Dutch Oven Apple Cobbler

Cinnamon spiced apples with a crumbly baked top, this Dutch oven apple cobbler is a surprisingly easy campfire dessert for you to try on your next camping trip.

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Baking an apple cobbler on a camping trip definitely sounds impressive, right? But despite the high production value, this Dutch Oven Apple Cobbler recipe is actually really simple to pull off.

Apple cobbler in a blue bowl next to a Dutch oven

We’ve stripped down the ingredient list, consolidated steps, and developed a few tricks to speed the process along.

So now you can wow your friends and family with this incredible dessert, without breaking a sweat.

Why We Love It:
↠ Big production value for not a whole lot of work.
↠ Can mix the dry ingredients at home. Add the milk and butter on-site.
↠ Using a parchment paper liner makes clean up a breeze.

If you’re just getting into using a Dutch oven to bake at a campsite, this is a perfect recipe to try out. It’s “baking” in the loosest sense of the word and very forgiving at that.

Apple cobbler in a Dutch oven

How to Make Dutch oven Apple Cobbler

This recipe was developed using a 10” Dutch oven.

At home

Unless you need the flour and baking powder for other recipes, it’s easiest to mix the dry ingredients at home. Mix the flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt in a resealable container. Shake to thoroughly combine. Now you can leave the bag of flour and baking powder at home.

We recommend freezing a stick of butter before putting it in your cooler. You want the butter to be really cold for this recipe and pre-freezing beforehand goes a long way.

At camp

If you’re using charcoal, we suggest you get them started before you begin. For a 10” Dutch oven, you’ll need at least 21 coals – but it’s nice to have some extras on hand.

Line the bottom of your Dutch oven with parchment paper.

Slice your apples into wedges (1). We did this using a knife, but one of those circular apple corer / slicers things would be WAY faster! Place the apple slices on top of the parchment paper inside the Dutch oven. Add in the sugar and cinnamon and mix until the apple slices are evenly dusted. Try to flatten out the apple slices so they are more or less level (2).

How to make Dutch oven cobbler step by step photos

Retrieve your cold butter from the cooler, slice into cubes, and then work into the dry ingredients with your finger. Crumbling and smearing the dry ingredients into the flour, to create a coarse, crumbly meal.

Add in the milk a little bit at a time and work with your fingers until a dough forms (3). Tear off bits of dough and place on top of apples. You want little pockets of dough spread evenly around, not one large blob of dough in the middle (4).

Once the dough has been distributed, wash your hands, cover the oven, and start arranging your top and bottom charcoals: 7 on the bottom and 14 on the top, for about 350F.

Our apple cobbler usually takes 30-40 minutes to fully cook. Once it starts to get close to being done, it will become really fragrant. So once you smell it, give it a quick visual check to see how it’s doing.

Apple cobbler in a blue bowl with a fork next to a Dutch oven

Essential Equipment

Dutch oven: This recipe was developed for a 10″ Dutch oven. You could use a larger, 12″ dutch oven but we would suggest increasing the recipe by 1.5X or 2X.
Chimney starter: A chimney starter will make preparing your charcoals easier. We like this collapsible version which is easy to store in our camp box.
Lid lifter: This lid lifter makes checking on the cobbler safe and easy, and it doubles as a pot stand when you’re ready to serve.
Apple Slicer: This isn’t totally essential, but using a apple corer/slicer tool would definitely make preparing the apples go way faster.

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  1. I made the topping for the apple cobbler, however, my topping is more like a dough instead of the crumbles (even though I used chilled butter). Do you think it’s still ok to use? I was thinking that I could just flatten it out and lay over top. Thoughts?

    1. Mine always comes out more doughy than crumbly. I just pull small pieces off and evenly space it on top of the apples. Tastes great and works.

  2. The apples were great. We used honey crisps. The brown sugar, cinnamon and we used spiced rum, were very good. Regrettably the “crumble” did not…crumble. When the first batch came out like cookie dough we tossed it and started over being even more meticulous. It still came out like cookie dough. So when the time came for “assembly” we rolled it out between sheets of waxed paper. It browned ok, but it was dry and doughy.

    1. We’re really sorry to hear this recipe didn’t turn out for you. It’s always a bummer when a recipe doesn’t work, especially when you are out camping. Do you happen to remember the state of the butter? The one thing we can think of offhand is that the butter may have been too soft/warm. This has happened to use before when making a streusel topping. The butter needs to be really cold for it to properly crumble. Too warm and it just gooes up and turns into dough. Before a camping trip, we recommend freezing a stick of butter ahead of time and keeping it in the cooler until you want to use it. We’re going to be retesting the recipe again and we’ll see if we run into the same issue. Thank you again for your feedback.

  3. The filling was good! I didn’t particularly love the topping though. I would say the crust needs more brown sugar and maybe add some spices and oatmeal to it. Thanks for the recipe!4 stars

    1. Hi JaKell! We actually just totally overhauled this recipe and took your feedback into account. We doubled the sugar in the topping and added some ground cinnamon, and we agree – it’s much tastier! We haven’t played with adding oats to it but we’ll definitely try that suggestion next time. Thanks again for you input! -Megan

      1. Was using a massive dutch oven so I doubled both and turned out great! Though I left it on about 10 min too long so cooked a little more than I’d like. But was a huge hit, soooo easy especially the parchment tip! Would do it again! Thank you!

        1. Oh yeah! I can’t believe we weren’t using that parchment paper trick the whole time. ESPECIALLY with a recipe like this that contains a bunch of sugars. When those things carmelize and stick to the bottom, they can be a total pain to clean. Team Parchment Paper all the way!

  4. Granny Smith Apples are the way to go. My so is making this today to finish up his Cooking Merit Badge and last required badge for Eagle Scout.