Dutch Oven Cooking: Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Summer for me means getting some proper camping trips on the books, and with it comes some good ol’ campsite cooking.

As I start to plan menus for river trips and weekend adventures close to home, I always turn to the trusty Dutch oven as way to impress friends and up my cooking game. One classic (and easy) recipe is pineapple upside-down cake. With a few simple steps, you’ll have your friends drooling over a gourmet dessert. If you have any doubts of your abilities, remember a key rule of camp cooking: everything tastes twice as good in the woods.


  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 (20oz.) can pineapple slices
  • Juice from pineapple slices plus enough water to make up to 1 1/4 cups
  • Small jar of maraschino cherries
  • 1 box of yellow cake mix
  • 3 eggs


In a 12-inch dutch oven, melt butter and sprinkle with the brown sugar.

Use your Leatherman to open the can of pineapple, and then arrange the slices over the melted butter and brown sugar.

You should have room for about 10 slices of pineapple on the bottom of the pan.

Put a maraschino cherry in the middle of each pineapple slice. Your grandma would be proud.

In a separate bowl, stir together the eggs, cake mix, eggs, leftover pineapple juice, and water.

Carefully pour this mixture over the pineapple slices. Get excited, the hard work is done.

Place the dutch oven over a bed of 6-8 coals, and put another 15-18 coals on the lid.

Cooking time should be between 25-30 minutes. You’ll know it is almost done when you can smell the cake.

Using thick leather gloves, remove the lid from the dutch oven, put a serving plate in its place, and carefully flip the oven over. Remove the oven and then use a spatula to get out any pineapple (the good stuff) that may have stuck. Serve warm. Slather with whip cream. Humble brag to your friends. Plan more camping trips.

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