Cooking for your pup can have numerous benefits in addition to being a fun and tasty way to reward your dog. Not only is it a welcome alternative to their daily kibble routine, home-cooking some of their meals and treats ensures that there are no artificial fillers or unhealthy additives, enables you to tailor each recipe to your dog’s unique tastes and nutritional needs, and can even save you a ton of money in the process.
My Min Pin, my baby, my heart of hearts Oona turned ten years young this month and to celebrate I decided to cook up something special. Oona’s favorite treat is peanut butter so I started with some of the unsalted, raw, good stuff, which is high in protein and healthy fats as well as niacin and Vitamins B and E. I incorporated carrots because they’re high in Vitamin A and good for maintaining eyesight, Oona’s mom developed cataracts later in life so I try to supplement her diet with carrots occasionally.
– ¼ cup unsweetened apple sauce
– ½ cup cooking oil (not pictured)
– ¾ cup raw, unsalted peanut butter
– ½ cup whole wheat flour
– ½ cup all-purpose flour
– 1 tablespoon baking soda
– 1 cup freshly grated (or puréed) carrots
– 5 oz. firm tofu (cut into cubes)
– 1 egg
*Note: If you only have either cooking oil or apple sauce, the cake will still come out okay.
– Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
– Prep 2 mini cake pans by greasing and dusting with flour, set aside.
– Pour the honey and ½ cup of peanut butter in a microwave-safe bowl, heat on high for 30-45 seconds, and stir to combine.
– In a mixing bowl combine the whole wheat flour, the all-purpose flour, and the baking soda before adding in the apple sauce, peanut butter/honey mixture and the egg. Mix all ingredients well.
– Add the grated carrots and fold in.
– Portion the mixture into your two prepared cake pans and bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
– While the cakes are baking, prepare your frosting. In a food processor, put your cubed tofu and drizzle with the remaining peanut butter. Purée on high until the mixture starts to resemble the consistency of frosting. Refrigerate until ready to use.
– Once the cakes are done, let them cool before frosting. If you put them in the fridge for a while they will maintain more of their moisture.
– If the tops of your cakes become rounded during cooking, you can simply cut them off with a serrated knife. Place one cake on a plate and frost the top generously before adding the second layer, then frost all the way around both layers.
– Sprinkle any remaining carrot tendrils on top and Voila! A pup-tested, pup-approved cake worthy of any birthday, adoptiversary — or any random day you feel like spoiling your dog with some protein-packed, tail-wagging deliciousness.