Packed full of pumpkin and topped with a drool-worthy peanut butter frosting, these dog-friendly Pupcakes will have your pup begging for more. This recipe uses just a few ingredients and comes together in under 45 minutes. Be sure to check out the how-to video for step-by-step instructions!
Pupcakes: Dog Cupcakes for Any Occasion
Dogs bring so much joy into our lives, so why not bring some into theirs? Walks are great and Milkbones are a convenient treat, but there’s just something about a homemade treat that gets those tails wagging. These pupcakes always do the trick!
Topped with pup-friendly peanut butter frosting (not to be confused with my real peanut butter frosting) pupcakes are the perfect doggy dessert for celebrations like birthdays, gotcha days, or you-didn’t-bark-at-the-mailman-today days (I wish we had more of those around here..!). If you’re looking for a simpler, less indulgent treat, you can skip the frosting, or just make my homemade dog cookies.
And… just in case you were curious, yes, you can eat these too; but I suggest trying one of my recipes that is geared towards humans instead, like my pumpkin cupcakes, or my peanut butter pie. Save the pupcakes for the pups–they’ll be grateful you did!
What You Need to Make Pupcakes
This recipe uses simple ingredients that you might already have in your pantry. While these pupcakes are meant to be a treat, many of the ingredients listed below can have health benefits for dogs when given in manageable amounts. Let’s dive into the details.
- Creamy Peanut Butter. Loved by nearly every canine on the planet, peanut butter is good source of protein and healthy fats. Plus it tastes great! I use creamy peanut butter in the batter and the frosting for these pupcakes. VERY IMPORTANT: make sure the peanut butter you use does not contain xylitol, which would be listed with the ingredients and can be deadly for dogs.
- Pumpkin Puree. Packed full of fiber and vitamins, pumpkin gives our pupcakes flavor and nutrients. It also adds moisture, so your dog can wolf these down without leaving a crumb.
- Olive Oil. While I typically opt for neutral oils (like canola or vegetable) when making baked goods, olive oil works just as well and dogs don’t seem to mind the bolder taste (I don’t recommend making this switch in any of my other human-oriented recipes, though!). As a healthy fat that’s low in cholesterol, it’s a great addition to these pupcakes. Olive oil can also reduce inflammation and help with itchy skin, so that’s an added bonus!
- Honey. To add sweetness, moisture, and a slightly chewy bite, I add honey to the pupcakes. You can use whatever kind you have on hand, like clover or wildflower.
- Water. For moisture and to bind everything together, I add some water. If you’d like to substitute this with some low-sodium chicken or beef broth you can.
- Flour. I use all-purpose flour, but you could substitute whole wheat or even your favorite gluten-free blend if your dog can’t have wheat.
- Cream Cheese.This adds flavor and complements the peanut butter in the frosting. Because it’s high in fat, cream cheese is suitable for once-in-a-while treats like these, but not everyday snacks. Make sure you buy a plain, unflavored variety and soften it before you add it to the frosting.
SAM’S TIP: Always check to make sure you’ve bought PLAIN pumpkin. Pumpkin pie filling looks very similar, but it contains added spices, sugar, and salt that we don’t want in our pupcakes.
How to Make Pupcakes
- Combine peanut butter, pumpkin, olive oil, honey, and eggs with a whisk. Add water and stir until fully incorporated. In a separate bowl, combine your flour and baking powder, then add that to your wet ingredients. Mix until just-combined.
- Evenly divide batter into prepared muffin tin, filling liners all the way full. Bake at 350F for 18 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in tin for 15 minutes before removing and placing on a cooling rack.
- Combine cream cheese and peanut butter until smooth. Add water, 1 teaspoon at a time, until you reach your desired consistency for either piping or spreading.
- Once they’ve cooled, frost your pupcakes and serve to your pup!
SAM’S TIP: You can either spread your frosting or pipe it. If you pipe it, you may want to consider doubling the frosting recipe to achieve the look I have in my photos.
Frequently Asked Questions
Definitely! You will just need to adjust your cooking time, as mini pupcakes will cook quicker. I’d start checking at 13-14 minutes.
I doubled the icing recipe when taking these photos, so if you piped your icing as tall as mine, you will run out. Because of the high fat content in the frosting, I’d recommend sticking to the original recipe and icing less generously than shown.
These pupcakes are safe for human consumption, but they won’t taste like the desserts you’re used to. Scroll down for similar recipes geared towards us two-leggers.
More Recipes You Might Like
Let’s bake together! I’ll be walking you through all the steps in my written recipe and video below! If you try this recipe, be sure to tag me on Instagram, and you can also find me on YouTube and Facebook
Pupcakes (Dog Cupcakes!)
- ⅔ cup (169 g) creamy peanut butter it is important that the peanut butter you purchase does not contain xylitol, which can be deadly to dogs. Most brands do not use this ingredient, but always check your label first
- 1 cup (227 g) pumpkin puree
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup honey
- 2 large eggs
- ⅔ cup water
- 1 ½ cups (190 g) all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
Frosting (optional, see note)
- 4 oz (113 g) cream cheese softened
- ½ cup (120 g) peanut butter
- 1-2 teaspoons water as needed
- Preheat oven to 350F (175C) and line a 12-count muffin tin with paper liners or lightly grease with baking spray. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine peanut butter, pumpkin puree, olive oil, honey, and eggs. Whisk together until smooth and completely combined.⅔ cup (169 g) creamy peanut butter, 1 cup (227 g) pumpkin puree, ⅓ cup olive oil, ¼ cup honey, 2 large eggs
- Add water and stir until completely incorporated.⅔ cup water
- In a separate bowl, whisk together flour and baking powder.1 ½ cups (190 g) all-purpose flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder
- Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and use a spoon or spatula to stir together until just-combined (try not to over-mix as it can make the pupcakes dense and dry, but if your dog is anything like mine they won’t mind).
- Evenly divide batter into prepared muffin tin (fill liners all the way full). Smooth muffin tops if you would like your pupcakes to be smooth on top after baking.
- Transfer to 350F (175C) oven and bake for 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow pupcakes to cool in the muffin tin for 15 minutes before carefully removing to cooling rack and allowing to cool completely. While they cool, prepare your frosting.
- Stir together cream cheese and peanut butter until smooth.4 oz (113 g) cream cheese, ½ cup (120 g) peanut butter
- Add water, 1 teaspoon at a time, until you reach a consistency that is easy to spread or pipe over the cupcakes.1-2 teaspoons water
- Spread or pipe frosting over cooled cupcakes and serve to your pup!
FrostingWhile the pupcakes in the photos looked beautiful with all of that icing, I ultimately decided my dogs didn’t need quite that much fattening frosting and so I’ve reduced the amount that this recipe makes (they didn’t seem to mind!). This recipe makes enough to frost the cupcakes much less generously than shown. If you want to decorate the pupcakes as shown, you will need to double the frosting. I used a Wilton 2D tip.
StoringStore in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days or in the refrigerator for up to one week. Pupcakes may also be frozen for several months.
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered an estimate only. Actual nutritional content will vary based upon brands used, measuring methods, cooking method, portion sizes, and more.
Originally published March of 2016
Made these for our puppy’s one year birthday. We invited some neighborhood pups over to celebrate. All the dogs loved them!!! Bonus was that the kids all said they were amazing. 😄
Emily @ Sugar Spun Run
🤣 What they don’t know won’t hurt them! We’re so happy the pupcakes were a hit for all attendees, Heather!
Is there something that I can sub for peanut butter? I’m allergic to nuts and can’t bake with any nut products 🙁
Hi Rachel! Since it’s for the pups you can probably just get away with leaving it out. Let me know how it goes. I hope your pup is super excited by them. 🙂
Can I use a small round cake pan instead of cupcakes for the doggie recipe m
Emily @ Sugar Spun Run
Yes, but you will probably still have some batter leftover. Make sure you don’t overfill your pan 🙂
Do you think these are safe for cats, too? They wanna celebrate, as well!
Oooh I’m not sure (the cat that I know wouldn’t eat them, haha!), I’d think so, but I’d check with your vet first just to be safe!
Love this idea!! Have two miniature daschunds with birthdays in April and May and one LOVES carrots and peanut butter but the female is SO picky!! Could be a great way to get her to eat carrots after all.
I bet they will both LOVE these! 🙂
Marsha | Marsha's Baking Addiction
These are super cute cupcakes for dogs!
I think it’s so sweet that you celebrate your dog’s birthday. And pupcakes is probably the cutest word I’ve heard in a long time. Pets definitely are a member of the family. ?