Monday, 29 April 2019

Oli's 13th Birthday (Plus Surf'n'Turf Dog Birthday Cake!)

Elderly Dalmatian dog wearing a "Happy Birthday" bandana

Wowzas! Our beautiful boy is 13!  Thanks for all the social media love and birthday wishes you've shared with Oli for his birthday. We're always grateful to celebrate another milestone together, but after Oli's medical emergency last year and Tiger's recent passing, we've been feeling extra mindful and thankful this time around.  Now that our little blogging breaktime for Easter celebrations and ANZAC Day commemorations is past, we're back with photos from Oli's barkday and the details on our latest crazy cake: a doggone droolworthy surf'n'turf layer cake!

Layered meatloaf dog birthday cake with potato frosting topped with star-shaped dog treats

I was keen to make a fish cake last year on Oli's big 1-2 golden oldie birthday, but had to settle for scents that would be more suitable in case of property viewings. Game on this year, even if it did mean that all the windows and doors needed to be opened and the neighbour's dogs were left drooling in the breeze. Heheh...   

My preference for meaty cake is usually to use a lean ground meat (turkey, chicken, lamb, beef, etc.) along with egg, oats (or similar), and sometimes herbs and/or veggies too. This style of doggy cake is a lot like making a human meatloaf, meatball, or patty - very easy and readily adaptable. The egg and oat help to keep the cake tender and moist, while also binding the cake together well for handling and cutting once cooled.

🦴 Read more about cake options in our comprehensive post on making homemade dog cakes, including information on ingredients, baking, decoration, and storage. 

For friends who prefer (or need) plainer options for their doggy diets; however, the two-ingredient layers in this surf'n'turf cake show how easily simple two-ingredient "cakes" can be baked using only a meat and egg combo. As such, this isn't a "real recipe", just a demo! :) Just chop (if needed), mix, bake until firm/set, and cool. Whether baked as a dense meatloaf (like our lamb layer) or a chunky quiche (like our fish layer), they sure are yummy!  

Baking a homemade meat and fish dog birthday cake

For a better handling/cutting cake, I still greatly prefer using oats and other add-ins, but this is quick and healthy if you don't mind being a little messy when serving (and our dogs definitely didn't mind!). Humphrey has already requested via droolagram that an official fish cake recipe be developed for his birthday.

📅 A full version of a "proper" cake recipe is now available for Surf'n'Turf Dog Birthday Cake with Potato Frosting from Humphrey's birthday.

Of course, the dogs don't care about how pretty the cake looks; however, they do love the theatre of watching and sniffing while I putter about in the kitchen and they KNOW something special is happening for them. Oh the anticipation!!!  The baked, refrigerated, thoroughly cooled cakes were iced with mashed potato frosting, garnished with a sprinkle of dried parsley and ground hemp hearts, plated with fresh flat-leaf parsley from the garden and topped with homemade turmeric star treats. 

Making a layered dog birthday cake with mashed potato frosting and decorating it with dog treats

The verdict? The boys were wild for it, and both lamb and fish seems to be equally popular (although not equally smelly - the fish layer definitely won that title by miles). They enjoyed a celebratory slice and the rest was cut into pieces and split between the fridge and the freezer for future enjoyment. As always, anything that gets the crazy eyes of excitement from Oli is a-ok in my books, no matter how stinky. 

Dalmatian dog in party hat and bandana staring at dog birthday cake 
🦴 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.


  1. Hello! Would you happen to have the recipe for the surf 'n' turf dog birthday cake? I know some dogs that would be over the moon if I made this for them!! Thank You, Lisa

    1. Hi Lisa! :) As noted in the middle of the post, this cake was just a demo (albeit a delicious demo!) on how easy it is to make a basic meat-and-egg cake for dogs on restricted or controlled diets. As such, there is no recipe, but it's crazy easy. The two layers show two approaches so readers can see the differences between using ground or chopped meat/fish.

      The meat (turf) layer is just lean ground meat with egg, which bakes like a dense meat patty. The fish (surf) layer is a low-oil fish, chopped and stirred with egg which bakes more like a quiche. The quiche method isn't quite as tidy for serving, but it's definitely easy and the dogs love it.

      We do have lots of dog cakes and more structured cake recipe ideas in our archives if you're looking for a more specific recipe.

      I hope that helps!


We love comments almost as much as treats! 💌 Say hello and share your thoughts.