Pie Iron Breakfast Puffs

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and these pie iron breakfast puffs are a fun and tasty treat.

Breakfast Puff cooked in pie iron on green plate with fresh fruit and sausage links

This simple recipe is easy to pack in a mason jar and mix up right there by the campfire. It can be kept simple or seasoned with a variety of spices. If you have fresh fruit or toppings, they are welcome, but aren’t necessary to add. In other words, the breakfast puff is yummy to eat as is and it also makes for a delicious canvas for creativity.

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Who doesn’t love food cooked over a campfire? Actually, we know a lot of people who don’t and we just have to feel sorry for them. Because we love to cook over a campfire, especially in a pie iron. These are sometimes called camp cookers, pudgy pies, or even hobo pies, but we use the term pie iron. Whatever you choose to call it, know that these trusty tools make extremely delicious food cooked over the campfire.

We first learned about these from the Pie Iron Recipes book by Richard O’Russa, published by Rome Industries. They make our favorite pie irons, and we bought the cookbook during one of our pie iron purchases. We love all the old family photos and stories throughout the book. However, we did find this recipe to be a bit vague in the instructions, so this is our version inspired by the cookbook.

What we love about Pie Iron Breakfast Puffs

  • Easy to make
  • Can spice it with anything
  • Tasty as is or with some toppings

The Ingredients for Pie Iron Breakfast Puffs:

  • Flour
  • Sugar
  • Baking Powder
  • Chinese Five Spice Powder (or ground allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, etc.)
  • Milk (any type is fine)
  • Egg (one large)
  • Cinnamon Sugar (for coating after cooking)
  • Cooking Spray (so they don’t stick!)

The Process Part One:

We prefer to mix our dry ingredients in advance and keep them ready for any last-minute camping trips. However, the entire recipe from start to finish can be made at the campsite if you have a full cooking kit with measuring cups and spoons.

  1. Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, and desired spice(s) until thoroughly combined.
  2. Pour into a quart sized mason jar and close with a leakproof lid.
  3. (Optional) Write the rest of the ingredients on the lid.
dry ingredients for pie iron breakfast puffs in mason jar
mason jar with batter for pie iron breakfast puffs
kid holding mason jar mixing ingredients for pie iron breakfast puffs
pie iron breakfast puffs batter in round iron ready to be cooked

The Process Part Two:

  1. (Optional) Preheat your pie irons over the fire while getting your supplies ready.
  2. Add milk and egg to the dry ingredients in the mason jar. Shake vigorously until a batter is formed.
  3. Spray both sides of your pie iron with cooking spray. You want these to be well greased so the puffs won’t stick.
  4. Pour roughly ½ cup batter into the bottom cavity of the pie iron.
  5. Close cooker and latch the handle. Place over fire and cook for five minutes, then flip and cook five minutes more.
  6. Check to see if puffs are cooked through. If not, continue cooking over fire in five-minute increments, flipping each time.
  7. Add cinnamon sugar to a paper bag.
  8. When puffs are done, add to paper bag and shake to coat in cinnamon sugar.
  9. Plate and enjoy as is or top with fresh fruit.

FAQ and How to Customize:

Q. Do I need to preheat my pie irons?

A. We do state that this step is optional because if kids are involved, they can burn themselves on the hot irons. However, preheating the cookers helps prevent your food from sticking.

Q. What if my dough sticks to the pie iron?

A. We spray our irons with cooking spray prior to putting our dough in and have never had a problem with sticking.

Q: What is Chinese Five Spice Powder?

A: Chinese Five Spice Powder is a spice mixture of five (or six) spices used predominately in Chinese, Hawaiian, and Vietnamese cuisines. It can be used for both savory and sweet dishes although we prefer it for baking ourselves. It is claimed that the five flavors of the spices refer to the five traditional Chinese elements.

Q: Can I make my own Chinese Five Spice Powder?

A: You can make your own at home. Every recipe we’ve seen has Chinese cinnamon, fennel seed, star anise, and cloves. The fifth spice is where it can differ. We have seen ginger, white pepper, and even Sichuan peppercorns. Our preference is ginger. For ratios it would be 1 part cinnamon, 1 part star anise, 1 part ginger, 2 parts fennel seeds, and 1/3 part cloves.  

Q: What other spices do you suggest adding to the batter?

A: If you don’t have and don’t want to make Chinese Five Spice Powder, we recommend either allspice or nutmeg in the batter. You should be adding cinnamon as you coat it after cooking in the cinnamon sugar.

Q. How do I clean my pie iron after cooking?

A. The best way to clean your cast iron pie iron is to allow it to cool off. Then, while it is still warm, use a damp paper towel or rag to wipe it clean. Do not use soap as you will need to reseason the cooker. The easiest way to clean a Teflon coated cooker is to use a little bit of camping safe soap and water. Make sure to get all the soap off before cooking with it again.

Suggested Side Dish:

We typically cook up some sausage links in a pie iron next to the breakfast puffs. If those aren’t available, we might cook up some bacon or sausage patties. And we love to add some fresh fruit to our plate. While this might not seem like much food, it keeps us full longer than we would expect.

General Tips for Type of Cooking:

  • Whenever possible, try to preheat your pie irons. Think of this as preheating your oven at home. The food will cook more evenly in a pie iron that has already been warmed up. Careful though, they do get hot!
  • We find we get the best results when we don’t overfill and don’t underfill our pie irons. You may need to practice finding your perfect fill point.
  • Remember to have patience. You are cooking over an uneven heat source. There will be a difference in temperature depending on where you place the pie irons. And it will also take longer than I think it should!

Equipment Needed:

More Breakfast Recipes to Enjoy:

These Pie Iron Breakfast Puffs are a new favorite camping treat!

I’m really surprised it has taken us so long to make them. They are easy to put together, bake up quickly, and can be eaten as is with no whining for syrup. This makes them a win-win-win in our camping cookbook. However, they are also fun to use as a canvas for creativity. If you make them, tag us on Instagram @campinganswer and show us how you like to eat them!

Pie Iron Breakfast Puff

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and these pie iron breakfast puffs are a fun and tasty treat.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Keyword: breakfast, camping, cast iron, pie iron
Servings: 10 puffs

Equipment

  • Pie Irons preferably round
  • Mixing Bowl
  • Paper Bag

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp Chinese Five Spice or spice of your choice
  • 1 cup milk any type
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup cinnamon sugar
  • cooking spray

Instructions

At Home

  • Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, and desired spice(s) until thoroughly combined.
  • Pour into a quart sized mason jar and close with a leakproof lid.
  • (Optional) Write the rest of the ingredients on the lid.

At the Campsite

  • (Optional) Preheat your pie irons over the fire while getting your supplies ready.
  • Add milk and egg to the dry ingredients in the mason jar. Shake vigorously until a batter is formed.
  • Spray both sides of your pie iron with cooking spray. You want these to be well greased so the puffs won’t stick.
  • Pour roughly ½ cup batter into the bottom cavity of the pie iron.
  • Close cooker and latch the handle. Place over fire and cook for five minutes, then flip and cook five minutes more.
  • Check to see if puffs are cooked through. If not, continue cooking over fire in five-minute increments, flipping each time.
  • Add cinnamon sugar to a paper bag.
  • When puffs are done, add to paper bag and shake to coat in cinnamon sugar.
  • Plate and enjoy as is or top with fresh fruit.

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