20ouncespineapple rings(1 large can) reserve juice
1Yellow Cake Mix
3Eggs*or as cake mix requires.
1/2cupVegetable Oil*or as cake mix requires.
Watersee directions for amount
Double line your Dutch oven with aluminum foil. TIP: I use the extra-sturdy, extra-wide variety.
Melt the stick of butter in the bottom of the Dutch oven, either by sitting it over coals or on top of a camp stove. When the butter is completely melted, throw in the brown sugar and stir until it begins to melt. It should be thick, but not clumpy.
Set the pineapple rings in the bottom of the Dutch oven on top of the brown sugar mixture, reserving pineapple juice. PRO TIP: If you are using a 10-inch Dutch oven, you will have one extra ring of pineapple. Give the extra pineapple slice to your favorite child.
Make cake following the directions on the box. Use the reserve pineapple juice in place of water. If you don't have enough (you probably won't, add just enough water to achieve the required amount. TIP: I always just use the pineapple can to measure the liquid – it makes one less dish to wash.
Carefully pour the cake batter over the pineapple and brown sugar mix.
Put the lid on the Dutch oven. Put briquettes on top of and below your Dutch oven. On calm, moderately warm day with little or no wind, you will need about 12-14 briquettes on top and 9-10 on the bottom for a 10-inch Dutch oven. And yes, I mean briquettes. Charcoal briquettes. This cake can be (and has been) cooked using fire coals; however, I highly recommend using briquettes for baking a Dutch oven. Doing so allows you to very specifically set the temperature inside your Dutch oven, thus insuring perfect results.
Bake the cake for about 30 minutes. DO NOT lift the lid to check it for at least the first 20 minutes or you will just let all the heat out. I usually check the cake the first time when I can smell it baking. It usually takes about 30-40 minutes, depending on outside conditions. The cake is done when it is bouncy to the touch. When the cake is done, remove it from the coals and remove the lid.
Time for the Magic!
OK, this is the tricky, magical part. (And do not wait to do it until the cake cools or the magic won't work!) You will need two big, flat surfaces that are easy to lift. (i.e., a large baking sheet, cutting board, etc.)
Using two hands, carefully lift the cake out of the Dutch oven and set it, in the foil liner, on the first big flat thing. (Be sure to use something to protect your hands - this is hot work!)
You now need another big flat thing to put on top. For this, I usually cover my camp cutting mat with foil, because this second surface is ultimately what your cake will be served from.
Now, gather all the kiddos around, because this is usually pretty impressive. Peel back the edges of the foil from the cake sides but leave the bottom alone. Set the second big flat thing gently on top of the cake. Put one hand underneath and one hand on top. Say “1-2-3” and flip the cake in one smooth, fluid motion. Flourish is optional.
Carefully peel away the foil from the now top, and stand back to accept appreciative “oohs” and “aawws."
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