On January 24th, Sora turned 12 years old. Twelve. With her young pup spunk, high energy level, and joie de vivre, you’d have us fooled.
It’s a made up birthday, since Dave adopted her when she was three years old, with little known about her background, but that doesn’t matter. To celebrate, I made her healthy vegan pupcakes six weeks in advance of her birthday because she’s the star. And because I had access to an oven. I haven’t made my own birthday cake from October, nor Dave’s, who also recently celebrated a birthday, but I made damn sure that Sora got a cake for her birthday.
What’s a pupcake, you ask? Why it’s a birthday cake for your dog.
Normally I post camp recipes on this blog, but when I have a real kitchen, I bake as much as I can in that short amount of time.
To see all of my camp recipes and make your mouth water, visit the Recipes tab on the blog.
But before we get to those pupcakes, I must say a few words about our adventure pup.
I grew up with cats, and had always wanted a dog. Don’t get me wrong, I love cats, and dogs are better designed for my active lifestyle (not that you can’t go hiking with your cat. So when Dave and I started dating four years ago, Sora was part of the package. Maxwell, was as well, but Sora was the dog I had always wanted.
Our pup Maxwell died shortly before we departed on our journey at 16 years old. To learn more about him, read my post The Mayor, Maxwell.
He warned me that she wasn’t great off leash. I had never had a dog before, and I thought he was just being cautious. Besides I had always dreamed of a dog with whom I could run off leash. Days into our relationship, I stole Sora and took her along on an 11-mile New Year’s Even run called the Purge n’ Slpurge. She did great.
I brought her along on every training run after that, and quickly learned that Dave was right about her and not being good off leash. Fifteen miles into a particularly tiring training run, we came upon a group of elderly folk with their small foo foo dogs, which Sora went right up to and regulated. The gasps from the septuagenenarian crowd reverberated off the trees in the forest and, despite my embarrassment, I was too exhausted to move quickly. To my horror, Sora then moved on to the next foo foo dog and did the same. The shocked voices grew louder. I mustered some energy to grab her, leash her, and escape, as I hear whispered disgust about me not having my dog leashed on the trail.
Since then, I have never allowed her to run off leash again.
Sometimes, we wish Sora were this or that. A good off-leash dog. Better with kids. More friendly with new dogs. That she enjoyed swimming. But she’s not and she doesn’t. That’s who she is, and at 12, we figure we should just let her be who she is.
Besides, she is the best snuggler in the world. She utilizes every inch of space in the bed, leaving little room for movement during the night. But that’s OK, because she keeps us warm. I’ll take that over running off leash any day.
All right. Let’s get to those vegan pupcakes, shall we?
I should really call them poopcakes, because, well, have you seen the photo? I thought I would be resourceful and make a piping bag out of a nipped corner from a Ziploc bag. It was resourceful…and…it also came out to look like poop. It doesn’t help that the Zuke’s Pet treat I place on top was log-shaped.
Fortunately, Sora loves poop, so these looked delicious to her!
These healthy doggie birthday treats contain several foods that are great for your pup, like:
Carrots — provide Vitamin A, which increases immunity, and skin and coat health. They also support better eye health.
Flaxseeds — Contain alpha-linoleic acid, which offers benefits to your dog’s immune system making his coat softer and shinier. It also acts as an anti-inflammatory.
Bananas — Bananas are a good source of potassium, manganese, vitamin B6, vitamin C, fiber, biotin and copper.
Coconut Milk — Coconut is made up of Lauric acid, which helps fight against viruses, and boost their immune systems. It also contains albumin, which helps in the formation of red blood cells. Further, it can clear up skin conditions and help freshen breath.
Oats — Have more protein per calorie than any other common grain and have anti-inflammatory and skin-soothing properties. They are also rich in silicon, and strengthen bones.
I might tinker with the recipe once I have regular access to an oven. These came out a bit dense and I’d like to see them take on a more cupcake-y form.
We always say that Sora feels so annoyed with her vegan parents. We try to give her scraps when we are preparing dinner and they usually end up spit out on the floor, for me to pick up. But she had no clue these healthy vegan pupcakes contained the same foods I try to sneak her on occasion and she swallowed them in one bite.
- PUPCAKE BATTER
- 1 flax egg (1T ground flaxseed mixed with 3T water, allow to sit for 10 minutes)
- 1 banana, mashed
- 1/2 cup grated carrots
- 1/3 cup smooth peanut butter (sugar free)
- 1/4 cup olive oil or melted coconut oil
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup oat flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
- 1-2T of coconut milk (or until the frosting reaches a thick, but spreadable consistency)
- Preheat oven to 350°
- Line a cupcake tin with liners.*
- In a large bowl, combine the flax egg, banana, carrots, peanut butter, olive oil, coconut milk, and vanilla. Whisk until combined.
- In a separate bowl, add the remaining ingredients and stir into the liquids until fully incorporated.
- Divide evenly among cupcake liners.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.**
- Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before frosting.
- For the frosting, mix the peanut butter and coconut milk until it has reached desired consistency and apply to pupcakes using either a piping bag (I recommend a star-shaped tip as opposed to a round tip, because poop) or a frosting knife.
- *I used 2" (55mm) cupcake liners.
- **I made these in a rather inconsistent Ecuadorian oven where I had no idea what the actual temperature was. I based the bake time on other recipes I studied and on the time it took me to bake. I plan to make these again when I have access to a reliable oven and will update when I do!