Animals Pets How to Make a Dog Birthday Cake By Jaymi Heimbuch Writer California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo Jaymi Heimbuch is a writer and photographer specializing in wildlife conservation. She is the author of The Ethiopian Wolf: Hope at the Edge of Extinction. our editorial process Twitter Twitter Jaymi Heimbuch Updated June 05, 2017 Your dog will love you more than ever when you whip up one of these doggy treats. (All photos: Jaymi Heimbuch). Share Twitter Pinterest Email Animals Wildlife Pets Animal Rights Endangered Species The bond we have with our dogs can be truly amazing. That's why it's no surprise that there is a growing trend for celebrating a dog's birthday not only with some extra cuddles but also with an extra special treat: a cake! But not just any cake will do for a dog — it has to stay within a dog's dietary needs, of course. Grain-free and sugar-free cakes are a healthful way to celebrate. Many dogs have allergies to grains, resulting in itchy, dry skin and other problems, and added sugar is not good for their system. They experience sugar highs and lows just like we do, and the negative effects just aren't worth it. So the following cake recipes leave these harmful ingredients out. The first recipe uses coconut flour instead of a grain-based flour. Coconut flour is a perfect ingredient for baked dog treats because it has loads of nutrients, including protein and iron, and is far lower on the glycemic index than grain flours. The second recipe uses no flour at all. I used liver paste for the frosting since my dog is not a big fan of cheese or peanut butter, which are the main ingredients for the frosting recipe below. Needless to say, the frosting was licked off first! Feel free to get creative (within reason, for your dog's health) with the frosting and toppings and make them suit your dog's preferences. These recipes offer options, one for dogs that like peanut butter, and one for dogs that like apples. First up, Peanut Butter and Banana Birthday Cupcakes! This recipe was inspired by K9 Instinct. Prep time: 15 minutes Cook time: 25 minutes Total time: 40 minutes Yield: 12 cupcakes Peanut Butter and Banana Birthday Cupcakes for Dogs (grain-free, sugar-free) Ingredients For the cupcakes, followed by frosting ingredients that start with cream cheese 1 cup unsalted, unsweetened peanut butter 3 eggs 2 bananas, mashed 1/2 cup coconut flour 1/4 cup cottage cheese 3/4 teaspoon baking soda 3/4 cup cream cheese 1/2 cup unsalted, unsweetened peanut butter 1 tablespoon coconut oil Cooking directions Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 12-cup muffin tin, or two 6-cup muffin tins, or line with paper muffin cups. In a large bowl, combine the peanut butter, eggs, bananas, and cottage cheese. Stir until well-combined. Add in the coconut flour and baking soda and stir until combined. Fill each muffin cup to about 3/4 full with the batter. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown on top. While these are baking, begin making the frosting. In a small bowl combine the cream cheese, peanut butter and oil, and use a fork or a hand-mixer to cream together until smooth. Place in the fridge for 10 minutes to harden up again while the cupcakes finish baking. Remove the cupcakes from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack. Ice the cooled cupcakes with the frosting mixture (or as I did, with liver paste) and serve! Check out the video: Our friend Jerry James Stone thought this was such a clever idea that he decided to make this a Facebook Live video. Take a look! Next try Apple Peanut Butter Cake for Dogs This next recipe is for dogs that like apples or just sweeter treats. It's amazingly simple, and quick to put together. This recipe is inspired by Spoonful of Sugar Free. Prep time: 5 minutes Cook time: 25 minutes Total time: 30 minutes Yield: 1 mini cake Apple Peanut Butter Cake for Dogs (grain-free, sugar-free) Ingredients 1 egg 1/2 organic apple, finely diced (leave skin on) 3 tablespoons unsalted, unsweetened peanut butter 1/2 teaspoon baking powder Cooking DirectionsPreheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir until smooth. Grease a ramekin or a jumbo muffin tin. I used an extra-deep 6-inch tart mold with a pop out bottom. Fill the dish with the batter. Place on the center rack of the oven and bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool the cake on a wire rack, then remove from the baking dish. You can leave it plain, or use the frosting recipe listed above to give it an extra delicious twist.