Sourdough Expedition Cake

During the bitter cold of our winter snowshoe expedition this year, several members of our group were eating over 5000 calories a day in order to keep their internal furnaces stoked. It got me thinking about making an expedition cake that was calorie-dense and nutrient-rich that I could make in advance of winter trips to help people get a lot of calories and energy fast.

When I got home I started experimenting, and have been very happy with the results. Eventually there will be several variations that will be written up in the next edition of Bush Cookery.

I started with a 10-inch dutch oven. and melted 2 sticks of butter in it. When melted, I added these to big mixing bowl and set aside the dutch oven while I mixed up the rest of the ingredients.

  • 2 sticks of butter (melted and previously mentioned)
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1.5 cups raisins
  • 1.5 cups dried cranberries
  • 1.5 cups sourdough starter
  • 2 cups chopped walnuts
  • 3 cups of all-purpose flour

I mixed these, in order, in a big mixing bowl. Then, put it into the 10-inch dutch oven previously used (already coated in butter) and baked it at 325 degrees for about an hour and 15 minutes, or until the center looked done.

The result was dense, rich and tasted good enough for my kids to give it the thumbs-up. I froze sections of it, and was able to cut it while frozen due to all the fat.

Future variations will include ingredients such as grated ginger, coconut flakes, and other types of nuts and seeds.

Try making it, or something like it, before your next hike, outing, or expedition. And let me know how it turns out!

Blog, Food

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Scott Oeth

    Sounds great Tim, I’ll definitely give it a try. Have you tried the BSA “Hudson Bay Bread”? They’ve been feeding it to canoe trekking and winter camping Scouts in the BWCA for years. Same idea, tasty, calorie rich, compact trail food baked beforehand. For extra go power it’s often slathered in peanut butter. Here’s some recipes:

    Happy trails,


  • Ryan Penman

    Was curious what the calories of this would be so I input the recipe in my cookbook program and got the following results.

    Servings 8
    Calories 1345 per serving
    Fat 48g
    Carbs 210g
    Protein 15.2g

    I would conclude that you hit the mark on a high calorie dense trail food, plus it sounds delicious.

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