Make The Perfect Pumpkin Pupcake For Your Pup This Fall

A healthy, dog-friendly cupcake packed full of flavor, this pumpkin pupcake recipe is to die for this Halloween! Topped with a creamy and delicious (and simple!) icing, your pup won’t be able to get enough of this special treat.

pumpkin pupcakes displayed on pumpkin serving plate

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A Perfect Pumpkin Pupcake for a Perfect Pup

Fall means soul-purifying breezes and colors to capture the imagination. And it also means…Franklin’s birthday! 

Our one-of-a-kind little man actually hit a huge milestone on the very day this post was published. He turned 10 years old! While he still gets in daily wrestling sessions with Froda, he is no longer the spry pup he once was. 

But after all these years, one thing hasn’t changed…his food motivation.

So, I decided the best way to celebrate his most recent time around the sun was with a brand-new pumpkin pupcake recipe.

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title of pumpkin pupcakes with image of pumpkin pupcakes displayed on pumpkin serving plate with figure of Halloween skeleton dog

Even before his first bite of this tasty birthday treat, I think Franklin wholeheartedly agreed that this was the ideal way to celebrate.

pug mix dog staring at dog-friendly pumpkin cupcake

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

Only the Essentials

This was my first time making a dog-friendly version of a pumpkin cupcake, and I stripped down the recipe to only the healthy, essential ingredients. 

Here’s what you will need:

  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup carrot, shredded
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup yogurt
ingredients required to make dog-friendly pumpkin cupcakes displayed on wooden serving board

Whole Wheat Flour

Serving as the backbone in most dog treat recipes, flour plays a pivotal role as a binding agent. Furthermore, it’s a potent source of energy.

Unlike highly processed flours, whole wheat flour retains vital nutrients like vitamins and minerals, in addition to fiber, which promotes digestive health.

Although standard white flour can be used, it lacks nutritional richness.

Egg

Eggs offer more than just binding; they’re a protein powerhouse, supporting muscle health and overall well-being. Packed with essential vitamins like B12 and riboflavin, eggs contribute significantly to your dog’s vitality.

Carrot

Carrots are more than just a colorful addition; they contain lots of great nutrition. Low in calories and high in fiber, carrots provide an array of vitamins and minerals. 

They’re an excellent source of beta-carotene, a precursor to vitamin A, which promotes good vision and supports a healthy immune system.

In addition to their immune-boosting properties, carrots contribute to overall well-being by aiding digestion and supplying essential nutrients to your pup’s diet. 

mini dapple dachshund dog grabbing on to carrot with her mouth

Pumpkin

Pumpkin takes center stage in these treats, boasting rich dietary fiber that aids digestion and regulates bowel movements. Beyond nurturing a healthy gut, pumpkin supplies crucial vitamins such as A and C, along with essential minerals like potassium. 

Its low-calorie content makes it an ideal choice for weight-conscious dogs.

Important! Make sure you grab 100% pumpkin puree and NOT pumpkin pie filling.

Peanut Butter

Peanut butter isn’t just delicious; it’s a valuable addition. This ingredient provides healthy fats and protein, delivering essential energy and supporting muscle development. 

Ensure you select an all-natural, unsalted, and unsweetened variety, ideally with 100% peanuts listed in the ingredients.

mini dapple dachshund dog about to eat spoonful of peanut butter

Yogurt

Opt for Greek or plain yogurt to steer clear of any unnecessary additives and sweeteners. Yogurt is a nutrient-rich addition, loaded with essential vitamins, minerals, and probiotics that support a robust digestive system and bolster your pup’s immunity.

It’s a delicious way to introduce those beneficial bacteria into your pup’s diet.

If your dog happens to be lactose intolerant, you’ll need to make a substitution at this point. Look for a lactose-free yogurt, or even a dairy-free yogurt made specifically for dogs like YowUp!

Xtra Health Tip: Check both your peanut and yogurt to ensure xylitol isn’t listed as an ingredient. Xylitol is highly poisonous to dogs; even a small amount can be dangerous. earn about other common food dangers here.

Typical Pupcake Ingredients that Got the Axe

In human cupcake recipes, you’ll pretty much always see salt, baking soda, and/or baking powder in the ingredients list. And these will regularly show up in pupcake recipes as well. 

Salt

Dog sodium requirements are much lower than ours, and this common human seasoning can be problematic for pups if consumed excessively. 

Excessive salt intake can lead to sodium ion poisoning, a condition known as salt toxicity. Symptoms include excessive thirst, increased urination, vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, and, in severe cases, seizures or even death.

In small amounts, salt isn’t harmful and a little is needed in your dog’s diet. Per PetMD, a well-rounded dog food will contain just the right amount of daily salt requirements. 

Therefore, it is completely unnecessary, and not recommended, to give dogs any additional salt outside standard meal times. 

Baking Soda / Baking Powder

Baking soda is highly alkaline and can disrupt the acid-base balance in a dog’s body, leading to symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, and muscle spasms. 

Baking powder, which contains baking soda and an acidic component, can produce gas in the stomach and cause bloating and discomfort.

In relatively small amounts, baking soda and baking powder will not cause toxicosis. However, I like to err on the side of caution and, frankly, these ingredients are not needed in dog treat recipes. 

It is true that your pupcake will not rise like a human cupcake. And it will be a bit more dense. But Phoebe, Franklin, and Froda can personally attest to the fact that this is a non-issue for treat-loving pups!

Some Things You’ll Need

  • Measuring cups
  • Measurings spoons
  • 2 mixing bowls
  • 2 mixing spoons
  • Peeler or similar (to shred carrots)
  • Muffin tin
  • Piping bag (optional)

Now Let’s Bake Some Pumpkin Pupcakes!

The Pupcakes

The process for mixing up your pumpkin pupcake batter is quite simple. 

After preheating the oven to 350°F (175°C), combine the whole wheat flour, pumpkin puree, yogurt, egg, and peanut butter in a mixing bowl.

Add the shredded carrot. I just used a peeler to quickly create some thin carrot slivers.

mini dapple dachshund dog eating dog-friendly cupcake ingredients
pug mix dog and mini dapple dachshund dog eating dog-friendly cupcake ingredients

Hand-mix for a couple of minutes. These ingredients blend together easily, so an electric mixer is really not needed. But, of course, you can use one if you prefer.

Once your batter is combined, carefully pour it into a greased muffin pan. Fill each cup about ¾ full to avoid the batter from overflowing.

However, because baking soda and/or baking powder are not used in this recipe, you don’t need to account for the batter rising. 

Xtra Eco Tip: You can eliminate some waste by skipping the cupcake liners. Rather, grease your muffin tin with some olive oil before pouring in the batter.

The Icing

The icing is even simpler! Simply combine peanut butter and plain yogurt until smooth! No additional sweetener like honey or maple syrup is needed.

This two-ingredient icing is hauntingly delicious.

You can get fancy, and apply the icing with a piping bag. Or you can simply spread the icing across the top of the cupcake with a knife.

pumpkin pupcakes displayed on pumpkin serving plate

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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The Final Magic Touch

With the savory pumpkin pupcake and the perfectly sweet icing, I’m willing to bet your pup will be more than satisfied. But, if you want to add some flair, top these pupcakes with a baked dog treat.

For some extra Halloween spirit, try out these 4-ingredient pumpkin dog treats. This recipe is perfect for creating treats that take the shape of mini skulls, pumpkins, bats, spiders, and more!

And these treats combined with a dog-friendly cupcake? Well, let’s just say you now have a pupcake to die for!

pumpkin pupcakes displayed on pumpkin serving plate with figure of Halloween skeleton dog

Pumpkin Pupcakes

pumpkin pupcakes displayed on pumpkin serving plate

Pumpkin Pupcakes

Yield: 6
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Want to make a special treat for your dog this fall? This pumpkin pupcake recipe is simple and delicious...in other words, to die for!

Ingredients

Pupcakes

  • ½ cup wheat flour
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup carrot (shredded)
  • ½ cup pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter (without xylitol)
  • ¼ cup Greek or plain yogurt (without xylitol)

Icing

  • ½ cup Greek or plain yogurt (without xylitol)
  • ¼ cup peanut butter (without xylitol)
  • Optional - Halloween dog treats

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Shred the carrots into thin slices using a peeler or vegetable shredder.
  3. Add all the pupcake ingredients into a mixing bowl and gently mix until well combined.
  4. Add the batter to a muffin tin greased with olive oil. Fill each cup about ¾ full to avoid overflowing.
  5. Bake for 25-30 min. At 25 min, check the doneness by placing a toothpick into the center of one of the cupcakes. If it is clean when you remove it, the pupcakes are ready!
  6. As the pupcakes are cooling, make the icing by combing the peanut butter and yogurt.
  7. Once the pupcakes are cool, frost and, optionally, top with a homemade Halloween dog treat.
  8. Store refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

    Notes

    • If your pup has gluten allergies, you can substitute certified gluten-free oat flour, which is processed in dedicated facilities that prevent cross-contamination.
    • For small dogs, a whole pupcake will be too large of a serving, so you can cut it into smaller pieces, or even make mini-pupcakes. For my pups, I divide a single pupcake between the 3 of them.

    Nutrition Information:
    Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 157Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 33mgSodium: 98mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: 2gSugar: 3gProtein: 8g

    Nutrition information is an approximation.

    FAQs: Pumpkin Pupcakes

    Can I use a different type of flour instead of wheat flour?

    Yes, you can substitute wheat flour with other dog-friendly flour such as oat flour, brown rice flour, or coconut flour. However, avoid using flours that contain gluten if your dog has sensitivities or allergies to gluten.

    Is it safe to use pumpkin pie filling instead of pumpkin puree?

    No, it’s important to use plain pumpkin puree without any added ingredients like sugar or spices. Pumpkin pie filling often contains added sugars and spices that may be harmful to dogs.

    Can I omit the yogurt from the recipe?

    Yogurt can provide probiotics and other beneficial nutrients for dogs, but if your dog is lactose intolerant or allergic to dairy, you can omit the yogurt or substitute it with lactose-free yogurt or coconut yogurt.

    Can I use homemade peanut butter in the recipe?

    Yes, you can use homemade peanut butter as long as it does not contain xylitol, a sugar substitute that is toxic to dogs. Always check the ingredients label to ensure the peanut butter is safe for your dog.

    How should I store the pumpkin pupcakes and icing?

    Store the pumpkin pupcakes in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. If using the icing, store it separately in the refrigerator and frost the pupcakes just before serving. Avoid leaving the pupcakes at room temperature for extended periods to prevent spoilage.

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    title of make the perfect pumpkin pupcake for your pup this fall with images of pumpkin pupcakes displayed on pumpkin serving plate

    More Homemade Holiday Treats

    Check out my other posts on healthy and delicious dog treats for holidays throughout the year.

    Pumpkin Halloween Dog Treats

    Turkey And Sweet Potato Thanksgiving Dog Treats

    Dog Christmas Treats

    Assorted Valentine’s Day Chocolates for Dogs

    Homemade Chocolate Easter Lollipops

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