Campfire cooking: cinnamon rolls on the trail,

I am, by nature an outdoors girl. I also am someone who eats often and likes good food. These two facts don’t change when put together! Some people believe that camping food must consist of hotdogs and smores. While I eat both, eating them every day on a long camping trip doesn’t make me shout and sing! Besides the fact that the hotdogs would be a little green by day six (and I am not talking relish here folks! ). 

Here is a really fun recipe for cinnamon rolls dedicated to my friend Ann, we have traveled the country together eating cinnamon rolls. From the local diner to the end-of-the-road truck stop in Alaska we have tried them all.

(This recipe makes about 8 rolls, but when I made them I doubled the recipe and filled the pan)


  •  1/3 cup raisins (you can leave these out, but they are a good source of iron and energy on a long trip)
  •  1/3 cup walnuts
  •  ¼ cup brown sugar (or more depending on your sweet tooth)
  •   3 Tablespoons cinnamon
  •  3 Tablespoons butter powder (or bring oil and butter along)
  •  1 package of buttermilk biscuit mix (or 1 ¾ cup biscuit mix and add ¼ cup sugar)
  •  1 large oven bag or Dutch oven


At home: (preparation and packing)

Place raisins, walnuts, brown sugar and cinnamon in bag and mix well. If you are using the butter powder add it at this time along with the raisins, walnuts, brown sugar and cinnamon. In a separate zip lock bag store the biscuit mix needed latter on.

on the river bankAt camp: (mixing ingredients)

  1.  Remove ¼ cup biscuit mix from package, add the remaining biscuit mix to a bowl or zip lock for storage/ later use
  2.  Mix in ¼ cup plus 2 Tablespoons water
  3. Knead well, adding extra biscuit mix if needed. the Dough should be soft but not sticky.
  4. Plop onto a flat surface, I used the backside of a clean kayak or canoe.
  5. Spread the dough into a rectangle 6 x 8 inches and ½ inch thick (if you are doubling the recipe the size also doubles for rolling).
  6. If you are using real butter spread onto dough and then sprinkle raisin/nut/cinnamon/sugar mix.
  7. Roll dough jelly-roll style so the dough forms a long log. Slice into pieces 1 inch thick.


First I used a Dutch oven and smear a generous amount of oil and or butter on the bottom of the pan. When you think you have enough butter/oil add some more, this way the rolls won’t burn. plus they taste great once they’re cookedNext I place the cut dough slices into the pan and filled it up, We then bake the rolls over a wood fire. Using indirect heat, by turning or rotating the oven every 5 minutes, The rolls usually take about  20 minutes to cook. The rolls will not brown on top, but won’t burn if you put enough oil or butter in the bottom.

An alternative cooking process is the use of an oven bag.

  1. Place the rolls in the oven bag, tie and put into a pot of boiling water.
  2. Bake/boil for 25 minutes or until done.
  3. Let them stand for five minutes before eating.


These were a big hit on the trip and disappeared quickly.They would make a good desert for a special evening meal. Preparation/cooking time is longer, so don’t expect to break camp quickly!  Plus, you will look like a cooking genius when making these lip smacking rolls!




Posted in:Blog