From succulent ribs to zesty grilled vegetables, barbecue meals are savored for their smoky flavor and finger-licking goodness. But what about the grand finale? The dessert course at a barbecue is often overlooked but holds potential for amazing flavor experiences. In this article, we’ll explore a range of innovative, tantalizing BBQ dessert ideas that will put a sweet ending to your smoky feasts.
25 BBQ Dessert Ideas You Should Try:
Grilled Fruits – A Simple Delight
One of the easiest ways to create a memorable BBQ dessert is by grilling fruits. Grilling enhances the natural sweetness of fruits, resulting in a caramelized exterior and a warm, juicy interior. Pineapple rings, peach halves, and banana boats can all be placed directly on the grill. Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a drizzle of honey for a simple yet delicious dessert.
S’mores – An All-Time Classic
No discussion of BBQ desserts would be complete without the classic s’mores. The traditional combination of melted marshmallow, chocolate, and graham crackers is a nostalgic treat that’s universally loved. For a gourmet twist, experiment with flavored marshmallows, artisanal chocolate, or homemade graham crackers.
Grilled Pound Cake
Grilled pound cake is another crowd-pleaser that adds a touch of sophistication to your BBQ dessert lineup. The grill turns the cake into a warm, toasty treat with attractive grill marks. Top it off with fresh berries and whipped cream, and you’ve got a dessert that’s sure to impress.
BBQ Baked Apples
For a dessert that’s a little more involved but worth the extra effort, try BBQ baked apples. Core apples and stuff them with a mixture of brown sugar, butter, and cinnamon. Wrap them in foil and let them cook on the grill until they’re soft and juicy. The result is a delicious, warm apple dessert that’s perfect with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of ice cream.
Grilled Chocolate Pizza
If you’re up for a dessert that’s a bit unconventional, grilled chocolate pizza might be just the thing. Make a thin pizza dough, spread it with a mixture of cocoa and sugar, and grill until it’s crispy and slightly charred. You can top it with anything you like – mini marshmallows, sliced strawberries, chopped nuts, or even a drizzle of caramel sauce.
Grilled Berry Cobbler
A twist on a classic dessert, the grilled berry cobbler is perfect for a warm summer evening. Start with your favorite mix of berries, some sugar, and a bit of cornstarch. Create a biscuit topping with flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and butter. Grill the berry mixture in a cast-iron skillet until bubbling, then add dollops of the biscuit dough on top. Cover the grill and cook until the biscuits are golden brown.
This dessert idea may sound unusual, but it’s surprisingly delicious. Just take store-bought plain or sugar-glazed donuts, cut them in half, and grill for a minute or two. The heat caramelizes the sugar, giving the donuts a crispy exterior while the inside remains soft and fluffy. Serve with a dusting of powdered sugar or a scoop of ice cream for a delightful contrast.
Grilled Watermelon with Honey and Lime
Grilling can transform the humble watermelon into a gourmet dessert. The heat caramelizes the sugars in the watermelon, enhancing its sweetness. After grilling the slices, drizzle them with a mixture of honey and lime juice for a refreshing and light BBQ dessert. A sprinkle of fresh mint leaves can add an extra layer of freshness.
Grilled Nutella and Marshmallow Sandwiches
For those who want to indulge their sweet tooth, grilled Nutella and marshmallow sandwiches are a decadent treat. Simply spread Nutella on one side of a piece of bread, add marshmallows, top with another slice, and grill until the bread is toasted and the marshmallows are melted. The result is a gooey, chocolatey dessert that’s sure to be a hit with kids and adults alike.
Grilled Cheese Danish
Grill puff pastry until it puffs up and turns golden brown. While it’s still warm, spread a mixture of cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla on top, then finish with your choice of fresh fruit, like berries or sliced peaches.
Grilled Coconut and Pineapple Sundae
A tropical treat that’s delightful to the taste buds, grilled coconut and pineapple sundae is both delicious and easy to make. Grill pineapple slices until they have lovely char marks, then layer them in a glass with scoops of coconut ice cream. Drizzle with a bit of rum or coconut liqueur and top with toasted shredded coconut for an island-inspired dessert.
These are a fun twist on the traditional s’mores and much less messy. Fill a waffle cone with your favorite combination of marshmallows, chocolate chips, and perhaps a few berries or sliced bananas. Wrap the entire cone in aluminum foil and place it on the grill until everything inside is nicely melted. Kids especially love this customizable and easy-to-eat dessert.
BBQ Banana Split
A BBQ banana split is an easy and quick dessert that can be made directly on the grill. Slice a banana lengthwise, leaving the skin on, and lightly sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Place it on the grill cut-side down for a few minutes until caramelized. Once it’s done, serve in the peel with scoops of ice cream, whipped cream, and a cherry on top, just like a classic banana split.
Grilled Angel Food Cake with Berries
Angel food cake grills up beautifully, taking on a slightly crispy texture on the outside while staying soft and light inside. Once grilled, serve slices of the cake with a compote made from your favorite berries simmered with a bit of sugar. Add a dollop of whipped cream or Greek yogurt on top for an added touch.
Sweet Grilled Quesadillas
Quesadillas aren’t just for savory fillings. Try filling them with a spread of cream cheese, a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar, and a few slices of your favorite fruit (apples, peaches, and strawberries all work well). Grill until the outside is toasted and the inside is warm and melty. Cut into wedges and serve as an easy handheld dessert.
Grilled Fruit Kebabs
Skewer a variety of fruits such as pineapple chunks, peaches, plums, and bananas. Brush them with a mixture of melted butter and honey, and grill until they’re beautifully charred. Sprinkle with some cinnamon or nutmeg before serving.
Grilled S’mores Dip
In a cast-iron skillet, layer chocolate chips and top with marshmallows. Grill until the chocolate is melted and the marshmallows are golden and toasty. Serve with graham crackers for dipping.
Grilled Mango with Lime Zest
Grill mango slices until they’re warm and slightly charred. Sprinkle with fresh lime zest and a drizzle of honey for a tangy-sweet dessert.
BBQ Peach and Raspberry Crumble
Put sliced peaches and fresh raspberries in a foil pan and sprinkle with sugar and a bit of flour. Top with a simple crumble made from butter, sugar, and oats, and grill until the fruit is bubbly and the topping is golden.
Grilled Brown Sugar Pineapple Rings
Marinate pineapple rings in a mixture of brown sugar and rum, then grill until caramelized. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of toasted coconut.
Chocolate-Filled Grilled Bananas
Make a slit in unpeeled bananas and stuff with chocolate chips. Wrap in foil and grill until the bananas are soft and the chocolate is melted.
Grilled Pears with Blue Cheese and Honey
Halve pears and remove the core. Place them cut-side down on the grill until they have nice char marks. Flip them over and fill the hollow with blue cheese, then grill a bit longer until the cheese is melty. Drizzle with honey before serving.
Grilled Apple Pie Packets
Fill foil packets with sliced apples, sugar, cinnamon, and a few pats of butter. Grill until the apples are tender. Serve the apple filling on its own or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Grilled Cheese
Sandwich cookie dough between two slices of buttery brioche bread. Grill until the bread is toasted and the cookie dough is melty. This is a dessert that’s sure to surprise and delight your guests!
Grilled Berry and Yogurt Parfaits
Grill mixed berries in a foil packet until they’re warm and juicy. Layer the grilled berries in glasses with Greek yogurt and granola for a dessert that’s both sweet and healthy.
Don’t let the flames die out after the main course – the grill can create scrumptious desserts that are perfect for a summer evening. Whether you prefer simple grilled fruits, classic s’mores, or adventurous grilled chocolate pizza, there’s a BBQ dessert for every sweet tooth.
The next time you’re planning a barbecue, don’t forget the dessert – it could just be the highlight of the meal!
With these BBQ dessert ideas, your grill can provide sweet satisfaction from the beginning of your meal right through to the end. So fire up the BBQ and let the dessert grilling begin!