10 best cakes and bakes for a picnic

From pastries and traybakes to cakes and sausage rolls, our selection of treats will taste even better eaten alfresco on a sunny day.

Three-cheese scones with herb butter
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Three-cheese scones with herb butter

Savoury picnic snacks don't come much better than this - a tasty twist on traditional scones that makes the most of three delicious cheeses. Rustle up a batch to add to you picnic hamper and serve with some homemade herb butter.

Preheat the oven to gas 7, 220°C, fan 200°C. Sift the flour into a large bowl with a pinch of salt. Add the butter and rub it into the flour, using your fingertips, until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.

Stir in the cheeses and thyme, then add the milk, a little at a time, until the mixture comes together into a soft, but not sticky, dough.

Knead briefy, then pat down the dough with your hands to about 2·5cm (1in) thick. Using a 6cm (2 1/2in) pastry cutter, stamp out 6 rounds, re-rolling the trimmings as needed. Transfer the rounds to a baking tray and brush the tops with milk. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until risen and golden.

Remove the scones from the oven and leave to cool a little, before wrapping in kitchen foil to transport to your picnic.

Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, beat the butter with the garlic and herbs; season well. Spoon into a portable, lidded container to take with you. To serve, halve the scones and spread with a little herb butter.

Freezing and defrosting guidelines

Freeze the scones only - bake according to the recipe and allow to cool completely. Wrap well in clingfilm and tin foil (to prevent freezer burn) and freeze for up to 3 months. 

Loosen the tin foil and clingfilm but leave to defrost in packaging at room temperature for several hours before serving. If you wish to serve the baked goods warm, place them on a baking sheet for 10 minutes in a moderate oven.

See more Picnic recipes

As part of a healthy balanced diet, we recommend this recipe for a special occasion or treat.

View full recipe details
  • Ingredients
  • 250g (8oz) self-raising flour
  • 80g (3 1/4oz) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into cubes
  • 40g (1 1/2oz) vegetarian hard cheese or Parmesan, grated
  • 1 x 100g pack French chèvre, cut into small pieces
  • 40g (1 1/2oz) manchego, grated
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 125-150ml (4-5fl oz) whole milk, plus extra for brushing
  • 125g (4oz) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh chives
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