Campfire Recipe: Fresh Strawberry Upside Down Cake

Boy, you talk about turning lemons into lemonade; this is a story of how crushed strawberries became my family’s favorite. Well, you see, the story begins with picking fresh strawberries. Ok, I had the great idea of taking a bunch of fresh strawberries on a camping trip. I know, you are wondering why. Why would a sane person take fresh strawberries camping? The reason I planned on this fresh fruit was to give my kids something quick and easy as a snack. I mean all I had to do was wash the strawberries right? Well, in theory yes but……………when life gives you lemons. In this case, it was a bunch of crushed strawberries. Oh, did I mention with stems? 

After working through the fruit and pulling out the stems, I had wonder crushed fruit. What to do? Well, my brilliant son came up with an idea. Top cake with the crushed fruit and a little whipped cream he thought. Well, yeah that will work but…….I wanted something a little different. This is how this recipe was born.

So the next time you find crushed, fresh fruit in your camp kitchen create your own version of an upside down cake.

Campfire Recipe:  Fresh Strawberry Upside Down Cake


Liquid or spray oil

2 cups of fresh, crushed strawberries

3 ounce package of strawberry flavored gelatin mix

3 cups of miniature marshmallows

18 ounce package of yellow cake mix with ingredients to fix the cake

Whipped cream, optional



  1. Start by first building a fire to prepare the coals.
  2. Lightly grease a 12 inch Dutch oven and line with parchment paper.
  3. Top the parchment paper with crushed strawberries and spread out.
  4. Sprinkle the gelatin mix on top of the crushed strawberries.
  5. Arrange the miniature marshmallows on top of this layer.
  6. In a bowl, mix the yellow cake mix according to directions.
  7. Pour the prepared cake mix on top of the marshmallow layer.
  8. Add the lid to the 12 inch Dutch oven.
  9. Move the filled 12 inch Dutch oven to a heat resistant surface.
  10. Place 12 prepared coals in a circle on the heat resistant surface.
  11. Top the prepared coals with the 12 inch Dutch oven.
  12. Cover the lid with 24 prepared coals.
  13. Cook for 35 minutes.
  14. After the time has passed, knock off the coals and check for doneness with a toothpick. If not done, place more coals on top and cook for another 10 minutes.
  15. Once done, remove the Dutch oven from the ring of coals and allow to cool for 30 minutes before serving.

To serve, invert the cake onto a plate and remove the parchment paper. Top with whipped cream if desired.