Check out Oli’s surf-n-turf birthday layer cake! Mmmm… Why choose when you can have both? We baked this cake as a limited ingredient dog birthday cake because it’s doggone delicious and healthy, but also to show how cake making can be adapted to suit different preferences for feeding plans, dietary needs, and more. Here are the details on our simple surf-n-turf dog birthday cake, with tips for making meat and/or fish dog cakes and adjusting recipes to dietary needs.
Celebrating with Dog-Friendly Birthday Cakes
It’s not a party without cake! 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. It was game on for Oli’s 13th birthday this year, even if it did mean that all the windows and doors needed to be opened and the neighbourhood dogs were all left drooling in the breeze. Heheh… The crazy eyes and drooling jowls are definite signs of approval.
Dog-Friendly Birthday Cake Options
Special Doesn’t Need to be Fancy
Although I enjoy making my crazy cakes and the excitement our boys get from cake time, it’s important to note that special celebrations don’t require anything fancy, just lots of love and whatever makes you and your pet happiest. As shared in our post on making homemade birthday and special occasion cakes for dogs, Oli’s early cakes were homemade casserole dish dinners with a candle. Nothing flashy, but doggone delish and he knew it was something special.
Conventional Dog-Friendly Cakes and Pupcakes
The process of preparing and baking a conventional dog-friendly cake is very similar to baking for humans, except that the recipes are usually no-sugar and low-fat. With the right flavour combination, you might even decide to share! Some form of flour is usually one of the ingredients, which make not suit some pets in terms of feeding models or dietary needs.
Dog-Friendly Meatloaf Cakes
A meatloaf dog cake can be prepared using a recipe, or you can easily adapt your favourite meatloaf or meatball recipe to a dog-friendly version by omitting or substituting the ingredients that aren’t suitable for dogs. My preference for a meat-based cake is usually to use a lean ground meat along with egg and oats (or similar), and sometimes I also include herbs and/or veggies. See our layered lamb cake for an example recipe. The egg and oats help to keep the cake tender and moist, as well as binding the cake together for handling and cutting once cooled. Recipes can be easily adapted, though. Especially when yum takes priority over looks. This surf’n’turf cake is a very simple limited ingredient example (decorations not withstanding, of course).
Limited Ingredient Surf'n'Turf Dog Birthday Cake
For friends who prefer (or need) plainer options for their doggy diets, 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. Chop or mince the meat or fish, mix, bake until cooked through and set, and cool. To double the demo, I made one layer with chopped fish and one with lean minced lamb.
Whether baked as a dense meatloaf (like our meaty lamb layer) or a chunky quiche (like our fish layer), they sure are yummy! You could also use a casserole dish, with or without the egg, for a simplified version of one or both flavours mixed together. For a better handling and 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.
As promised! We revisited this doggone delicious combination for Humphrey’s 5th birthday, but as a meatloaf cake recipe. Check out the full version of a surf’n’turf dog-friendly cake recipe in our preferred meatloaf style for all the details (and/or as a comparison to the limited ingredient version).
Decorating Oli's Birthday Cake
Frosting and Decorations
The dogs don’t care about how pretty the cake looks, but they do love the theatre of watching and sniffing while I putter about in the kitchen. Especially when they know that something special is happening for them. Oh the anticipation! The baked, refrigerated, 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.
The boys were wild for their cake. Both the lamb and fish seemed to be equally popular, although not equally smelly. The fish layer definitely won that title by miles. Oh my… 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.
Dog-Friendly Cake Making Tips and Tricks
- See our comprehensive post on homemade birthday and special occasion dog cakes for additional information on types of cakes, decorating ideas, storage, and more. That post also includes different frosting and decorating ideas, or you can browse through the other DIY dog cakes and pupcakes for ideas.
- This demo limited ingredient cake isn’t a recipe, but there are plenty of full recipes here on the blog, including for dog-friendly cakes using both conventional pupcake ingredients and meatloaf style ingredients.
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.