Campfire Donuts from Men With the Pot Cookbook
Campfire Donuts from Men With the Pot Cookbook (Photo: Courtesy Quarto)

Campfire Doughnuts

Campfire Donuts from Men With the Pot Cookbook
Courtesy Quarto

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These donuts from Slawek Kalkraut and Krzysztof “Kris” Szymanski’s new release, Men with the Pot Cookbook: Delicious Grilled Meats and Forest Feasts, make for a perfect morning or after-dinner treat. The dry ingredients for the dough can be easily mixed together in a large bowl before you leave for the campsite, and you could even make the mixed berry and chocolate sauces ahead of time on a stove. Be careful not to cook too much of the whisky off the chocolate sauce—the bold punch of alcohol transforms this dish into a grown-up treat for the outdoors.

Nervous about frying over the campfire? Here’s a tip from Kalkraut and Szymanski: “The optimal oil temperature for deep-frying is between 350°F and 375°F. To test whether the oil is hot enough, dip the handle of a wooden spoon or whittled stick into it. If there are steady bubbles in the oil, it’s ready. Super vigorous bubbles—too hot. Few bubbles—too cold.”


12 to 14 donuts


For the dough

  • Scant 3 cups all-purpose flour (350 g)
  • 3 heaping Tbsp. granulated sugar (40 g)
  • 1½ tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. table salt
  • 1 cup plus 2 tsp. buttermilk (250 ml)
  • 3 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. melted butter (50 ml)
  • 2 quarts oil

For the mixed berry sauce

  • 1 Tbsp. plus 2 tsp. butter (25 g)
  • About 7 ounces fresh strawberries, hulled and finely chopped (200 g)
  • About 3½ ounces fresh blackberries (100 g)
  • 2 Tbsp. honey (40 g)

For the chocolate whisky sauce

  • 1 Tbsp. plus 2 teaspoons butter (25 g)
  • 7 ounces chocolate (a mixture of dark and milk), chopped (200 g)
  • 1½ cups whisky (300 ml)
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • Grated zest of 1 lime

For decoration

  • 2 Tbsp. confectioners’ sugar (15 g)
  • Chopped fresh mint for garnish


Prepare your fire for medium heat.

To Make the Dough

1. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. In a smaller bowl, combine the buttermilk and melted butter.

2. Pour the buttermilk into the flour mixture and mix well. Knead in the bowl until a soft, smooth dough ball forms. Tear off pieces of dough (somewhere between the size of a golf ball and a tennis ball) and roll between your palms to form balls. Cover with a bowl and set aside while you prepare the sauces.

To Make the Mixed Berry Sauce

3. In a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Stir in the strawberries and cook for a couple of minutes.

4. Add the blackberries and cook, stirring occasionally, until the fruit is completely broken down and jammy. Stir in the honey and bring the sauce to a boil. All told, the sauce will take 10 to 15 minutes to cook. Transfer to a bowl and carefully clean the skillet.

To Make the Chocolate Whisky Sauce

5. Return the clean skillet to medium heat and add the butter to melt. Add the chocolate and cook, stirring constantly, until the chocolate is melted and smooth.

6. Carefully pour in the whisky—it will ignite! (If you’re using a gas grill, or this otherwise worries you, remove the pan from the flame before adding the whisky, then return it to the heat.) Let it burn; it will continue to burn while it thickens, but don’t let it go too long. You don’t want to burn off all the alcohol—you want to taste the whisky. The sauce won’t take more than 10 minutes to make. Stir in the lemon zest and lime zest to taste and transfer the sauce to a bowl.

To Make the Doughnuts

7. Prepare your fire for medium to high heat. Set a large pot over the heat and carefully pour in the oil. When hot, carefully add a few donuts and cook until they’re deeply golden and they float, four to six minutes.

8. Cook the donuts in batches; do not crowd the pot. Use tongs, a spider, or a slotted spoon to remove the cooked donuts from the oil and transfer to a serving board. Repeat with the remaining donuts. Sprinkle the cooked donuts with confectioners’ sugar and mint while warm and serve with the sauces for dipping.

Adapted with permission from Men with the Pot Cookbook: Delicious Grilled Meats and Forest Feast by Slawek Kalkraut and Krzysztof Szymanski

Lead Photo: Courtesy Quarto