Birthdays were a big deal when I was growing up. Whether it was a party for my brothers or me, everyone had a role to play, including our dogs, Julius and Caesar. Children congregated in our psychedelically painted basement, dressed to the “nines” in party dresses and little suits, entertained by clowns and magicians. There were always games, and the tables were covered with everything from sandwiches to perfect little sticks of carrots and celery, fabulous birthday cake from our family’s favorite patisserie, and even ice cream shaped like the yummiest fresh fruits.
My love for great birthday cake has never waned, and these days, I love creating birthday cakes for the dogs in my life as well as the people. You might not know when your dog’s birthday is, if you adopted him from a shelter or rescue, but every day you have him in your life is cause for celebration, so why not throw a party and treat him (and your guests) to one of these wholesome cakes?
Bow-wow-licious brownie birthday cake
1 cup goat milk yogurt or Balkan/Greek style yogurt
2 cups whole grain flour (e.g. whole oat flour, whole spelt flour, quinoa, hemp flour or a combination)
2/3 cup filtered water
1 teaspoon sea salt (optional)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 1 cup carob powder (do not use cocoa powder!)
1/2 cup finely chopped unsalted nuts (e.g. almonds, walnuts, Brazil nuts)
Try to use organic ingredients wherever possible. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Lightly grease a square cake pan or line with parchment paper, for easy cleanup.
In a bowl, combine the flour with the water, until it is nice and smooth. Add the yogurt and mix well. Then add the remaining ingredients, making sure everything is well combined.
Pour or spoon the batter into the cake pan. Bake for approximately 25 minutes, or until the top of the cake is dry and springs back when you touch it with a finger.
Cool completely before serving. (If you want to make this recipe extra easy, you can mix all the ingredients right in the cake pan!)
Lightly ice the cake with low fat cream cheese, and add biscuits and/or dried fruit for decoration. You can even color your cream cheese with fruit juices, like cranberry for a rich rose color, or blueberries for a perfect purple!
Carob chips (not chocolate) work like a charm to spell out names, or visit a craft store for easy to use alphabet cookie cutters.
Store the cake in an airtight container in the refrigerator or cut into small squares and freeze.
This is a cake the whole family can share. If you want to sweeten the recipe, all you have to do is use 3/4 cup of yogurt instead of 1 cup, and add 1/4 cup local unpasteurized honey. Fruit honeys are a real taste sensation! This recipe can also be used to make cupcakes.
Mini canine carrot cakes
1-1/2 cups whole oat flour or another whole flour of your choice
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup oat bran
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon (Saigon cinnamon has a robust flavor)
1 tablespoon carob powder 2 cups finely grated carrots, or use zucchini, apples, bananas or a combination of fruits and vegetables
1/2 cup sunflower seeds 1 whole egg, beaten
3 tablespoons cold pressed oil (e.g. safflower, hemp, olive) 1 cup liquid (e.g. chicken stock, apple juice, filtered water)
Preheat oven to 375°F. Combine flour, oats, bran, baking soda, cinnamon, carob, carrots, and seeds in a large bowl. Add beaten egg, oil and liquid. Make sure to combine the ingredients very well. Lightly grease mini-muffin tins or use liners.
Fill tins with batter. Bake for 15 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center of a muffin. Remove muffins from the oven and cool completely before storing in an airtight container or Ziploc bag.
Top with low fat cream cheese and a biscuit.
Gluten free coconut cake
2 cups gluten free all purpose baking flour
2/3 cup pure fruit juice, filtered water or a combination
1 cup Balkan style/Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon sea salt (optional)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup carob powder
1/2 cup coconut flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Lightly grease a round cake pan with a spring bottom. In a bowl, combine the flour with the fruit juice until it’s super smooth. Add the yogurt and mix well. Add the remaining ingredients, making sure everything is well combined.
Spoon batter into cake pan. Bake in preheated oven for approximately 25 minutes, or until the top is dry and springs back when you touch it with a finger. Cool for 10 minutes, then pop the cake out of the pan and cool completely before serving.
Consider icing your cake with low fat cream cheese. For extra pizzazz, add pieces of dried fruit along with some carob chips.Yummy! You can also put some carob powder in a shaker and shake it along the sides of your cake.
Store in refrigerator, or cut into small squares and freeze.
Coconut curry cake with wild salmon
4 cups coconut flour
4 cups filtered water
1/3 cup first pressed olive oil
Olive oil for your cookie sheets
2 eggs 2 tins of wild salmon (6.5 ounces each)
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 clove garlic, finely minced or grated
1 teaspoon ginger
Antarctic sea salt and kelp
Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease two cookie sheets with olive oil. Combine all ingredients in a mixer or blender. This recipe also whips up easily by hand!
Split the mixture between the two cookie sheets, and then pat down so the dough has a flat surface. Gently score your curry cakes with a pizza cutter or sharp knife. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes.
Look for golden edges. Let the cakes cool completely before removing from the cookie sheets – be extra careful, as these cakes are like the finest holiday shortbread.
A spatula is the perfect tool. Sprinkle lightly with Antarctic sea salt and kelp before serving. These cakes store well in containers, and freeze well.
This recipe can easily be split in half and coconut flour used in combination with other whole flours.