You could use the same recipe and make with a fruit of your choice - try raspberry or strawberry as an alternative.
white chocolate mousse with passionfruit and macadamia brittle
These individual pots of chocolate mousse taste as good as they look – which is to say, very good indeed! Sweet white chocolate combined with zingy passionfruit makes a mouthwatering combination, and crunch is provided via a simple macadamia nut brittle.
Rocky road trifle
This is classic rocky road as you've never seen it. Marshmallows, dried fruit and biscuits are layered up with sweet mascarpone and cocoa to make a self-contained, chocolatey summer trifle. Perfect for picnics or lunch in the park, just remember to pack your spoon - if it makes it that far!
chocolate caramel mousse
For some of us, it just doesn't get any better than a good hit of melted chocolate. If that's you, try this indulgent mousse, which mixes both dark and milk chocolate with coffee and caramel. Topped with crunchy chopped hazelnuts, this one's sure to be a hit with everyone.