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Camp stove doughnuts

Set up your stoves and rustle up some delicious doughy delights.
Plan a session with this activity

You will need

  • Stoves
  • Gas
  • Pans
  • Bowls
  • Knives and forks
  • Chopping boards
  • Tongs or spatulas
  • Bread
  • Jam or chocolate spread
  • Pancake batter ingredients (see below)
  • Oil

Before you begin

Safety checklist

Use the Safety checklist to help you plan and risk assess your activity.  Additional coronavirus-related controls to think about may include: 

  • Set up a hand washing station that you can use throughout the session.
  • Think about how you’ll hand out ingredients and equipment (including the stoves) – it won’t work for everyone to share.
  • Think about how you’ll make the batter while staying distanced. We’ve included some suggestions below.
  • Don’t forget to think about the end of your session. Will you have enough space to give everyone their own washing station, or will the helpers stay to clean everything after the session has finished?

Set up the stoves

  1. Everyone should form a distanced horseshoe shape so they can see the person leading the activity while staying two metres apart from everyone else.
  2. The person leading the activity should get a stove. They should show everyone how to safely put it together and take it apart. They should answer people’s questions and repeat steps if people are unsure.
  1. The person leading the activity should tell everyone about how to use the equipment safely. They should include how to connect the fuel, what the main risks are, and what people can do to control these risks.
  1. Everyone should find a space and set up their own stove.
  1. An adult should check that each person’s equipment is safe. They should stay distanced – for example, the person using the stove could step back two metres so the adult can go to the stove and check it.


Make the batter


  • 200g flour
  • Three tablespoons brown sugar
  • One teaspoon baking powder
  • 375-500ml milk
  • One tablespoon oil
  • One teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
  • Sugar (to serve)
  • Cinnamon (optional, to serve)

It’s up to you how you make this work socially distanced. One person could make a batch of the mixture, split it into small portions, and leave it two metres away from each young person for them to collect. Alternatively, you could give everyone a scaled down version of the ingredients so they can mix their own or they could make their own mixture at home and bring it to the meeting in a container

  1. Mix all of the dry ingredients in a bowl, then add the oil (and vanilla extract, if you’re using it).
  2. Gradually add the milk and mix it in. You may not need all of it – keep mixing and stop adding the milk when the batter’s the perfect consistency.
  3. Take a second bowl and put the sugar in it (and the cinnamon too, if you’re using it). Put it to one side – you’ll dip the cooked doughnuts in this later on.

Cook doughnuts

  1. Spread jam or chocolate spread onto a slice of bread, then take a second slice and make a sandwich.
  2. Cut off the crusts and cut the sandwich into four pieces.
  1. Dip one doughnut at a time into the batter and make sure the bread is completely covered.
  1. Light the stove.
  2. Put some oil into a pan and place it on the stove to heat up.
  3. When the oil’s hot, carefully place a coated doughnut into the pan to cook. Flip it over to stop it burning and keep cooking until it’s a golden brown colour.
  4. Use the tongs to take the cooked doughnut out of the pan and place it into the bowl of sugar.
  5. Use a spoon or the tongs to coat the doughnut in sugar (and cinnamon, if you’re using it), then place it on the chopping board or plate to cool for a minute before you try it.


Learning how to cook simple recipes that don’t use many ingredients or much equipment is a great skill for any budding adventurer. Why might this knowledge be helpful on expeditions or nights away? People could think about the importance of being able to create as many different and tasty meals as possible from a small amount of food and equipment. This makes it easier to pack lightly when camping or trekking.

Being able to cook basic meals is also an important step towards independence. Cooking with a limited number of ingredients can help people develop their creativity. Everyone should get into small groups and chat about other meals they could cook with the equipment and ingredients they have (and two or three added extras). Could they put these ideas to the test into an upcoming session?


All activities must be safely managed. Use the safety checklist to help you plan and risk assess your activity. Do a risk assessment and take appropriate steps to reduce risk. Always get approval for the activity and have suitable supervision and an InTouch process.


Teach young people how to use cooking equipment safely. Supervise them appropriately throughout. Make sure it’s safe to use and follow manufacturers’ guidelines for use.

Fires and stoves

Make sure anyone using fires and stoves is doing so safely. Check that the equipment and area are suitable and have plenty of ventilation. Follow the gas safety guidance. Have a safe way to extinguish the fire in an emergency.


Check for allergies before you begin and read the guidance on food safety. Make sure you have suitable areas for storing and preparing food and avoid cross contamination of different foods.