Make: DIY Pupcakes for Dog Birthdays

Furbaby birthday in the house! We’re taking a minute off of kids today, and devoting that minute to…my dog.  Today my gentle giant, Thor, turns 2 – and I have decided to do that thing I said I’d *never* do as a dog owner and celebrate his birthday with reckless abandon.

I’m not really a “my dog is my kid” person, but this little corker deserves a day of getting his party on. So far, he has spent the day with his friends rolling in the mud, enjoyed an all-windows-down car ride,  scarfed an oatmeal and apple breakfast fit for a king, and is currently sunning on the deck. Not too shabby.

A photo of a golden retriever wearing a gold pipe cleaner crown

Thor had a pretty tough puppyhood medically, and because there are some lingering issues and dietary restrictions, I don’t typically stray far from his regular food – all the more reason to do something extra special today. So, I combined a few recipes I found online, made some substitutions, added a couple of his favorite things, and came up with this.

One of our homemade pupcakes covered in dog-friendly icing and topped with a dog biscuit

Not only does he looovvvvve them, but the sweet potato and rice flour are also great stomach soothers. Heads up: if you don’t want to puree the sweet potato, you can use organic pumpkin instead.

Sweet Potato Pupcakes with Peanut Butter & Bacon Frosting

Makes: 6 Pupcakes


  • 1/2 cup brown rice flour (or whole wheat flour)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons organic canola oil
  • 1/3 cup organic applesauce
  • 1/2 cup pureed sweet potato
  • 1 organic, pastured egg
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots
  • 2 tablespoons organic honey
  • 3 tablespoons organic plain Greek yogurt
  • 1½ tablespoons organic peanut butter
  • 3-4 pieces of bacon, crumbled

DIY Allergy-Friendly Pupcakes Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  2. Combine ingredients in a large mixing bowl

    Stir the flour, baking powder, canola oil, applesauce, sweet potato egg, carrots and honey together in a mixing bowl until well combined.

  3. Fill lined cupcake pan

    Spoon mixture into cupcake liners, filling each about 3/4 of the way full.

    Celebrate your dog's birthday with homemade healthy and allergy-friendly cupcakes! | via barley & birch

  4. Bake

    Bake for about 10-12 minutes – you can stick the bacon on another cookie sheet and throw it in to brown up as well!

  5. Make the icing

    While the pupcakes cool, in a bowl, mix the yogurt and peanut butter until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Use a small spatula or butter knife to smooth a thin layer of the peanut butter frosting over each cupcake.

  6. Optional: Add bacon

    Top with bacon crumbles (and probably a biscuit…I mean, it’s a special occasion).

Humans take note: this icing is TO DIE FOR. Goodbye powdered sugar – hello peanut butter and greek yogurt! This icing + dark chocolate anything…I’m going to leave that thought right there for you. Do what you will with it.

A group of our homemade pupcakes covered in dog-friendly icing and topped with a dog biscuit

The Pupcakes should hold up for 4-5 days if stored in an airtight container in a cool, shaded, dry spot. Peanut butter frosting should be stored separately, covered, and refrigerated. Frost immediately before serving.

A photo of a golden retriever wearing a gold pipe cleaner crown

Consensus…? THOR APPROVED.

Easy little treats like these are a great way to get your kids involved in the kitchen! For more ideas to help children of all ages learn basic kitchen skills visit our collection of hands-on kitchen activities for kids.

Amanda Eldridge
Amanda Eldridge

With a passion for cultivating imagination, Amanda aims to help kids and families discover their creative potential through art, play, adventure, activism, conservancy, and community. Amanda has a background in graphic design, environmental design, and art curation. When not playing with ideas and designs for barley & birch, she enjoys working in freelance design, art, and illustration.


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