Dessert on BBQ

bbq dessert - cherry short cake cooked on bbq grill

I don’t know if I’ve been this excited for a recipe (or any post) in a long time? Ever? That might be pushing it too far. But this bbq dessert recipe idea (yes, a cake that you cook on the bbq) is just so delicious and so necessary in the summer!

Usually when I think up recipe ideas, it’s flavor combinations and different ways to serve ingredients and dishes I love. Rarely is it the cooking technique that has my creative wheels spinning. In fact, since this grilled cantaloupe recipe (6 years ago!), I’m not sure I’ve even thought of different ways of cooking/baking besides the crockpot!

So, in a nutshell, you can enjoy cake this summer without ever having to turn on your oven!

Cherries on Skewers on the Grill

BBQ Dessert

Oftentimes when you think of dessert of the bbq or grill, it’s something grilled directly on the grill. Grilled fruit is mighty delicious, especially served alongside some ice cream or homemade whipped cream (occasionally an alcohol infused whipped cream)!

Obviously s’mores over the grill are popular and I’ve seen recipes for grilling already baked cake on the grill for some tasty flavor!

But this is something altogether different. This is cake baked from scratch all on your grill while you enjoy your lunch or dinner nearby! BBQed dessert!

Cake in Bread pan on Pizza Stone

Can You BBQ a Cake?

Obviously the answer is yes, but here’s how. Your grill can reach temps around 500 degrees – just like your oven. The trick is that when you close the lid, you create a heated space just like closing your oven door.

Now there are some important caveats to note. First, the grill itself is hotter than the air, so for something to bake fairly evenly (like you need for a cake), you’ll need to either use a pizza stone (shown here) or you need to place the cake pan (a bread pan in this case) over indirect heat (i.e. no flames beneath).

And, you’ll need to watch it much more than in an oven (just like when you’re cooking meat). If you have any experience with grilling, you know that you have to keep a closer eye on things to get them cooked but not torched in flames!

If you’re looking for traditional pound cake, try this mile high pound cake!

bbq dessert - cake cooked on bbq grill

What Fruit Can you Grill for Dessert?

If you’ve never grilled fruit, it’s actually quite fun. The heat releases the natural sugars of fruits. It’s like umami for fruit!

Since cherries are wonderfully bountiful right now, cherries were what we grilled for this bbq dessert situation. When stone fruits come into season more readily, we’ll probably switch to those.

Grilled peaches, nectarines, and apricots are both quite delicious! And hopefully we’ll be able to find all of those on our annual trek on the Fresno Fruit Trail in the next few weeks.

Some fruits are big enough that you can place them right of the grill. Smaller fruits, like cherries, should be on skewers before placing them on the grill so they don’t fall through the grate.

It’s also important to note that different fruits will require different cooking times. Bigger fruits and less ripe fruits will take longer. Again just keep an eye on things.

bbq dessert - cherry short cake cooked on bbq grill

Summer Fruit Desserts

Looking for more dessert recipes to enjoy this summer? You’ll love this apricot tart, mini raspberry shortcakes, strawberry ice cream sundaes, easy cherry sorbet (with just one ingredient), and plum compote over ice cream or yogurt!

If you love cherries, try this cherry galette – made with frozen cherries.

Print Recipe
5 from 10 votes


Want cake but don't want to turn on the oven? Basically everyone's summer quandary, right? Try this BBQ dessert idea for grilled pound cake with whipped cream and grilled fruit. Swap out the cherries for whatever grilled fruit you like and enjoy baked morsels all summer long!
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time50 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American, New American
Keyword: baking, bbq, dessert, fruit, summer
Servings: 6
Calories: 482kcal
Author: Luci Petlack


  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ½ cup 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract
  • ½ cup unsweetened plain or vanilla almond milk
  • 16 ounces of cherries pitted
  • Whipped cream and cinnamon for serving


  • Heat the grill to 350 degrees F. Place a pizza stone on the grill. Grease an 8 ½-by-4 ½- inch loaf pan well with butter.
  • Stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.
  • Add the butter and sugar to a large bowl. Stir well until combined. It will be slightly crumbly. Stir in the eggs until smooth and fully incorporated into the mix. Stir in the almond extract.
  • Alternating with a little of each at a time, add some of the dry ingredients, and then some almond milk. Stir gently to incorporate after each addition until everything has been added to the batter.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Place on the pizza stone on the grill. Grill for about 45 – 50 minutes, until it just becomes firm in the center and a toothpick inserted comes out clean. It’s important not to over bake it and grill temps can fluctuate throughout cooking so begin checking at about 35 minutes.
  • Slide the cherries on skewers while the cake is grilling. Just before the cake is finished, put the cherries on the grill. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes, until softened, turning once during cooking.
  • Cool for 15 to 20 minutes and remove from the pan. Cube or slice and divide into 6 servings.
  • Slide the cherries off of the skewers and divide them equally among the serving plates with cake. Top with whipped cream and cinnamon before serving.


It can be difficult to keep the grill at a consistent temp so be very careful that the temperature doesn’t rise too high while the cake bakes. If no pizza stone, turn off one burner and place the cake on indirect heat (over the off burner and not the flame. Definitely do a practice run on this before making it to present at a cookout, etc. (well, as if we are having get togethers right now, anyway). The bottom and edges might overbrown. If that happens, it can be saved by cubing the cake to serve versus slicing it.
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Calories: 482kcal | Carbohydrates: 78g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 95mg | Sodium: 316mg | Potassium: 227mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 51g | Vitamin A: 601IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 92mg | Iron: 2mg

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  1. 5 stars
    You got me at grilled cake. Never have I ever, but this sounds like so much fun. I will definitely try it and report back.

  2. 5 stars
    Now this is something I am definitely going to have to try! I love cooking things on the BBQ!

  3. 5 stars
    This pound cake looks amazing! It never would have occurred to me to grill cherries, but now I’ve got to try it!

5 from 10 votes (4 ratings without comment)

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