Trailside Tiramisu | Backpacking Dessert Recipe (2024)

By Aaron Owens Mayhew, MS, RDN, CD

Updated January 6, 2024
This post may contain affiliate links.

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What’s the best way to make friends with other backpackers? Share your dessert with them, of course! Backcountry Foodie’s backpacking tiramisu dessert recipe makes 3 extra servings. But you could also eat it all yourself. We won’t judge. You might want also to check out our Mixed Berry Crumble, Brownie Batter Hummus, and White Chocolate Coconut Pudding recipes. They’re just as delicious!

If you’ve ever made tiramisu at home, you know it’s a multi-step process. That’s not so with this backpacking dessert recipe. All you need is a mixing bowl. Combine all the ingredients at home, package them for the trail, and then add water and shake when it’s time to indulge. Easy peasy!

Are you looking for a more sustainable backpacking meal pouch option?

Consider checking out our biodegradable food pouches like the one in the photo above. They’re great for freezer bag-style backpacking meals!

Trailside Tiramisu | Backpacking Dessert Recipe (5)

Backcountry Foodie Recipe

This is a delicious treat for coffee and dessert lovers! The recipe even makes extra servings that can be shared with friends.

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NUTRITION (per serving)

Home Prep Time 5 minutes mins

Field Prep Time 5 minutes mins

WT/SERVING 2.5 oz (70 g)

MEAL PREPCold Soak, Dehydrator Not Required

Diet TYPESGluten-Free, Nut-Free, Vegetarian

Servings4 servings



INSTRUCTIONS (per serving)


  • Put all ingredients, except the vanilla wafers, in a mixing bowl. See meal prep tip below.

  • Stir to mix well making sure the cocoa and coffee are evenly distributed throughout the mixture.

  • Divide the pudding mixture into four equal servings, approximately ⅓ cup each.

  • Store the mixture in bags or containers to be used in the backcountry.

  • Pack 10 vanilla wafers (15 g), per serving of pudding, in a separate bag or container to be consumed when the pudding is prepared.


  • Add 3 oz (90 mL) cold water to the pudding mixture.

  • Stir to mix well and shake vigorously for 2 minutes.

  • Let stand for approximately 3 minutes or until the desired consistency is achieved.

  • After thickening, add the vanilla wafers to the pudding mixture.

  • Eat by the spoonful and enjoy!



  • The volume of instant coffee needed to reach the desired flavor will vary based on the brand of coffee used.


  • Total sugar (per serving): 36 g
  • The added sugar content cannot be quantified due to instant pudding and vanilla wafer product labels not having added sugar listed.
  • To reduce added sugar content, replace instant pudding with sugar-free instant pudding.
  • To reduce calories by 100, replace whole milk powder with non-fat milk powder.

Did you make this recipe? We’d love to see it!Share photos from your kitchen or the backcountry below.

Ready to see more ultralight backpacking recipes like this one?

Backcountry Foodie is your go-to resource for over 200 backpacking dietitian-created recipes and a one-of-a-kind automated meal planning tool. The meal planner even creates itemized shopping lists for you! Meal prep has never been easier.

Don’t have time to prep your own meals or run to the outdoor store?

Trailside Tiramisu | Backpacking Dessert Recipe (9)

Not to worry.Our Build-a-Box Shophas everything you could possibly need to fuel your adventures!

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Aaron Owens Mayhew, MS, RDN, CD,is a registered dietitian and ultralight long-distance backpacker with over 20 years of nutrition and backpacking experience. She’s also the founder and owner ofBackcountry Foodie, an online ultralight recipes and meal planning platform for backpackers. She also enjoys teaching hikers about backpacking nutrition viavirtual masterclasses,YouTube videos, andpodcast episodes.You can follow Aaron’s adventures in the kitchen and the backcountry viaInstagramandFacebook.


  • Is the amount of milk powder really correct at 1 cup? There are 12 oz. of water in the recipe, and my whole milk powder tells me to use 3/8 cup of powder with that amount in order to make the equivalent of whole milk.

    • Great questions! Yes, the measurement is correct at 1 cup of milk powder split over four (1/4 cup milk each) servings with 3 oz water added per serving (12 oz total). Disregard the milk preparation instructions on the container. The amount of water needed to rehydrate recipes is dependent upon the ingredients used and rarely matches the instructions. For example, I always use less water than what is recommended when making smoothies to create the smoothie consistency. Thanks for asking. 🙂

  • What do you mix and shake it in? Thx

    • I add water to the zipper-top baggie it’s stored in, shake it, and eat from it.

  • Trailside Tiramisu | Backpacking Dessert Recipe (12)
    Wow. This is delicious! Can’t wait to take it on trail. Thanks for the great recipe!


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Trailside Tiramisu | Backpacking Dessert Recipe (2024)
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