Soft apples, brown sugar, oats, and butter—campfire baked apples are one of our favorite dessert memories from camp when we were kids.
If you’re feeling burnt out on s’mores and looking for a new camping dessert, we highly recommend giving baked apples a try! They combine an element of crafting (carving the apples), interaction with the fire (always a plus), and it has fruit in it! So it’s healthy, right?
Campfire baked apples
Make 4 servings
We have really fond memories of making these at summer camp when we were younger. They were always one of the highlights of the week. And while we loved them as kids, we’re happy to report they taste just as amazing as we remembered as adults.
The warm and soft apple pairs perfectly with the caramelized brown sugar and buttery oats! Top all of that with a shot of whipped cream and it’s got all the makings of a classic camping dessert.
In this recipe, we give instructions for making them in a Dutch oven as well as wrapped in aluminum foil. So no matter what equipment you have, this recipe will work for you!
- 4 apples, honeycrisp work best
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 4 tbsp butter—very soft or melted
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- You can make baked apples using either the embers from a wood fire or charcoal. Make sure to prepare your fire well-enough in advance to allow the larger pieces of wood to burn down to usable embers.
- While the fire or charcoal is getting ready, make the filling for the apples. In a small bowl, mix together the oats, brown sugar, softened butter, butter, and salt.
- Carve out the middle of the apples using a small spoon. Start from the top of the apple and carve your way down into the core, removing the core and all the seeds. The most important thing here is to not carve through to the bottom! (Otherwise, all the butter and brown sugar will drip out, leaving the filling dry and your Dutch oven a sticky mess.)
- Fill the apples with the oats and sugar mixture and pack it down with your spoon.
- Dutch Oven Method: Place the apples into the Dutch oven and set over a bed of hot charcoals. Make sure all the apples are standing upright. Place the lid on top and cover it with hot charcoal. Ideally, you’re aiming to bake the apples at 350 F. If you are using a 10” 4 quart Dutch oven, that would be 7 coals on the bottom and 14 on top. Depending on the coals and outside temperature, you may need to adjust this number.
- Foil Method: Tear off a square of aluminum foil and place your apple in the center. Lift the corners towards the center and wrap together. You want the seam at the top and full coverage on the bottom. Using a pair of long-handled tongs, place the individually foil-wrapped apples, top up, to a bed of charcoal or embers.
- Bake the apples for about 30 minutes, until the apples are soft and the filling is crunchy on top.
- Serve in a bowl, topped with whipped cream. Enjoy!
FRESH OFF THE GRID
Eddie Bauer Field Experts
Michael van Vliet and Megan McDuffie are the husband-wife team behind the camp cooking blog Fresh Off The Grid (@freshoffthegrid). They launched their website to share their recipes, skill guides, and other outdoor resources.