Looking for some easy camping desserts to make your next camping trip all the sweeter? We’ve got some fast and family-friendly ideas for you that don’t require you to lug a dutch oven to the campsite and are more exciting than pre-packaged cakes.
We see no reason why getting back to nature has to mean depriving yourself of the sweeter things in life and these easy camping desserts can be made over your campfire, grill or even your camping stove. All of these recipes are low maintenance to prepare and cook as well as eat – in fact, many of them are finger food, while at most you’ll want to pack a spoon for these. Read on for our easy camping dessert ideas which range from classic to creative, and get ready to bring your camping trips to a whole new level.
Of course, this one is obvious, but the North American classic s’more really can’t be underestimated. Graham crackers, marshmallows and chocolate are all easy to pack in and for the classic approach, simply make a cracker sandwich with the chocolate and marshmallows as the filling and set it on a hot stone at the edge of your campfire until perfectly gooey. Of course, you can get creative too and we’ve seen our friends adding peanut butter, substituting oreos for the graham crackers and even turning the s’more into a marshmallow lollipop that’s been pre-dipped in melted chocolate and sprinkled with graham cracker crumbs. Basically, once you have the essential ingredients, you can go wild.
Campfire banana boats
Campfire banana boats can be a way to make your s’mores even tastier and add some fruit to your camping diet. You can make these right at your campsite as long as you brought your camping knife – keep the skin on your bananas and split them down the concave side. Don’t cut all the way through, but cut deeply enough that you can pull the banana apart and load it up with chocolate, mini marshmallows, graham cracker crumbs, nuts or granola and whatever else you can come up with. Wrap the bananas in foil and place in the hot campfire coals, on a grate over the fire or on the grill for about 10 minutes, then eat them with a spoon.
If you’re looking for a more grown-up version, just cook the bananas in their skin without cutting into them, then eat them as they are or pour a little rum on them, set fire to it with your lighter and flambé them before eating.
Dessert kebabs are tasty and easy to make up at home. Just use either wooden or metal skewers and get creative. We like to layer up cubes of pound cake with fruit like chunks of pineapple, banana and halved strawberries and of course, if you’ve brought goodies like marshmallows and maraschino cherries you can add those too. These do well on a grill – just turn them frequently over a low heat – but you can also use the campfire coals or just set them at the edge of the fire like you do s’mores and turn them until the cake is lightly toasted and the fruit is softened.
Campfire apple crisp
There are countless recipes for campfire apple crisp out there that require bringing a Dutch oven to camp, but we prefer the low-maintenance foil packet version that you can prep at home. For each person, you’ll want a sheet of aluminium foil (about 8” x 12”) and a thinly sliced apple mixed up with some cinnamon and brown sugar. Place the apple mixture in the foil. For the crisp part, for every two people, you’ll just mix up 1/4 cup each of quick cook oats, flour, brown sugar and melted butter then sprinkle it over the apple mixture and seal up the foil packet. When you’re ready to cook them, place them on a grate in the campfire for 20 minutes.
Campfire cinnamon rolls
Did you know that you don’t need an oven to cook canned cinnamon rolls? This recipe also appeared in our list of best camping breakfast ideas but it’s too good not to include here as well. Just heat up your skillet over the stove or fire, set the packet of icing aside and arrange the cinnamon rolls in the pan in a single layer. Cook the rolls for 10-15 minutes, turning them every couple of minutes, then take them off the stove, ice them and become the new champion of camping dessert.
This delicious campfire dessert is super easy, healthy and so good you might want to make them at home when you have ice cream at your disposal to pair them with. Before you set off, cut your peaches in half and remove the pit. Place each peach in foil with a little butter and a sprinkle of brown sugar and cinnamon, then wrap them tightly. To cook them, place them on the hot campfire coals or on the grill for about 20 minutes. You can eat them as they are, or dress them up with yogurt or granola.
You can also brush your peaches with the butter and sugar and set them directly on the grill or grate, and try the same tactic with slices of pineapple.
Campfire dessert cones
It's not easy to have ice cream when you're camping, but you can still have a cone if you know what you're doing. Kids absolutely love these campfire dessert cones, which are no fuss and can be individualized. Bring some waffle cones and foil, and then each person can load up their cone with whatever they like. It’s helpful to include something melty, like chocolate and marshmallows, but after that the world’s your oyster and you can use mini candies, nuts, graham crackers and all the chopped fruit you like. Wrap the cone in foil and place it in the hot coals, on a grate over the fire or on the grill for five minutes.
Hot chocolate is another classic that simply can’t be overlooked, especially on a chilly night. Bring your best camping mug, fire up your camping stove and make your favorite blend – we like two parts sweet hot chocolate mix with one part bitter cocoa – then dress it up with marshmallows or a splash of something more adult like rum, schnapps or Amaretto. You can dip cookies in your hot chocolate, and if it’s really cold out, you can even bring it inside your tent and enjoy it in the warmth of your best sleeping bag before bed.
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Julia Clarke is a staff writer for Advnture.com and the author of the book Restorative Yoga for Beginners. She loves to explore mountains on foot, bike, skis and belay and then recover on the the yoga mat. Julia graduated with a degree in journalism in 2004 and spent eight years working as a radio presenter in Kansas City, Vermont, Boston and New York City before discovering the joys of the Rocky Mountains. She then detoured west to Colorado and enjoyed 11 years teaching yoga in Vail before returning to her hometown of Glasgow, Scotland in 2020 to focus on family and writing.