This lamb meatloaf birthday cake combines Humphrey’s favourite flavours in one doggone delicious extra special cake! We’re celebrating Humphrey’s 8th birthday with lamb and carrot cake, layered with mashed potato, and topped with chicken and beef jerky. It’s the stuff of birthday dog drooling dreams, furfriends. Sniff your way into our dog treat kitchen for the full lamb meatloaf dog birthday cake recipe and decorating details. And did we mention this recipe makes great meatball dog treats, too? We made both cake and meatballs for the party!
Droolworthy Dog Birthday Cakes
We’ve experimented with all sorts of doggone droolworthy cake ideas over the years, starting from simple cakes for Tiger, and then Oli. By the time little man Humphrey joined the family, he inherited a well-trained personal pet chef. Haha! The best cake combination is whatever brings you and your pet joy. Just like people, pets have their own personal preferences. Meatloaf style birthday cakes are definitely one of the favourites around here. They’re easy to make, fun to decorate, not to naughty on the diet, and thoroughly enjoyed by the boys and their dog friends. I struggled to decide on a flavour for this year’s birthday cake, and decided to go a bit crazy instead and combine several of Humphrey’s favourites into one super special cake. We have lamb, carrot (his favourite veggie), chicken, jerky and more! Yummo.
Dog-Friendly Meatloaf Cake and Meatball Recipes
We only make meatloaf cakes like this for special occasions, like birthdays, but meatballs are an easy anytime treat. When I share meatloaf cake recipes, I usually make them with mini springform pans (affiliate link) and often comment that they can be made in different pans or hand-rolled into meatballs instead. As chance would have it, the ground lamb packed purchased for this cake was a little bigger than I usually use for cake. I also wanted to include lots of yummy carrot in the cake. Instead of separating and freezing some of the lamb, I decided to make a larger batch of meatloaf mixture and show both the cake and the meatballs made with the same recipe.
Lamb Meatloaf Dog Birthday Cake Recipe
Lamb and Carrot Meatloaf Cake with Mashed Potato Frosting and Garnish
I find that lamb is often still quite juicy even when lean, but the oats in this recipe soak up that moisture during baking. The end result is a nice dense meatloaf cake. The carrot, parsley, and turmeric boost the colour, texture, scent, and flavour. Even when plain, this cake still looks rather lovely with its smattering of oats, shred of carrots, and speckles of parsley. As do the meatballs. Layering, frosting, and/or decorating the cake as show are optional, but excellent for creating a special party look. I garnished the cake with cooked chicken and beef jerky.
- Approximately 500g lean ground lamb (or other meat of your preference)
- 1 cup wholegrain oats (shown) or similar
- 1 egg
- 1 cup of carrot, shredded
- Optional: handful of freshly chopped parsley
- Optional seasonings: 1 tbsp turmeric powder, 1 tsp Ceylon cinnamon, sprinkle of ground pepper
Optional Frosting and Decorations:
- Cooled cooked mashed potato
- Water to adjust the consistency of the potato if/as needed
- Dog-friendly edible decorations or garnish (I used cooked cooked chicken and plain beef jerky dog treats)
Don’t panic at the amount of carrot pictured with the food processor below. As mentioned in Humphrey’s 8th birthday post, we were prepping his make-ahead breakfasts on the same day, so there was lots of veggie shredding action happening. I measured the carrot at 1 cup for the mixture. It’s also worth noting that you can shred finer for a tighter handling mixture if you’d like, especially if making smaller meatballs.
Making the Cake (and/or Meatballs):
- Preheat your oven to 180C (or local equivalent) and gather together your baking ingredients and materials. Lightly oil your pan(s) and/or prepare your baking tray for meatballs.
- Combine the ingredients in a mixing bowl.
- For cake: Press the meat mixture firmly into your prepared pan. If you’re baking two cakes, try to flatten the tops when you’re patting for easier layering. There’s no need to leave expansion room in the pan since these dense meat cakes will not rise during baking.
- For meatballs: Hand form the meat mixture into small balls and place on your prepared baking tray.
- Bake for approximately 30 minutes (time will depend on size), until cooked through.
- Optional: Once cooked through, your can broil briefly if you’d like additional browning.
- Remove from the oven, cool slightly, and then refrigerate to cool thoroughly.
Decorating the Cake (Optional):
- When the cake has thoroughly cooled, then remove from the pan.
- If you’re using two cakes, construct your layer cake, applying mashed potato frosting between each layer. I included cooked chicken between my layers with a very small amount of mashed potato above/below to help the layers stick.
- Use additional garnish (optional) to decorate. I used more cooked cooled chicken on top, with a few small jerky piece for extra style.
- Refrigerate until you are ready to serve. Serve in moderation. Pampered pooches might enjoy their slice warmed slightly for extra scent and flavour. Cue the drool, pawty animals!
Dog-Friendly Cake Making Tips and Tricks
- See our comprehensive pet chef post on homemade birthday and special occasion dog cakes for additional information on types of cakes, decorating ideas, storage, and more. Meatball dog treats are included in the same pet chef help post, too.
- When working with meatballs, especially making them miniature, adding a little bit of wheatgerm or brown rice flour can sometimes help make the mixture easier to handle and shape. This is, of course, optional. I didn’t use any for the meatballs shown in this post.
- As noted above, sakes can be baked into other shapes and sizes. Adjust your cooking times and/or temperatures accordingly.
- Meatloaf cakes can be made in advance stored (refrigerated short term, frozen longer term) and then decorated for the party. Leftovers can be cut into bite-sized snacks and refrigerated or frozen. Meatballs can also be refrigerated short term and frozen for longer term.
Recipe and Ingredient Tips and Tricks
- This lamb dog birthday cake recipe can be made with other ground meats instead to suit your preferences and dog’s tastes.
- Turmeric stains, so pick cookware with care, clean spills quickly, and wash your hands as soon as possible after handling the mixture.
- Cinnamon is yummy, fragrant, and offers some great health benefits. However, it’s not suitable for everyone. Pregnant/nursing dogs in particular should not be given cinnamon. Ceylon cinnamon is the recommended variety for dogs, if/when used.
- Want to switch seasonings? Check out this little slideshow at Modern Dog for ideas on other dog-friendly herbs.
- Not in the mood to mash? Instant mashed potato makes a very quick and easy option for frosting meaty cakes.
- Garnish is, of course, optional. Other ideas include grated cheese, crumbled cooked bacon, homemade treats, ready-made treats, or kibble. Feel like sprinkles? Tinted panko or oats can be used as a dog-friendly rainbow sprinkle substitute. See our post on making dog cakes for different frosting and decorating ideas, or browse through the other DIY dog cakes and pupcakes for ideas.
Hungry for more tasty treats? There are all sorts of homemade dog treat ideas in our blog archives. You can use the category and tag labels 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.