Raspberry Chocolate Camp Cake
in a Dutch Oven, by Fire!

Raspberry Chocolate Camp Cake - using a dutch oven

I found this gluten-free chocolate cherry cake recipe and used it to make a raspberry chocolate cake in a dutch oven by campfire. Below are the basic steps re-written the way I did them. This was a good one to prep and fire up before dinner, and let sit and finish cooking while you eat the main meal.

Raspberry chocolate cake batter: before and after.
Raspberry chocolate cake batter: before and after.

Ingredients

1 pint fresh raspberries (or other berry fruit of your choice), washed
1 box chocolate cake mix (OR mix your own from the recipe quote below, remember to scale up!)
chocolate chips (I used about 1/2 c dark chocolate chips)
eggs
cooking oil (any high-heat cooking oil like canola oil)
coconut oil (for greasing)
1/2 cup leftover hawaiian pancake mix (or flour, or bisquick, or whatever is gluten-free), to flour dutch oven

Equipment

Cast iron dutch oven

A mixing bowl

Spatula and/or whisk

Fire-resistant oven mitts or at least a big sturdy fire-poking stick

Packed, prepped & dusted for cake.
Packed, prepped & dusted for cake.

Steps

  1. Buy pre-made cake mix (ha!), or make some from scratch per footnote (scale up to the size of your container).
  2. Measure out dry and wet ingredients and pack into car for camping.

to start the cake:

  1. Start a camp fire a-burnin’.
  2. Apply coconut oil all over the inside of the dutch oven.
  3. Powder the inside with pancake mix/bisquick.
  4. Mix wet ingredients EXCEPT berries for cake.
  5. In mixing bowl, mix dry ingredients for cake, EXCEPT chocolate chunks. Add to wet ingredients.
  6. Pour the batter into the dutch oven, add in chocolate chips and berries, being careful to try and avoid having them touch the side of the pan. Any bits that get on the side may cause the cake to stick in those parts.

to fire up the cake:

  1. Shift plenty of coals to the side of your main campfire.
  2. Set dutch oven on top of the coals.
  3. Cover top of the pan with more hot coals, cook for about 22 minutes. Rotate pot halfway through, and pile on a 2nd round of coals. When you’re checking for done-ness (you could poke with a metal skewer and see if it comes out clean), be careful removing the lid to avoid getting ash in your cake, then let it cool for a bit before serving.
  4. Remove oven from coals carefully and let cool to eating temp, then leave covered while you eat dinner.**
  5. Get ready for cake for breakfast, in case you accidentally cooked a giant portion.
Mid-process check: orange?! At this point I wasn't sure we were on the right path..
Mid-process check: orange?! At this point when I pulled off the coals I wasn’t sure we were on the right path..

 

**As Scarlett says from the recipe link above, “It’s ready to eat when it has cooled enough that the cake has pulled away from the pan a little.”
Scarlett gave another good tip: If you plan to take your dutch oven camping so you can bake with it, get one with a flat lid. This way your coals will stay on the lid when baking.

This Week’s Trial Recipe Rating

Novelty Rating: 5 of 5
It’s turned out different every time I’ve tried it, how novel!
Likelihood of Repeat: 60%
Lesson Learned: This is still a lot of cake for two people, gotta invite your neighbors over, or invite more friends on the next trip!

A cast iron dutch oven for car camping cooking needs.

*Equipment Note

This is the dutch oven I bought from Amazon and have been using since August 2013 for campfire cooking when car camping. It works great, has a big capacity, and we keep it separate from regular kitchen materials so it can stay its natural sooty (well-seasoned) self.

More Camping Recipes!

 

Dutch oven raspberry chocolate cake cooked in a campfire by Food the Wong Way
Not the prettiest cake, but still delicious, with a tasty side of The Great Outdoors. (Photo: Yiling Wong, October 6, 2018)

March 2018 update: For a sample of scratch proportions and more ingredients, I use an old AllRecipes post for Cake in a Mug by user xphilly81. It has since disappeared from AllRecipes’ site but in trying to give credit where credit due, see quoted text below. I’ve been using this for special occasion road trip celebrations for years. IMPORTANT NOTE: scale the portions UP from mug volume to the volume of your dutch oven. Thanks to Kris for asking if there were mug-sized dutch ovens. Lol.

5 MINUTE CHOCOLATE MUG CAKE

adjusted from xphilly81 of AllRecipes (double-asterisks denote adjustments)
4 tablespoons flour
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa
2/3 of an egg**
3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons oil
3 tablespoons chocolate chips (optional)
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
cinnamon (optional)**
1 large coffee mug
powdered sugar (optional –add after baking)**

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