Want an easy, festive, holiday dessert that you can make at camp? This Dutch oven cranberry cobbler is exactly that. It's made with tender spiced cranberries that are topped with a sweet biscuit dough. It comes together in one pot and can be made in your fire pit or in your oven at home.
When it comes to easy desserts, cobblers and crisps top the list. They're quick to toss together in a single pan or pot, and can be made with virtually any type of fruit. The bright red color of this cranberry cobbler is perfect for the holidays, when fresh cranberries are available, but don't let the season stop you from swapping in a different type of fruit, or making it with frozen berries.
Why This Recipe is Great for Camping
- You can mix up the dry ingredients ahead of time so you've got less to do at camp.
- You can make it with just one bowl and your Dutch oven, and clean up is easy (as long as you line your Dutch oven before cooking!)
- It's a festive dessert perfect for the holidays, but can easily be adjusted to use whatever fruit you've got with you.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Cranberries--You can use fresh or frozen cranberries for this recipe. If you use frozen, you don't need to defrost them, but your cooking time may be slightly longer.
- Sugar--You can reduce the amount of sugar, if you want, but remember that cranberries are very tart. Cutting back on the sugar in the filling will make for a tart cranberry cobbler.
- Milk--You can use any milk you have on hand, whether skim, whole, or non-dairy. You can even use light cream or half and half. The higher the fat content, the more tender your cobbler topping will be.
How to Make Dutch Oven Cobbler
- Combine the cranberries, orange zest and juice, ½ cup sugar, cinnamon, and 2 tablespoons of flour in a bowl. Mix well so that the cranberries are evenly coated.
- Whisk the remaining flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Use your fingers or a fork to work the butter into the dry ingredients until it forms pea-sized balls. Pour the milk into the dough and use a fork to mix it gently.
- Line your Dutch oven with parchment paper. Spread the cranberries in an even layer on the bottom of the Dutch oven and top with scoops of the batter.
- Place the cobbler on top of 8 coals with 16 coals on the lid. Cook until the cranberry filling is bubbling and the topping is cooked through, replenishing the coals as needed.
Yes, but you will likely need to reduce the amount of sugar that you use. Cranberries are very tart, while other fruits are sweeter. If you are using ripe, juicy fruit, like in-season peaches or blueberries, they will be naturally sweet on their own, and you can reduce the sugar by half.
Definitely. Follow the instructions, but assemble the cobbler in a regular Dutch oven or baking dish. Bake at 350°F (180°C), uncovered, until the filling is bubbly and the topping is golden, about 45 minutes.
If you're at home, or have access to a freezer, this is fantastic with vanilla ice cream. If you're at camp, bring along a can of whipped cream to spray on top. (You'll need it for topping your skillet pancakes, anyway!)
Tips and Troubleshooting
- To get ahead, mix your dry topping ingredients in a resealable plastic bag before heading out on your camping trip.
- Start your coals about 15 minutes before you plan to start cooking your cobbler. They're ready when they are white.
- This recipe was made with a 12-inch (7.4-quart) Dutch oven. If you are using a smaller 10-inch (5-quart) Dutch oven, use 7 coals underneath and 14 on top.
- Be sure to line your Dutch oven with parchment paper for easy clean up.
- Store extra cobbler in a sealed container in your cooler or fridge for up to 3 days. Leftover cobbler makes a great breakfast!
The Most Important Thing to Remember
Dutch oven campfire cooking is not an exact science. The cook time for the campfire cobbler is going to vary depending on the outside temperature, the frequency that you replace your coals, and how often you open the lid. Be patient!
More Camping Dessert Recipes You'll Love
Tried This Recipe?
Dutch Oven Cranberry Cobbler
- 7.4-quart Dutch oven
For the cranberries
- 4 cups (1 lb | 454 g) fresh or frozen cranberries
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- Zest and juice of 1 orange
- 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
For the cobbler topping
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ¾ teaspoons salt
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into small cubes
- ½ cup milk
Prepare the coals and Dutch oven
- Light a chimney of coals. You'll need 24 coals to start cooking. Line your Dutch oven with parchment paper.
Prepare the cranberries
- In a large bowl, mix the cranberries, sugar, flour, orange zest and juice, and cinnamon. Stir well so that all of the cranberries are coated.
- Arrange the cranberries in an even layer on the bottom of the Dutch oven.
Make the cobbler topping
- Wipe out the bowl that you mixed the cranberries in. Add the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt, and whisk them together.
- Add the cubes of butter and use a fork or your fingers to work the butter into the dry ingredients until they're evenly dispersed and the size of small peas.
- Pour in the milk and use a fork to gently mix the dough together until evenly moistened. Drop the dough in scoops over the top of the cranberries.
Cook the cobbler
- Arrange 8 hot coals (or embers) in your fire pit and set the covered Dutch oven on top. Place 16 coals on the lid of the Dutch oven.
- Let the cobbler cook until the filling is bubbling and the biscuits are cooked through and tender, about 1 hour, replenishing the coals as necessary. You'll know that it's nearly ready when you can smell it. To check for doneness, you can gently pry the topping apart. It should be tender, but not wet inside.
- Let it cool slightly before serving.
- Get ahead--Mix your dry topping ingredients in a resealable plastic bag before heading out on your camping trip.
- Preparing your coals--Start your coals about 15 minutes before you plan to start cooking your cobbler. They're ready when they are white.
- Dutch oven size--This recipe was made with a 12-inch (7.4-quart) Dutch oven. If you are using a smaller 10-inch (5-quart) Dutch oven, use 7 coals underneath and 14 on top.
- Make clean up easy--Be sure to line your Dutch oven with parchment paper.
- Storage and leftovers--Store extra cobbler in a sealed container in your cooler or fridge for up to 3 days. Leftover cobbler makes a great breakfast!