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close up overhead shot of a skillet full of chocolate cake topped with vanilla ice cream and caramel syrup

Campfire Chocolate Cake

Sitting around a campfire is sweeter when you make this must-try campfire chocolate cake. Skip the predictable s’mores and make this rich chocolate cake for dessert.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 55 mins
Total Time 1 hr 5 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 6


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, plus 2 to 3 tablespoons for coating the skillet
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder, divided
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons salted sweet cream butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • cups hot water
  • vegetable shortening, for coating the skillet


  • You will need to allow the campfire to burn down to a nice bed of coals. I would suggest using a grate over the coals to allow for a steady cook surface.
  • Heavily coat a 10 to 12-inch cast-iron skillet with vegetable shortening. Dust with the 2 to 3 tablespoons of all-purpose flour, and set it aside.
  • In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, ¼ cup cocoa powder, granulated sugar, and baking powder.
  • In a smaller mixing bowl, whisk together the milk, melted butter, and vanilla extract.
  • Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until well incorporated.
  • Evenly spread the batter in the bottom of the prepared skillet.
  • Evenly sprinkle the chocolate chips over the top of the batter.
  • In a small mixing bowl, whisk the brown sugar and remaining ¼ cup cocoa powder. Evenly sprinkle the brown sugar mixture over the top of the chocolate chips.
  • Carefully pour the hot water over the top of the brown sugar mixture.
  • Place the skillet on top of the grate over the hot bed of coals. Allow the cake to cook uncovered for 55 to 60 minutes until the cake has formed a dry top and a bubbly, pudding-like bottom. Drizzle with caramel sundae sauce. Serve while hot.


  • This cake can also be cooked in an oven at home at 350°F for 45 minutes.
  • Because temperature can widely differ for a campfire, the cake most definitely needs to be cooked on top of a grate. This will also help with the stability of the cooking surface.
  • It is very important to heavily coat the skillet with shortening. The batter will be very sticky.
  • Remember anything cooked over the open flame will be hot when removing; cook with care!