Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Gluten Free Dutch Oven Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Last Friday night we had our annual Cub Scout family campout. We had a great turn out and everyone had lots of fun. Each family was responsible for their own meals, which means lots of foil dinners and hot dogs. We went the foil dinner route (and they were quite good, if I do say so myself. I added a couple pieces of bacon so there would be enough fat to keep everything from burning and it gave a great flavor to the meat and veggies), and of course there was s'mores for dessert.

But Friday morning I got to thinking about it and decided I wanted to do a dutch oven pineapple upside down cake. Never mind that I haven't done any dutch oven cooking in years.... Since it was a last minute thing we stopped by wally world on the way to the campground to pick up a boxed cake mix and a can of pineapple rings. I brought eggs, brown sugar, and butter from home to round out the ingredients.

Wally world used to carry Betty Crocker gluten free cake mixes, which I've used a few times with decent results. But this time they didn't have them- they only had Pillsbury gluten free cake mixes, which I've never used before. Without any other options, I decided to give it a try.

I read through multiple upside down cake recipes, and they're all pretty much the same. Butter and brown sugar in the bottom, pineapple rings on top, followed by cake mix that was already mixed up in a bowl, using the pineapple juice from the can.  I also read that lining your dutch oven with foil made clean up a lot easier. Since our dutch oven is in need of re-seasoning, I opted for a couple layers of foil.

Once the cake was layered into the dutch oven, I put the lid on and put it over some coals in the campfire. I pulled out a small chunk of smoldering wood and put it on the lid. Everything I read said using charcoal briquettes is the easiest route as it's easier to be precise. I would have to agree, since the top of my cake was done before the middle was. But after rotating the dutch oven a few times and waiting about twice as long as the recipes said (about an hour, in the end, I think) it was done.

I pulled the foil wrapped cake out of the dutch oven (a 4qt oven, for those wondering) and peeled the foil from the sides of the cake. Then I put a cutting board on the top of the cake and carefully flipped it over. I removed the foil and was left with a beautiful pineapple upside down cake.

I cut each pineapple ring in fourths and most everyone got a piece. All said it was yummy, and no one commented on it being gluten free and/or yucky. So I'll be willing to use a Pillsbury gluten free cake mix again should the occasion warrant it.

And only tiny crumbs were left :)


We've taken Sunshine camping before, but this was both boys' first time camping. The last couple years we've come to the campout, but not actually stayed the night. Camping just wasn't an appealing prospect when I was pregnant with either boy, and we weren't feeling that adventurous when River was 8 months old. Ocean is 10 and a half months old and we were feeling more adventurous, so we decided to try it out. Overall, it was a good experience, though it's been a few years since I last slept on the ground, and my bones are definitely not getting any younger.

Sleeping in the tent was an adventure for the boys- they wiggle and flop around too much and there were just too many distractions. They didn't fall asleep until 11. Ok, we didn't head to the tent until 9:30/10, but still, they had a hard time winding down. They finally passed out, sprawled all over, not in their sleeping bags.

Ocean in particular was a wiggly little boy and ended up under the eye glass pocket. It didn't seem to bother him that it was in his face. Ahh, to be that oblivious...

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