Having never had a dog growing up, it hadn’t ever really occurred to me that dogs, much like humans, have birthdays. Maybe they only really have birthdays if you’re a crazy dog person, and on Saturday when my puppy Nala turned one, I realised I was just that.
I ordered bunting, napkins, party hats and helium balloons and it was only after I’d taken the photos that I laughed at how ridiculous it seemed, but I didn’t care. If you can’t go all out and celebrate a special occasion for your dog then what is life? Plus, although Nala looked less than bothered and probably hated me for putting a party hat on her head, she really enjoyed the pupcakes and I’ll always laugh and treasure the photos for ever.
I decided to bake pug shaped cookies for the humans to munch on, and “pupcakes” (dog friendly cupcakes) for both Nala and Buzz (her brother, owned by Alfie’s parents).
Pupcake Recipe (Makes 9) :
¥ 1/3 cup porridge oats
¥ 1 tsp baking soda
¥ 1 cup shredded carrots
¥ 1/3 cup peanut butter
¥ 1 banana
¥ 1 large egg
¥ 1/4 cup vegetable oil
¥ 1/4 cup honey
¥ 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
• 2 x Tubs cream cheese low fat
• smooth peanut butter
• Dog treats of your choice
Pre heat oven to 170 degrees celcius, line cupcake tins with paper cases (remember to take these off before giving to your dog if you have a bit of a greedy pup). Mix all ingredients in a bowl and distribute evenly between the cupcake cases. Bake for 15 minutes and leave to cool before icing. Using a spoon to dollop cream cheese on the cakes or as I did, use a disposable piping bag and smear two lines of peanut butter along the inside of the bag and spoon in the cream cheese. I used a large star icing nozzle and piped in a circular motion. I then popped a little puppy treat on top! Serve to your dog (preferably with a spotty napkin and a party hat) and enjoy!
Pug Sugar Cookies (Makes 10 Pug Cookies)
100 g caster sugar
250 g plain flour, plus loads more for rolling
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
pinch of salt
1.5 cups icing sugar (around 250g)
1 large egg whites
1/8 teaspoon cream of tar tar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons water (add more as you go along)
Black Wiltons Icing Gel
Pre Heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius and prepare two baking trays with baking paper for your cookies. Place butter and sugar in a mixing bowl and beat until smooth and fluffy. Whisk eggs and vanilla extract in a separate bowl and gradually add to the butter and sugar mixture. Sift in the flour, baking powder and beat together to form a soft dough (bit like thick cake mixture – don’t be alarmed). Wrap it in cling film and put it in the fridge cool for one hour. After one hour, roll out the dough on a floured surface to your desired thickness. Once cut, pop onto the baking tray and bake for 10 minutes, or until slightly golden and leave to cool before piping. Pipe the icing using a disposable piping bag and a small round tip nozzle. When mixing the icing, make sure that when you form ribbons in the mixture, they are dissolved back in within 5 seconds. This will ensure that when you flood the cookies (fill them in) the icing will be flat. When piping the cookies, start by doing an outline which connects, and finish by flooding the cookie with icing to fill it, using a back and forth motion with the nozzle. Leave to dry and consume with the knowledge that you may need to brush your teeth afterwards so you don’t look like your teeth are decaying due to the black food colouring.
Nala and Buzz absolutely loved their pupcakes and Nala even went in to finish Buzz’s off for him. The pug cookies went down an absolute treat with the humans too. I’m really pleased I went all out and celebrated Nala’s birthday like this. I can’t wait until I have children so I can do this all over again but even bigger! I was always going to be one of those mums, let’s face it. If I’d had time she would have also been wearing a handmade doggy birthday costume, and all her doggy friends would have gone home with party bags. Maybe next year…