Boxed cake mix? Whipped cream in a can? These are things that I almost never use, almost never buy, and almost never even think about. But there is a time and a place for everything. This is hands down one of the easiest desserts you will ever throw together.
It requires only five ingredients— cake mix, lemon-lime soda, butter, and fruit. I’ve made this cobbler a hundred different ways with all kinds of fruit and you can’t go wrong. Pick your favorite, what’s in season, or what you happen to have on hand. This time I chose strawberries and blueberries, a winning combination.
Now the next thing you’re going to need to have is a cast iron camp dutch oven. This recipe would of course work well in a standard baking dish in your oven, but since this is part of my series Baking Outside the Kitchen, I want to show you how to bake a cobbler outdoors. And the easiest way to do that is with a camp dutch oven.
Here in Utah we’re pretty serious about our dutch oven cooking. It’s all over the place, from camp grounds to carnivals. It’s even the “state cooking pot” of Utah (thank you Wikipedia), probably because of our rich pioneer heritage. If you don’t have a camp dutch oven or aren’t very familiar with them, I encourage you to look into getting one. They’re a lot of fun and you can cook just about anything with it.
So how does a dutch oven work? Well, let me give a brief explanation for those that need it. After prepping your dish, you cover the pot with a heavy cast iron lid. It’s then placed on top of hot coals to heat from below and more coals are placed on the lid to heat from above. And voila, you have an oven!
Let’s get back to the recipe, shall we?
Like I said, it’s super easy. The fruit goes down in the bottom of the pot and the topping is made with cake mix and lemon-lime soda. As if a cake from a box isn’t simple enough, this is even lazier. But it works! And if you’re baking this away from your home it’s nice to need even fewer ingredients.
After spooning the dough over the fruit, a few dabs of butter and sprinkling of sugar help create a flavorful and nice golden brown cobbler topping. And then it ready to bake! It needs only about twenty minutes in the dutch oven and when you can start smelling the fragrance of baked fruit, you know you’re about there.
This is my go-to dessert while we’re camping since it requires only a few simple ingredients and is so simple to put together. Plus, in my opinion it’s as good as cobbler made with ingredients from scratch. And it’s hard to resist something so yummy that you can enjoy anywhere, and doesn’t require turning on the oven on a hot summer day.
Easy Dutch Oven Cobbler
Makes 6-8 servings
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4 cups fruit such as berries, peaches, apples, etc.
1/2 box cake mix
About 1 cup lemon lime soda
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold
2 tablespoons sugar
Whipped cream, for serving
Preheat 45 charcoal briquettes until white and glowing. Lightly grease the bottom of a cast iron camp dutch oven with cooking spray.*
Wash and prepare fruit. If using strawberries or stone fruit such as peaches, slice into smaller pieces. In a medium bowl combine the cake mix and lemon lime soda. You want a batter that is thick, but moist (it does not have to be precise, I’ve had varying consistencies from stiffer batters to thinner cake-like batters).
Place fruit in the cast iron dutch oven and spoon batter over top, smoothing with a spoon if necessary. Thinly slice the butter and place evenly over batter. Sprinkle with the sugar, if using. Cover the dutch oven with its lid.
Place 15 hot charcoal briquettes together and set dutch oven over them. Using tongs, place the remaining 30 briquettes on the dutch oven lid. After about 10 minutes, rotate the dutch oven over the coals clockwise and the lid over the dutch oven counter clockwise to promote even cooking. Check after 20 minutes, cobbler is done with the topping is golden brown and the fruit juices are bubbling.
Remove dutch oven from coals. Serve the cobbler with whipped cream.
*Alternately, preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease a standard baking dish with cooking spray. Bake the cobbler until golden brown and the fruit is bubbly around the edges.
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