Monday, 22 July 2013

Camping Cake

Camping cake comes in many forms. The main thing of course is that there is cake when you are camping and beyond that it's really up to you, but in case you were needing a bit more guidance, here are my thoughts on what constitutes good camping cake.

Let's get one thing straight. Delicate doesn't cut it. If you're going camping, the last thing you need is delicate cake. You need something fairly substantial. 

Anything that includes filling or buttercream is out on grounds of practicality and the fact that in the unlikely event that the weather is good, it's likely to melt.

If it's got oats in it, you're onto a good thing - you use up a lot of energy with all that fresh air and out of doors stuff. 

Ditto fruit/veg because if you can get it in cake form, well that's got to be a bonus.

It must be 'cup of tea' cake. Cake your tea would be too wet without. I'm not suggesting you're going to dunk it or anything, just that if you've got a cake that tastes perfect with a cup of straight up builders tea, you can't go far wrong.

This cake is based on one from the Camper Van Cookbook. I like the Camper Van Cookbook, although the recipes aren't necessarily ones I'd choose to cook while we're camping. Only a very few of the recipes are actually by Martin Dorey, and I'm not sure the author of the bulk of them has done much camping - her recipes are quite ingredient and utensil heavy, and time consuming. That's not to say they aren't good recipes - what I have cooked from the book while camping has always turned out well. Lamb Burgers with spring onions and feta and Lemon Cup Cheesecakes are particular favourites, but I remember the burgers took quite a long time to put together, and with limited utensils, out in the fresh air, I think I'd be just as happy with some good sausages...

There is, however, a section of pre-camp bakes: stuff you'd make to take with you, and I cannot recommend these highly enough. They are great cakes (and biscuits) that absolutely hit the spot in the fresh air. This one is one of Blue's absolute favourite cakes, and went down very well in Suffolk the other weekend .

Sticky Ginger Treacle Cake

200ml milk
3 tbsp treacle
100g butter
75g plain flour
200g soft brown sugar
125g porridge oats
2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp ground cinammon
1tsp bicarbonate of soda

Line a 20 cm square tin with greaseproof paper and pre-heat the oven to 150C/130C fan.

Place the treacle and butter into a small pan with the milk and gently bring to the boil till the butter is melted. Set aside to cool a little.

Seive the flour, ginger, cinammon and bicarb into a large bowl, then stir through the sugar and porridge oats.

Stir the melted ingredients quickly into the dry ingredients, pour into the tin and bake for 45 minutes.

Leave to cool in the tin, then cut into 16 squares and store in an airtight container. This is sticky cake (the name gives it away) so if you need to stack, separate layers with greaseproof paper. 

Of course, you don't have to go camping to make this cake, but I really think you should give it a go


  1. Right that's it. I'm going to be a proper mum and bake that cake to take with us. Looks yum and I am just about able to throw a cake together once I stop obesseively researching campsites. My family deserve it!

    1. Hazel, it's a very easy cake - wouldn't take much time away from the research...

  2. The cake looks fab. I agree, you must have cake for camping and the sturdier the better. I bought this cookbook for camper van owning friends - purely for the cover I might add...

    1. It's a great cover, isn't it - lots of promise of adventure. I like the book generally, there's lots in it, just not sure it's really designed for camp cooking! His recipes - the few that are in the book - are much more like it.


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