I usually like to make small dog treats and lean toward savory rather than sweet–but I’ve also seen the way our dogs look at us whenever we have a piece of carrot cake! Since dogs shouldn’t have many of the spices in our carrot cakes, I came up with Carrot Cake Dog Treats, an easy way to make a special treat at home.
Can Dogs Eat Carrot Cake?
Don’t give in to those big puppy dog eyes watching you eat carrot cake; dogs should not eat carrot cake for a number of reasons.
- Sugar Content: Carrot cakes usually contain a high amount of sugar, which is not suitable for dogs. Too much sugar can lead to obesity, dental problems, and even diabetes.
- Fat Content: Carrot cakes can also contain high levels of fats, particularly if they are topped with creamy frostings. High-fat foods can lead to pancreatitis in dogs, a serious condition.
- Raisins or Nuts: Many carrot cake recipes include raisins or nuts, both of which can be extremely toxic to dogs. Raisins can cause kidney failure, and some nuts can cause toxic reactions.
- Spices: Spices such as nutmeg, which might be found in carrot cake, can be toxic to dogs in large quantities.
- Caloric Density: Feeding your dog calorie-dense foods like carrot cake can contribute to obesity.
Instead, make a carrot cake just for your dog! We’ve got you covered with an easy recipe that combines the tasty goodness of carrot cake with dog-safe ingredients.
How to Make Carrot Cake for Dogs
Like many recipes, you can modify the traditional carrot cake by taking out the forbidden foods. Raisins and nutmeg appear in many recipes are are definite NO-NO foods for dogs.
I took it a step further, though, and cut the sugars way, way back, sweetening the cookies just a little with molasses and, for a few extra special cookies, adding a frosting of a dog favorite: cream cheese. (Skip the cream cheese if you’ve got an eye on your dog’s waistline or if your dog has ever been at risk for pancreatitis.)
The ingredients list is simple:
- rolled oats
- all-purpose flour
- grated carrots
- blackstrap molasses
- baking powder
The list of ingredients is a little bit longer than for some dog biscuits and treats but not too complicated!
Start by combining your dry ingredients:
While you’re getting your ingredients together, go ahead and sit a stick of butter out so it will thaw to room temperature. (Or, if you’re like me and you don’t think far enough ahead, just zap it in the microwave for about 20 seconds to soften.)
You can grate carrots, buy grated carrots or just chop them finely, depending on your time restrictions:
Typically carrot cake is sweetened with sugar or brown sugar; molasses is an alternative and sweetens in amounts measured in tablespoons (not cups).
Mix all the ingredients in a big bowl and work the dough so all dry ingredients are worked into the dough.
I added a 1/2 cup of water but then had to add another teaspoon or so; add just a little bit at a time so your dough doesn’t become too sticky. (If it’s sticky, just add a little more flour.)
Roll your dough out to about a 1/4-inch thickness, then it’s time to cut the dough.
You can use an inverted glass as a cookie cutter or get in the holiday spirit with a bunny or egg-shaped cookie cutter:
These cookies don’t expand too much so you don’t need to leave a lot of extra room on your greased cookie sheet.
Pop them in the oven until they’re nice and browned then take them out and let them cool completely.
After the cookies are cooled, you can make some of them extra-special by frosting them with a bit of cream cheese or by turning them into a sandwich, with a layer of softened cream cheese between two cookies for larger dogs.
Refrigerate the treats with the cream cheese filling (and the others, too, if you won’t be serving them for a few days). Treats can be refrigerated for up to four days.
With both the plain and filled version, you’ll be making your four-legged friend very happy with these hoppy treats!
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup grated carrots
- 2 tablespoons molasses
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 cup water
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Mix all ingredients except the cream cheese and combine well until completely mixed.
- Roll dough on a lightly floured surface to 1/4-inch thickness and cut into cookie shapes.
- Bake for approximately 30 minutes until browned.
- Remove cookies from oven and cool completely.
- Cool cookies completely before serving. Refrigerate for up to four days.
More Dog Treat Recipes
We’ve got dozens of dog biscuit and chews recipes here on DogTipper; here are some you might enjoy:
Cooks: Don’t miss our My Dog Says I’m a Great Cook™ cookbook with over 100 dog treat recipes from the publishers, readers and fans of DogTipper! This paperback book is available in our YUCKY PUPPY gift store!
This post was first published in 2010.