As pet parents you want to share the good times with your dog, but would rather avoid feeding him unhealthy, fattening treats. A basic cake recipe, modified for better canine nutrition, fits the bill nicely. Alter it with a variety of dog-approved foods to tailor-make dessert for your precious pup.
Creating Your Own Basic Dog-Cake Recipe
Look for a good, basic human cake recipe that is low in sugar and fat.
Alter the recipe to reduce the quantity by at least half. So, if the recipe calls for 2 cups flour, for example, use no more than 1 cup.
Eliminate, substitute or reduce unnecessary sugar, butter or other less healthy ingredients. Honey is better than refined sugar, for instance, and is quite enough sweetener for a medium-sized dog cake. Butter or olive oil (1/4 cup) is enough fat to make a rich treat. Whole wheat flour is more nutritious than white flour. You could also substitute rye, barley, rice or other whole-grain flours. Use water or soy milk in place of cow's milk, which can upset lactose-intolerant stomachs in some pets.
Avoid exotic ingredients that may prove toxic to dogs or cause tummy upsets. Other than flour, sweetener and some form of fat, water, eggs or egg-substitute, and baking powder are the only truly necessary ingredients for a successful cake.
Add flavorings or other ingredients that are good dog foods -- things like peanut butter, pumpkin, squash, carob or cinnamon. Avoid chocolate, raisins and other foods not recommended for dogs.
Making the Cake
Measure out ingredients into cups or small bowls.
Cream the butter and honey together in a small mixing bowl. Add the egg and vanilla and blend it in well. Set the bowl aside.
Mix flour and baking soda together in a large mixing bowl, add water and the egg, butter and honey mixture to that. Blend until the batter is smooth and creamy.
Pour the batter into a small well-buttered baking pan or into paper cups in a muffin pan, and bake at 350-degrees Fahrenheit until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Variations & Extras
Add one or more optional ingredients from the list to enhance the flavor and texture.
Make a cake “frosting” by spreading cream cheese, cottage cheese or peanut butter over the top.
Top the cake with an unsalted pretzel “candle,” a tiny dog biscuit, crumbled vanilla wafers or carob chips for fun decorations.
Items you will need
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Small cups or bowls
- Small mixing bowl
- Electric mixer or whisk
- 1/4 cup butter, unsalted
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- Large mixing bowl
- Large mixing spoon
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- Small baking pan or muffin tin and paper liners
- Optional Ingredients:
- 1/4 cup peanut butter
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- 1 cup cooked, drained pumpkin or mashed ripe bananas with either 1/2 cup uncooked instant oatmeal or 1/2 cup flour
- 1/2 cup carob chips
- 1/2 cup shredded cheese
- 1/2 cup crumbled,cooked bacon
- 1 tbsp. cinnamon
- Optional frostings or toppings:
- Cream cheese
- Cottage cheese
- Peanut butter
- Unsalted pretzel sticks
- Dog biscuits
- Vanilla wafers, crumbled
- Carob chips
- When adding extras to a recipe, be careful to balance wet and dry ingredients. Add a little bit of uncooked oatmeal or extra flour to balance a too-thin batter, or add water, soy milk, an additional egg or fruit juice to balance a too-wet mix.
- Not all dogs are lactose intolerant, and can usually eat small amounts of cheese or yogurt -- which are more easily digested than milk -- with no problems.
- Never use artificial sweeteners in dog treats. Some of them contain substances known to be toxic to dogs and other animals.
- Which One Smells the Best? image by T^i^ from Fotolia.com
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