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.
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).
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.
↠ 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.
Prepare 21 coals and line a 10" (4 quart) Dutch oven with parchment paper.
MAKE THE FILLING: Core the apples and cut into slices. Add them to the Dutch oven and sprinkle with ¼ cup sugar and 1 tablespoon cinnamon. Stir to coat the apples in the cinnamon and sugar.
MAKE THE TOPPING: Combine the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, ¼ cup sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon, salt) in a mixing bowl. Cut the butter into small pieces and add to the bowl. Using your fingers, rub the butter into the dry ingredients until a crumbly meal begins to form. Add the milk and gently combine to create a dough.
ASSEMBLE THE COBBLER: 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.
BAKE THE COBBLER: Set the lid on the Dutch oven. Place the Dutch oven on a ring of seven coals, then evenly space 14 coals on top of the lid (this will create equivalent heat of a 350°F oven). Bake for 30-40 minutes, until the topping is golden brown.
*Nutrition is an estimate based on information provided by a third-party nutrition calculator
camping food, dutch oven
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First published 11/22/2016, updated 5/11/2020: This is a new and improved version of our Dutch Oven Apple Cobbler. Now featuring a shorter ingredient list, fewer steps, and a couple of creative “tricks”.