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Baked goods can be a challenge on a backpacking trip—but not with this recipe. (Photo: Bartosz Luczak/iStock)

The Key to Easy, Gooey Trail Brownies? Scramble ’Em.

Those instructions on the brownie box? Feel free to ignore them. This simple technique will get you a chocolatey dessert in just a few minutes.

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Jennifer Bowen

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Baked goods are a conundrum for backpackers. Crumbly and loaded with water weight, they’re often too fragile and too heavy to be worth carrying on the trail. But baking in the backcountry is a commitment: Either you need to haul in a Dutch oven (heavy) and make a fire (not always safe or allowed), or do it on a canister stove (tricky to master, easy to burn).

The easy solution: Adapt your recipes to the equipment you have. This fantastic recipe starts with store-bought brownie mix, but instead of baking it, cooks it like scrambled eggs in a pan for a moist, fudgy recipe that you can enjoy on its own or over ice cream (pack it in with an insulated bottle for a first-night treat). It also dresses up that store-bought mix with a custom spice blend made out of cinnamon, cloves, and cayenne pepper for a kick, as well as toasted almonds for crunch.

Want to go all-in and master legit backcountry baking? We can help you do that too. 


Recipe: Spiced Scrambled Brownies

Spice blend

  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • pinches of ground cloves and cayenne

Main ingredients

  • 1 cup brownie mix
  • 1 Tbsp oil
  • 2 Tbsp toasted chopped almonds

In camp:

Pour brownie mix and spices into a nonstick pan; slowly stir in water until you get a batter that’s thin enough to easily pour off your spoon. Stir in oil. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until batter gets thick and fudgey and starts to pull away from the sides of the pan. Fold in almonds. Eat with a spoon.

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