Wednesday, 17 August 2016
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How to Make Dog-Friendly Edible Birthday Candles

Edible spiral coloured dog treat birthday candles

Instead of using normal birthday candles on Humphrey's second birthday cake, I decided to make some edible candle treats instead - safety and tastier!  I usually leave normal candles unlit and remove before cutting to serve, although Oli got to have his photo taken with very briefly lit candles on his recent 10th birthday. Such a good boy! Humphrey isn't yet a patient poser, so I decided to forgo candles altogether and make treats instead.

You can apply this technique to any suitable treat dough and any combination of colours. I made a simple sour cream and chicken stock dough to get my base white-ish and a combination of food colouring and natural tints/add-ins for each colour in the treats shown.  Since the base dough is rather plain, I also included some dog-friendly seasonings with the different colours as well which is why you can see some flecks and specks in the treats.  Healthy turmeric is particularly handy for yellow, but a touch of yellow also helps a light red or beetroot tint look redder vs. pink. I added a dash of black pepper (to compliment the turmeric) to the blue and dried herbs to the green. I have to confess, after making these twists, I was already plotting Christmas treats!  

🦴 If you are making these for human treats instead, then a rollable cookie dough, pastry, or even a sweet bread dough could work nicely.  For sweets, you can use flour as per the instructions below, or swap in a little bit of icing/confectioners sugar for rolling.

Making edible birthday candles from dog treat dough

Once your chosen dough is prepped and ready for shaping:
  • To form a basic stick, simply hand roll a small ball of dough into a cane shape on a lightly floured surface and trim the ends if/as needed. 
  • To form a multi-coloured twist, like the treats shown, roll a cane of each colour separately on a lightly floured surface. Starting from one end, gently twist the two canes together. Optional: As shown, lightly roll the twisted cane for a smoother shape and trim the ends square.
If you are using a stretchy dough, this is exactly the same as making bread sticks.  If you are using a biscuit dough, you need to be a little more careful in shaping and handling so as not to crack or break your candle sticks before baking. 
Bake according to recipe and keep an eye on the oven (the smaller/thinner the cane, the shorter the baking time). Depending on your treat recipe, cooling in the oven after baking may help with a crispier crunchier dog candle if you wish.  If/when inserting biscuit candles into a cake, it helps to make a small hole for each candle first so that you don't accidentally crack the candle trying to push it in.  This is especially important if you have a dense cake, like our meatloaf birthday cake. 
Collage of young Dalmatian dog sniffing and licking homemade dog birthday cake at party buffet table

🦴 Hungry for more tasty treats?  You can explore from our treat navigation page, hop straight into our homemade dog treat ideas in the blog archives, search the blog from our sidebar, or use the labels below this post to find other recipes that might be of interest. Remember, treats (bought or homemade) are for spoiling your pup in moderation. We share ideas here from treats that we make ourselves for our pets, but different animals will have different preferences (likes/dislikes) and dietary needs. Some pets may have special dietary requirements and/or food allergies/intolerances. If you are ever in doubt or have questions about what's suitable for your pet, have a chat with your trusted vet.

Homemade dog birthday cake with two edible treat candles

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