There will be a brief posting break next week (Easter and ANZAC Day) from our usual weekly Monday posting cycle. We'll still be around on social media, and doing behind-the-scenes site work here on the blog. :) See you soon!

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

{RECIPE} Layered Meatloaf Dog Birthday Cake

No birthday is complete without cake. A layer cake makes things all the more special, especially with fancy frosting and rainbow sprinkles.  We are always looking for ways to indulge our beloved senior boy Oli, but in moderation and with healthy (or healthier) ingredients and add-ins where we can. He has always been an inherently voracious eater and maintaining a healthy weight through good diet and plenty of exercise is vital, especially as he grows older. With this in mind, I set out to bake him a birthday cake which was more of a special birthday meal than a treat.

Layered Meatloaf Dog Birthday Cake...with Veggies

300g lean ground meat (I used a 50-50 combination of lamb and turkey mince)
2 eggs
2 tbsp ground flax
1 1/2 cups of finely minced dog-safe vegetables See tips below.
1/2 cup wholemeal flour Can substitute for grain/gluten sensitive dogs.

Frosting and decorations:
Cooled mashed potato + milk/water to adjust consistency if/as needed
Panko crumbs and food colouring or natural tint to garnish (optional)

Preheat oven to 180C and lightly grease your pan(s). These volumes will fill two mini spring-form pans.  Process your mixed raw vegetables into a fine mince - a food processor works nicely if you have one.  Combine the cake ingredients in a mixing bowl and press firmly into your prepared pans. There is no need to leave expansion room as these cakes will not change in size during baking.  Bake for approximately 30-40 minutes, until cooked thoroughly.  Remove from the oven, cool slightly, and then refrigerate to cool thoroughly. Your fridge may be well guarded...hehe!

When thoroughly cooled, remove from the pan.  Construct your layer cake, applying mashed potato frosting between each layer.  Frost the exterior with additional mashed potato, garnish with tinted panko crumbs or biscuits to decorate, and refrigerate until you are ready to serve. Refrigerate or freeze extra for follow-on treats. Pampered pooches might enjoy their slice of cake warmed slightly before serving for extra smell and flavour.

Tips and Tricks:
  • Cake(s) can be baked in other shapes/sizes. Muffins (or mini-muffins) offer a great single-serve alternative. Remember to adjust cooking times accordingly. 
  • Other ground meats can be used based upon your preferences and dog's tastes. 
  • You can lower the veggie volume for a smaller, denser, meatier cake or  add-in an alternative bulking ingredient like oats, wheatgerm, etc.
  • The best type of dog-safe vegetables to use will depend on your dog's preferences, but may also be affected by other factors. Some dogs have special dietary requirements, food allergies/intolerances, or breed specific sensitivities - like our Dalmatians, who are safer with lower purine foods due to a breed-unique metabolic issue.  If you have questions or concerns about your pet's diet, chat with your vet.
  • Instant mashed potato is a very quick and easy option for frosting/icing savory dog cakes. It is inherently smooth and uniform in consistency and is easily adjusted to be thinner (additional liquid) or thicker (additional flakes).  Mashed potato is also a neutral base for tinting is you wish to add food colouring.
  • Tinted panko makes a nice sprinkle substitute for special savory dog cakes. 
  • Candles (if used) are best left unlit. Oli is a very well-behaved poser, but we only let him sniff the lit cake momentarily before blowing out the candles for everyone's safety.

Hungry for more tasty treats?  See all of our recipes here. Remember, treats are for spoiling your pup in moderation. Some dogs have special dietary requirements and/or food allergies/intolerances. If you are ever in doubt, have a chat with your vet.


  1. So cute! :-) Can you please share the size of your pans? Thanks!

    1. Thanks! :) My pans are 4in/10.2cm diameter which is pretty typical for circular mini springform pans. You can find them in most homewares store and kitchen sections of major department stores, or online - here is an example of options at Amazon for mini springform pans.

      You can also bake these in other pan shapes/sizes as noted in the tips above. Just be aware that they are a dense meatloaf-style cake so you will need to prep the pans and take care when removing - that's were the mini springform pans are so handy!

      Have fun! I hope your dog enjoys the special treat.

  2. Thats a wonderful "cake" like the frosting idea.

    1. Thanks Anette (and Zorro!). Humphrey's 2nd birthday is coming up in a few weeks and I'm plotting my next doggy cake creation....hmmmm... :)

      So nice to "meet" you and thanks for saying hello!

    2. nice to meet you to, you got a lot of interesting DIY, is it posible I might be alowed to translate som for my blog? full credit to you and a link ofcourse.

      last cake I save was made with rye bread and pâté , with a sausage as light.... thats easy.

    3. Thanks for the lovely compliment! :) We welcome social sharing as well as posts with links back to the blog, but not full content. If you're keen to do a feature or include on of our recipes/DIYs in a round-up on your blog, you can check out our Link with Love page and don't be shy to email us if you have any questions or special requests.

      I can only imagine how excited Oli would have been for sausage candles...heheheh. Suddenly getting old sounds rather tasty!


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