We all love our dogs. We especially love finding reasons to celebrate with friends and loved ones - especially our furry four-legged ones!
Dog birthday parties let us celebrate our love to our special family members that never really ask for anything more than love and some yummy food.
Of course, one of the main highlights of birthday parties is cake. Nothing says fun, happiness, and celebration more than a delicious birthday cake topped with frosting and decorations galore!
Dog birthday cakes are no different. Dog cakes should be fun, tasty, and memorable. Birthdays come along only once a year - and being that dogs have less birthdays than us should make it all the more reason to celebrate your dog’s special moment.
There are practically just as many varieties of dog birthday cakes as human cakes. Simple cakes, mini cakes, whimsical cakes, “pupcakes” to name a few.
There's also dog only cakes, human / dog cakes, grain-free dog cakes, vegan dog cakes. Phew, it’s exhausting just deciding on what type of dog cake to chose! Luckily if you are looking for comprehensive information about dog birthday cakes, you came to the right place.
To Make Or To Buy?
No matter where you live, there’s bound to be a speciality dog bakery nearby. If not, many dog bakeries are able to deliver their cakes anywhere in the contiguous U.S.
Deciding if you want to buy a dog birthday cake or make the cake yourself is really up to you.
Buying a dog cake would be better for those that are either pressed for time, lacking creativity, and / or are not good in the kitchen.
Baking and decorating a dog cake will take a considerable amount of time and effort. Especially if you plan to get real fancy. It will also take some good advance planning. If you don’t have ample time to make a doggy cake, than it probably best to go out and purchase one.
When buying a dog cake, make sure to take the time to research the company making the dog cakes and what type of ingredients are used.
Since you are going to be paying a good premium for a dog cake, you might as well choose a company that uses the best and freshest ingredients.
Look for dog bakeries that use organic and non-gmo ingredients. Also make sure that the dog cake does not contain too much starch or too much sugar.
Understandably, this will be an ‘easier said than done’ task since most cakes including dog cakes contain flour and added sugar or honey.
Dogs are omnivores and starches and the occasional sweet is okay. However, your dog probably prefers savory over sweet to begin with.
And since it’s your dog’s day, shouldn’t the day be all about the dog and not our preconceived notions about what birthday cakes “should" be like?
Things can get really fun if you decide to make your own dog birthday cake.
You can tailor the cake to your dog’s favorite ingredients.
You can choose a theme. And the decoration options are endless.
It just takes a bit of planning. For the best results, dog cake making and decorating shouldn’t be a “spur of the moment” type of thing.
Keep on reading the rest of this article and you will be on your way to a very special doggie birthday cake in no time.
Types of Dog Birthday Cakes
First things first. The most important decision when planning your dog cake is to decide the cake’s style and theme.
Once you decide on a style, stick with it. Don’t try to do too many things at once. The quality of your dog cake will suffer and you may just end up frustrating yourself in the process.
Choose one type of cake, one theme - and do it right.
Do you want a single large cake, a few mini cakes, or a bunch of little “pupcakes”?
Single “Showpiece” Cake -
Full-sized dog birthday cakes are an impressive sight. They can be shaped as dogs, dog bones, or tell a story with fanciful decorations and props. You have likely seen some awe inspiring cakes featured on various cake making reality shows.
Those types of reality show cakes demand a lot of skill and patience. Not something beginning bakers should attempt.
However, with some imagination and the right tools, even beginning bakers can create dog birthday cake masterpieces.
One of the main downsides of single cakes is “letting them go” once you begin cutting and serving.
For that very reason, make sure you get quality photos of your creation that you can enjoy even after all of the dog cake has been digested.
Depending on the intricacies of the design, making one single cake is usually a bit easier and less time consuming than making and decorating multiple little cakes.
Smaller “Mini Cakes”
Smaller mini cakes are great if you need to have cakes with different ingredients. Some dogs have food allergies so having a variety of cakes for all dogs to enjoy will ensure happy dogs and happy dog owners.
Making dog cakes with different ingredients will take a bit more more work so be sure to plan ahead. Having all the ingredients and tools ready on cake making day will ensure your dog birthday cake will be a success.
With mini cakes, you can decorate the cakes all the same or decide to create different designs. Try to stick with your theme so that all the cakes look great together as a whole.
Mini Dog Cupcakes A.k.a Pupcakes
Everyone adores cupcakes. Your pooch is likely to enjoy pupcakes just as well.
While pupcakes are not as impressive as full-sized cakes, they make it up with cuteness and ease of serving.
Depending on how fancy your decoration plans are, pupcakes can definitely be more time consuming and involved that the other types of dog birthday cakes.
If you never decorated any types of cakes or cupcakes before, stick with simple designs.
While it may be tempting to try and create dog-faced pupcakes that seem easy on video - take it from me… it’s not that easy.
The best part about pupcakes is that the creations you worked tirelessly over are not suddenly gone after just one bite.
Dog Cake Ingredients
Dog birthday cakes are typically enjoyed by dogs only. However, with a touch of ingenuity and some tweaking, dog cakes can be enjoyed by humans as well.
Dog cake recipes that have only a few key ingredients are the best. If possible, choose fresh organic, non-GMO ingredients - especially if the cake is to be shared with humans.
A typical birthday cake contains a lot of refined starches (flour) and added sugar. These two ingredients are not great for both humans and dogs.
But you don’t have to be a party pooper. An occasional high carb treat for your dog is fine. Just try not to add any additional sugar - a slight touch of honey is okay.
Additionally, there are many substitutes to plain white or wholemeal flour.
In fact, if any of the dogs in your dog party has an allergy to grain, then it will be mandatory that you find an appropriate non-grain flour substitute.
These flour substitutes are usually healthier than plain, refined flour and some are chock full of protein, fiber, and good fats - making them perfect for a dog cake.
The most popular key ingredients for dog birthday cakes include: pumpkin, sweet potato, carrot, natural peanut butter, apple, low-fat cheeses, cream cheese, blueberry, and carob (a substitute for chocolate which is something you should know that your dog cannot have).
Before deciding on which dog cake recipe to follow, choose one or two of your dog’s favorite foods to design the recipe around.
All of the recipes in this guide are designed to be flexible and can easily be tweaked. As avid dog lovers, we aim to create recipes that are equally delicious and healthy for our beloved family members.
For example, one of our dogs, a female Shiba Inu named Nono absolutely adores cream cheese - I know, who would blame her? So for her, we will concoct a recipe that balances the high fat, high calorie cream cheese with lower fat / calorie ingredients like blueberries and carrots.
Since after all, it will be a ‘dog’s’ birthday party, you may want to choose to make a savory dog cake instead of the typical sweeter cake. Dogs don’t care for sweets as much as we do and will likely prefer a savory birthday dog cake.
Commercial Dog Food Treats For Decoration?
Many dog birthday cakes feature commercial biscuits / treats as a decorative element. They are cheap, convenient, and decorating timesavers.
However, we don’t recommend using mass produced commercial treats because the ingredients in these treats are nothing short of horrid.
Treats made by trusted local dog speciality shops are okay as long as you can verify the ingredients. Additionally, there are some high quality commercial treats available, but you must do your research into the quality of their ingredients before purchasing.
Premade Doggie Cake Mixes
Yes, there are commercially prepared dog cake mixes available now. One of the companies, Puppy Cake, actually got a boost from being featured on network T.v’s popular show, Shark Tank.
These premade dog cake mixes are made just like typical grocery store cake box mixes. You simply just add some eggs, oil, water, then bake.
Puppy Cake makes their mixes in the U.S. with human grade ingredients. However, they cannot recommend humans to consume the cake because it has not been rated by the health department for human consumption.
Overall, premade doggie cake mixes, specifically Puppy Cake are fine to use for your dog cake. They are specifically formulated to have more protein and less sugar than typical cake mixes.
We prefer to make our own dog cakes from scratch because we often make dog cakes that both dogs and humans can enjoy.
Additionally for the around the same cost, we can make a dog cake that contains highly nutritional ingredients such as coconut flour, coconut oil, fresh blueberries, and chia seed.
The Icing On The... Dog Cake
One of the highlights of any birthday cake is the icing - dog birthday cakes included.
There are a bunch of options for dog cake icing / frosting to choose from. Most of the recipes include either yogurt, cream cheese, or peanut butter.
Fondant cakes are in another league of cake decorating and won’t be covered here. Also, fondant has too much unhealthy calories for a dog cake.
You should choose a frosting that will balance well with the cake as well as hold up to whatever conditions the dog cake will be served in.
If the main dog cake is on the lighter size calorie-wise, then you can choose a heavier frosting like cream cheese or peanut butter.
However, if your dog cake is calorically dense, then it may be better to opt for a healthier frosting such as a greek yogurt frosting.
If your dog’s birthday party will be held outdoors at higher than normal temperatures - don’t choose a frosting that will easily melt.
Dog Birthday Cake Decorating Tips
Now that your dog cake is baked, it’s time to decorate!
Hopefully, you’ve already planned your design theme in advance and have all the tools and ingredients ready to go.
If you are a novice baker and / or first time cake decorator, don’t choose a complex design. Go as simple as possible - your sanity will thank you for it.
The most common tool for cake decorating is piping tool. This tool is used to do letterings as well as creating all of those frosty “poofs” on cakes.
The main components of a piping tools is the piping bag that is filled with the frosting and the piping tip. There are many different sizes, shapes, and styles of piping tips.
If you don’t already have a piping tool, you can do without it. There are other methods to get letterings done on cakes such as gels in a tub or edible paint.
Also too much frosting on a dog cake can equate to too many calories - especially for older and overweight dogs.
Cookie Cutters / Stencils / molds
Cookie cutters of various shapes can be handy to use when decorating your dog cake. They are especially useful when decorating fondant cakes or savory cakes.
Basic stencils can be used to help you apply simple designs on your dog cake. You can make your own stencil or buy some premade ones. You can use the cake stencil to apply icing designs or powder designs using dog safe ingredients such as cinnamon.
Various types of molds such as silicone molds are great to use if you want to give your dog cake more dimension. There are numerous types of molds in all shapes and sizes. In many cases, simple designs in repeating patterns make great cake designs.
Paintbrushes / Edible paint
If your dog cake has the right surface, edible paint can used as a decorating option. However, this cake decorating technique is used mostly on fondant cakes.
Edible Cake Decorations
Various types of fruits and vegetables - cooked and uncooked - can be used to decorate your dog cake.
Grated carrots, grated coconut and green peas can be used on sweet or savory dog cakes. Cooked carrots and sweet potatoes can be cut out into different shapes with cookie cutters.
Raw celery can be used to create tree or plant designs. Fresh strawberries will provide a lot of color and dimension to dog cakes.
The key is to be flexible with your creativity and use what is readily available in your area. Just be sure to avoid fruits and vegetables that are not safe for dogs to eat. No raisins, grapes, onions, or any other possible ingredient your dog may be sensitive to.
Non-edible Cake Props / Cake Toppers
For those short on time - or patience - cake props and toppers are excellent ways to quickly spruce up a dog cake.
Of course they can’t be eaten - but at least it takes only a few seconds versus a few hours to decorate a cake with them.
When using cake toppers or figurines, plan out your scene based on your theme and colors of your cake.
There are many creative and decorative candle options you can use on your dog cake.
There are dog-shaped candles, dog bone candles along with many different candle themes that would work great on a dog’s birthday cake.
Serving Your Awesome Doggie Birthday Cake!
Finally, after all the effort to make your dog’s special day perfect, the doggy birthday cake is ready to be served!
It’s so rewarding to see your dog excited, drooling, and yapping over it’s very own doggy cake!
Make sure you took enough photos to remember this special day before cutting into or serving the cake/s.
If cutting a large, full-sized dog cake, determine the portion size by the size of your pooch. Take into account how rich the cake is and try to err on the conservative side - especially if the party dogs already had some treats to eat beforehand.
After cutting the best piece for the birthday dog, have your camera ready to take shots of the dog enjoying the first scrumptious bites.
Cake eating with dogs can get pretty messy. Dog-themed serving plates, table cloths and napkins can really take your doggies birthday party to the next level. For more about dog party planning, click here.
Hopefully, this article has given you a good introduction into the world of doggy cakes. Above everything else, the main part of your dog's birthday is making your dog feel like the most loved dog on earth.
The decorating doesn't have to be perfect.
And party favors are not mandatory.
Don't sweat the small stuff...
The most important thing is love and a yummy, mlem, cake.
Here are some links to healthy doggy birthday cake recipes:
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