By Andrea Miller
I have two big loves in life: food and dogs. They aren’t combined too often, but I used to make dog-friendly birthday cakes for my beagle, Rayme. We later switched to individual “pup-cakes” after I realized multiple dogs eating one birthday cake was just asking for trouble. When she passed away in 2010, I put my doggie cookbooks away on the shelf. But when I rescued Bosworth, a terrier mix, I pulled the cookbooks back out and they are constantly in use these days!
Dogs are born meat lovers. But just like humans, dogs benefit from eating from the main food groups, so make sure your homemade meals include a good portion of non-meat foods, especially grains, vegetables, and starches. Some excellent non-meat foods that are highly nutritious and tasty to canines are yogurt, eggs, apples, rice, green beans, peas, and spinach. In my experience, dogs also love orange vegetables: pumpkin, sweet potatoes, and carrots. In fact, Boz will actually run through his repertoire of tricks just for a piece of carrot. It’s no wonder this carrot cake was a hit with the dogs at one of Rayme’s birthday parties. Try it for your next canine celebration!
Carrot Cake with Turkey Sausage Crumbles & Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1 cup canola oil
- 4 eggs
- 2 cups unbleached flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 3 1/2 cups carrots, shredded
- 1/2 cup turkey sausage, cooked
- 1 recipe Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe follows)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 8-inch cake pans.
In a mixing bowl, mix the eggs and oil together. In another bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, and cinnamon. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and beat until mixed. Fold in the carrots and sausage.
Divide the batter between the cake pans. Bake for 30 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.
Allow the cake layers to cool completely before frosting. Frost with the cream cheese frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1 8 oz. package cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup milk
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla
Cream the softened cream cheese in a mixer until smooth. Add the milk and vanilla. Beat the mixture until it is smooth and creamy. Using an offset spatula, frost the cake layers with a thin layer of cream cheese frosting. Be sure to put less on that you would if you made the cake for yourself.
Similar in taste to sweetened cocoa, carob does not contain caffeine or other elements that can affect the nervous system. Chocolate is toxic to dogs, and carob is a very popular substitution when creating bakery-style dog treats. When purchasing carob chips, be sure to use only unsweetened varieties.
Melt carob chips in a stainless steel bowl over a pan of water. Transfer to a Ziploc bag. Cut off the tip and pipe the melted carob on the cake.
Want more dog-friendly recipes? Check out Real Food for Dogs by Arden Moore and The Everything Cooking for Dogs Book by Lisa Fortunato.
This recipe was originally posted on The Chopping Block blog. Check out the recipe for their Elvis Pupcakes here.
Andrea has been with The Chopping Block for over 15 years in every role from Chef Assistant to General Manager to Private Event Coordinator and now Marketing Manager. Her journalism background and culinary school education from Le Cordon Bleu in Chicago give her the know-how to spread the word about The Chopping Block’s mission to get people to cook. She’ll never shy away from a music festival, hot yoga class, beach read, dinner out with friends or a good glass of Pinot Noir, especially when cuddling on the couch with her terrier, Bosworth.