There’s nothing like enjoying a delicious dessert cooked over a campfire. The only problem is that between work, worldwide pandemics, and the daily grind our days spent in the outdoors are likely few and far between.
Fortunately, you can have the taste of the outdoors without the need to venture outside with these campfire desserts. Make them in your backyard or on your summertime camping trip, there’s no wrong time for a campfire dessert!
1. Death by Chocolate
This dessert is perfect for a 12-inch Dutch oven over coals, but can also be made in a Dutch oven in a traditional oven. If you don’t have a cast-iron beauty, go buy one. A 9×13 inch pan will work in a pinch, but a Dutch oven is so versatile, why wouldn’t you want one in your cooking arsenal?
Directions: Line your Dutch oven with aluminum foil, use a Dutch oven liner, or grease your 9×13 inch pan. Combine ½ cup vegetable oil, 1½ cups water, ½ cup cocoa powder, 1 cup brown sugar, and 1 (10½ ounce) bag mini marshmallows and place the mixture in the bottom of your pan. Next, prepare a chocolate cake mix according to package directions and pour over top of the cocoa mixture. Sprinkle with 1 cup of chocolate chips. If you are working with a Dutch oven, cover and bake in a 350-degree oven for 1 hour. If you are working with a 9×13 inch pan, leave uncovered and bake for 40-50 minutes. Serve with whipped cream, ice cream, or a cup of steaming hot coffee.
2. Fruit Cobbler
There is nothing more diverse than a fruit cobbler. Choose any fruit, choose any cake mix, add a little soda and you’re in business. Consult the handy chart for a few possibilities.
|Spiced Cake||Peaches||Club Soda|
|Vanilla Cake||Triple Berry Blend||Lemon-Lime Soda|
|Lemon Cake||Strawberries||Lemon-Lime Soda|
|Vanilla Cake||Tropical Fruit Blend||Club Soda|
Directions: Spray a 9×13 inch pan with cooking spray or use a Dutch oven liner in your Dutch oven. Place a layer of frozen fruit at the bottom of the pan. In a separate bowl, combine cake mix with 1 12-ounce can of soda. Pour mixture over the fruit. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 1 hour (if you’re using a Dutch oven) or 35-40 minutes (if you are using a 9×13 pan). Serve warm.
3. Orange-Scented Cake
This two-for-one campfire dessert lets you have a little something healthy before you enjoy a little something sweet.
Directions: Cut the top off 8-10 oranges, just past the pith, and scoop out the insides. Eat them or set them aside for another meal. Your orange rinds will now form cups with a lid. Mix up your favorite muffin or cake mix (blueberry muffin mix is a favorite). Fill oranges 2/3 full with the mixture. Top with the orange top and wrap securely in foil. Bake the oranges at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Remove, unwrap, and enjoy!
Note: These are also perfect for breakfast. Just fill with your favorite pancake batter and bake.
4. S’More Bars
If you have ever watched the movie The Sandlot, you know a s’more should be prepared with reverence, over an open flame. Fortunately, even if you are sans campfire you can enjoy the flavor of a s’more, minus the inherent danger of flaming marshmallows. If you’re missing your favorite cruise ship s’mores, try this recipe out!
Directions: In a bowl, combine 1/2 cup sugar, 1/4 cup melted butter, 1 large egg, 1 teaspoon vanilla. Add 1 cup graham cracker crumbs, 1/2 cup flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Press the mixture into a greased 9×13 inch pan and bake at 375 degrees for 8 minutes. Remove the partially baked crust and top with 2 cups miniature marshmallows, 2 cups milk chocolate chips, and 1/4 cup of graham cracker crumbs. Return the pan to the oven for an additional 7-8 minutes or until the marshmallows begin to brown. Cool the bars before cutting.
5. Banana Splits
You haven’t lived until you have taken a slightly green banana, topped it with tons of sugary goodness, wrapped it in foil, and baked it in the coals of a campfire. Nor have you lived until you have watched a group of adults act like kids as they topped their banana with things like marshmallows, brown sugar, M&M’s, or chunks of pound cake. Fortunately, you can get the same effect in a fraction of the time using a nonstick skillet. Plus, when you make this indoors, you can enjoy it with ice cream.
Directions: Melt 2 Tablespoons butter in the bottom of your skillet. Add 2 Tablespoons brown sugar, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, and sliced banana to the pan and gently stir to combine. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until the bananas begin to caramelize around the edges. Add delicious things to your banana mixture. Pecans, peanuts, coconut, chopped bacon, chunks of pound cake, or granola are favorites. Serve warm over vanilla ice cream with additional toppings.
Campfire desserts may be great while enjoying nature with your family, but they are by no means limited to the great outdoors. With a few tweaks, you can enjoy a sweet treat anytime, anywhere. Try one of them today!
Jennifer Hunsaker may have grown up in sunny South Florida, but she has spent most of her adult life in Northern Utah. While she misses the ocean, her ability to drive in the snow, eat french fries with fry sauce, and trail run in the mountains qualifies her as a Utahn by adoption.