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Snack Recipes

5-Minute Backpacking Meals: Delectable Desserts

Four mouthwatering recipes for people with a sweet tooth

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You swear this is going to be the trip: You’re going to plan a gourmet menu and savor it under the stars with your friends. But then you think of the extra weight, the cutting boards and the frying pans and the cleanup, and you just stuff a couple of freeze-dried meals in your pack again. Break out of your slump with 5-Minute Backpacking Meals, our guide to gourmet-level cuisine you can put together in five minutes or less. 

Coconut-Mango Rice Pudding

  • 2 teaspoons potato starch*
  • 8 tablespoons powdered milk
  • 6 teaspoons coconut cream powder or powdered coconut*
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 4 tablespoons chopped dried mango (or the dried fruit of your choice)
  • 2 cups instant rice

At home: Combine all ingredients in a zipper-lock bag. Shake to mix.

In camp: Divide dry mixture equally into four insulated mugs. Add boiling water to each mug. Stir well, cover, and wait 5 minutes before eating. Serves four. Bonus: Makes a fine breakfast too, as is or add 4 tablespoons oatmeal to the dry ingredients for more texture and flavor.

Chewy Fudgy Nutty No-Bake Cookies

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup hot cocoa mix
  • 3 tablespoons powdered milk
  • 1 1/3 cups instant oatmeal
  • ¼ cup walnuts or almonds
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla

At home: Package sugar, cocoa, and milk in a

zipper-lock bag. Mix oatmeal and nuts in a separate bag.

In camp: Combine sugar mixture, butter, and water in a pan. Bring to a boil and cook for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and add the remaining ingredients. Drop spoonfuls onto a plate, pot lid, or another flat surface and cool for 10 minutes. Makes about 20 cookies.

baked apples
Baked apples (Photo: Isabelle Rozenbaum & Frederic Cirou / PhotoAlto Agency RF Collections via Getty )

Campfire Baked Apples

  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • pinch salt
  • ½ cup raisins
  • ½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 4 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 4 tart apples

At home: Mix all ingredients except syrup and apples in a zipper-lock bag.

In camp: Core the apples. Fill each apple halfway with spoonfuls of the spice mixture. Add one teaspoon syrup to each apple then top off with more spice mix. Wrap apples individually in foil and bury in warm, ashy campfire coals for about 20 minutes or until apples are soft. Serves four.

Creamy Peach (or Berry) Pie

  • 2/3 cup powdered milk
  • 31/8-ounce package instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla powder*
  • 2 teaspoons butter powder*
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 cups water
  • 2/3 cup chopped dried peaches (or fresh peaches or berries)
  • 8-inch graham cracker piecrust
  • handful fresh berries

At home: Combine the first six ingredients in a zipper-lock bag.

In camp: Boil water in a pot, then add peaches. Cover the pot and let stand for 10 minutes, then cool for 10 minutes. Gradually add the pudding mixture while stirring. Pour the mixture into the piecrust. Arrange berries on top. Let set for 5 minutes, then dig in. Serves four to eight.

Last updated May 2022

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