Serious Eats: Recipes

Cakespy: Chocolate Cakes Grilled in Orange Shells

Note: Jessie Oleson (aka Cakespy) is a good pal of Serious Eats and an all-around super cool gal. Every Monday she will be chiming in with a delicious dessert recipe.

Ah, Labor Day, that last hurrah of the outdoor eating season. As I see it, there's only one major problem with this grill-friendly holiday: a severe lack of cakes. And so, in an effort to discover cakes that might lend themselves to outdoor preparation, I consulted the most knowledgeable experts I could think of: The Boy Scouts.

According to a vintage Boy Scouts camping recipe pamphlet I found at a local thrift store, these crafty boys have a sweet campfire trick up their sleeves that's easily translated to grilling: they bake their cakes over the fire in hollowed-out oranges. Strange as it may sound, it actually works.

The result is a very moist cake with a whisper of infused orange flavor. Apparently the Scouts don't have qualms about using cake mix. Just about every recipe I found called for it, so that's what I used, in the darkest chocolate variation I could find. However, I see no reason why the recipe wouldn't work with a batch of the homemade cake batter. If you do use a cake mix, though, it's OK: you can make up for this culinary sin by making the frosting yourself.

Two final notes: first, be sure to prepare these before grilling meat, as I can't vouch for the deliciousness of burger-infused chocolate orange cake. Second, if you don't have a grill, the recipe works just fine in the oven too--just place the filled oranges in foil directly on a cookie sheet and bake according to the cake recipe, allowing a few minutes either way on the specified bake time.

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