Are you searching for the BEST recipe for pancakes for camping? Well, you have found it!
This recipe makes the absolute yummiest pillowy pancakes that you can make while camping or at home! So, whether you’re enjoying breakfast at home or out in nature, a stack of these delicious pancakes will make your morning so much better.
I really love pancakes and I also enjoy making them for my family when we are camping or enjoying a weekend at a cabin in Vermont. This is a recipe I have been making for over a decade since my eldest child was a toddler!
If you are not keen on using a store-bought pancake mix or are tired of flavorless dense pancakes, this will be your go-to recipe from now on. Seriously, nothing tastes as good as pancakes from scratch.
Definitely add this recipe to your list of camping meals, your family will thank you!
🥞 Homemade Pancakes for Camping
While this recipe does require fresh eggs and mixing at the campsite, you will find that their tastiness is well worth the extra effort.
With a little bit of prep time the night before you are well on your way to a delicious breakfast in the morning. In addition, they are more nourishing and filling, supporting your energy for outdoor activities for the day.
These pancakes for camping made with soaked batter, are easier on your digestion. This means you don’t feel heavy after eating! Soaking the flour also creates a delicious fluffy pancake.
This is also a great make-ahead batter for easy camping pancakes. Simply complete the final mixing at the campsite.
The preliminary mixing of the dry ingredients and soaking of the batter can take place in the morning or afternoon before you head to your campsite.
Bring along your pre-beaten eggs in a container and the remaining dry ingredients to use in the morning.
🌾 Why Should You Soak Your Grains?
Grains are seeds that contain enzyme inhibitors and anti-nutrients such as phytic acid. In a nutshell, the soaking of the grains cracks open the enzyme inhibitors. Cooking them further aids in this process.
We need enzymes in order to properly digest the foods we eat. Therefore, soaking grains makes them more digestible. Unfortunately, today’s fast-paced society has largely forgotten this practice.
One curious idea is that for some people who are sensitive to grains (rather than highly allergic), the problem may not lie with the grain itself, but rather in the preparation of the grains.
Soaking grains also improves the metabolism of nutrients. Remember, only whole grains benefit from soaking. White flour has no bran, no germ, and no antinutrients to soak out.
📔 A Camping Pancake Story
As I young child I personally didn’t much care for pancakes. I thought they were boring, unpleasingly cakey, and too filling.
Pouting excessively on the mornings when my mother replied to my inquiry about what was for breakfast with “pancakes” was a habit of mine. I much preferred scrambled eggs with bacon.
Now, I wonder when I actually grew out of that dislike for pancakes. As I grew older, I loved my mother’s pancakes.
Today, I am a huge pancake fan. I make all different varieties, from those made with coconut flour or almond flour to those made with traditional whole wheat flour.
I love pancakes so much that back in college I made a piece of art, a handmade paper collage, honoring them. Pancakes deserve a place on my wall, too.
(The Pancake Page, Mixed Media, 1999 by Heather Kasvinsky)
At the risk of sounding cliché, I adore pancakes for camping because they are filled with comfort, love, and warmth, especially on a chilly morning, or even when accompanying a summer sunrise.
Not to mention, butter and maple syrup are some of the best condiments to have an excuse to use.
If you can, picture wild McCarthy, Alaska, at the heart of America’s largest National Park, Wrangell-St. Elias. Ringed by mountains and glaciers, completely off the grid, and a four-hour drive to the nearest major grocery store, it is truly unique.
This is where my newfound love of overnight soaked pancakes for camping blossomed many years ago, within our cozy modest cabin, complete with a wood cookstove.
“The Very Best Pancakes” lived up to their name when my husband and then 2-year-old daughter proved the theory as they downed several helpings the first morning I made them.
Requests came back time and time again, especially from my husband, for the very best pancakes for camping. They are now our favorite pancakes.
If we are lucky, it’s blueberry season in Alaska and I have a bowl of fresh berries we picked for pancakes.
When at home in Vermont, I make these pancakes with fresh fruit or the addition of blueberries from our freezer. I keep a very large stash of blueberries in our freezer, harvested from our property, for use during the winter months.
Cooking successfully in our dry cabin in McCarthy, Alaska comes with many challenges. It requires creativity, flexibility, and an abundance of preliminary planning.
With only a cooler with melting ice to store perishables in for a week or two, and no running water, meals are scheduled accordingly and leftovers are eaten diligently.
When you don’t have a refrigerator, a dish that requires that the batter is left on the counter at temperature is certainly appealing. Just be sure to use the batter within 30 hours.
⛺ How to Make Pancakes for Camping
Mix the pancake batter the night before, around dinner time. I set it to rest beneath the woodstove overnight, covered with a plate to protect it from cabin detritus.
At camp, I use a sealed mason jar for the batter and either place it in the bear box at the campsite or in my car.
Upon rising, stoke the woodstove or campfire. Set the buttered cast iron skillet to heat up on top of its surface. If cooking over a campfire, don’t place the skillet directly over the flame. Instead, place a grate over hot coals for better temperature control.
Now, the bubbly batter awaits!
Cooking on a fire or a wood stove with cast iron is deliciously satisfying and simple. About thirty minutes later, a piping hot pile of pancakes is served alongside some delicious breakfast sausage with maple syrup and butter.
A hot cup of coffee completes the meal. I must say mornings like these are the best mornings ever.
🥣 What Flour Do You Use for Pancakes for Camping?
You can use any flour you would like for your pancakes, be creative and see what works for your recipe. However, if you are following the recipe in this post and would like a healthier pancake, it is preferable to use whole grain flour.
White Whole Wheat Flour
White whole wheat is my preferred flour for making pancakes. It is NOT processed white flour. This is a whole flour that includes the bran, germ and endosperm.
It is simply made from white wheat rather than red wheat. It has a milder flavor and makes fluffier pancakes, yet it’s nutritionally equivalent to classic red wheat. That’s a win win!
Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
When compared to whole wheat bread flour, whole wheat pastry flour is lower in protein and gluten, giving baked goods a lighter texture while still providing high nutrition from the wheat germ and bran.
On average, pastry flour has an 8 to 9% protein count versus all-purpose flour, which contains approximately a 10 to 12% protein count. This is an excellent flour for making soaked batter pancakes because it results in a lighter product.
Whole Wheat Flour
Whole wheat flour has a bit of a reputation in some crowds for causing bitter and cardboard-like baked goods, but here’s the deal: if your whole-wheat goods taste bitter, your flour is stale! It is more prone to going bad because of all the naturally-occurring oils in it.
Use it up by the expiration date and enjoy the wholesomeness this adds to your pancakes! Moreover, whole wheat flour creates delightfully fluffy results in your pancakes when the batter has been soaked.
Essential Equipment for Pancakes for Camping
You will need the following tools to make pancakes at camp:
🥞 Mason jar for the batter
🥞 Cast iron pan
🥞 Grill grate, camp stove, or a wood stove. Use your stovetop if cooking in an RV.
🥞 Metal spatula.
FAQS: Pancakes for Camping
Here are some commonly asked questions and answers about making pancakes when camping.
Can pancakes be made ahead of time?
Sure they can! Our family prefers fresh pancakes but if you want the convenience of having your pancakes pre-made all you need to do is give them a quick heat up and you are all set. At home, we place our leftover pancakes in a covered dish in the toaster oven to reheat for 15 minutes at 300 degrees.
How do you keep pancakes warm when camping?
The easiest answer is to eat them up as they are made! There is no reason to wait or have strict manners when eating pancakes right? Otherwise set the pancakes one by one as they cook onto a plate, and cover and seal the plate with aluminum foil. Then drape a towel on top to hold in the heat.
Can you premix pancake batter?
No, do not mix ALL the ingredients for the batter too long before cooking your pancakes! The leavening agents, baking powder, and baking soda will be less effective and you will end up with flat pancakes. Follow the instructions in this recipe for the best results.
🧈 Final Tips & Tricks for Perfect Camping Pancakes
Follow these tips for good results when cooking your pancakes for camping.
✅ Always heat up your pan FIRST to medium heat prior to cooking pancakes. Patience!
✅ If you are using a camp stove, rather than a campfire, make your pancakes smaller to compensate for the smaller heat profile area on the pan.
✅ Use butter or coconut oil for best non-stick results on a cast iron pan.
✅ Wait for bubbles to appear on the surface of a pancake before flipping it. They should appear golden brown underneath.
✅ Don’t leave your extra butter and maple syrup at home!
Enjoy your newfound love for homemade pancakes for camping!
Remember, this recipe is not just for easy camping pancakes. These may become a new family favorite at home and can be quite the gourmet breakfast!
The Very Best Pancakes for Camping
- 1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour or whole wheat pastry flour
- 1/2 cup whole milk yogurt, buttermilk, kefir, coconut milk yogurt, or coconut kefir
- 1-2 tbs apple cider vinegar (see note)
- 1 cup warm water
- 1/4 cup melted coconut oil, butter, or oil of choice
- 2 whole eggs, beaten
- 1 tbs cane or coconut sugar
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Whisk flour, yogurt, vinegar, and water to mix in a bowl or a mason jar. Cover with a dish towel or a plate to keep the batter clean overnight.
- Melt coconut oil or butter (or a combo of the two) in the pan you will use to make pancakes.
- Mix the melted coconut oil/butter into the batter along with beaten eggs, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Over medium heat, melt some butter, coconut oil, or a mix of the two in the pancake skillet. As an alternative, use vegetable oil or oil of choice.
- When the pan is hot, ladle in 1/4-cup amounts of batter into the pan.
- Flip the pancakes when the tops become speckled with bubbles.
- Cook 1 minute more, or until the center of the pancake springs back when touched.
- Serve with plenty of butter and maple syrup, berries, , or jam.