It is this little dude’s 8th birthday today. Yup, he’s a Pi baby. This is the date that was given to us from the shelter, so whether it’s true or not, we aren’t certain. But it’s as good as any day. It also happens to be exactly one week before the fellow’s birthday, so it would be easy to remember, right?
I am an awful doggo mama. I forgot my own furkid’s birthday. I mean, I remembered it and it’s still the right day, but I didn’t realize it until almost 4pm! And the only reason I even remembered it was because I was checking my calendar to see if I had plans for a particular day later this month, and in crossing off the past few days, I noticed I had written in “therapy @ 9”, “trivia @7pm”, and “Apollo’s 8th bday”. I was instantly gutted. My dog is my baby. How could I forget?!
Ah well. I’m a huge subscriber of hyperbole and it really isn’t the end of the world. In fact, since it is still his birthday, there is time to make up for this foible of mine. But given the time, I wasn’t about to run out to any of the pet stores in the area and have to battle afternoon/rush hour traffic… especially when I’ll just have to go back out later tonight for trivia.
So I did some brain noodlin’. What did I have on hand that I could whip into a fun treat for him? He doesn’t need any more squeak toys. In fact, I should make it a point to buy more squeakers and replace them in his old toys to renew their life. (I’m lucky in that he rarely shreds toys. He might chew off an ear, because he likes nibbly bits, but only a few toys in the 7 years we’ve had him has he straight up destroyed to the point that we couldn’t repair it with a little thread and love.)
I always have some dog-friendly peanut butter on hand. Dog friendly meaning no sugar, and especially no xylitol (this is a huge no-no). I also almost always have things like apples, bananas, some frozen fruit, oats, and of course basic pantry staples. But I wanted to do something fun and different for him. Biscuits are too much work, and only last a few days unless they’re properly dried out – and I don’t have time for that today, no matter how much I love him. So I decided to whip up some pupcakes to turn into a little mini layered cake. What’s a cake without frosting though, huh? So there’s some of that whipped up, too.
This is a grain free, sugar free, dairy free, corn free, soy free recipe. And actually, it’s pretty tasty and totally 100% safe for human consumption. Please keep in mind that while berries are a great diet staple for us, they – as well as all berries – should be given sparingly to our four legged kiddos. Their high sugar content is not suitable for a dog’s diet, but a few here and there doesn’t cause any harm (unless they happen to be allergic to them). Also, do not use food dye to color it!
Apollo’s Birthday 2-Layer Barfday Cake
3 Tablespoons creamy natural peanut butter
3/4 cup apple, cored and diced (skin on or off)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 large egg
5-6 blueberries, quartered
2 raspberries, finely chopped
coconut oil, for greasing pan*
1/2 ripe medium banana
1 Tablespoon creamy natural peanut butter
3 raspberries, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 350°. Using solid coconut oil, grease the well of a jumbo muffin pan or similar sized baking dish (mini cake pan, ramekin, etc.), and a normal size muffin/cupcake pan. You don’t need a lot.
- In a small bowl, combine the cake ingredients until it forms an extra goopy mixture. It will look like more apple than anything else.
- Fill both pans 3/4 full with the lumpy batter.
- Bake for approximately 20 minutes. An inserted toothpick or cake tester should come out clean.
- Remove from oven and let cool completely on a rack.
- While the cakes are cooling, in a small bowl, combine the banana, peanut butter, and finely chopped raspberries until as smooth as possible. Add a little more banana or peanut butter to thicken it if it’s too watery. It should produce a nice shade of pinky-red.
- Once cakes are completely cooled, frost both cakes and stack. If not serving immediately, place in the fridge.
*If your pup cannot have coconut, a quick spray of Pam or a similar baking spray works too. This does, however, add soy (though minimal amounts) the the recipe.
If you don’t happen to have a jumbo muffin pan, you can use two or three of the regular muffin pan wells to make a 2- or 3-layer cake, OR, regular muffin and mini muffin 2-layer cake.