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Who doesn’t love to spoil their best four-legged friend with a dog-friendly birthday cake? This year, take a chance and bake your dog a naked cake. You can have a nibble, too.

Pretty dog looking at a small cake with a sunflower on top sitting on a table.
Sunflowers on top of a small naked cake

We love to celebrate Chloe’s birthday. And aren’t good eats always front and center at any party? For most dogs, if something involves food at ALL, they’re in.

In the past we’ve bought Chloe pupcakes and cookies and iced bully sticks to make her Big Day special. I’ve ordered custom cakes from one of the best dog-bakeries in the country, Spotted Dog Bakery (which happens to be right here in Nashville, by the way.) Gorgeous and customizable.

This year, I wanted to do something different. I wanted to try my hand at baking my own naked cake for Chloe. And as I found out, it is not as hard as it seems to create a delicious, healthy dog cake.

We’ll show you how you can bake your dog a naked cake, too.

Why a naked cake?

A naked (or semi-naked cake) is totally on-trend right now. And for good reason. With just a sheer crumb-coat of icing, these cakes can take on a rustic, down-to-earth feel or reflect a minimalist look. Naked cakes let the flavor of the cake and filling shine through without overwhelming you with too much sugary-sweetness.

Baking your dog a naked cake will be perfect for your best bud.

Human grade yet dog-safe ingredients?

You’ve probably figured out by now that I am always looking for recipes that can be shared with Chloe. It helps me cut back on less-than-nutritious ingredients for myself and yet still be healthy for canines.

These two recipes are totally appropriate for you to have a nibble.

My review on their delectability? These cakes are dense and not at all moist and spongy like a traditional human ‘cake.’ The banana version is very lightly sweet; I admit to eating all the tops I trimmed off! The sweet potato version is not quite as sweet as our human palate prefers, but still edible.

The icing? Ehhh – I’m not a fan, but Chloe LOVED it. It’s her cake, anyway.

A slice of cake from a small naked cake with a sunflower on top
A slice of banana naked cake with a sunflower decoration
Dog with a sunflower bandana waiting patiently for a slice of dog-friendly cake

Keep in mind, for all you health-conscious, raw-feeding aficionados: these mini cakes are for the occasional treat. Your giant breed dog might scarf it down in one bite, but for medium to smaller dogs, you’ll be able to get a few servings out of each cake.

Links ahead to essential cake baking supplies you’ll need. As an Amazon Associate I earn a bit from from qualifying purchases.

Banana Bread Naked Cake

For Cake:

1 c. whole wheat flour (or substitute flour – see below)

1 tsp. baking powder

1 medium/large ripe banana, mashed

1/4 c. unsweetened apple sauce

2 Tbsp. coconut oil, melted

1 large egg

1/4 tsp. cinnamon

For Icing:

4 oz. cream cheese, softened

1/4 c. Greek yogurt

2 Tbsp. unsweetened apple sauce

1 Tbsp. honey (if desired)

(Sweet Potato Naked Cake Follow above recipe, substituting 1 baked, mashed sweet potato for the banana and add 1 Tbsp. blackstrap molasses.)

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease the sides and bottoms of two 4” cake pans with coconut oil. Flour the pans by sprinkling whole wheat flour on sides and bottom. Remove excess flour by turning pans upside down and tapping on bottom.

Whisk flour and baking powder together in a bowl and set aside

Beat together the banana, applesauce and coconut oil until smooth, about 3 minutes. You can use a stand or a hand mixer. Add egg and cinnamon and mix for 1 minute.

Gradually add the flour mixture into the wet ingredients by hand, using a rubber spatula. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans. Bake about 20-25 minutes, testing for doneness with a toothpick.  Let cakes rest for about 20-30 minutes before removing from pans. Cool completely at room temperature. Wrap and refrigerate overnight. Or freeze if you won’t be using for a few days. When ready to assemble, remove cakes to refrigerator to thaw.

For the Icing

Cream together cream cheese, applesauce, yogurt and honey (if using) until smooth. Make sure the consistency is smooth and spreadable.

To Assemble:

It’s best to work with the cake while the layers are cool but not frozen. Using a cake turntable, trim the rounded top from each layer using a serrated knife. (Tip: Save those tops for yourself. Cut into wedges and enjoy!)

Slicing the top off of a layer of cake.
Cake layer with the top sliced off

Add a bit of icing to a cake board to act as a bit of ‘glue’ to hold the first layer in place. Place the first layer on the cake board. Use a piping bag if you have one or simply drop a large dollop of icing on the top of the layer. Smooth to edges.

Smoothing the sides of a layer cake with a scraper

Add second layer to cake. Apply slight pressure to bond layers. Using a small spatula or a scraper, smooth the icing from between the layers around the side of the cake. Chill cake in refrigerator for about 10 minutes.

Apply icing to the top of cake and smooth for a polished look. Then apply icing to sides of cake, smoothing with the scraper to get the ‘naked cake’ look.

Icing the sides of a layer cake with a scraper

Decoration ideas are endless

The nice thing is – you don’t have to be a decorating genius to make this cake look good.

  • Try adding fresh dog-safe fruit like strawberries or blueberries.
  • Herbal greenery gives a very rustic appearance.
  • Edible dog-safe flowers look so pretty! Make sure when using fresh blooms they have been grown without pesticides.
  • If you can’t find fresh flowers, you can use artificial blooms.
  • Fun toppers go perfectly on a naked cake.
Small semi-naked cake with fresh fruit topping

Alternate ideas and tips:

  • If your dog does not tolerate wheat flour, feel free to substitute with oat flour, almond flour, rice flour – anything your dog digests well. When using these types of flour, you most likely will need to add more liquid ingredients or binders to the recipe. Experiment to see what works well.
  • It’s best to ice the cake shortly before consuming. This cream cheese/yogurt based icing may crack after it sets.
  • This icing will NOT be perfectly smooth and creamy like buttercream – especially if you use a natural applesauce that may be a bit chunky. It’s part of the rustic appeal. Your dog will not mind.
  • Want some extra and expert advise on naked cakes? Watch this video.
  • Store in the refrigerator or slice and freeze.

Don’t feel the need to wait for a birthday. Gotcha Days, Holidays, My-Dog-Earned-an-Agility-Title Days; these are all great reasons to let your pupper have an extra treat.

It’s time for cake!

We would LOVE to see photos of your dog’s birthday cake. Share in the comments so we can all celebrate.

Want to remember this recipe? Pin to your favorite Pinterest board!

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