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How to Cook Camping Doughnuts

Like most food, doughnuts taste even better when you’re camping. Here’s a simple recipe to cook fresh doughnuts on your next outing.



  • 1 large can refrigerated buttermilk biscuits. Pillsbury Grands! Homestyle Buttermilk Biscuits or the equivalent work well. Avoid using “flaky” type biscuits.
  • Vegetable oil
  • Frying pan or Dutch oven
  • ยฝ cup sugar
  • ยฝ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ยฝ cup confectioners or powdered sugar
  • 2 lunch-size brown paper bags



SAFETY FIRST! Hot oil can splatter, burn or catch fire, so please ask an adult for help before trying this recipe.

1. Separate the refrigerated biscuits.

2. Use a knife to cut a hole in each biscuit. You can also use the cap from the vegetable oil for perfect circles.

3. Heat about 2 inches of vegetable oil in a frying pan or Dutch oven and add as many biscuits as will fit. The hot oil can splatter, so be very careful!

4. Fry the biscuits for a few minutes, flipping them over with a fork or tongs when they are golden brown.

5. When the doughnuts are done, remove them from the pan and put them on a paper towel to soak up excess oil.

6. For cinnamon-covered doughnuts, combine the sugar and cinnamon in a paper bag. Add the doughnuts and shake well until the doughnuts are covered.

7. For powdered sugar doughnuts, put the confectioners sugar in a paper bag. Add the doughnuts and shake well until the doughnuts are covered. This works best if the doughnuts are still warm.

8. Remove doughnuts from bags and enjoy.

9. Don’t forget to cook the doughnut holes, too!

53 Comments on How to Cook Camping Doughnuts

  1. NoOnJunkMeals // April 24, 2024 at 7:23 pm // Reply

    Yeah no way. With most of the Scouts being far out of shape and the aim of Scouting is fitness, I will not endorse this at all. How about some recipes that are more in line with the cooking merit badge and keep myself physically strong.

  2. I cant wait to make these!๐Ÿ˜€

  3. We just made these for scout Sunday… 520 of them… icing was used as well! The best Donut variation ons is to cut it in half, put icing in the middle and then put the two halves back together, fry it. When done, put a sugar glaze over it (powdered sugar and water), more icing, and then powdered sugar over it all. Split by this between 4 kids if you need them calm.

  4. DallasDoesIt101 // February 7, 2020 at 4:20 pm // Reply

    wow very cool ill try to get my cast iron chef

  5. Pappa scoutmaster // February 6, 2020 at 10:47 am // Reply

    Wrap a pc of apple tossed in cinnamon sugar in the dough. Bake and toss in bag with cinnamon sugar. Great evening snack

  6. Scout Name: Gladion1 // December 8, 2019 at 12:35 pm // Reply

    Just a reminder: Be SUPER careful with the oil. I got a second-degree burn from it the day after my birthday.

  7. At scouts BSA camp we made cinnamon rolls fried in a Dutch oven on a camp chef 2 burner stove. We had 15 scouts and went through 3 tubes of cinnamon rolls. The only problem is that the gas a tendency to in roll.

  8. I can’t wait to use the recipe:):):):):):):)!!!!

  9. I recently made these with a similar recipie with my troop and we made so many we had to burn the rest. Great recipie and I recommend it.

  10. MysticUmbreon // October 28, 2018 at 4:18 pm // Reply

    Awesome Recipe!

    • I use the cheap refrigerator biscuits, cut in quarters and fry. They look like doughnut holes (though not quite round). Toss in cinnamon sugar or powdered sugar. You can make them faster and cheaper with this method, which is needed when feeding hungry boys.


  12. We found that our cubs liked donut holes, so we cut the biscut in 4, and everyone got their own bag to carry around with their toppings. It has been a Sunday morning tradition for the pack for a few years. Quick and easy, little mess, and any parent can do it.

  13. When using a dutch oven (cast iron) it will tend to overheat when left on the fire. But no worry, remove it from the fire. The cast iron takes a long time to cool so you can keep cooking donuts while it’s off the fire. If it cools too much just place it back on/in the fire.
    Regarding the oil, if you are not going to use it again for a long time it might be best to carefully, very carefully. pour it onto the fire to dispose of it.

  14. I used to make these when I was a Scout in the early 60s, but I did two things differently. I just poked the hole with my finger. Then you can spin the dough on your finger to make it stretch. I mixed the powdered sugar with a little bit of water to make a glaze and poured that onto hot donuts. It cooled into a glaze.

    • Scout master 076 // September 22, 2019 at 7:36 pm // Reply

      That might not be the brightest idea the oil can flash up and cause severe burns let the oil cool down and put in a container that will also draw animals to camp areas try to use better judgement before giving bad advice especially to younger scouts .

  15. Great receipe, been using over 35 years! Strain the (cooled) oil through a paper towel for best results.

  16. I did this on my Webelos/AoL campout last year. One of my AoLs asked “can we try some with the Hot Chocolate mix in the bag” Now hot chocolate donuts are asked for on every campout.

  17. We make these every camping trip on the last day for breakfast since there’s hardly any mess to clean up. Grandkids love to shake these in a bag with powdered sugar. Try putting a spoonful of Nutella in the middle of the biscuit and roll it into a ball and fry. We buy the cheapest biscuits in the 4-pack and works great.

  18. I am going to surprise my family in a campout that i can make doughnuts(donuts)

  19. Delicious

  20. We buy the cheapest biscuits you can find. We get 4-packs at Walmart.

  21. YUM!

  22. Oil at 355-360-degrees.

  23. Old Scouter // August 21, 2016 at 8:19 pm // Reply

    My troop has done these for years. Keep the oil from smoking or it’s too hot. If they cook too fast they are not completely cooked. The scout don’t seem to care .

  24. use the regular buttermilk bisquits and pinch the hole and stretch out the dough in a larger ring.
    Dip in a bowl of simple glaze made with powder sugar and water.
    Use shortening and allow to harden back in frying pan, store in freezer and reuse.

  25. yum.

  26. Scouter904 // June 3, 2016 at 5:30 pm // Reply

    Another way to get a similar treat, but without as much work, and cheaper and less time deep frying is to take flour tortillas, cut into strips and fry in the same way, and then sprinkle with sugar.

  27. Mr. Greenbacks // August 6, 2015 at 9:52 pm // Reply


  28. If you really want to be creative, you can cook the whole biscuit without cutting out the middle, and cook as directed above. When done, use paper towel and soak up excess oil. (As directed above) Then with your pocket knife, cut a 1 inch slot in the side of the doughnut, put on a plastic glove, stick your finger into the slot and make a large hole in the middle, and fill the inside with jelly, cream or other fun things.

    P.S. Be careful that the jelly does not fall out of the slot when you are eating it!

  29. lol gool

  30. SpyBurro777 // June 20, 2015 at 6:11 pm // Reply

    at my last campout, I just stuck a glazed donut on a marshmellow roasting stick and roasted it over a fire.

  31. Or you could make some actual “good” donuts by not using canned dough. Just my opinion but, I guarantee that no dough that comes out of a can will make as good of a donut as fresh yeast dough.

  32. Cool.

  33. Scoutoftheolddays // June 13, 2015 at 6:49 pm // Reply

    You can always reuse cooking oil. You shouldn’t throw it away. when it gets dirty you can use a screen to filter out the debris. Oil can last a very long time if kept clean. Let it cool and pour it in a jug. i used to keep a mason jar of oil in the camp kitchen box for all kinds of recipes.

  34. ๐Ÿ™‚

  35. Why not back in the container you brought it in?

  36. might try it!


  37. Looks good but where do you empty the oil?

  38. GeometryDash King // June 6, 2015 at 2:13 pm // Reply

    I’m probably gonna make that!

  39. Niacin IV // June 6, 2015 at 6:41 am // Reply

    definetly making these on the next camp out

  40. I still make these at camp or home for my grandsons.

  41. MasterBuilder // June 5, 2015 at 4:43 pm // Reply

    Man this is great for camping!! You should definitely try it!!

  42. ElephantLover // June 5, 2015 at 1:33 pm // Reply


  43. scouter man // June 5, 2015 at 10:29 am // Reply

    looks good!

  44. Nice idea! Thanks!

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