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  • Rhonda Gentry

Hot and Simple Desserts

This article was previously in our April 2013 issue of Cool Tears and Tiny Campers Magazine.

The fire may be dying down, but you can still produce something warm, delicious and easy to make at the end of the day. Each of these desserts can be made with three or fewer ingredients, with several variations, depending on what you brought along your trip.

Hot Caramel Apples


  • One tablespoon butter (optional, but it helps with cleanup)

  • One can sweetened condensed milk

  • Three large or four medium apples, thickly sliced


  • Melt the butter in a heavy pan, tilting to coat the bottom of the pan

  • Add the milk and cook on a grate over warm coals, stirring frequently, until the milk begins to thicken and turn caramel colored. This should take about 15 minutes. (You can cook directly on the coals, but you'll need to stir constantly to keep it from scorching.)

  • Add the apples and stir. Cook just until the apples are warm - they should remain firm.


If you like your apples cooked down, the sauce with taste is just as yummy, but may curdle from the reaction with the apple juice.


  • Add a little molasses or dark brown sugar to increase the caramel flavor

  • Add a teaspoon of cinnamon to make it spicier

  • Add some chopped nuts to make it crunchier

  • Add a handful of chocolate chips, because everything is better with chocolate!

Sugar Cone S'mores


  • Sugar cones

  • Mini marshmallows

Chocolate and marshmallows in a sugar cone

  • Chocolate chips


  • Partially wrap the sugar cones with foil, leaving enough to completely cover the top of the cone. Wrapping it before filling helps prevent spills.

  • Fill the cones with marshmallows and chocolate chips, in whatever proportions you like

  • Seal the top closed, then heat according to your available heat source.

    • Tossed in the coals of your fire, they should take about 3-4 minutes

    • Heated on the grill, they will take about 4-6 minutes


An empty egg carton makes a great rack for holding the cones while you fill them.


  • Waffle cones! They'll need more filling and a little longer to heat

  • Semi-sweet, dark chocolate, butterscotch or peanut butter chips

  • Caramels, toffee pieces, nuts, coconut

Dutch Oven Dump Cake

Grandma's favorite go to dessert makes an easy leap to Dutch ovens and campfire cooking. This makes a crumb top fruity dessert.

Ingredients for Grandma's traditional flavor:

  • One package yellow cake mix

  • One can cherry pie filling

  • One can crushed pineapple

  • Two tablespoons butter


  • Dump the cans of fruit in a Dutch oven

  • Dump the cake mix on top

  • Dot with pieces of butter

  • Place on top of 10 - 12 coals

  • Cover the lid and top with a layer of coals and bake for about 40 minutes, but do check after 30 minutes


For even baking, turn the pot one quarter turn one direction and the lid one quarter turn in the opposite direction every 10 minutes


  • For a cake-like topping, pour one can of Sprite on top of the cake mix before baking

  • For peach cobbler, use two cans of peaches instead

  • For a Black Forest version, use two cans of cherries and a chocolate cake mix

  • For a tropical delight, use lemon cake mix and top with coconut

  • Use two 12oz bags of frozen berries instead of canned fruit. You'll want to add the can of Sprite to this one

With just a few easy to pack ingredients and your imagination, your camping trip can be wonderfully sweet!


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