Blending Doggone Great Flavours
This cake is a hybrid of our meatloaf cakes for dogs and a more conventional baked pupcake. It blends delicious beef with wholemeal baked cake base, amped up with pumpkin for added nutrition, binding, colour, and flavour. Pumpkin is delicious and nutritious, both for people and dogs in moderation. The optional turmeric (and partner pepper) add additional scent and flavour, but also boosts the beautiful natural orange colour of this pumpkin cake.
Pumpkin and Beef Dog Birthday Cake Recipe
Homemade Pumpkin and Beef Dog Birthday Cake with Mashed Potato Frosting
The recipe below fits two mini-springform pans, as pictured, but can be made in different pans or as mini-muffins, if you prefer. I used beef for this cake, but other ground meats can be used based upon your preferences and dog’s tastes.
- 1 cup cooked pumpkin, mashed
- Approximately 1 cup uncooked lean ground beef
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp turmeric powder (optional)
- Sprinkle of ground black pepper (optional)
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 3/4 cup wholemeal self-raising flour or equivalent substitute
Optional Frosting and Decorations:
- Cooled cooked mashed potato
- Water to adjust the consistency of the potato if/as needed
- Optional dog-friendly edible decorations or garnish. I kept this cake simple, with just the candles (not edible…) and no sprinkles or garnish.
Making the Cake:
- Preheat your oven to 180C (or local equivalent) and gather together your baking ingredients and materials. Lightly oil your pan(s).
- Combine the meat, pumpkin, and egg in a mixing bowl.
- Stir in the turmeric, pepper, and vinegar.
- Add flour and mix until just combined in a thick muffin-like batter.
- Spoon into your prepared pans, taking care to ensure it is well distributed in the pan.
- Bake for approximately 20-25 minutes (cooking time vary with shape/size), until cooked thoroughly.
- Remove from the oven, cool slightly, and then refrigerate to cool thoroughly. You can release and reclip your springform after the initial cooling, if using, to reduce sticking.
Decorating the Cake (Optional):
- When thoroughly cooled, remove from the pans.
- Construct your layer cake, applying mashed potato frosting between each layer.
- Frost the exterior with additional mashed potato, garnish (optional) to decorate, and refrigerate until you are ready to serve. Pampered pooches might enjoy their slice of cake warmed slightly for extra smell and flavour.
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.
- Cakes can be baked into other shapes and sizes. Remember to adjust your cooking times and/or temperatures accordingly.
- Cakes can be made in advance (refrigerated short term, frozen longer term) and then decorated for the party. Leftovers can be cut into bite-sized snacks and refrigerated or frozen.
Recipe and Ingredient Tips and Tricks
- I like to roast entire pumpkins and then divide it into small portions and freeze for future use (both for us and for the dogs). It’s easy and efficient to do the prep work all at once and have ready-use pumpkin on hand in the freezer. It’s economical, too!
- Canned pumpkin puree (plain pumpkin, not spiced or sweetened pie filling) can be used instead or cooked mashed pumpkin. Liquid content may vary, so adjust the flour quantity and or use some dog-friendly liquid to adjust consistency, if needed.
- Not in the mood to mash? Instant mashed potato makes a very quick and easy option for frosting / icing dog cakes. It has a nice smooth consistency and can be easily adjusted to be thinner (additional liquid) or thicker (additional flakes).
- See our intro post on making birthday and special occasion 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 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.