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Summer Camp Adventures

Pineapple upside down dump cake Dutch Oven variety

By Lawrence Edward HincheePublished 2 years ago 3 min read
Pineapple upside down cake, Dutch oven style

I remember as a kid going camping with my scout troop. Our first night in camp our scoutmasters would make a dump cake for all of us boys and the adults, especially our summer camp. Most of the time, the scoutmasters would make a cherry dump cake. Our scoutmasters would have to make about ten dump cakes on Sunday because we had fifty boys and ten adult leaders with us. That is a lot of bellies to fill, especially little bellies. It was always difficult to start the charcoal when it rained. We had some really bad downpours.

During the summer when it was wet and miserable, that warm dump cake would hit the spot. Same thing during winter camping. When I became an adult leader, I continued the tradition of dump cakes for my boys. My boys loved the dump cakes, I wouldn't make them as often as they wanted, but I would make them.

I remember one fall campout we did a reenactment of the civil war. It was cold as blue blazes that weekend. On Saturday night it began raining and it turned to sleet. The adult leaders of the scout troop I was associated with, and I agreed we need to do something to warm up the boys. I had brought my Webelo's den with me and they were freezing. We found that the tent we set up for them had a hole in it, so we set up another one.

We took the cake mixes from the boy scout patrol boxes and the Webelo's patrol box. We had pineapple and we made pineapple upside down dump cake for the boys and adults. There wasn't a crumb left by the time the boys were finished, I was tasked with heading into town to buy more ingredients to make more dump cakes.

The best time for me was watching the amazement on the faces of the younger boys. The boys who had never experienced this before as they eagerly awaited their desert. We always served the youngest boys first and they loved it. That is all the boys talked about with their parents when they arrived home. There were other items we made at Klondike that they loved, but that isn't the theme of the story. If you go camping and don't have Dutch oven equipment, you can always use cast iron skillets instead. We made sure we had all of the safety equipment such as potholders. Those Dutch-ovens are hot. We had to reinforce that to the younger boys because they were mainly focused on their desert.

We had a great time with the boys, and they loved their deserts and treats we made by Dutch-oven. It kept them interested in scouting.

Dump Cake in the Dutch Oven


Step 1. Start the campfire or charcoal briquettes. You will be baking this Dutch oven camping dessert in a regular-depth 12-inch oven. You can use campfire coals or charcoal briquettes for cooking.

Step 2. Preheat the Dutch oven. For this recipe you will need your oven at 350 degrees which will require approximately 25 total coals = 17 top/8 bottom. If you are using a different oven size, you may need to make some adjustments to your Dutch oven cooking with charcoal.

Step 3. Melt the butter then the brown sugar. Don’t let it bother you that this recipe uses an entire stick of butter! You’ve got to splurge once in a while … right?

You’ll melt the butter in the pre-heated oven first. Now, evenly sprinkle the brown sugar over the melted butter.

Step 4. Add the pineapple rings and cherries. Line the bottom of the Dutch oven with the pineapple rings. Make sure you reserve the juice for the batter! Place a cherry inside of each pineapple ring.

Camp Cooking Tip: Work fast here. You don’t want to have to light a second set of coals (if you are using briquettes) during the baking process. If you are using campfire coals, the timing is not as critical … as long as you have a big enough fire (which we always do!)

Scaling Servings

Cakes make wonderful, sweet endings to easy camping meals for large groups. This upside-down cake feeds 6-8 adults. If you serve ice cream on the side, it can serve 10-12 adults. To make more cake, do multiple batches rather than trying to make a gigantic cake that is difficult to handle.


About the Creator

Lawrence Edward Hinchee

I am a new author. I wrote my memoir Silent Cries and it is available on Amazon.com. I am new to writing and most of my writing has been for academia. I possess an MBA from Regis University in Denver, CO. I reside in Roanoke, VA.

Reader insights


Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

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Comments (3)

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  • Mariann Carroll2 years ago

    Hearted, A real camp fire recipe 💕🍉This is a winner for sure. I wish ,I can cook on a camp fire it sounds like a lot of fun. I only did s’more .This is the real deal.❤️

  • I love pineapple dump cake!

  • Steve Lance2 years ago

    One of my all-time favorites.

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