This Pumpkin Dog Cake can be enjoyed by dogs and people alike! It’s lightly sweetened and dairy free, so you both can enjoy this treat on your dog’s special day.
I first created this dog cake recipe as a spin-off to the very popular mini dog birthday cake recipe. I've included a sentimental note to my dog below, along with tips and tricks on how to make this cake perfectly every time!
Ohhhh Layla—HOW are you already 7 years old? Besides telling you how great and cute and perfect you are, I also want to thank you.
Thank you for giving me a minimum of 25 kisses every day. I don’t necessarily need them but…. jk I do need them.
With that said, thank you for being as needy as I am. I’m glad we’re almost always on the same page.
Thank you for being SO friendly—your friendliness reminds me that it’s ok to talk to strangers, even if it’s only about you.
Thank you for being my companion when Miguel’s traveling, and basically every other day when I’m by myself. You’re the best (yet also the worst) assistant/co-worker.
Thank you for your energy and therefore forcing me to take you on two walks every single day. It helps me to get out of the house and up my steps for the day.
Thank you for helping me with the dishes. Because of you, I only have to kind of rinse off the dishes before putting them in the dishwasher.
Thank you for your butt wiggles every time I walk through the door and for making me laugh every single day.
And last, thank you for being so patient during this photo shoot, which I’m more than aware you hated every second of. You are the best.
OH GOD I can’t handle aging. I mean, I’m ok with aging myself (ish), but I can’t handle my baby girl turning SEVEN YEARS OLD. Last year’s dog birthday cake continues to be one of the most popular posts on the blog, which just goes to show how important dogs are to everyone.
- This cake is for dogs and people -- it's not too sweet, but just sweet enough that you and your pup can enjoy this cake together. Pretty adorable, right?
- It's made with pumpkin, sweetened with maple syrup and topped with a simple Greek yogurt "frosting"
- It can be made in three 4" cake pans or one 6" cake pan and can easily be shared!
- Flour - The recipe calls for all purpose flour, so the only substitution I'd recommend is gluten free 1:1 all purpose flour.
- Oil - I always use coconut oil in baking, but ANY oil should work in this recipe. The coconut oil does add a little sweetness to the cake, which is why it's my first choice.
- Milk - I used almond milk, but you can use any kind of milk.
- Pumpkin - No substitutions (this is a pumpkin dog cake after all), but make sure you're using canned pumpkin puree and not pumpkin pie mix.
- Maple syrup - Can use honey if you prefer; this is the only sugar in the recipe, so you definitely need to use it if you want this cake to be people-friendly.
- Vinegar - Again, I tend to opt for apple cider vinegar in baking recipes, but regular white vinegar should work too.
- Yogurt - Plain Greek yogurt, or your favorite dairy-free yogurt will work. If you really want to make this cake delicious, you could cover half of it in yogurt for your pup, and half of it in a delicious buttercream icing for the humans.
Step 1: Whisk wet ingredients. First, melt coconut oil and set it aside; allow it to come to room temperature before using it. Whisk milk, pumpkin, syrup, and vinegar together, then add in the cooled coconut oil.
Step 2: Stir dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, stir the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt together. Then, pour the dry ingredients into the wet and stir to combine -- it's ok if the batter is a little lumpy!
Step 3: Bake. Grease three 4" or one 6" round cake pan(s), then distribute the batter. If you're using 4" pans, bake the cake for 27-32 minutes, and if you're using a 6" pan, bake it for closer to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Leave the cake in the pan for 10 minutes, then carefully invert it onto a cooling rack. Wait for the cake to cool before adding the icing.
Step 4: Make the icing. Simply whisk the yogurt and maple syrup together in a small bowl. Optional: slice the "dome" part of the cake off to create a flat top, then add the icing on top and smooth it out. Slice and enjoy!
Tips and tricks
- Icing options:
- 1. Make the icing as-is listed in the recipe below
- 2. Cover HALF the cake in the Greek yogurt frosting, and the other half in a delicious buttercream for the humans
- 3. Add 1-2 tablespoons of peanut butter to the frosting!
- I always line my cake pan(s) with parchment paper before adding the batter to ensure the batter doesn't stick. Learn more about how to line any size cake pan here.
- If you're using 4" cake pans, place them on top of a baking sheet before baking, which will prevent any accidental spillage.
Is this cake actually good tasting for humans?
Yes, I pinky promise it is! Again, you can follow the alternative icing options in the "tips and tricks" section if you want to make it even more delicious, but it's pretty good on it's own. It tastes like a regular cake, but not as sweet.
Can this be made ahead of time?
Sure can! Just follow the recipe and allow the cake to cool to room temperature. Then, wrap the cake [layers] individually in plastic wrap and store it in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours until you're ready to ice and serve.
Enjoy this cake with your pup on their special day!
More popular cake recipes (for humans only)
If you made this recipe, be sure to leave a comment and rating below, and even tag me @thealmondeater on Instagram!
Pumpkin Dog Cake (for people too!)
- 1/4 cup coconut oil melted and cooled
- 1 cup almond milk or milk of choice
- 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
for the frosting:
- 2/3 cup Greek yogurt or dairy free
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup or more to taste
- Preheat oven to 350°. Grease three 4" cake pans or one 6" cake pan with coconut oil and line with parchment rounds; set aside.
- Melt coconut oil and then set it aside, allowing it to cool to room temperature.
- In a large bowl, whisk the milk, pumpkin, syrup, and vinegar together, then add the cooled coconut oil.
- In a separate bowl, stir the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt together.
- Pour the dry ingredients into the wet, then use a rubber spatula or hand mixer to combine; it's ok if the batter is a little lumpy.
- Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan(s), pounding on the counter a few times so the batter evens out.
- Place pans into the oven and bake; 4" cake pan bake time: 27-32 minutes; 6" cake pan bake time: 40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. NOTE: if you're using 4" cake pans, it's easier to place them on top of a baking sheet so they don't accidentally spill.
- Leave cakes in the pans for 10 minutes before carefully inverting them onto a cooling rack. Allow the cakes to cool completely before icing them.
- For the icing, stir yogurt and syrup together. Once cakes have cooled, use a serrated knife to cut the tops of the cake off, and then ice the cake and layer it (alternatively, you can keep the layers separate if you want to have one layer for you, one for your pet and the third for someone else).
- Optional: top cake with your dogs favorite foods, aka cheese, peanut butter or in my case, brussels sprouts. Enjoy this cake with your pup on their special day!
UPDATE NOTE: This post was originally published in September 2017. It was updated with new text and photos in November 2021.