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Make campfire Christmas pudding

Add a festive touch to your campfire with this backwoods cooking treat.

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You’ll need

  • Knives
  • Chopping boards
  • Mixing bowls
  • Aluminium foil
  • Brown bread
  • Butter or margarine
  • Currants
  • Sultanas
  • Oranges
  • Apples
  • Sugar
  • Heatproof tongs
  • Equipment and fuel to make a campfire

Before you begin

  • Use the safety checklist to help you plan and risk assess your activity. Additional help to carry out your risk assessment, including examples can be found here. Don’t forget to make sure all young people and adults involved in the activity know how to take part safely.
  • Make sure you’ll have enough adult helpers. You may need some parents and carers to help if you’re short on helpers.

Planning this activity

  • Remind everyone to wash their hands before handling food, and to dispose of any rubbish or leftovers safely and discreetly.
  • Remember to check for allergies, eating problems or dietary requirements and adjust the recipe as needed. Make sure you've checked everyone's dietary requirements and allergies then adapted the recipe as appropriate. This may include ensuring no cross-contamination during food storage, preparation and serving, too. 
  • Check if there are any items of food (or packaging) that people can’t touch or be near to or if there are items that people might not be comfortable using in the activity. 
  • Be conscious about who may be fasting when providing snacks, eating and drinking – you may want to plan this activity for when everyone can get involved or leave out the eating and drinking part.

Getting the recipe ready

  • Create a campfire ready to cook on. Check out Prepare to flare for a step-by-step guide to building a fire and some top tips.
  • You may want to pre-make the filling before the session begins.

Prepare the pudding

  1. Gather everyone in a circle and explain you’re going to make a campfire Christmas pudding.
  2. Ask everyone to wash their hands.
  3. Everyone should take two slices of bread and a piece of foil.
  4. People should butter one slice of bread, then lay it butter side down onto the foil.
  5. Next, in a bowl, mix the dried fruits, grated orange peel, slices of apple and orange, sugar and butter together and stir it. People could leave out anything they don’t like or don’t want to use.
  6. When it’s been well-mixed, spread the mixture onto the bread, making an even layer. Place another piece of bread on top to make a sandwich.
  7. Spread some more butter on the top of the sandwich, then wrap it in securely in the foil, making sure all the edges are sealed.
  8. An adult, wearing heatproof clothes, should use heatproof tongs to place the foil parcels on the embers of the fire. Everyone should try to remember which parcel is theirs – maybe they could sit opposite it.
  9. After about eight minutes, an adult should use the tongs to turn the parcels over so they cook evenly.
  10. Once the parcels have cooked on both sides, an adult wearing heatproof gloves should carefully remove them from the embers. They should be placed in a safe and stable area, away from young people, to cool down.
  11. Once they’ve cooled everyone can tuck in and start to taste your Christmas pudding. But, be careful – the filling may still be very hot.

Extinguish the fire and clean up

  1. Once everyone has finished using the fire, no-one should add any more wood. The fire will die down.
  2. Use a stick, but not one that’s been in the fire, to carefully spread out the wood and embers so they cool down faster.
  3. Pour water over the smouldering wood and ashes to make sure they’re fully extinguished. Use a stick to mix the water through the ashes.
  4. Everyone should work together to clear up quickly and efficiently. Each group needs to wash up their utensils and dispose of rubbish and leftovers.


This activity was a great introduction to the fun of outdoors cooking! It's about valuing the outdoors and developing your skills. What was everyone’s favourite part of cooking and eating outside?

Instead of cooking the puddings in a tray in the oven, everyone wrapped them in foil and cooked them straight on a fire.

Can anyone think of any other utensils they use in their kitchen, and a ‘backwoods’ outdoor cooking alternative? How did you keep the outdoors safe while you were cooking and after?


All activities must be safely managed. You must complete a thorough risk assessment and take appropriate steps to reduce risk. Use the safety checklist to help you plan and risk assess your activity. 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.

Flammable items

Always take care when using flammable items, especially if you’re near fire. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and guidelines.


Remember to check for allergies, eating problems, fasting or dietary requirements and adjust the recipe as needed. Make sure you’ve suitable areas for storing and preparing food and avoid cross contamination of different foods. Take a look at our guidance on food safety and hygiene.

You may want to use an oven instead if that is more appropriate for your group.


If you don’t have enough space for a campfire or access to an oven, try using disposable barbecues or a portable fire pit, as long as you have a safe place to use them.

Make sure you've checked everyone's dietary requirements and allergies then adapted the recipe as appropriate.

All Scout activities should be inclusive and accessible.

Using a base of butter, fruit and sugar, what other combinations can people think of that would make yummy campfire bread puddings?