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Trail Chef: Easy-Bake Cinnamon Rolls

Start your morning with the sweet aroma of freshly baked bread wafting through camp.
Easy method: oven bag. Gourmet method: a backcountry oven. (Will Rochfort)

Gas-station cinnamon rolls just don’t cut it in the backcountry (or anywhere for that matter). If they survive the hike in without getting squashed (doubtful), you have only a rare combination of cloying, artificial sweetness slathered on stale, styrofoamlike bread to look forward to the next morning. (Note: This does not apply to gas-station donuts, which are delicious. Especially with sprinkles.) Of course you could bake the cinnamon rolls in camp with a backcountry oven like the lightweight Bemco Backpacker 7" Deluxe Oven Kit or, for those with Sherpalike strength, the Camp Chef Outdoor Camp Oven 2. But for the less gourmet among us (or in my case, lazy), take the easy but still delicious route: Bake them in an oven bag. Here’s how:

Ingredients
(Makes about 8 rolls)

1/3 cup raisins
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons butter powder
1 3/4 cup store-bought biscuit mix
1/4 cup sugar
1 large oven bag (7.5 inches in diameter)

At home
Place the raisins, walnuts, brown sugar, and butter in a zip-top bag. In another zip-top, store biscuit mix and sugar.

In camp
Add all of the biscuit-sugar mix except 1/4 cup to a bowl (or another zip-top bag to avoid dirtying a pot), and mix in 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of water. Stir well, adding reserved biscuit mix as necessary. Dough should be soft but not sticky. Turn out onto a flat surface. Knead a few times, adding more biscuit mix as necessary. Form into a rectangle 6 inches by 8 inches and about 1/2-inch thick. Sprinkle raisin-mix filling on dough, making sure the filling reaches almost to the edges. Roll dough jelly-roll style so that the dough forms a log. Cut into pieces 1-inch thick. Place them in the oven bag, tie the bag, and put it in a pot of boiling water. Bake/boil for 25 minutes or until done, and let stand five minutes.

Adapted from BACKPACKER Backcountry Cooking, by Dorcas S. Miller

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