Outdoor Skills: Ash Cakes / ‘Stick Bread’ Recipe

Ash Cakes cooking on a camp fireThis simple recipe is the Traditional “Mountain-man” breakfast food, no utensils, pots or pans required.

Ash Cakes consist of equally simple ingredients… make sure you use ‘Baking Powder’ though (rather than Baking Soda).

You can also jazz up your Ash Cakes by adding toppings or fruits of what you have handy that are in abundance, see ideas below.

Making ‘Stick Bread’

Rolling the dough into a long snake and wrap the dough snake around a stick to make ‘Stick Bread’.

Types of Wood to Use

You will also want to use hardwoods any time you cook directly in or on a fire. Hardwoods do not contain resin like your softwoods do, such as pine. Softwoods can impart their resinous flavor into food, which may not be desirable.

Ash Cakes Recipe

This recipe is for making one ash cake, if you would like more than one simply double, triple, or quadruple each of the ingredients.


  1. Combine your flour, baking powder, and salt together and slowly add your water. When the mixture is just beginning to stick together, add the nuts or berries if you desire. Continue adding water, small amounts at a time, until the mixture does not stick to your fingers, your mixture should not be too wet and runny, it should have a nice firm dough-like consistency.
    If you add too much water, add more flour into the mixture until the proper consistency is reached.
  2. Pat your dough ball into a patty, about ¼ inch thick.
  3. Place the dough carefully onto the hot ash (NOT the coals) for about 3-4 minutes, until golden brown. Then carefully flip and cook the other side for 3-4 minutes.
  4. Remove your ash cake from the hot ashes very carefully, it is possible that it will fall apart.
  5. Once successfully removed from the hot ashes, dust off any excess ash and serve with butter, maple syrup, jam/jelly, or your choice of fruits or berries.

Yield: 1 Ash Cake

Amounts: Double, triple, or quadruple the recipe if more Ash Cakes are desired.

Cooking Tip: If you have the time and prefer a less burnt Ash Cake try using a flat thin rock that has a fire built on it is also a great cooking platform. The rock will hold heat for a long time, which is great if you’re cooking a quantity of Ash Cakes. First, build a good sized fire, not a bonfire though! Find a clean flat rock, one that is ‘dry’ – NOT from a stream! Wet rocks can explode when exposed to high heat. Set your (dry) rock on the fire. Place more hardwood on the top of your cooking rock. As the wood placed on top burns it will heat the rock further. After the added wood burns, brush the coals to the side, so a clean area is exposed in center of rock and place bread dough on rock.

Ash Cake Topping and Filling Suggestions:

  • Jelly or Jam
  • Fresh Berries
  • Butter
  • Sugar and Cinnamon
  • Hummus
  • Cultivated or Wild Edibles
  • Domestic Meat/Poultry, or Wild Game, thin slices
  • Olive Oil for dipping, optional: add some herbs to this for added flavor

To Your Emergency Preparedness Kit Add:

  • Flour – Know that flour, already ground, will turn rancid within a year. Keeping ‘Wheat Berries’ in your kit will last much longer but you will need a means by which to grind them to make them into flour I personally like Bob’s Red Mill Organic Hard Red Spring Wheat, 28 Ounce (Pack of 4) Try grinding some yourself to see if you’re up to doing the work… or, if you prefer to rotate your stash of flour every 6 months.
  • Baking Powder
  • Salt
Other recipes on wild edible foods;


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