Banana and Peanut Butter Chip Pupcakes with Carob-Cream Cheese Frosting

With mashed banana, peanut butter chips, and a bit of honey, these “pupcakes” are very tasty for canines and humans alike. Even when made with a light or fat free cream cheese, the carob-cream cheese frosting is fairly rich, so these treats should be saved only for very special occasions and given in limited quantities. A big dog is probably okay eating a whole pupcake in one sitting, but for most dogs half, or even less, will be plenty. You can store the remaining pupcakes in the refrigerator for later or be really nice and share with some of your friends—this particular treat makes a very fancy-looking, gourmet gift that any dog would certainly be happy to receive.

I piped the frosting on using a piping bag fitted with a star tip because it makes a beautiful presentation, but you can simply use a spatula to smear a layer of frosting onto the top of each pupcake if you prefer. The “smear” technique uses less frosting per pupcake, and they taste just as good.

Banana and Peanut Butter Chip Pupcakes with Carob-Cream Cheese Frosting

Makes about 15 cupcakes

 

1 very ripe, medium banana, mashed

1/4 cup honey

1 egg

1/4 cup natural, unsweetened applesauce

1/2 cup water

1 3/4 cup whole wheat flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup natural peanut butter chips

 

Carob-Cream Cheese Frosting:

8 oz low fat or fat free cream cheese or Neufchatel cheese, softened

3 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil

1/2 cup carob powder

 

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.

2. Combine the mashed banana, honey, egg, applesauce, and water in a bowl.

3. Add the flour, baking powder, and baking soda, and stir well to combine.

4. Stir in the peanut butter chips until just incorporated.

5. Bake until the tops of the pupcakes are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 20 minutes.

6. Allow the pupcakes to cool completely. Meanwhile, make the frosting.

7. Combine the cream cheese, oil, and carob powder in a bowl, and beat with an electric mixer until the ingredients form a smooth, homogenous, creamy mixture.

8. When the pupcakes are cool, use a piping bag or an offset spatula to top each pupcake with frosting.

9. Server immediately or refrigerate. If refrigerating for later, be sure to allow the frosting to soften at room temperature for a few minutes before serving.

 

These treats should be stored in the refrigerator.

Doggie Birthday Cake

Here's the carob cake with carob-cream cheese frosting that I made to celebrate Pacey's birthday.

Here’s the carob cake with carob-cream cheese frosting that I made to celebrate Pacey’s 4th birthday–or 28th birthday if we’re counting in dog years.

Pacey turned four on Saturday (in human years), and that occasion certainly called for a very special treat. I pulled out all the stops and made him a carob-flavored birthday cake with carob-cream cheese frosting. This is one of the most extravagant dog treats I’ve made to date, and the birthday boy and his buddies absolutely LOVED it!

Honestly, the trickiest part of preparing this cake is making the frosting look neat and even, but don’t stress if it doesn’t look perfect. Remember, you are serving it to dogs after all. They’ll still love you and will still chow down on this delicious cake no matter how it looks.

If you’re ambitious (and have a really big dog), you can double the recipes below and then stack the two cakes with a layer of frosting in between. A 2-layer cake would have been way too much cake for a little dog like Pacey, so I just did one layer and only frosted the top of the cake, not the sides.

 

Doggie Birthday Cake

Makes one 8-inch round cake

 

1/4 cup vegetable oil

3/4 cup honey

1 cup non-fat plain yogurt

2 cups oat flour

1/2 cup carob powder

1 tsp baking powder

 

Frosting:

8 oz low-fat cream cheese, softened

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1/4 cup carob powder

 

1. Preheat the oven to 350F.

2. Combine the eggs, oil, honey, and yogurt in a bowl.

3. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, carob powder, and baking powder.

4. Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, and stir thoroughly to combine.

5. Pour the batter into a prepared 8-inch round cake pan.

6. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean, about 32 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

7. To make the frosting, combine the cream cheese and oil in a bowl and use a mixer to beat until combined. Add the carob powder and continue mixing until smooth.

8. When the cake is completely cool, use an offset metal spatula to frost the cake with the frosting.

 

NOTE: To make the decorative icing that I used to pipe the writing onto my cake, I took out 1/4 to 1/2 cup of the frosting just before adding the carob powder. You can leave it white, as I did, or stir in a gel food coloring to dye it whatever color you’d like. Place the icing into a piping bag fitted with a round piping tip, and pipe your desired décor onto the cake.

This cake should be stored in the refrigerator.