We’ve had a dog around the house since before I can remember. Being home for quarantine has given me the opportunity to spend more time with our current dog, Matilda, who is a Mastiff-Maremma mix. She’s an all-black, 110 lb. dog, who looks much more menacing than she actually is. In reality, she’s the sweetest dog you’ll ever meet.
Although my family and I are huuuuge dog people, we’ve still never celebrated any of their birthdays. I know — I also think dog birthday parties are a little bit silly. But sometimes, during a global pandemic and amidst all the other bad news we have to deal with on a daily basis, silly is just what you need.
I knew that Matilda’s 6th birthday was coming up (September 29th according to my mother… no idea how she knows/remembers that) and decided to throw her a party because what else are we doing? I called up her closest friends (Millie, my brother’s Maltipoo, and Nala, our cousin’s Sharpay-lab-pitbull mix), and got to party planning…
…until I realized that I don’t really know what people do at dog parties. But I do know, that a birthday party isn’t complete without a birthday cake. That I can do!
I already knew that all three dogs like (and aren’t allergic to) peanut butter treats since I baked some earlier this year. I added apple sauce as well, but any sort of puree would work just fine. The rest is just basic baking ingredients!
Some things to note:
- Peanut Butter — DO NOT use peanut butter with the sugar substitute, Xylitol. It can be toxic to dogs and cats, however, most big-name peanut butter brands are Xylitol-free.
- Sweetener — Instead of sugar, I sweetened these pupcakes with honey, since too much sugar can be bad for dogs.
- Flour — I used almond flour for these, mainly because I had it around the house. Feel free to 1:1 sub for all-purpose flour.
- Frosting — Kept it simple by using homemade unsweetened whipped cream, but I’m sure it’ll be enjoyed with or without it.
You can tell that they absolutely LOVED these. They were so excited when they saw them, I can’t believe I got even one good photo. Matilda literally ate hers in one bite, which almost makes me question if she even tasted it. Even Millie, who is the pickiest dog I’ve ever met, finished her entire cupcake! I tried a piece of one myself and *whispers* it’s not bad.
So, whether you’re celebrating a pup’s birthday or just wanting to make them a healthy special treat, these cupcakes might become your new go-to dog-friendly recipe.
Apple and Peanut Butter Pupcakes
- 1/2 cup almond flour
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/8 tsp baking powder
- 1 large egg
- 1 tbsp crunchy peanut butter
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup applesauce unsweetened
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a large cupcake tin with cupcake liners. Fill the empty holes with a little bit of water, to help with even baking and to make sure your tin doesn't warp in the oven.
- Stir all ingredients together in a large bowl, until well combined. Pour into pans.
- Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until browned. Check by inserting a toothpick into the center, it should come out clean if ready. Cool completely.
- Frosting: beat heavy whipping cream until stiff peaks form. Frost cupcakes however you want!
- Store in refrigerator for up to 3 days.