Here at Campfire Magazine, we always say you should be able to make great food with only two rings and a wobbly table (and a few tasty ingredients, of course!). We asked savvy caravan-fan Amanda Regan to tell us how she manages to bake cakes with basic equipment and a whole lot of love.
Cooking in a caravan or whilst camping is not without challenges, but delicious dishes can be made with limited space, limited equipment and unlimited enthusiasm and imagination.
In my opinion, there’s an essential kitchen item – the double skillet. The two pans can be used independently or can be clicked together and used with a heat diffuser as an oven capable of baking potatoes, roasting chicken, warming breakfast pastries and baking cakes.
There are lots of other ways to make cakes – and even bread – when tent camping or campervanning. Have a look at our comprehensive baking guide for the equipment, the know-how and the secret (until now!) tips.
Pancakes with berries and maple syrup
A simple but satisfying breakfast, this is my go-to recipe for four pancakes. One cup self-raising flour, one cup milk, one egg and a pinch of salt. Mix together with a whisk or fork. There is no need for the batter to stand. Melt a knob of butter in the pan, pour in the batter. When the batter starts to bubble flip the pancake over. Ensure both sides are cooked before removing from the pan, tumbling fresh berries over the pancake and adding a generous drizzle of maple syrup.
For a vegan version, no need for egg at all, use non-dairy milk and a dairy-free butter.
If you haven’t come across the Tefal Ingenio pans, do have a look at them. There are three sizes of pan and two frying pans that all share a click-on handle. Fantastic for saving space when camping. We use ours at home too. The stainless steel ones are very expensive, but there are lightweight versions that will do the perfectly and are more affordable.
Chocolate and vanilla marble birthday cake
Baked in a double skillet indeed! I carefully pre-weighed and pre-packed my ingredients before leaving home, thus saving space and weight in the caravan and leaving very little to do on site.
I greased the non-stick double skillet and left it to warm before adding the cake mixture and leaving the double skillet to work its magic. I checked the cake regularly, as there is little you can do to regulate the temperature.
I was truly amazed by the end result, which I topped with chocolate ganache and chocolate crunch sprinkles before adding candles and presenting the birthday girl with her surprise.
Tips for campers
Weight and space are at a premium in a caravan or tent, but there are some steps you can take to make life easier.
- Pre-weigh ingredients and transport in reusable silicone bags. If you use storage boxes (folding ones if space is tight) for ingredients, these can then be used to keep your cakes fresh.
- Pre-mix dry ingredients wherever possible.
- Transfer liquids into plastic containers.
- Store recipes on your smartphone or tablet.
- Don’t be too proud to use a packet mix. In fact, have a look at our readymeals article to see we’re not proud!
- Use collapsible silicone cookware, like the Lakeland casserole dish, or the Ingenio pans mentioned above.
Finally, the most important piece of advice: have fun! Double skillets are quite hard to come by, but we’ve found a few for you. Also have a look at what else you can use in our camping and baking article.
Amanda is a passionate baker and caravanner, and she loves to combine the two. She’s been vegetarian for more than 30 years. She enjoys the challenges of cooking in a confined space to produce mouthwatering food for family and friends. Whilst believing the creation of cakes, bread and pastry to be an exact science, she follows a more liberal “throw any available ingredient in the pot” approach to savoury dishes. Amanda and her civil partner Allison own a caravan called Gertie.