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February 15, 2021 3 min read

You might not immediately think of chocolate cake when it comes time to do some campfire cooking. Don't miss out - a campfire Dutch oven can help you easily make meals and desserts that will delight your fellow campers, like this German chocolate upside-down cake. 

It's a load of fun to sit around a crackling campfire with friends and family, relaxing and enjoying a beautiful summer's evening. 

We often cook pretty simple foods over the campfire, and a cake doesn't exactly spring to mind as a campfire classic. But wow, did we ever love eating this delicious yet unusual option. 

Everyone will be in complete shock when you pull out a recipe for a rich, gooey, upside-down cake baked in a Dutch oven over the hot coals of a campfire. 

This recipe is quite simple to follow, making it an effortless option to try at your next campout.

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Chocolate Upside Down Cake Recipe - FAQ

Nut Allergies and Fruity Add-Ins

We created our recipe with nuts because we love the tasty combination of chocolate, pecans, and walnuts. 

If you are making this cake to accommodate a nut allergy, omit the nuts, or replace them with another fun ingredient. 

Cherries are a common addition to classic German chocolate cake, and they'd be delicious in this recipe. After coating the oven with melted butter, line the Dutch oven's bottom with pitted frozen or fresh cherries. When you flip each slice upside down to serve, the cherries will look beautiful lining the top of the cake. 

You could also try to make a warm chocolate pineapple upside-down cake using sliced pineapple rings in the same manner. 

I don't have a 12-inch campfire Dutch oven. Can I use a different size?

The 12-inch Dutch oven will give you the best results for this cake, but you can adjust the recipe to fit if you have a smaller oven. 

For a 10-inch campfire Dutch oven, use ⅔ to ¾ of the ingredients listed, and keep the cooking temperature and time the same. Keep in mind that you'll need fewer coals on a smaller oven to reach the same temperature—Aim for 350°F, which is 14 coals on the lid, and 7 underneath. 

For an 8-inch Dutch oven, use ½ of the ingredient portions listed above. Place 11 coals on the lid and 6 underneath the base.

Why didn't my cake rise properly?

If your cake didn't rise, you might be storing your baking powder improperly. It's crucial to keep your baking powder stored in a sealed container, only opened to measure out what you need, then shut again.

When baking powder is around too much humidity, it can activate with the air and have no activation powers left in it by the time it gets added to your cake. 

Can I make this cake gluten-free?

You can quickly adapt this cake to be gluten-free by swapping out all-purpose flour for a gluten-free variety. We like the all-purpose blends you can purchase at most grocery stores, as it's your best bet that won't potentially change the texture of your cake. 

Final Notes: Upside Down German Chocolate Cake Recipes

We hope you love making this German cake at your next campfire. It's a great way to make the fun of camping and spending time with your family a little extra special. Dutch oven is completely versatile - you can also make such desserts as dutch oven cinnamon rolls or dutch oven peach cobbler.

There are plenty of other dutch oven camping recipes to try, from bread and baked goods to casseroles, mac and cheese, and one-pot meals.

Enjoy your ooey, gooey, and chocolatey upside-down cake!


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