Nature has always been a place that calms and rejuvenates me. This has been especially true during this season of COVID-19. We are lucky to live within walking distance of a mesa and during Colorado’s “Stay at Home Order” we crossed and recrossed its terrain on runs, bike rides, and hikes. (Fortunately, exercise was deemed essential as long as you stayed close to home.) We’d breathe the fresh air and let the anxiety fade away as we focused on the simple task of putting one foot in front of the other.
Like many of you, we mourned all our cancelled plans and adventures. To try and make up for it, we camped in the backyard. I have to admit, the adult enthusiasm about this one was low at first, but it felt really comforting to set up our tent and gather around our fire pit to eat dutch oven food. Camping was familiar and has such a positive association for our family. I’m usually a fall-asleep-the-second-my-head-hits-the-pillow sort of gal, but in the early stages of Coronavirus I’d been finding sleep a little more elusive. The first night we camped in the backyard I fell asleep while Noel read a bedtime story to the kids and didn’t rouse till sunrise. Several more camping “trips” with more dutch oven food followed. This particular recipe, debuted in our backyard, but can easily be taken on the road.
Technique-wise, this cake is a cousin to our Mississippi Mud Cake. It’s a great option for those not so keen on chocolate or if you’re looking for something a little lighter. The cake has the word “pudding” in the title, not because you will be using a box of pudding in the recipe (sorry, if that’s a disappointment), but because the final product features a delicious gooey, pudding-like layer. Take care not to over bake so you can enjoy that goodness. If you use the lemon zest the cake will also have a delightful hint of lemon flavor. Enjoy!
Dutch Oven Raspberry Pudding Cake
- 12" Dutch Oven
- 2 C Flour
- 1 1/2 C Sugar
- 1 TBSP Baking Powder
- 1/2 C Powdered Milk
- 3/4 C Water
- 1/2 C Oil
- 3 Eggs
- 1 tsp Vanilla
- 2 C Raspberries About 10-12 oz. Can be fresh or frozen
- 1 TBSP Lemon Juice
- Lemon Zest optional
- 1 C Sugar
- 1 C Hot Water
- 2 tsp Vanilla
- Mix together dry ingredients for the cake. (When we're taking this recipe car camping, I put all these ingredients in a plastic zip-top back at home.)
- Add water, eggs, oil, and vanilla. Stir until combined.
- Pour into a 12" dutch oven. (To save on cleanup, you can line the dutch oven with aluminum foil.)
- Dot the top of the cake with the berries. Drizzle lemon juice over berries and sprinkle with lemon zest, if using.
- Heat up the water. Stir in the sugar and vanilla. Pour the mixture over the cake and berries. (I'll be honest, while camping I have used cold water in a pinch and just made sure I stirred the mixture vigorously until the sugar dissolves.)
- Cover the dutch oven and bake using 8-10 briquettes on bottom and 14-16 briquettes on top for 45 or until the cake has puffed up and the edges are slightly golden. The secret to the gooey pudding layer is not overcooking. Rotate the dutch oven and lid every 10-15 minutes.
- Serve warm.