Introduction: Camper's Outdoor Apple Cobbler

In this Instructable I will show how to create one of the most Magnificently Delectable desserts for Outdoor Cooking and camping dessert.

Dutch Oven Apple Cobbler

This is great for anyone cooking outdoors with cast iron cookware for the first time. Explore and experiment outside your Comfort Zone.

About 10 years ago I was shopping at a warehouse store and found a Wenzel cast iron cookware set on sale for $35. I was not sure how I was going to use it, but knowing I enjoyed the outdoors, I figured I could not pass up the deal. It sat untouched in my garage for about a year before I finally had the opportunity and nerve to use it. Up until purchasing this set, most of my outdoor cooking was burgers and hot dogs on the grill. This one recipe moved me to another level of cooking.

Finally, I opened it up and found a few recipes that came with the kit. I picked the easiest one and gave it a try. Since then I lost the recipe book, but I believe it goes something like this...

Step 1: Seasoning Cast Iron Cookware


If you are a first time user of cast iron cookware, be sure to read the manufacturer's directions on seasoning your cookware before using it.

Just want you to be aware that there is some preparation of the cookware before using it. Here is an instructable I found that can help you along on how to season cast iron cookware.

I highly recommend doing your seasoning on an outdoor gas grill rather than in an indoors oven. Things to get smokey burning off the oil.

Step 2: Cookware and Tools

For this instructable I used the following. Modify or improvise as you see necessary with the tools you have handy.

  • 7 quart cast iron Dutch Oven: All your ingredients go in here for the cook. Or... would it be bake? Hmmm....
  • Grilling Tongs: Use the tongs to move hot charcoal briquettes.
  • Lid Lifter: Use this to live the HOT lid and move the HOT and Heavy Dutch Oven. Or use an oven mitt.

Step 3: Supplies

You will need a fire source. You can probably do this over an open fire or even on a gas grill, I have always done it over charcoal.

  • About 30 charcoal briquettes.
  • Lighter fluid
  • Lighter or Matches.

Step 4: Apple Cobbler Ingredients

  • 3 cans of Apple Pie Filling: These are 20 oz. cans. If you plan on creating this on a camping trip I recommend buying the cans with the pull top. Could be quite the challenge opening other cans if you forget your can opener.
  • 1 box of yellow cake mix
  • 1/2 pound brown sugar
  • 1/2 stick of unsalted butter
  • Ground Cinnamon: A little bit goes a long way.

With the exception of the butter, these ingredients are easy to pack away for a camping trip with no refrigeration needed. Instead of butter, cooking oil could be substituted on a camping trip.

This recipe will serve 8-10 people depending on serving sizes.

Note: This recipe is very rich. Lots of sugar!! If you want to make it a little less rich, then take the time to core, peel, and slice fresh apples. Granny Smith apples work well.

Step 5: Build Cooking Fire

This is the type of fire I have been using. I would imagine one could perform the cook on an open wood fire with hot coals as well.

  1. Find a level dry surface to build your fire.
  2. Use 16-20 of your favorite charcoal briquettes to establish a base layer. Your Dutch Oven will eventually rest on top of this layer.
  3. Continue layering your charcoal into a pyramid formation. This helps build a uniformly hot set of coals.
  4. Apply your favorite charcoal lighter fuel to charcoal and let soak for a few minutes.
  5. Light the fire.
  6. Let fire burn and start preparing your cobbler.

Step 6: Prepare Dutch Oven

While this is an outdoor cooking instructable, it was easier to work with my 7 year old assistant in the comforts of our kitchen. :-)

  1. If you frequently use your Dutch Oven over an open fire, good idea to put something beneath the charred cookware before placing on your kitchen counter.
  2. Line your oven with aluminum foil. Form it tightly to the oven. This will help protect your cobbler from other flavors seasoned into the oven from other cooking and help with easy clean up. After you are finished cooking, you can discard the foil with minimal clean up of the oven.
  3. Liberally rub the stick of butter onto the foil liner on bottom and sides. This will prevent sticky and add flavor to your cook.

Step 7: Add Apples

  1. Open all 3 cans of apples. Or, your favorite pie filling.
  2. Depending on the consistency of can contents you may need to scoop them out.
  3. Spread apples evenly across bottom of oven.

Step 8: Add Brown Sugar and Cake Mix

Continue to add ingredients in layers. DO NOT MIX THE INGREDIENTS!
  1. Add 1/2 lb. of brown sugar over top of apples. If lumpy, use your fingers to break up lumps and chunks and sprinkle over the apples evenly. Would not advise using more than 1/2 lb. as this recipe is VERY sweet and rich. Our bag was a 1 lb. bag. We only used half the bag.
  2. Add the full box of cake mix over top the brown sugar. Again, if lumpy break up chunks and sprinkle evenly over the brown sugar layer.
  3. Add 4 tabs of butter on top of cake mix layer.

Again... Do not mix the ingredients. My assistant was getting ready to find a big mixing spoon and start mixing up our concoction.

Step 9: Add Cinnamon and Lid

Add cinnamon sparingly as your final layer. Recommendation from my assistant is that a little goes a long way. Add the lid to the oven and take to your fire that has been burning outdoors.

Step 10: Add Dutch Oven to Fire

  1. Coals are ready when all coals are nearly white in color.
  2. Use tongs to start removing layers of coals and place to the side. Do not move bottom layer of coals.
  3. Place oven on top of your bottom base layer.
  4. Use tongs to evenly distribute remaining coals on top of Dutch Oven.
  5. Let it Cook/Bake

Essentially you have created an outdoor oven by applying the fire to both the bottom and top of the cookware. Depending on the heat of your fire your cobbler should be done in 45-90 minutes. The smell of apples and cinnamon will be an indicator that your dessert is probably ready.

Step 11: Apple Cobbler Is Done! Serve It Up!

After about an hour check your masterpiece! If apples and brown sugar are bubbling up through the cake mix it is ready to serve and enjoy.

A side of vanilla ice cream helps mellow the richness of this magnificent concoction.

Step 12: Dessert Is Served!

Some like there ice cream on the side... I like mine on top as it melts over the steamy Apple Cobbler!

This recipe can easily serve 8-10 people depending on serving size. Our portions were pretty liberal this evening! We like it that much.

Enjoy! Our Family Does.

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Outdoor Cooking Challenge 2016

Runner Up in the
Outdoor Cooking Challenge 2016

Outside Contest 2016

Participated in the
Outside Contest 2016

DIY Summer Camp Challenge

Participated in the
DIY Summer Camp Challenge