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  • Writer's pictureAlex Willis

GF Campfire donuts… fried in BEAR FAT?!

Before our trip, Jeremiah (@fromfieldtoplate) texted our group saying that we would be in camp during National Donut Day (June 7, 2019), and he had the awesome idea to make donuts while we were at camp with rendered bear fat — talk about using every bit of the animal! I was instantly on board --- what a cool thing to add to the experience!

He said he had a good donut recipe he could make that only needed water, and I knew this meant gluten. So, in order to participate (and not cause a gastro-intesitnal scene in the woods), I began researching gluten-free donut recipes. I’ve made gluten-free donuts before, but from a recipe including yeast. That meant there would be additional steps for the dough to rest and rise (how you get a super fluffy donut) — a process that was too much effort for camping.

gluten-free donut mix in a bag with an egg laid out next to an empty bowl with a spoon in it.
I pre-mixed all the dry ingredients, so all I needed to add was an egg, some water, and a little honey.

I came across this recipe from allrecipies that seemed perfect.. mostly.

I needed to tweak it a bit to meet my needs: I didn’t have guar gum, so I substituted with xanthan gum. I also thought it sounded a bland so I added in some cinnamon sugar. Trying to simplify this as much as possible, the coconut milk would also not be a practical option, so water would have to suffice.

It ended up going something like this:


  • Rendered bear fat

  • 3 tbsp-ish water

  • 1 egg

  • 1/4 cup gluten-free all-purpose baking flour

  • 2 tbsps almond flour

  • 2 tbsps coconut flour

  • 1/4 tsp xanthan gum

  • 1/2 tsp-ish cinnamon sugar

  • 2 tsps honey

  • Powdered sugar and honey for toppings


  1. Premix all dry ingredients before going camping.

  2. Render bear fat down over the fire in a cast iron pan.

  3. Beat egg, then add in about a tablespoon of water.

  4. Slowly mix in dry ingredients, adding in water a tablespoon at a time until incorporated.

  5. Stir in honey.

  6. Drop spoonfuls of batter into the rendered bear fat; fry until donuts are dark brown. Remove donuts.

  7. Drizzle on honey and dust with powdered sugar.

  8. Share with your campmates and enjoy!

Jeremiah’s bear ended up being super lean so we had minimal fat to render down. However, we were able to get just enough oil to fry up enough for everyone to try a bite.

Even with all the tweaks, and it being a gluten-free donut recipe, these turned out surprisingly well and were super tasty!

I think campfire donuts needs to be a new tradition for every camping trip! (Bear fat optional) What do you think?

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