August 13, 2014

Dog Birthday Cake Recipe: Basil's 4th!

Yesterday we shared our dog, Basil's, 4th birthday photo roundup post with a sneak peek of this doggie birthday cake we made for him. Yes, we made him a cake and yes, my dad texted me today after scrolling through yesterday's post to heckle me about how much we spoil the boy — and yes, Mary says bake Basil a cake and that is just what happens — no questions:

If you're anything like us and love to spoil your pups, we're sharing the birthday cake recipe today to help spread the canine birthday love and well wishes! The cake is a bit of a mind trick — it looks just like a sweet dessert, but is made entirely of dog-friendly human-grade savory ingredients like beef, eggs, vegetables and oats. Think of it like a cake shaped Shepard's pie that you can slice pieces of as a special treat or meal supplement.

We found the original inspiration for the cake in this dog birthday cake roundup over on Napa's Daily Growl, adapting the recipe for what we know Basil likes best and a slightly smaller size.

Please Note: as with all treats, it's best to let your pups enjoy while under your supervision. Different dogs react differently to ingredients, so keep a running list of your pup's allergies, avoiding those ingredients when making homemade treats. Similarly, dogs tolerate hot and cold treat temperatures differently, you know your dog best.

  • Round mini baking tins (we used two of these 4"x1.25" baking tins)
  • 1 pound organic ground beef
  • 1 organic egg
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen peas, plus more for decorating
  • 1/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheese
  • Large potato (white or sweet variety)
Mary found a 3 pack of mini 4"x1.25" round baking tins (like these), perfect for making individual tarts and cakes that we used for this project, but any small baking tins will do. We originally planned to stack 3 layers to make the cake, but quickly realized two would be plenty when they came out of the oven (and it was close to lunch, so we ate that 3rd patty instead).

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Peel, chop and lay potato into a saucepan. Cover with water, bringing to a boil, then reducing heat to cook until fork tender, about 20 minutes. These will later be mashed and used as the cake's "frosting."

While oven is preheating and potatoes are boiling, combine remaining ingredients in a mixing bowl, as if you were making a meatloaf. Divide mixture among greased baking tins, flattening the surface.

Place baking tins on a cookie sheet (to catch any drips) and bake in oven for 40 minutes or until meat is cooked through. Meanwhile, drain cooked potatoes and mash until smooth, adding water or broth if needed.

Once cooked, remove meat tins from oven and allow to cool along with the mashed potatoes. Now we're ready to assemble and frost this canine cake — and it's gonna get a little messy before it gets pretty...

Spoon and shape mashed potatoes between and over two of the meat cakes to cover. Make sure to get a thick layer in between the two cakes to get the look of a frosted center. Once completely covered, smooth with the back of the spoon to get a rough and rustic frosted look. Let's be honest, your dog won't care if it doesn't look perfect.

Use the remaining peas to decorate the cake with. Mary lined two rings around the top of the cake and another layer at the base. You could use all sorts of dog-friendly veggies to add color and different designs:

We topped Basil's cake with 4 candles and sang him Happy Birthday (well, Mary started to sing and I just could not bring myself to partake), but quickly blew them out before allowing him to get a first sniff. 


As with most 4-year olds, he patiently waited and watched while we cut his first big slice of birthday cake:

He gave it two paws up! And....I'll admit, the cake was so good, we each tried a little slice ourselves! The first slice made for a pretty post and from here on out he has just been getting a little extra during his normal meals, if you now what I mean.

Ok, let the "we are crazy" comments commence. We are ready!

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  1. nothing crazy here! I wish I could make my cat Dudley something like this, but he wouldn't appreciate it. Instead I just wallop out some wet cat food (he usually eats dry, so wet stuff is a treat), and shove a candle in it. He gives me a look of utter disgust until I remove the candles.

    Cats are funny like that.

    Thanks for answering my Q about Basil's name :O)

  2. I think it was very thoughtful of you to make the cake. It's a great way of letting Basil know he's appreciated. Our cat is quite picky, even with cat food, but one treat that he and I share is when I eat yogurt made from coconut milk (So Delicious). He absolutely loves it!

  3. Oh how we spoil our pets so! They deserve it though for bringing us so much joy :)

  4. Sir Golden Nugget of Midlothian liked his grilled Porterhouse Steak after a stellar family Dog Moment. (He didn't bite the baby after the baby stepped on Ben and Jerry). Yes, he had two slurps of Dad's beer - I am a bad Dad but he REALLY liked it.

    -The Pope of Richmond

  5. LOVE YOUR RECIPE! well...I think my dogs loved it even more than I did <3 Here are some photos:

    Thank you so much for sharing <3

  6. Thank you for sharing. Basil looks so cute waiting for his cake so patiently. My furry baby's birthday is this Friday. I can't wait to try out the recipe and I'm sure Momo will love it considering he loves anything and everything beef.

  7. No animal loving person would ever think there is something wrong with this:). I am glad I found this as I wanted to celebrate my Fox Red Lab "Rose" 8th birthday today and this is what I will do. Of course present too!

  8. This is so sweet! I will make it for my little baby toy-poodle. I might try it with ground turkey though. Thank you for the recipe.

  9. today im making it for my doggo (also 4th bday!) and meat is her fave so i cant wait for the look on her face :>

  10. What a pretty cake assembled using only healthy ingredients! I would never have thought of making icing with mashed potatoes. Will make this for my boyfriend's Labrador, at his belated 2-year-old birthday pool party. Next year, I will try out your latest recipe with the elaborate and really attractive design. Thanks a lot and many blessings to you!

  11. Thank you so much for this recipe! I made it for my puppy's first birthday and he loved it!

  12. thanks for a great cake it came out good our dog loved it i added carrots to the peas and used a mix of ground beef with ground pork

  13. Despite my family thinking I'd lost my mind, I made this for my Wolfspitz's first birthday - she totally devoured it! I also had a leftover third patty, which I just had for lunch - delicious! Thank you for the recipe :)

  14. Made this for my furry baby 3rd year Anniversary with us today. He loves it and ate so fast that he almost choked himself lol. Will try your other recipes for my boy soon. Thank you for sharing.


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