Monday, 20 August 2018
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Humphrey's 4th Birthday + Layered Lambcake Recipe

Meatloaf dog birthday cake with potato frosting, cranberry decorations, and candles

Woohoo!  Handsome Humphrey is four and all grown up. Where does the time go?  Did you see the impatient posers in my latest "milestone mugshot" snap?  Oh those rascals!  Sigh. Our Facebook furfriends and Instagram pawpals got a sneak peak at Humphrey's 4th barkday in last week's posts as we we took a month offline here on the blog to focus on recovery following Oli's health scare. And now, thankfully the whole furfamily is still together and we're back on the blog. And we have CAKE!

Sharing? Hmmm...Humphrey was very excited about his birthday treats but did (of course) share with Oli and even Tiger may have gotten a treat or two.

Dalmatian dog looking at a birthday party buffet table

Other than basic gummies, which we resumed making after Oli's initial recovery, Humphrey's feast was the first dog baking and making here at the new house.  As Oli is still easing back into his normal routines, we kept the feast tummy-friendly with an all-natural rainbow assortment of gummies (more on that in a future post), an adaptation of our go-to smooth roll-and-cut peanut butter treats using a combination of peanut butter and coconut oil, and a simple (for us!) meatloaf-style layer cake.

Layered Lambcake Meatloaf Dog Birthday Cake with Potato Frosting

🥄 Cake Ingredients:

Approximately 400g lean lamb mince (or other lean mince of your preference)
1 cup oats (see tips below)
1 egg
1-2 tbsp ground flax (optional)
Sprinkle of finely grated cheese (optional)
Mashed potato for frosting (optional)

🥄 Making and Decorating the Cake: 

Preheat your oven to 180C (or local equivalent) and gather together your baking ingredients and materials. Lightly oil your pan(s). These volumes suit two mini spring-form pans.  

Combine the cake ingredients in a mixing bowl and press firmly into your prepared pans. There is no need to leave expansion room as these cakes will not change in size during baking. Press the meat mixture (this is a very firm "dough") into the pans and flatten the top(s) for easier layering. 

Bake for approximately 30 minutes, until cooked thoroughly.  Remove from the oven, cool slightly, (you can release and reclip your springform at this stage, if using) and then refrigerate to cool thoroughly.

Remove from the pan and construct your layer cake, applying mashed potato frosting on (or just between you'd like to use less) each layer.  Garnish to decorate (optional) and refrigerate until you are ready to serve. Refrigerate or freeze extra for follow-on treats. Pampered pooches might enjoy their slice of cake warmed slightly before serving for extra smell and flavour.

Step-by-step how to make a meatloaf dog birthday cake

Tips and Tricks: 
  • Cake(s) can be baked in other shapes/sizes. Muffins (or mini-muffins) offer a great single-serve alternative and this firm patty-like "dough" works as a meatball if you'd rather free-form a barkday meaty treat as well. Remember to adjust cooking times accordingly. 
  • Other ground meats can be used based upon your preferences and dog's tastes. When I am using lean lamb for the dogs, I still find it cooks quite "juicy" but the oats work to soak up that moisture during baking creating a nice dense sort of burger patty-like meat cake. You can use fewer oats, if you'd prefer.
  • No time for mashing? Instant mashed potato is a very quick and easy option for frosting/icing savory dog cakes. It is inherently smooth and uniform in consistency and is easily adjusted to be thinner (additional liquid) or thicker (additional flakes).  Mashed potato is also a neutral base for tinting is you wish to add food colouring.
  • Garnish is, of course, optional...but fun! I used cranberries for the garnish as I happened to be baking some human muffins with them  at the time. They are dog safe in moderation, bright and easy, and Oli quite likes them. Other ideas include grated cheese, crumbled cooked bacon, dog jerky, or even ready-made treats/kibble. Feeling crazy? Tinted panko or oats can be used as a dog-friendly rainbow sprinkle substitute. 
  • To serve, I typically un-layer my cakes and cut into small pieces. I refrigerate some extras for the short term and freeze the rest. Either can then be reheated as a single special snack portion.

🦴 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.

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