If you’ve ever been to a toddler’s birthday party and seen the guest of honor launch into their smash cake face first, you know that dog people needed to make this happen for the hard working puppies of the world too.
What is a smash cake?
For those not in the know, a smash cake is a miniature birthday cake you give to a toddler to destroy with their face and hands, leaving the big party size birthday cake for the adults to enjoy the traditional fork and plate route. It’s a win-win.
Birthday cake for dogs
So for our dog birthday cake recipe, we decided to bake it in a sheet pan instead of cake pans, giving you the baker the flexibility to make cakes of any size. That means you can make the exact right size for your birthday dog to enjoy—and not share! After all, you only get one first birthday cake!
Smash cake recipe for dogs
Pumpkin Birthday Cake for Dogs with Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting
Yield 4-6 small cakes
An individual smash cake is perfect for a 1st birthday party celebration. We've geared this recipe to make 4-6 4 layer cakes, but if you need to make more, you could do 3 layer cakes to stretch the recipe further.
For a splashier presentation, you could add a little natural food coloring or berry juice to the frosting or cake batter for a pretty pastel look. You can decorate the top of your cake with dog treats, sprinkles or fresh berries— whatever your dog likes best.
For our healthy smash cake for dogs, we skip the butter and oil and opt for fiber-rich pumpkin puree instead, and just a hint of coconut oil for a rich mouthfeel. We skip the buttercream frosting and use fat-free cream cheese with a hint of peanut butter and yogurt for a rich tangy flavor your puppy will adore.
For the cake
- 1 1/2 cups rolled oat flour (pulse rolled oats in a food processor until floury)
- 1 1/2 cup regular flour (we used gluten-free all-purpose flour)
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 can pumpkin puree
- 1 cup fat-free yogurt
- 2 Tbsp melted coconut oil
- 2 eggs
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
For the cream cheese frosting
- 1 block room temp fat free cream cheese
- 2 Tbsp cornstarch or tapioca flour
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ cup peanut butter (no xylitol)
For the cake
Preheat oven to 350º
Add the dry ingredients to your stand mixer and stir to combine and break up any big lumps.
Next, add the wet ingredients, stirring a bit as you go to combine.
When the batter is all mixed, pour into a parchment lined quarter sheet pan.
Bake 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean, though cake will be dense and moist.
Cool the cake completely on a wire rack.
When the cake cools, flip it over onto the counter or a cutting board and remove the parchment paper carefully.
Using a biscuit cutter, pint glass, or whatever you like, cut out 2 identical pieces for each cake. You can go with a variety of sizes or make your cakes all the same.
When you start running low on cake to cut, you can push together scraps to make a "frankenlayer." Just use that in the center of an individual cake so there is stability above and below.
Slice each layer in two to create 4 layers per cake.
For the frosting
Whip the cream cheese in your stand mixer until it is light and fluffy
Sprinkle in the cornstarch or tapioca flour while mixing on low, then turn it up when everything is incorporated
Add the vanilla and peanut butter, while continuously mixing.
Check the texture of your frosting. If you need to thin it out, add some milk, yogurt, or water. If you need it thicken it more, add a little more cornstarch or tapioca flour. Your ideal texture is whatever you will be comfortable piping, but if you're not sure, go for a texture that holds a good peak, but still has a little flow to it.
Use an offset spatula to spackle your cake layers together. Cover the sides and top of the cake as well to hold in the crumbs and smooth out the layers.
When all your cakes are crumb coated, pop them in the fridge for an hour (or up to overnight) before piping on your decoration. This will keep your layers firmly glued together.
If you're waiting overnight to finish your cakes you can store the frosting in the fridge. Just whip it before you pipe it to get it soft again. Otherwise, your frosting will be fine at room temperature for an hour or two
When you're ready to frost the cakes, use your favorite tip or just a nice big open star in your piping bag.
Fill your piping bag by placing it in a pint glass and folding the outside of the bag over the edges.
Use a spatula to transfer the frosting into the bag. Don't overfill the bag, you want to be able to roll down the end very securely to ensure you don't squeeze frosting out of both ends of the bag at once!
Once you frost your cake it will be tricky to move so you may want to cut out a cardboard base for your cake, or just set it on whatever plate you plan to serve it on for convenience.
Start frosting your cake by creating rosettes around the base of the cake.
Continue frosting petite rosettes up the side of the cake until you reach the top.
Start frosting the top of the cake from the center working outward.
You can just shoot a little frosting into any gaps you see in the rosettes.
Store your cake in the fridge until it's time to serve!
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