Instead of using normal birthday candles for Humphrey’s second birthday, I decided to make some edible birthday candle dog treats instead. Safer 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.
Tasty Candle Treats
You can apply this technique to any suitable treat dough and any combination of colours. It works for human cookie dough, too! I have to confess, after making these twists, I was already plotting Christmas treats. Then I learned that dogs don’t see red and green like we do, so that was off my treat to-do list.
Contrary to what many people believe, dogs are not colour blind. They just see colours (and more) quite differently than people. Check out our post on dog vision vs. human vision for details and side-by-side photo examples. They don’t really care about colourful or pretty treats, though. They only care about the doggone delicious scents and flavours. But we humans can have a little fun!
Making Edible Birthday Candle Dog Treats
Choosing a Base Dough
Similar treats can be made using any rollable dog treat dough. If adding colours, the lighter the dough, the easier it will be to tint true colours.
If you are making these for human treats instead, then a rollable cookie dough, pastry, or even a sweet bread dough could work nicely.
Choosing Tinting Colours and Ingredients
Candles can be made in one colour or using combined colours for a spiral candle, as shown. Any dog-friendly tints can be used to make coloured dough, but don’t forget about the important elements of flavours and smells when choosing and mixing colours. You can read more about tinting treats in our post on using natural food colourings for dog treats.
Our Birthday Candle Combinations
I made a simple sour cream and chicken stock dough to get my base white-ish and a combination of food colouring and natural add-ins for each colour in the treats shown. 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.
Aiming for white when baking treats is tricky. Many of our favourite doughs are naturally coloured by their base ingredients. For those that aren’t, very few white (or whitish) binders will stay white when baked. Embrace a little beige! It will make baking options easier and the dogs won’t care.
Making Edible Birthday Candles
Preparing the dough:
- Preheat the oven and mix the dough according to your chosen recipe.
- Divide your dough into smaller portions for tinting.
- Tint individually to your preference.
Forming the candle shapes:
- 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, like our pictured treats, you need to be a little more careful in shaping and handling so as not to crack or break your candle sticks before baking.
Baking the treats:
- Chill if needed for your chosen recipe, and then bake according to recipe. Keep an eye on the oven. The smaller/thinner the cane, the shorter the baking time.
- Cool before serving and storage.
Using Edible Candles on a Dog Birthday Cake
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.
Fun with Our Offcuts and Extra Treat Dough
I made extra candle treats, but still had more dog than I wanted for candles as well as the offcut ends. I decided to marble these together into some rainbow treats. They came out much cuter than I expected. I was hooked on marbling… Check out our unicorn bone rainbow marbled dog treats for full details on creating colourful marbled treat.
Hungry for more tasty treats? There are all sorts of homemade dog treat ideas in our blog archives. You can also use use the category and tag labels above/ below this post to find other recipes that might be of interest or use our internal search tools to find something specific. Remember, treats (bought or homemade) are for spoiling your pup in moderation. We share ideas from treats that we’ve made ourselves for our pets, but different animals have different preferences (likes/dislikes), just like people. 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.