Image © Elly Fairytale, under a Creative Commons license.
If your kid loves pugs and has been begging for a pug dog cake, this could be the perfect cake to stop you barking up the wrong tree.
When it comes to birthday cake ideas, Kidadl has heaps. We know kids love themed cakes, and dog cake ideas are up there with the cutest, so we've come up with a perfect pug dog cake recipe.
To make this the perfect cake for a birthday party, we chose a simple, easy-to-bake chocolate sandwich recipe for our pug dog cake tutorial. If your child already has a favourite cake recipe though, it's easy to swap in: just make any round cake and follow the decorating instructions. You can even sneak some courgettes in there for a healthier choice.
For the puppy cake: 200g self-raising flour, 200g caster sugar, 200g unsalted butter, 4 large eggs, 2 tbsp cocoa powder, 1 tsp baking powder, 2 tbsp milk, 1/2 tsp vanilla extract, pinch of salt.
For the filling: 200g butter, 350g icing sugar, 50g cocoa powder, 1 tbsp vanilla extract.
Extras: butter for greasing cake tins, icing sugar for dusting, tan, dark brown, white and pink ready-to-roll icing, 1 chocolate button, 2 tbsp jam.
Equipment: mixing bowl, 2 x 20cm round cake tins, baking parchment, whisk or stand mixer, toothpick, rolling pin, knife, two sizes small round pastry cutters.
Make the cakes ahead of time to allow them to cool. Including baking, decorating and clean-up, cooking should take one and a half to two hours. Serves up to 15.
1) Preheat the oven to 190°C/175°C fan/Gas Mark 5.
2) Line the bottom of each cake tin with baking parchment and grease the inside.
3) Beat sugar, flour, butter, eggs, cocoa powder, baking powder, vanilla extract, milk and salt in the mixing bowl until pale.
4) Place half the mixture in each cake tin and bake for 20 minutes. When a toothpick comes out of the middle clean, the cakes are cooked.
5) While the cakes cool, whip up the buttercream filling. Beat the butter until light and fluffy, add the sugar, cocoa and vanilla extract, and mix well.
6) Once the cakes are completely cool, level them off with a knife. Make a sandwich with the cakes and some of the buttercream, then cover the whole cake with a thin layer of buttercream to help the icing stick.
Decorating The Cake
Now for the part where we make a cake that looks like a dog. These steps take the recipe from a tasty chocolate birthday cake to a special pug dog cake.
For the face: Roll out the tan icing and cover the top and sides of the cake evenly. Don't worry if there are a few wrinkles - it's a pug cake, and pugs are wrinkly anyway! Trim any extra icing off with a sharp knife.
For the ears: Roll out the dark brown icing to the same size as the top of the cake. Cut it into quarters, so that you have four triangles. Trim the curved edge of two of the triangles flat. Using a little leftover buttercream or strawberry jam as "glue", take one triangle and stick the wide end down about 2cm in from the edge of the cake, so that the pointed end hangs off the side.
Gently fold the hanging end forward toward the middle of the cake to imitate the fold of a pug's ears (it can help to have a picture of a pug on hand for reference if you aren't lucky enough to have one snuffling around at home). Repeat on the other side for the second ear.
For the mouth: Round off the corners of the third triangle. Place it at the bottom of the cake, with the pointed end towards the middle. Roll out the pink icing, and cut an oblong. Round off one end and stick on top of the triangle for the tongue.
For the eyes: Cut two circles from the last triangle, and two smaller ones from the white icing. Stick the brown circles where the eyes of the pug should be, then the white ones on top of them. Stick a chocolate button on top of each white circle, and put a little blob of white icing on each button.
For the nose: Stick the third chocolate button at the top of the mouth triangle to make the nose of the pug cake.
We've got even more pug cake ideas to make anyone who loves pugs smile!
Pug cake kit: Birthdays can be busy, and if you don't have time to make all the pieces from scratch as well as sorting out a gift and everything else, you can buy a full pug cake kit online. All you (and your little helpers) need to do is put the pieces together.
Sweet-covered pug cake: If you want to push the pug cake boat out a bit more, or just don't feel like using that much icing, you can use Oreos for the eyes and a piece of fruit leather cut to size for the tongue.
Tips And Hints
1) A birthday party can mean catering for lots of different diets. Substitute gluten-free flour and vegan margarine, egg replacer and non-dairy milks to make sure anyone who loves dessert can get their paws on a slice of pug cake. Maple syrup makes a good replacement for vanilla extract if you or your guests prefer not to use it.
2) If you can't find the right colour icing to decorate your pug cake, use plain white icing and some brown food dye. Use just a couple of drops of the dye for the tan, and more for the dark brown.
3) If you have any leftovers from your pug birthday cake, just wrap them up in two layers of cling film and a layer of foil and pop it in the freezer for the next time someone gets a cake craving. It'll last up to two months.
4) While the cake is suitable for children of any age to eat, you may want to remove the icing before giving it to toddlers.
Jennie is a Manchester native who discovered a love of teaching and travel whilst teaching at a kindergarten in China, and has spent her time since then becoming an expert in both. Jennie mainly teaches KS2 children and still thinks she has the best job in the world. She also runs a tutoring and mindfulness company called ‘Recreate-U’ which helps people to reach their full educational potential through making them feel comfortable, safe, and happy in their learning environment. In her spare time she can be found up to her elbows in a craft project or curled up somewhere comfy with a book and a hot cup of tea.