Happy National Cake day everyone! I love that this year it falls right in line with the Thanksgiving holiday week. Every year, around this time, the pet care community starts to share information online about what foods are safe to feed your pets at the Thanksgiving dinner table. Well, this time around you can make a cake for your fur babies to enjoy for dessert. I’ve tested out two very easy and simple recipes; both are meat free and you can taste them yourself. I did!

About five or six years ago I had to revamp my whole lifestyle and diet. After suffering from very intense migraines, I switched my diet to exclude gluten, while decreasing sugar and dairy significantly. Before all of this, I enjoyed baking cakes for friends’ birthdays and special occasions. I would make elaborate cakes into fun shapes or with three tiers, and then decorate them with edible sparkles and diamonds on top of fondant. It didn’t help that there is an amazing cake supply shop in Manhattan (I was living in Brooklyn), so self control was challenged the moment I stepped foot into the baker’s paradise. Once I had to reevaluate my diet, my cake production slowed dramatically. Making gluten free cakes is not as fun for me! It’s more difficult and more expensive; plus it’s just better for my health if I don’t eat so much cake, I guess. (sigh) 

I have experimented with simple ingredients, to make pet-friendly baked goods and treats since then, however. So for Cake Day, I’ve tested out two cake recipes for this article. They are both meat free and gluten free. The first one uses egg and dairy (can easily be made dairy-free), while the second one contains no dairy or eggs. You can also tweak these to fit your pet’s needs if they cannot have something that I used. Let’s get into it!

Cake #1

This recipe uses only seven ingredients, most of which I already had in my kitchen. 

Ingredients

Cake

  • 1 cup flour (I used almond flour)
  • ¼ cup peanut butter
  • ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • ½ cup pumpkin puree
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ⅛ cup vegetable oil (I used olive oil)
  • 1 egg

Frosting

  • ¼-½ cup Primal goat’s milk
  • ¼ cup peanut butter

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a bowl, combine pumpkin, applesauce, peanut butter, and vegetable oil.
  3. Once smooth, mix in the egg. Add the flour and baking soda into wet ingredients.
  4. Bake in a greased pan for 25-30 minutes.
  5. Mix together ingredients for frosting. Once the cake is cooled, frost and decorate! 

You can use any flour or vegetable oil that suits you. If it were summer, I would probably have used coconut oil because it is cooling for the body and adds a nice sweet, nutty taste to the cake. I already had Almond flour, but any flour would work fine. I would strongly advise against using bleached white flour, however. That isn’t good for anybody.

The peanut butter I used does not contain any added sugars or palm oil. Consequences of palm oil production include deforestation, destroying habitats for a number of animals, as well as causing harm to animals living in those forests. Always check the ingredients if you’re buying peanut butter! The ingredients in the peanut butter I bought are roasted peanuts and salt. That’s all you need. Similarly, the applesauce I picked up is unsweetened and has no added flavors or sugar. 

As for the pumpkin puree, you can find canned pumpkin in the baking aisle, but only use the pure canned pumpkin. Please do not feed your pets pumpkin pie filling. You could probably find canned pumpkin at your local pet supply store! Weruva makes packets of pumpkin. I always keep a packet or a can of pumpkin in my home. Pumpkin is a great source for beta carotene (vitamin A), vitamins C and E, high in fiber, antioxidants and other nutrients. It’s wonderful for skin and coat; it’s also my go-to fix for upset tummies. That includes constipation and diarrhea, just FYI.

To make the cake, set your oven to 350 degrees. While the ovens warmed, combine the dry ingredients in one bowl; and then in another bowl mix together the pumpkin, peanut butter, applesauce and vegetable oil. Whisk these ingredients until you have a smooth texture, then add the egg into the liquids. From there, combine the dry and liquid ingredients together. This recipe makes one 8” cake. You can double or triple it if you want to have multiple layers to your cake. After about 25-30 minutes, check that a toothpick inserted is clean when removed. Allow the cake to cool before frosting it.

For the frosting, I combined peanut butter with goat’s milk from Primal Pet foods. The amount of goat’s milk will vary depending on how thick you like your frosting. Primal’s goat’s milk contains healthy probiotics, turmeric, ginger, and cinnamon. All of these spices do wonders for inflammation in the body, digestive health, and they are warming for fall and winter.

Get creative with your decorations too! I sliced some apples and added a dollop of pumpkin to top off my cake. I sampled a piece before I frosted the cake, and it tasted pretty good. I would make this cake for myself!

Cake #2

Ingredients

  • 1 cup almond flour
  • ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 mashed banana
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ cup water

Frosting

  • ¾ mashed banana
  • ¼ cup pumpkin puree

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix together the mashed banana and applesauce. Then stir in flour and water.
  3. Grease pan with oil and bake for 20-25 minutes.
  4. Mix together mashed banana and pumpkin for frosting.
  5. Once cake is cooled, frost and decorate as you prefer!

Like I said, I wanted this cake to be a little more minimal, and with ingredients that are likely to be found in your kitchen already. You can certainly play around with this one, like adding apple chunks. It tastes good and is very moist, but the texture of the finished product was not as firm and baked as I would prefer. Once cooled, it firmed up a little, but it doesn’t have the same fluffy cake-texture that we all love. Your pups probably won’t care as much about that as I do. 

If I were to try this one again, I would either add oats or pumpkin to the cake batter. Better yet, mixing up a “flaxseed egg” or adding chia seeds could have solved my issue to help bind the ingredients together well. The frosting came out like more of a pumpkin banana glaze, and then I topped it with apple and banana slices, and peanut butter drizzle. As long as there are not sensitivities, you really can’t go wrong with peanut butter!

There are so many options when making cakes for your pets! Plus, with these recipes you can enjoy a piece with your fur baby. If your concerned about your pets having sensitivities to the ingredients of their treats, we can provide you with some answers. At 5 Strands Testing we provide hair analysis to help you find clarity. Food and environmental intolerance tests are available through our website. 

For those out there that would prefer not to do the cooking and would rather buy from a pet bakery, you’re in luck! Pet bakeries are becoming more and more popular these days. Here in the Atlanta area we are lucky to have Three Dog Bakery. There are locations around the country, however, and you can search the nearest bakery on their website www.threedog.com. The closest location to Atlanta is in Grayson, GA, where they make a wide variety of cookies, cakes, cupcakes and baked goods for your pets! There’s still time to get treats for all the pets at your Thanksgiving holiday party. Remember to research what is safe for your pets to eat from your plate this holiday.

Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving everyone!

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