Saturday, October 13, 2012

Oat hotcakes in camp

I am posting this recipe by request. After a camping trip with my sister's family to Upper Blue Lake in Eldorado National Forest last month, I received this email from Elizabeth: "Hope you are going to post the recipe for your impromptu hotcakes. Both Ashley and Naomi want it!"

Elizabeth and I worked out the menu in the month leading to the trip. With family favorites, like campfire grilled chicken and roast trip-tip planned for the dinner meals, I was to bring my Dutch ovens into camp, prepare my much requested bread pudding for a dessert and the family hotcake recipe for Saturday morning breakfast.

Everyone enjoyed dinner and dessert Friday evening. My brother-in-law grilled chicken breasts and thighs to perfection over the cooking fire while I introduced Ashley, a young culinary student and my niece's high school friend, to cast iron Dutch ovens. As Ashley sliced 14 apples (a mixture of Granny Smith, honeycrisp and Fuji) for apple crisp, I prepared the 14-inch Dutch oven for the dessert.

I enjoyed a lazy Saturday morning next to the campfire with a cup of coffee while the fishing brigade worked the lake. As Elizabeth and I talked about our late-morning breakfast, I learned that I had misread her email. I was supposed to prepare the hotcake mix at home (click for my original article on "Hotcakes at 9,000 feet").

After a quick inventory, I realized that flour was in short supply in camp. Elizabeth had purposely left her flour at home. And my supply amounted to a meager cup of all-purpose flour. So, I prepared the hotcake batter with ingredients on hand. Quick cooking rolled oats filled in for most of the flour.

Oat hotcakes are a new camp favorite.


These are approximate measurements as I eyeballed each ingredient. For a richer flavor, substitute molasses or dark brown sugar for the white sugar. Try adding toasted pecans or walnuts for a nutty flavor. Raisins or currants will also work in this recipe. Click for my oatmeal walnut hotcake recipe from 2011.

1 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups quick cooking rolled oats
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-1/2 cups milk
1/4 cup liquid bacon grease or vegetable oil

Light a campfire and burn until you have a bed of hot coals. (Hotcakes can be cooked over a campstove if desired.)

In a bowl, stir flour, oats, sugar, baking powder and salt together. Crack eggs into the dry mixture. Add milk and vanilla. Whisk just until the batter is blended. Add the oil or bacon grease and mix again just until the batter is blended. The batter will be slightly lumpy.

When the coals are ready, spread them under a lightly greased cast iron skillet or griddle and heat just until it smokes. For each hotcake, pour about 1/4 cup of batter onto the hot griddle or skillet. Turn when each hotcake’s surface is bubbly and the edges are slightly dry. Cook until golden brown.

Serve with butter and brown sugar syrup (recipe follows). While I didn't count how many hotcakes that I cooked, each person in camp (11 total) received one cake. It should give you around 12 hotcakes.


Some things are just too easy to make at home, including hotcakes and brown sugar syrup. I figure, why buy the bottled stuff when you can easily produce quality syrup at home.

1 cup brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup corn syrup
2 cups water
3 tablespoons unsalted butter

In a medium saucepan, bring the sugars, corn syrup and water to a boil. Reduce heat to a vigorous simmer until thickened to a syrupy consistency, about 30 minutes. Stir in butter. Let cool slightly. Store in the refrigerator for up to one month.


  1. Thanks, Steven. I have forwarded it to Ashley. Thanks for taking her under your wing; she thoroughly enjoyed herself.

    Now I have to download my photos from the trip. I'm behind as well!


  2. Thanks, Elizabeth. I enjoyed the weekend as well. It was fun having a culinary student in camp. I was impressed by her knife skills. The apples for dessert were evenly sliced like a pro.