4 Best Trail-Tested Backcountry Dessert Recipes

There’s nothing sweeter than sitting down to a glutenous dessert after a hard day’s hike/paddle/float.  Here are the 4 top trail-tested desserts that we found for you to add to your next adventure:


This one comes to us from Outside Magazine via NOLS instructor Casey Pikla.  He’s also one of the hosts of the ever-popular NOLS Cooking Show’s YouTube channel.


  • ¾ cup sugar (brown or white depending on preference)
  • ½ cup peanut butter (creamy for a smooth texture, crunchy otherwise)
  • 3 tbsp butter, softened
  • 6 oz chocolate or 1 cup chocolate chips, melted
  • Optional: Cinnamon, honey, oats or any ingredients that tickle your sweet tooth


  1. Mix peanut butter, butter, sugar and any optional ingredients together until well combined. Roll out dollops of the peanut butter mixture into one-inch oblongs; set aside.
  2. Next, in a small pan melt your favorite chocolate. If you’re using a bar, either chop or smash into coarse pieces to quicken the melting process. “You’ll want to use a lot of tender love and care as you melt the chocolate, being sure to stir frequently,” he advises. As chocolate is easy to scorch, his trick is to “…remove the chocolate from the heat just before all the pieces are completely melted and allow the residual heat to finish the job.” Ultimately, you want a smooth consistency throughout.
  3. Continue by rolling your prepared peanut butter balls in the melted chocolate. Set the balls aside on a container or pot lid to cool for about 20 minutes. Or as long as your capacity for civilized self-restraint will allow. Last, but not least, devour.


2.  Bourbon-Bread Pudding (BACKPACKER)

Not the most aesthetically-pleasing dessert, but this one will knock your socks off after a long day on the trail.  This comes cutesy of BACKPACKER



  • 4 large slices whole-grain sandwich bread
  • 3 Tbsp butter, melted (or coconut oil)
  • ⅓ cup powdered milk (whole milk preferable)
  •  1/4 cup raisins
  • big pinch nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp powdered eggs


  1. At  home, cube bread and mix with melted butter or coconut oil, raisins, spices, salt and sugar.
  2.  Transfer mixture to ziplock plastic bag
  3. Add powdered milk and powdered eggs to mixture
  4. Meanwhile, add milk powder to 1 cup treated water in a sealable, boilable container or freezer bag and shake well to blend. Add bourbon and egg powder to milk and continue to mix until well blended, then stir into bread mixture.
  5.  Bring a pot of water to boil; add ziplock bag with mixture to boiling water.   Cook in bag for 5 minutes



This one comes from a dear friend, Lauren Koshere  (maker of the famous Ten-Point Cookies) who shared her favorite trail secret with Jet Boil


  • 3 Tbsp powdered milk
  • 3 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • dash of salt
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter (non-natural works best)
  • 1 1/2 cups of quick oats, uncooked
  • 1 cups of pecan pieces


At Home:

  • Measure and mix dry ingredients (powdered milk, cocoa powder, sugar and salt).

On the trail:

  • Put pre-measured dry ingredients into your pot with water and peanut butter.  Bring to a boil; boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  • Turn off stove.  Immediately add quick oats and pecan pieces.  Blend well.
  • Spoon rounded teaspoons of dough onto a spare plate or any other flat surface.  Allow to cool for 5 to 10 minutes.

4.  Orange Peel Cupcakes (EUREKA TENTS)

camping dessert recipes

The easiest of them all.  An orange peel cupcake recipe brought to you by Eureka Tents.   This one can be prepared at home and only takes a few minutes in the backcountry.


  • “Just Add Water” Dry Cupcake or Muffin Mix:
  • Oranges (for peel only)


  1.  Cut oranges in half and remove/eat the insides
  2. Mix dry cupcake mix with water and fill orange halves
  3. Cover with foil (unless cooking over coals)
  4.  Place filled orange peels in fire/coal and cook for 10-15 minutes