Camping Pancakes recipe (with gluten-free variation)

I recently reviewed Helen Olsson’s book The Down and Dirty Guide to Camping with Kids which is a great guide for any family about to venture into the outdoors (even if it’s the backyard). In her book, besides great lists of what to pack and what to do, she also provides some wonderful camping recipes. I decided to try the pancakes for my family, even though I was making them in the comfort of my home. I used the same pan that I bring when we go camping; the only difference is there was probably less dirt in this version!

If you are interested in buying the book, you can do that directly from Roost Books. Guess what?! You can get a discount. The family and friends discount code is FAMCHEF12, for 30% OFF, and expires on September 15, 2012. Enjoy this wonderful book!

Below is her recipe for blueberry pancakes (I served berries on the side). My version is gluten-free, of course, but that’s an easy adjustment. I have to say they were a big hit. I would absolutely make this recipe while camping.

A few tips from The Family Chef:

  • Measure the dry ingredients and place them in a glass mason jar or a plastic container (see step 1; great idea!) 
  • If you are using kosher salt, use 3/4 teaspoon instead of 1/2 teaspoon.
  • To help the pancakes rise, add 1 teaspoon white vinegar with the liquid ingredients.
  • Use vegetable oil (safflower, sunflower, etc) instead of melting butter; one less dish to wash! 
  • Place oil or shortening on the griddle pan; butter burns too easily.
  • Add a dash of cinnamon for flavor (family favorite). 
Camping Pancakes* (excerpt from page 96. Note: the recipe in the book is for blueberry pancakes)

1 1/2 cups flour (for gluten-free, use a gluten-free flour blend and a heaping 1/4 teaspoon of xanthan gum)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 Tablespoons sugar
1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder

2 eggs
3 Tablespoons melted butter
1 1/4 cup almond milk or cow’s milk
3/4 cup blueberries (I left out)

1. At home, sift the flour twice. Mix the dry ingredients together in a large freezer bag and use a permanent marker to write the rest of the recipe on the bag.
2. At home, crack the eggs into a widemouthed Nalgene bottle and mix with the milk.**
3. In camp, whisk the wet ingredients. Add to the dry ingredients and mix lightly.
4. Melt the butter and let it cool. Fold the melted butter and then the blueberries into the pancake batter. If the batter seems too thick, add more milk.
5. Add a little butter to the pan. When the foam subsides, pour a half cup of batter for each pancake. When bubbles begins to form and bottoms are browned, flip the cakes. (About 2 1/2 – 3 minutes).
6. If your pan is large, you may need to rotate it around the smallish flame of the camp stove to evenly brown the pancakes.
**Once the eggs are cracked, be sure to cook them within two days’ time.

*Excerpted from THE DOWN AND DIRTY GUIDE TO CAMPING WITH KIDS by Helen Olsson, (c)2012. Published by arrangement with Roost Books, an imprint of Shambhala Publications, Inc., Boston.
Helen Olsson is a freelance travel and skiing writer and a contributor to the New York Times Travel and Escapes sections, where she writes about family outdoor and adventure travel. Visit her website at

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One Response to Camping Pancakes recipe (with gluten-free variation)

    Stephanie Weber July 14, 2012 at 4:18 am #

    Thanks for this great recipe! I am going camping with some friends and family and this is certainly something “doable” for a quick trip.

    As always, thanks for the wonderful tips!

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