Sweet and gooey Dutch oven camping recipes are always a campsite treat. These delicious Dutch Oven Cinnamon Rolls are so easy to make. They require no yeast and no rolling. The secret: ready-to-bake dinner roll dough from the freezer!
In This Post:
Prep To Make This Recipe
There are lots of different ways to make your own cinnamon rolls when you’re camping. You could make an entirely homemade recipe but that means you’d have to do a lot of work with equipment you don’t have in the wilderness
Basic steps to make homemade rolls.
- Combine yeast with warm water or warm milk, add liquids and a flour mixture.
- Use an electric mixer, make a nice sticky dough.
- Use rubber spatula to transfer dough to greased bowl of a stand mixer.
- Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel, plastic wrap or wax paper and let it rise.
- Place dough on clean surface, use a rolling pin to roll dough into a rectangle shape.
- Add the cinnamon and brown sugar mixture and tightly roll the dough into a log shape.
- Cut into 2 inch pieces, place in pan, cover and let rise.
- Bake, cool, frost and serve.
How I’ve made them easier.
I don’t like making dough unless I absolutely must (even at home) so I prefer making an easy recipe that doesn’t require much time or work to prep, especially for, camping breakfast ideas, but I still want that ooey-gooey classic flavor and texture that you can’t get from a package of Pillsbury cinnamon rolls. With a little bit of trial and error, I came up with a simple recipe that was a huge hit.
The secret ingredient.
Frozen dinner roll dough: You still get fresh dough without the hassle. You do have to let it rise but you don’t have to roll it or cut it because the individual rolls are already formed into little dough balls.
If you are making this cinnamon roll recipe for the first time it is a good idea to use charcoal briquettes because of their consistent shape and burning uniformity. After making them a time or two, if you want to use campfire coals, especially if you are camping in cold weather and making winter camping recipes while you keep warm by the fire, or a propane camp stove with a dome and heat diffuser plate … go for it.
Steps To Make This Recipe
Step 1. Prepare your ingredients, cooking equipment and timing as directed. The only thing you may need to chop are the walnuts if you like them in small pieces. I prefer them larger for this recipe.
- Camp Cooking Tip: Plan your time accordingly, you are starting with frozen dinner roll bread dough. It will take about 1.5 hours for the dough to thaw and rise before you can begin baking. Then you will need approximately 30 more minutes for baking time.
Step 2. Line a standard depth 12-inch Dutch oven with parchment paper. I recommend lining your Dutch oven with a piece of parchment paper or a pre-cut parchment paper liner. If you’ve never done it before, I have tips on how to line a Dutch oven with parchment paper. Some people line with aluminum foil but I think it gives an odd flavor to baked goods.
- Camp Cooking Tip: The size of your Dutch oven matters. You need to use a standard depth Dutch oven (NOT a deep Dutch oven) to bake these cinnamon buns. The flanged lid of a deep oven does NOT position the hot coals close enough to the dough to bake them evenly. The bottom will burn while the top of the dough will still be raw. If you need to use a standard depth 10-inch or 14-inch Dutch oven, you’ll need to adjust the number of cinnamon rolls you’re making.
Step 3. Place dough balls in oven, thaw and let rise. Now it’s time to arrange the frozen dough balls in the Dutch oven. You’ll want to space them evenly apart so they have room to thaw and rise in a warm place. You’re looking for the dough to double in size … it will take about an hour and a half.
- Camp Cooking Tip: Cast iron cookware maintains its temperature. You never know the exact situation when you’re dealing with outdoor cooking. So, you may need to improvise on finding a location that is warm enough to let the dough thaw and rise. If your cast iron pot is cold-soaked from cold air temperatures, you may need to add a little bottom and top heat by setting it near a campfire or some other location that will take the chill out of it.
Step 4. Prepare coals for baking. Make sure your dough has risen enough prior to getting your coals ready. This recipe bakes in about 30 minutes so you should only need one set of charcoal briquettes. You’ll be baking at 350 F degrees. For a 12-inch Dutch oven, you’ll need about 25 coals, 17 will be placed on top of the Dutch oven and 8 under it. If you are using a different oven size, check our Dutch oven temperature chart to see how many coals you’ll need.
- Camp Cooking Tip: When baking at specific temperatures, use charcoal briquettes. Their uniform shape and size provide consistent heat for even baking.
Step 5. Pour the butter and cream over the dough balls. Now it’s time to pour the melted butter over the dough. Followed by the cream.
- Camp Cooking Tip: If a recipe calls for melting 1 cup butter, use a small saucepan. If a recipe only calls for 1 tablespoon butter, just melt it in a heat-resistant coffee cup by setting it near a campfire or warm camp stove.
Step 6. Combine cinnamon sugar mixture and sprinkle over dough. In a small bowl, combine sugar, cinnamon and walnuts. Then sprinkle it evenly over all of the rolls.
Step 7. Cover and bake. Place lid on the oven and arrange the coals for even baking.
Bake about 25-30 minutes, watching for a nice golden brown color to form. Any time you are making Dutch oven baked goods, make sure you turn the lid and oven 1/4 turn in opposite directions every 10 minutes or so to ensure even baking.
- Camp Cooking Tip: Place the coals in a checkerboard pattern so there is NOT a “center coal” under the middle of the oven, otherwise the rolls closest to the center may burn on the bottom.
Step 8. Prepare the frosting. It doesn’t take a long time to make the frosting so you can just do it while the rolls are baking. If you are making one recipe, you’ll mix the softened butter, softened cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla extract in a medium bowl. If you’re making a double batch (like we did), you’ll want to use a large bowl otherwise you may end up with 1 cup sugar on the ground. LOL Now just place mixture aside and wait for the rolls to finish baking.
- Camp Cooking Tip: The frosting might seem thick but don’t worry, as you spread it on the hot rolls, it will melt.
- Camp Cooking Tip: If your camping crowd likes a lot of frosting, make a double batch like we did. Ensure your ingredients are softened because you’ll be mixing by hand.
Step 9. Frost and serve warm. Once the rolls are done, remove the lid and transfer the oven to a location where you can spread the mouth-watering frosting over the rolls. It will melt over the warm rolls into a creamy texture. Use the “handles” of the exposed parchment paper liner (be careful not to burn yourself on the hot oven) to lift the rolls out of the oven to transfer to a serving plate. Let cool slightly and enjoy.
P.S. They are a little messy so you may want to break out a fork and knife. If there are leftovers, just refrigerate them until the next morning … these things are delicious cold too!
What To Serve With These Easy Cinnamon Rolls
You really don’t need anything with these yummy treats except for a tall cold glass of milk and a strong hot cup of coffee! I’ve got tips on how to make coffee when camping so you can enjoy the perfect cup of joe every single time.
This is one of those easy camping meals for large groups but if you have a really big crowd and want to serve something savory too, make a casserole with meat, eggs and potatoes in one pot. This Mountain Man Breakfast has a slightly spicy touch of the southwest … yum!
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I love making easy camping meals that taste fantastic. If you like this recipe, here are some others you should try.
- I have several different French toast recipes but this Dutch Oven French Toast is baked in a Dutch oven, sliced and served family style. The cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves give this recipe nice warm notes and it’s topped with a sweet, powdered sugar glaze drizzle.
- This Red Velvet French Toast combines cinnamon, cocoa powder and brioche bread as the base. Fry it in butter and add a sweet cream cheese glaze to top it off. This is the perfect holiday breakfast.
- My easy Dutch Oven Coffee Cake has similar flavors with cinnamon and brown sugar being the stars. I made it really easy for Dutch oven cooking in the great outdoors by starting with a boxed cake mix.
- Have you ever made pie iron cinnamon rolls? Lots of people call them campfire cinnamon rolls and they are sooooooooo easy. They are great for your last day at camp when you want to make the easiest thing possible.
- The first thing you need to do is start with a low temperature campfire, that’s the only way to cook the cinnamon roll dough all the way through. Use a little cooking spray on the inside of your pie iron and place a slice of the cinnamon roll log in, cook about 15 minutes, turning to cook both sides. Top with frosting and enjoy.
- This is one of my favorite camping desserts for fall and winter camp trips. I especially like making it on the holidays for Thanksgiving and Christmas. This Upper Crust Apple Pie feels a bit like a cobbler but has a more traditional pie dough type-topping that you sprinkle over the top of your filling … no rolling pins allowed!
- Cinnamon, sugar, nuts and refrigerated biscuit dough make a simple and fast Dutch Oven Monkey Bread.
Print This Recipe
Easy Dutch Oven Cinnamon Rolls Camping Recipe
Cinnamon Roll Ingredients
- 12 frozen unbaked dough dinner rolls bread dough dinner rolls (see * Note)
- 2/3 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons butter melted
- 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients (If your camping crowd likes a lot of frosting, make a double batch of it.)
- 2 tablespoons butter softened
- 2 ounces cream cheese softened
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Line a standard depth 12-inch Dutch oven with a piece of parchment paper or a pre-cut parchment paper liner. (see ** Note)
- Arrange frozen dinner roll dough balls in the Dutch oven, spacing them evenly. In a warm place, cover with lid and let the dough thaw and then rise until the dough doubles in volume, about 1 1/2 hours.
- Prepare coals for baking at 350 F degrees. You’ll need about 25 coals total (17 top/8 bottom). (see *** Note)
- Pour the melted butter over the dough balls.
- Next, pour the heavy cream over the top.
- Combine the brown sugar, cinnamon and walnuts then sprinkle over the top of each dough ball.
- Cover with lid and arrange the coals for baking. Place the coals in a checkerboard pattern so there is not a “center coal” under the middle of the oven, otherwise the rolls closest to the center may burn on the bottom.
- Bake until golden brown, about 25-30 minutes. Rotate the lid and oven 1/4 turn in opposite directions about every 10 minutes.
- While rolls are baking, make the frosting. By hand, mix the butter, cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla extract in a bowl. The frosting might seem thick but don’t worry, as you spread it on the hot cinnamon rolls, it will melt.
- When the rolls are finished baking, remove the Dutch oven from the coals and spread with frosting, letting it melt and slightly cool.
- Use the exposed parchment paper as “handles” to lift the rolls out of the hot Dutch oven (be careful not to burn yourself) to transfer to a serving plate. Serve warm.
More Yummy Meal Ideas
I believe every meal should be worth eating! Try some new recipes on your next trip!