Tuesday, September 16, 2008

campfire cakes (!!!)


I guess it betrays a little bit of my nerdiness if I admit that I've been excited about blogging these cakes for ages. The first time Jason told me about this recipe, my mind was blown, and I couldn't wait to try it. It's not really a recipe, I guess- just a method for cooking. It's the easiest thing ever, but I never in a million years would have thought of it on my own.


It's a simple setup- some oranges (we had enough batter for at least a dozen oranges!), a box of cake mix (mmm... yellow cake), a knife, a spoon, and some tinfoil. And a camp fire, obviously.


Cut the tops of the oranges off, and scoop out the guts. I asked Jason if you could mix the orange pulp in with the cake batter, and he said that it's not a good idea, because the batter might not set up very well.


I ended up drinking the juice that was squeezed out of the orange cuts, it was pretty delicious. Anyway, hollow them out like little pumpkins and reserve the tops.


Fill the oranges up almost to the top with cake batter, and put the top back on. Carefully wrap in heavy duty foil, and throw it into the hot part of the fire.


I think we waited a little more than 5 minutes, a little less than 10. We turned them a couple of times with tongs. After a few minutes, pull them out of the fire, unwrap, and eat a little cake!


This is awesome for so many reasons, right? First of all, I love any miniature foods, or individual serving foods, or anything that is tiny. I don't know if it's a hormone thing or what, but mini cakes, tiny pies, whatever- I go nuts over that crap. So these little cake-filled oranges are seriously adorable to me. Secondly, cake while camping! And finally, delicious! The oils in the orange peel flavored the cake with a hint of citrus, and honestly, for all the awesome homemade stuff Summer bakes around here, I'm a real sucker for cake from a box.


I know it's getting a little late in the season for camping (we froze our butts off!) but if you manage to get out, seriously- I don't even think I have to tell you to try this.


Design Moonshine said...

This is a great idea - I'm camping this weekend and am excited to try it!
- Veronica

*fanny* said...

wow this terrific. I'll make sure to try newt summer!
xx fanny

VeggieGirl said...

SUCH a fun idea!!

Amber Cardozo said...

What a delight to read. I can almost taste the food. It is visually pleasing and I love to see it.

Great stuff!



Nancy said...

Very interesting!

cmoore said...

this is so great! I wish I would have known about these on my cross-country road trip. will definitely try in the future.

Ashley said...

We did this at a summer camp that I worked at and we used a "just add water mix", except we just added orange juice! It was super tasty and we never had any problems with the cake baking properly. That's the magic of boxed cake mixes, they're un-mess-up-able!

Alicia Carrier said...

ashley, using the orange juice instead of water in the "just add water" mix is genius! i wish i'd thought of that. i meant that my husband mentioned not to add the juice and pulp to the already-mixed batter, it would have thinned it out. but adding it instead of water when mixing the batter is a great idea!

kickpleat said...

when i camp, it's usually on a bike or a hike, so i hardly take anything with me. but this i can do! awesome idea!!

meg said...

This is a totally beautiful idea. I don't know if I can wait until I go camping, I might have to cheat and just do it in the back yard.

I wanna try it with a big lemon, lime, or maybe even a little grapefruit. Citrus Cake Fest 2008, really.

Olivia Carter said...

That's the coolest thing EVER! I'm not a big camper (but I'll totally try it in our grill)! :)

Naomi said...

i will try this. so help me. it is so amazingly cute and yummy and easy looking!

Oakley Rhodes said...

My goodness, this is so adorable. I was tempted to go to the coast last weekend, but I'm glad I stayed home - I'm not ready to be cold yet, and the weather was gorgeous in PDX. There will be plenty of time to freeze our butts off in the city!

How much of the orange flavor permeated the cake?

Alicia Carrier said...

oakley, to answer your question- the citrus flavor was light, but noticeable. next time i do this, i'm going to follow another commenter's advice and replace the water that the cake mix calls for with the orange juice extracted during the hollowing-out process. sounds delicious!

Jessie said...

oh my goodness, I am having summer camp flashbacks!

We also used to cut a slit down a banana, put chocolate into the cut, wrap it in foil, and stick it in the fire. I liked the orange cakes better.

Knick Knock said...

They look fantastic but I'm so gutted I ddin't know about this before we went camping at the weekend - I've never slept in so many clothes but we had a great time...can't wait to ry these.

Wendy said...

Holy crap. I think that's the best thing I've ever seen.

Anne Lossing said...

Fantastic!! These will be the perfect answer for the "dessert" course for a big barbecue cook-out to end our Unificacion Maya Ceremonies here in the jungles of northern Guatemala on the winter solstice!! We have lots of oranges growing here ... and I bet you could substitute sour oranges for an even more interesting flavor. Thanks!

Julia said...

This is the best reason to go camping I've seen in a while. Awesome!

Belle said...

You just made my day!

Memories from summer camp in the late 80's :) The older kids always went on an overnight hike near the end of camp, and the counselor brought oranges and bread dough to make these in the fire.

At the time, I wasn't as invested in *how* she did it as much as I loved eating the bread ;) But now! Now I can make them myself. Whee!!!

Thank you, thank you!

Stephanie said...

another idea is to use a little of the orange peel before you start scooping out the orange insides and then put it in the batter. that would definitely give it the orange flavor!

Scott said...


We went bike camping and tried it this weekend, with mixed results. The premise is solid, our technique needs a little work is all. There are pictures about half way down. And yes, using a lemon instead of an orange was equally excellent.

Thanks so much for the idea!

Scott Gamble

missyucki-kat said...

I loved this recipe! I couldn't wait to go camping either, so i just made them in my oven. they came out super cute!! we took them up the hill to watch fireworks over barcelona (where i live) i made orange martinis with the left over orange juice, and added nutmeg and cinnamon to the cake mix, and martinis, yum yum. after reading all the comments, im definitely going to try lemons and adding the juice instead of water, SO CLEVER! your blog rocks! makes me hungry all the time, and your photos are lovely. seriously i thought domesticity was dull, you make it soooo enticing :D

Courtney said...

I was so fricken excited to try this recipe. I had family in town this weekend and we booked a yurt: perfect time to test it out!
Unfortunately, our results were not so pretty:
I would like to say, box cake most certainly IS mess-up-able. Next time I will try a "just add water" mix.
We had to leave the oranges in the camp fire for over 30 minutes. They came out burnt on the outside and still gooey on the inside.
However, I am determined to try again!

gluten free aussie said...

thanks, we made it last weekend camping and it was an awesome success. I think our fire was not as hot as Courtneys, no burning but took a long time to cook. I used a gluten free mix and the juice and made the leftovers into a foiled log which worked well too. Maybe not a moist as the oranges but considering i scooped out 9 oranges not a bad alternative.

SusieHomemaker said...

This is probably the MOST creative/cute/amazing thing i have ever seen in my life.
I love it.

Angela said...

What a fantastic idea! I just got back from camping and I've been browsing recipes for the next time we make this trip. i will definitely have to try this out!

Kirsten said...

I have been looking for a new dessert for camping for this weekend. I have done the whole s'more thing to death and a dutch oven for cobbler is a little heavy to haul. Something like this would be perfect! I may have to do as some as your followers have done though and use box cake mixes. They look like they would be a wonderful treat after a day of canoeing.

John said...

Like I said, this is one of those "what I like about the Internet" stories, because the first response was from "randomwalker" who said, "I believe I can offer some help because this is in the rough area of my Ph.D thesis." He then went on to scare the crap out of me, because it's very possible this forensic analysis will be performed and most likely not from a company as benign as Google!

fire science degree | software engineering masters degree

John said...

Like I said, this is one of those "what I like about the Internet" stories, because the first response was from "randomwalker" who said, "I believe I can offer some help because this is in the rough area of my Ph.D thesis." He then went on to scare the crap out of me, because it's very possible this forensic analysis will be performed and most likely not from a company as benign as Google!

fire science degree | accounting undergraduate diploma

Becky said...

this is a great idea to do with kids! We did it at camp although we used blueberry muffin mix (simple-just add water) and cooked them for breakfast. The kids LOVED them.

Becky said...

This is a great activity for kids! We did this at camp for breakfast and used blueberry muffin mix (just add water kind) and they turned out great!


Christopher Marshall said...

Finally got round to trying this (3 years!!!). Everyone on my camping trip (including me at times) were poking fun until they were opened. Now we are all converts.


Aimee said...

We tried making these last time we went camping, before I saw your post, and ours tasted smoky cause we didn't put the tops back on and didn't wrap in all foil. I can't wait to try it again. Thanks for posting!!

"C" said...

I've used oranges to make refrigerated cinnamon rolls on a Cub Scout campout. We hollowed out the oranges, putting the juice and pulp in zipper baggies. We put a cinnamon roll in each orange, put the tops back on, wrapped in foil, and baked on the coals for about 10 minutes. When they were done, we poked straws through the baggies and served the homemade juice pouches with the cinnamon rolls!

Julia P. Valentine said...

I just found your blog through this post pinned on someone's board. And I have to tell you that this might be the greatest thing I have ever seen on the interwebs. ever ever ever. Don't know when I'll have the opportunity to camp before the fall, so I am going to experiment wiht the oven because this is the cutest thing. ever. which you already know. so thank you so much. i will report back in a few weeks! might try w a few big lemons, too. thank you for sharing your awesomeness online.