Easy Pup Cup: A Homemade, Natural Alternative To The Famous Starbucks Puppuccino

Did you know that the Starbucks pup cup contains preservatives and added sugar? For a healthier treat for your dog, opt to make your own puppuccino at home. All you need is one natural ingredient!

homemade pup cup displayed on wooden serving board

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Why Opt for a Homemade Pup Cup

Pet parents (and the pets, of course!) love a Starbucks pup cup. It is undoubtedly a fun way to let your dog indulge a bit.

However, I’ve seen a lot of misinformation online, with websites claiming that Starbucks pup cup only contains a single ingredient.

While it may be true that a pup cup is just whipped cream, what many don’t realize is that Starbucks’ whipped cream is made from multiple ingredients, including preservatives.

Per Starbucks’ own ingredient list, the cream used to make the whipped treat contains monoglycerides and diglycerides (preservatives), as well as carrageenan (an emulsifier). Plus, they also add vanilla syrup which contains sugar, water, natural flavors, potassium sorbate (a chemical preservative), and citric acid (a preservative).

I promise I’m not here to rain on your pup cup parade. And if Instagram and TikTok aren’t lying, many a dog has enjoyed a Starbucks pup cup without issue.

With that said, this treat is so straightforward to make at home with literally only one natural ingredient. So why not skip the added sugar and preservatives?

Get the recipe

Just want to dive right in? I get it. Skip right to the full recipe. Or if you don’t have time to get creative in the kitchen now, save the below pin for later.

title of recipe for a simple pup cup with images of 3 different dogs eating a homemade pup cup

In just a few easy minutes, I was able to whip up this super special treat (pun intended). And it was insanely fun to watch Phoebe, Franklin, Froda indulge!

pug mix dog and mini dapple dachshund dog licking homemade whipped cream off a whisk

The Easiest Ingredient List Ever

I wasn’t lying when I said this recipe requires only one ingredient. Just make sure to pick a heavy cream with nothing additional added.

Heavy Cream

Although high in fat and calories (meaning you should only feed it to your pup in moderation), heavy cream does come with health benefits.

It is a good source of healthy fats, providing essential fatty acids that contribute to skin and coat health in dogs. Additionally, it contains fat-soluble vitamins like A, D, and E, supporting various bodily functions and overall well-being.

Note that if your dog is lactose-intolerant, this is not the recipe for you. Rather, opt for a dairy-free yogurt made especially for dogs, such as YowUp!

Fortunately for Phoebe, Franklin, and Froda, none have any issues with lactose. But if you are unsure whether your dog is lactose-intolerant, some symptoms to look out for are diarrhea and vomiting.

heavy cream in green bowl displayed on wooden serving board

Xtra Health Tip: Always check with your veterinarian before introducing new foods. Like people, all dogs are different, and their tolerance for new ingredients depends on numerous factors including age, allergies, health conditions, and more.

Supplies

The supplies required are also very straightforward. All you need are a couple of kitchen basics. In fact, you can easily make this recipe without any measuring at all.

  • Measuring cup (optional)
  • Hand or stand mixer with whisk attachment

How to Make a Simple Pup Cup

Step 1: Chill

Assuming that you’ve been storing your cream in the refrigerator, you can move right to step 2. However, if you want to speed up the whipping process, an easy trick is to chill the cream in the freezer for about 15 minutes.

Just make sure your heavy cream is not warm or even at room temperature; otherwise, the whipping process will not work.

Step 2: Measure

Measure out 1/4 of the chilled cream into a mixing bowl. For every 1/4 cup of heavy cream used, you will make about 1/2 cup of whipped treat.

Keep in mind this recipe is human-friendly too (in case you want to make some extra). Whipped cream without any added sugar is delicious!

Step 3: Mix

Using a hand or stand mixer, mix the cream on high speed. Don’t walk away; the process is very quick. When making this recipe, I first chilled the cream in the freezer, and it formed whipped cream in less than 1 minute.

As soon as the cream starts to form peaks, the treat is ready. What does this mean, exactly? Well, it means that the whipped cream holds its shape.

There isn’t just one perfect moment to stop mixing, as it really depends on whether you like more or less structure to your whipped cream.

steps of turning heavy cream into whipped cream

However, once the peaks start to get really stiff, it’s time to stop mixing or you run the risk of overmixing. If this happens, the whipped cream will go from fluffy to clumpy.

But all is not lost if this happens. On low speed, simply add more chilled heavy cream into the mixture until you get things back to a fluffy consistency.

Step 4: Enjoy

Serve up a small amount of puppuccino in a dog-safe cup or bowl, and watch your pup’s eyes pop out of their head!

Store the leftovers (assuming you didn’t eat it all with some fresh strawberries!) in the fridge for up to 2 days. As there are no preservatives, this treat won’t last for very long.

pug mix dog and mini dapple dachshund dog licking homemade whipped cream off a whisk
mini dapple dachshund dog eating a homemade pup cup

Xtra Health Tip: Whenever serving treats, remember the 90/10 rule. At least 90% of your pup’s daily calories should come from balanced meals, leaving no more than 10% for the fun stuff.

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Pup Cup Comparisons

From fast food restaurants to recipes online, there is no shortage of pup cup options. So, here are a few things to keep in mind.

Fast Food Restaurants

Starbucks isn’t the only fast-food restaurant to offer a doggie dessert. You can also find a puppucinno variation at:

  • Dunkin’ Donuts – Cup for Pup
  • Shake Shack – Poochini
  • Dairy Queen – small soft-serve ice cream
  • Sonic – Wag Cup
  • Chick-fil-A – small soft-serve ice cream

Keep in mind these options will most likely have additives, such as chemical preservatives and sugar. Plus, the portions will not be sized appropriately for your dog.

Homemade Recipes

You can make variations to your pup cup by adding different flavors, such as 100% pumpkin puree, banana, plain yogurt, and all-natural peanut butter.

Some ingredients to never include are xylitol (a common sweetener), chocolate, coffee, and sugar.

There are also multiple pup cup recipes online that include cinnamon. While very small amounts of cinnamon aren’t toxic to dogs, even a teaspoon is way too much for most pets and can lead to health complications.

As such, I always avoid this ingredient in my dog treat recipes to avoid accidental exposure.

Xtra Health Tip: Xylitol is highly poisonous to dogs; even a small amount can be dangerous. Learn about other common food dangers here.

Enjoy…but Always in Moderation!

Although this is a healthier alternative to the Starbucks pup cup, it is still a treat…and a rather indulgent one at that.

A pup cup should definitely not be a daily thing, and you should only feed it to your dog in small amounts.

One tablespoon of pup cup has 25-50 calories (depending on the exact recipe), which can be significant…especially for a small dog. For Phoebe, Franklin, and Froda, I let them have a few licks each. And they were plenty happy with the experience!

Ok, now that all the warnings and caveats are out of the way, what are you waiting for?

Mix up some homemade puppuccino and grab some insta-worthy pics of your pup covered in whipped cream! And, if you do, please tag us @thegreenpetproject. I LOVE seeing dogs flip out over this special treat!

pug mix dog eating a homemade pup cup
mixed breed dog eating a homemade pup cup

Single-Ingredient Pup Cup Recipe

homemade whipped cream

Single-Ingredient Pup Cup

Yield: 8
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 2 minutes
Total Time: 17 minutes

For a healthier version of the famous Starbucks pup cup, make one at home from just one natural ingredient.

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup heavy cream

Instructions

  1. Start with chilled heavy cream. To ensure the cream is properly cold, place it in the freezer for 15 minutes.
  2. Add ¼ cup of the chilled heavy cream to a mixing bowl.
  3. On high speed and using the whisk attachment, mix the cream until peaks begin to form.
  4. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 25Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 8mgSodium: 2mgCarbohydrates: 0gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 0g

Nutrition information is an approximation.

FAQs: Pup Cup

How hard is it to make a pup cup at home?

It is incredibly easy! All you need is heavy cream and a few minutes.

How long can I store the pup cup?

It’s best served fresh, but you can store it in the refrigerator for up to two days. Remember, this recipe doesn’t contain any preservatives so won’t last for too long.

How much pup cup should I feed my dog?

Depending on the size of your dog, keep it to 1-2 tablespoons as an occasional treat.

What if my dog is lactose intolerant?

You should not make a milk or cream-based pup cup. Dog-friendly, lactose-free yogurt would be a good alternative in this case.

What other ingredients can I add to my pup cup?

You can vary the flavor with dog-friendly foods like banana, all-natural peanut butter, 100% pumpkin puree, and plain yogurt.

What ingredients should I avoid?

Make sure your pup cup (whether homemade or store-bought) does not contain xylitol (a common sweetener), chocolate, coffee, or added sugars. Check out my post on common dog food dangers here.

Why is the cream not whipping?

Most likely this is because the cream was not chilled enough before you started the mixing process. Simply place the cream in the freezer for 15 minutes, and you should be good to go.

Why is my puppuccino clumpy?

When whipped cream is overmixed, it turns from fluffy to clumpy. Simply change your mixer speed to low and add in more heavy cream until your mix returns to the right consistency.

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title of easy pup cup - a homemade, natural alternative to the famous starbucks puppuccino with image of homemade pup cup

More Homemade Frosty Treats

Check out my other posts on cool and delicious dog treats!

Peanut Butter Banana Doggie Ice Cream

Assorted Chocolates for Dogs

2 thoughts on “Easy Pup Cup: A Homemade, Natural Alternative To The Famous Starbucks Puppuccino”

    1. Hey Anna! Glad you enjoyed the article. I had suspected the Starbucks pup cup contained some preservatives (it’s hard to find all-natural products at fast-food restaurants), but I was also a bit surprised by the full ingredient list. Luckily, a pup cup is just about the easiest thing in the world to make. And my dogs go nuts for it! Hope yours enjoys it too.

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