10 Desserts to Make on Your Next Camping Trip

Published on 04/13/2023 · 10 min readJust because you're camping doesn't mean you can't make a tasty post-dinner treat! Check out these ten dessert recipes for your next camping trip!
Hunter Reed, Camping Expert
By Camping Expert Hunter Reed

Photo by Mike Erskine

You’ve made it to the end of your day! You cooked a delicious dinner on the campfire, and now you want a little treat. But what kind of desserts are easy to make while camping? You might be surprised that there are a lot of good desserts that are relatively easy to make while camping!

Check out these ten ideas.

1. Churro Quesadilla

Starting with one of my favorites both in terms of simplicity and because I love churros, is the churro quesadilla. It’s just like a regular quesadilla, but instead of quesadilla cheese you can use cream cheese, chocolate, or really any other sweet filling that comes to mind (though I’ve never used it, I’m sure jam or jelly would be good too!). You’ll put the filling in, fry each side of the quesadilla in a pan (a cast iron pan will work or a regular pan) with butter, and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar! Make sure to use enough butter so the cinnamon sugar sticks. Extra points for bringing some kind of dipping sauce like caramel syrup or chocolate syrup! This one can be done over the fire, using the coals as a stove, over a grill, or over your camp stove.

2. Campfire Cinnamon Rolls

Photo by Timothy Vollmer

If you’re looking for a breakfast dessert, look no further. Campfire cinnamon rolls are delicious at any time of day! I’ll pack a roll of store-bought cinnamon rolls in my cooler, a roll of aluminum foil, and my cast iron with the following instructions. It’s helpful to have a shovel for this, but if you don’t have one, usually a piece of firewood can work just as well.

  1. Put the cinnamon rolls in the cast iron.
  2. With the cinnamon rolls inside, wrap the whole cast iron in 2-3 layers of tin foil, making sure there is no area where ash could get in or heat could get out.
  3. Ensure you are using a campfire that has a good base of hot coals and ash. You’ll be able to tell because the base of your fire will be glowing red and gray.
  4. When you are ready to cook, move the logs that are burning off to the side for a moment (but keep them burning; you’ll need them later!) so you just have the coals.
  5. Dig a hole in the coals with your shovel or a piece of unused firewood. If your fire is pretty fresh, 2-3in will do. If it’s been raging for a while, go a few inches deeper.
  6. Place your aluminum covered cast iron in the hole and cover with some ash and coals.
  7. Replace the burning logs over the coals, ensuring that no direct fire is touching the aluminum foil.
  8. Cooking time varies on both what is being cooked and how hot the fire is but usually for cinnamon rolls, it takes about 15-20 minutes to cook them completely. Halfway through, usually around ten minutes, rotate the cast iron, grabbing the handle with an oven mitt or some tool such as fireplace tongs so as to not burn yourself, to ensure even cooking. As a general rule, you can tell when it’s time to rotate something by when you first start to smell it,
  9. Remove and let cool!

After the cinnamon rolls have cooled, drizzle icing on and you’re good to go!

3. Brownies

Photo by The MacKay Way

It’s exactly the same way you did the cinnamon rolls, but instead you pack some brownie mix instead of store-bought cinnamon rolls. I personally haven't had as much luck with brownies compared to cinnamon rolls as I find they are a bit harder to cook evenly—usually I have one part that is a bit battery still, but I like brownie batter, so it’s not a bad problem to have! Usually brownies take about 40-60 minutes in the cast iron, rotating twice throughout. If you’re feeling really fancy, toss some mini-marshmallows on top or bring some caramel syrup to put on them afterwards!

4. Blackberry Dumplings

Photo by Greg Harness

This dessert requires a dutch oven, but is delicious and still fairly easy. You will also need cooking spray, aluminum foil, blackberries, sugar, flour, baking powder, salt, milk, and butter. Start by spraying the Dutch oven with cooking spray and preheating it over hot coals. In a mixing bowl, mix together the sugar, flour, baking powder, and salt. Add in the milk and butter, stirring until just combined. Drop spoonfuls of the batter in the Dutch Oven and the blackberries can be evenly distributed on top of the dumplings.

Cover the Dutch oven with aluminum foil and place over hot coals, cooking for about 20-25 minutes or until the dumplings are golden brown and cooked through, and the blackberries are soft and syrupy. Serve warm and enjoy this sweet and fruity dessert with family and friends around the campfire!

This recipe can easily be adjusted to use different berries, such as raspberries, strawberries, or blueberries. A scoop of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream will really top off this dessert well!

5. “Pop Tart Toaster Strudels”

Photo by Jonathan Pielmayer

Another great breakfast dessert is pop tart toaster strudels. This one is done in a pie iron, and great for kids who can safely use one. Cooking with a pie iron is easy since they have a long handle. When cooking, you’ll just want to place it in the warm part of the fire (not in the direct flames, but closer to the coals), and check on your food occasionally to make sure it’s not burning. For this dessert, you’ll want to preheat the pie iron by placing it in the fire for a few minutes before adding the ingredients. When it’s preheated, you’ll place some butter and one piece of bread on one side. Then you will add whatever fillings you want - usually jam or jelly or jam and jelly with cream cheese, and place another piece of bread on top (with some butter on the side of the bread facing away from the fillings). When it’s done cooking (usually 10 or so minutes), remove from the pie iron and get ready to put some icing on it. For the icing you will want to use a plastic bag and mix together powdered sugar and water until it’s a smooth consistency (start with a little amount of water and keep adding, to avoid overshooting the right amount of water and making the icing too wet!). When the icing is all mixed, cut a tiny piece off of the corner of the plastic bag to make for easy drizzling over the bread/jam combo!

6. Dutch Oven Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

Photo by Dennis Wilkinson

This dessert will make you feel less like you’re camping and more like you’re on a tropical vacation! To begin, you will need a cast-iron skillet, cooking spray, and aluminum foil. Ingredient-wise, you’ll need pineapple rings, maraschino cherries, brown sugar, cake mix, and butter. Start by spraying the skillet with cooking spray, then line the bottom with pineapple rings and cherries. Mix brown sugar and melted butter, then pour the mixture over the fruit. Prepare the cake mix according to instructions and pour over the fruit and sugar mixture. Cover the skillet with aluminum foil and place over hot coals. Cook for around 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Once done, let the cake cool for a few minutes before carefully flipping it onto a plate.

7. Campfire Strawberry Shortcake Skewers

Campfire shortcake skewers are a fun and easy dessert to make while camping. All you need are a few simple ingredients and some skewers. First, start by cutting up some fresh strawberries and setting them aside. Then, take some premade shortcake cups or slices and cut them into small pieces.

Next, thread the strawberries and shortcake pieces onto the skewers, alternating between the two. Once all the skewers are assembled, toast them over the campfire until the shortcake is warm and slightly browned. You can also add a layer of graham cracker crust to the skewers for some extra flavor and texture.

This campfire dessert is a delicious way to end a long day of hiking or exploring the great outdoors. And with minimal preparation and cooking time, you can enjoy a sweet treat without much hassle. So grab some skewers, gather around the campfire, and indulge in these tasty shortcake skewers.

8. Foil Packet Peach Cobbler

Foil packet peach cobbler is another delicious and easy campfire dessert. To make this dessert, you will need a few ingredients, including canned peaches, peach pie filling, and biscuits or biscuit dough. Start by taking two large sheets of heavy-duty foil and placing them on top of each other. Next, spray the foil with non-stick cooking spray and pour in the canned peaches and pie filling. Cut the biscuits or biscuit dough into small pieces and sprinkle them on top of the peaches and pie filling. Carefully wrap the foil packet around the mixture and place it over the campfire.

Cook the foil packet peach cobbler for about 15-20 minutes, or until the biscuits are golden brown and cooked through. Once done, carefully remove the packet from the campfire and allow it to cool for a few minutes before opening it up. The result will be a dessert that will certainly have everyone around the fire smiling! If you prefer apples over peaches, this is a really easy recipe to substitute the canned peaches for canned apples and the peach pie filling to apple pie filling!

9. Campfire Cinnamon Twists

Another incredibly simple recipe, campfire cinnamon twists are a delicious treat that can be made with just a few ingredients and a campfire. To make these twists, you'll need a can of premade crescent dough, cinnamon, sugar, and a stick or skewer for roasting.

To begin, mix together the cinnamon and sugar in a bowl and set it aside. Open the can of crescent dough and separate it into triangles. Take each triangle and twist it into a long rope-like shape, then carefully wrap it around a stick or skewer. Hold the stick over the campfire, rotating it slowly to ensure that the dough cooks evenly. Once the dough is golden brown and cooked through, remove it from the heat and immediately roll it in the cinnamon sugar mixture, and they are ready to eat!

10. S’mores (Regular or with a Twist)

Photo by Kelly Sikkema

Last but not least is the classic go to camping dessert: smores. You know the drill! Roast your marshmallow over the fire (the coals and not the flame, to ensure your marshmallow doesn't catch on fire). Remove when the marshmallow is golden brown, and put it between two pieces of graham cracker and some chocolate. It’s a delicious and easy-to-make dessert! If you’re looking for a way to spice up your s’more game, check out these ideas:

  • Put the marshmallow between two Oreos instead of graham crackers and chocolate
  • Use a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup instead of regular chocolate
  • Instead of a graham cracker, put some chocolate chips or M&Ms in an ice cream cone (s sugar cone or waffle cone are my favorites, but any type of cone will work), put the roasted marshmallow on top, and add some more chocolate or even caramel syrup
  • Use two sugar cookies and a piece of chocolate instead of graham crackers and a piece of chocolate

There are endless ways to add a fun twist to the usual s’mores, so if you’re bored of classic s’mores, don’t give up on s’mores entirely just yet!

Conclusion

In conclusion, there are endless possibilities for creating delicious camping desserts. From classic s'mores to more adventurous options like campfire shortcake skewers, these treats are sure to satisfy any sweet tooth while enjoying the great outdoors. Don't be afraid to get creative and try something new on your next camping trip!

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