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Sonoma Family Life Magazine

Easy Campfire Treats for Backyard Cookouts

All families who enjoy camping know; food tastes better in the great outdoors. Maybe it’s all the fresh air, maybe it’s the lack of a treat conveniently handy in the pantry or refrigerator. But whatever the reason — a meal cooked over the open fire just tastes better. To savor the flavors at your next family gathering all you need is a place to safely build a fire for outdoor (or in your oven if all else fails) and you're ready to be the hit of the party.

Dutch-oven cooking

Fruit Crisp


  • Apples, peeled and sliced (can substitute peaches, apricots or other fruit)
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup quick oats
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon

Fill Dutch Oven half way up with apples. Combine brown sugar, flour, oats and cinnamon. Cut butter into mixture. Spread mixture over apples. Cover and cook about 45 minutes or until apples are soft.

Peach Cobbler


  • Large can of sliced peaches in heavy syrup
  • Bisquick

Drain off syrup. Save 1/4 cup of this syrup. Mix the 1/4 cup of syrup with Bisquick until it forms a batter type consistency. Pour batter back over sliced peaches in the can. Place lid over mix. Set can into hot coals. Cook until flour has formed hard dumplings.

Pineapple Upside Down Cake


  • 1 can pineapples (6 oz)
  • 1/2 cup pecans
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 square of margarine
  • 2 yellow cake mixes

Mix cake mix according to directions. Line the Dutch Oven with aluminum foil. Place oven onto the heat, level it and melt the margarine in the oven. When melted, add the brown sugar. Stir. Add the pineapples and the pecans. This is the glaze. Pour prepared cake mix on top of the glaze. This dessert doesn’t require a lot of heat on the bottom, just enough to brown the glaze–8 pieces of charcoal should be plenty. Bake for about 25 minutes. Check every 15 minutes and when golden brown, test to see if it is done. Take it off the heat and lift the cake out of the oven by the aluminum foil. Put a pan on it and turn it over quickly so that the glaze is on top. Remove the foil.

Foil Cooking

Banana Boats


  • Banana
  • Hershey’s chocolate bar or chocolate chips
  • Marshmallows or mini marshmallows
  • Heavy duty aluminum foil

Cut your banana down the middle. Leave it in the peal. Stuff with chocolate and marshmallows. Wrap in aluminum foil and place in hot coals for about 5-10 minutes. Turn and rotate often.

Campfire Muffins


  • 2 (7 oz.) packages of muffin mix, any flavor or cake mix
  • 6 oranges
  • Heavy duty aluminum foil
  • Optional: cranberries and/or chocolate chips

Cut tops off oranges. Scoop out the orange segments to eat alone or to use in a fruit salad. Reserve the hollow peel shells. Prepare the muffin or cake mix according to the package directions. Fill the orange peel cups half full of batter. Wrap each one loosely with heavy duty aluminum foil. Place in hot coals, making sure that the batter side stays up. Cook 5-10 minutes until muffins are done. Adding a few cranberries to the batter adds excellent flavor and goes well with the orange. Makes 12.