So, you’d like to share your love for baking with your dog? What better day to do that than on their birthday? Making a birthday cake for your dog is pretty simple. All you need is oats, pumpkin, banana, carrots, apples and maple syrup. Since you won’t be using eggs or butter, and certainly not buttercream frosting (because your dog doesn’t need that crap!), you’ll need to use healthy binding ingredients that also add moisture and richness, which is what you’ll find out how to do below.
Remember, your dog is a reminder of the loyalty animals have for humans. I can bet you that they’d appreciate you serving them something that says the same, especially on their special day. The best part is, the ingredients for a canine birthday cake are totally tasty so feel free to share it with them!
1. Pick Your Flour Base
Gluten can be hard for dogs to digest, so I suggest using a mix of oat flour and brown rice protein powder or brown rice flour. These flour choices taste slightly sweet, they will help the cake bind together really nicely, and they’re very canine-friendly foods overall. Use one cup total of whatever flour base you choose.
2. Use Sweet Fruits and Veggies
Pure sugar isn’t any better for your dog than it is for you, so be sure you use sweet fruits and veggies to flavor the base of your cake. These ingredients will also help bind the cake together better too. I suggest using a 1/2 cup each of grated or pureed carrots or sweet potatoes, 1/2 a mashed banana, 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce, and 1/2 cup pumpkin puree.
3. Add Some Binding Fiber
Since you won’t be using eggs in this dog recipe, you’ll need to choose a fiber-rich binder that’s also healthy for your dog. The two best options are ground flax and ground chia. Use 1/4 cup of one or the other or a combination of the two.
4. Nix the Oil
Oil isn’t necessary for your dog since you’re using healthy fats from chia and flax. Most cakes call for way too much fat, mostly in the form of oil. Your dog will be much healthier without it and so will you. Remember, oil isn’t a whole food and your dogs needs whole foods as much as you do. Applesauce is the perfect replacement for oil in any recipe, which is one reason I suggest using it in cake recipes.
5. Add Some Peanut Butter
Dogs love peanut butter and though many dogs react negatively to tree nuts, peanuts and peanut butter are actually wonderful for them. Use 1/4 cup unsweetened natural peanut butter in this recipe.
6. Don’t Forget the Baking Soda
Your dog doesn’t want a flat cake that doesn’t rise (though I’m sure it would still taste awesome.) Add in one teaspoon baking soda with your flour so your cake will rise without the need for an egg.
7. Swirl in Some Maple Syrup
Many dog recipes use honey, so instead of going that route, opt for maple syrup instead, which is a rich source of B vitamins and minerals. Not too much though- just one tablespoon is all you need.
8. Add a Pinch of Cinnamon
Cinnamon is wonderful for you and your dog since it aids digestion and contains antioxidants. Too much may overwhelm the cake, so only use about 1/4 teaspoon in your recipe.
9. Leave Out the Raisins and Chocolate
Raisins and chocolate are toxic to dogs so never add them to anything you make for your dog. ASPCA.org also advises against feeding your dog the following foods: onions, garlic, avocado, alcohol (even in vanilla extracts), grapes, hops, macadamia nuts, xylitol, and bread dough. Regardless that you might not think to add all these to a cake recipe, it’s still good to know since all these are vegan foods.
10. Add Some Nondairy Milk
Use 1/4-1/2 cup of nondairy milk to add some vitamins and minerals to your dog’s special cake. You want to make a nice thick batter but use enough liquid to combine everything together. Add in 1/4 cup and depending on the flour base you choose, you may need to add the remaining 1/4 cup. I suggest using unsweetened soy or unsweetened rice milk since they are easy for dogs to tolerate. Unsweetened almond milk may be fine but some dogs react negatively to tree nuts so be cautious of this. You can also use water instead if you like.
All you need to do to make the cake is combine the wet ingredients into your blender. Now add in all the dry ingredients and blend. Scrape the batter into a greased cake pan (with nonstick spray or coconut oil) and bake at 350 for 30 minutes or so. The cake should be fragrant and golden brown.
Pop a candle in your cake, serenade your dog with the “Happy Birthday” song, and be sure you blow out the candle for them before you serve it!
Have you ever made you dog a birthday cake? Need more dog recipes? Check out these canine-friendly eats and bake away!
Image source: Randy Pertiet/Flickr