An Obsession with All Things Handmade and Home-Cooked

Dog Years


They say that childhood crushes and friendships will never last beyond high school, and most of the time I would be compelled to agree, but here I am, still just as attached to my best friend as I was 12 years ago when we met.  I was but 8 years old, working through the 2nd grade, and she, well… She was just a newborn.

Although the years have aged us both in strange and unpredictable ways, she’s still pretty much the same- Acting like a rambunctious puppy, destroying any fun things (from toothbrushes to razor blades) that might have been carelessly left in her reach, or begging relentlessly for scraps at the dinner table. There are few people (or animals) that I have spent more time with, and it brings me great joy to celebrate yet another birthday with her. Better yet, it gives me the opportunity to make her something special, and even better than past years’ attempts.

At its core, this plated dessert is simply my Canine Cake from My Sweet Vegan dressed up. Using finely diced green apples instead of carrots, and tahini in place of peanut butter, it as spread out thin and baked in a loaf pan. Once cooled, rounds were cut out from the rectangle and then layered with vegan “sour cream.” Topping off the stack is a tower of apple rings, which were simply overlapped on a silpat and baked in a slow oven until crispy. Finally, a smear of tahini at the bottom of the plate leads to a tiny scoop of vanilla ice cream. All perfectly suited to a puppy’s palate, I could only hope that Isis would appreciate my efforts…

Of course, I needn’t have worried, as the whole dessert disappeared in 5 seconds flat.

Happy 12th birthday Isis, and here’s to many, many more!

Author: Hannah (BitterSweet)

Author of My Sweet Vegan, Vegan Desserts, Vegan a la Mode, and Easy as Vegan Pie.

60 thoughts on “Dog Years

  1. Happy birthday Isis! :D

  2. Aw, Hannah, that is the sweetest thing I’ve ever seen. She looks so happy :)
    This makes me want to go home and cook a 3 course meal especially for my dog Rupert!

  3. Hannah, that is so sweet of you!!! Aww, she is the luckiest dog in the world =)

    P.S. I’ve totally wanted to make that Canine Cake…but I don’t have a dog ;)

  4. SO CUTE HANNAH!!!!!!
    Happy Birthday to Isis!
    Tomorrow is the 2 year anniversary of adopting our little dog Snoopy. We don’t know our doggies’ birthdays, so we celebrate adoption days!


  5. Oh so cute
    Happy birthday Isis :)

  6. Hey, I share a birthday with your puppy, who shares a name with my guitar! Happy birthday, Isis!

  7. Adorable pup – and so sweet of you to make her a birthday dessert treat :)

  8. Wow! I give my dogs baby carrot dipped in peanut butter for their birthdays, but that plate looks so good, I’d eat it!

  9. How sweet you are to make such a tasty treat to your long time companion. Happy Birthday Isis!

  10. Happy Birthday to Isis! That cake looked delicious!

  11. Happy birthday to Isis! She’s lucky to know you.

  12. What a gorgeous cake!

    Happy Birthday Isis! You are the luckiest dog in the world!

  13. Aw love the photo of Isis devouring it! I’m sure she loved it.

  14. How cute!!! Happy Birthday Isis :)

  15. Hannah-
    This post touched my heart in an unexpected way- I am so relieved after slowly scanning down your pup is still hyper at 12! I guess I expected the worst… It was so sweet of you to make a gourmet vegan canine cake- I made that recipe from MSV too, but much less professional! I was considering a Basenji but couldn’t find any rescues who had them… BTW is she a vegan doggie?

  16. happy birthday, isis! what a great dessert treat!

  17. Happy Birthday! SHe really likes the cake

  18. Isis is gorgeous – happy birthday. That cake looks great – lucky pup!!

  19. Happy Birthday Isis!

    I have to hide this picture from my cat, who turned 11 last month… and did not get a tasty cake.

  20. Happy Birthday to your puppy!

  21. What a gorgeous birthday treat for your best friend :)

  22. Happy Birthday, Isis!

    She’s adorable! So glad she enjoyed the awesome dessert you made for her :D

  23. Awww, Happy Birthday to Isis!

  24. Happy Birthday to the cutie! and what a gorgeous cake!

  25. Beautifully plated. I’m sure she appreciates the special treat.

    Happy Birthday Isis!

  26. Happy Birthday, Isis! What a total sweetie. And that cake looks amazing–I’d be happy with one of those for MY birthday!

  27. happy birthday, isis! it’s too bad that dogs don’t *savor* their treats more! : )

  28. Happy Birthday to adorable looking Isis.She looks a bit like my dog Bambi. I have been wanting to make that cake from your book for Bambi, whose first birthday was already last month;I am sure he would appreciate it just as much as Isis did!

  29. O that is so cute!! Happy birthday Isis! I love the topphoto! She is so lucky to have a boss like you who loves her so much.

  30. What a lucky dog! I didn’t know they were allowed to eat ice cream, but now that I do know that, the whole plate looks perfect, AND fun to eat, which is probably important to them. And gosh, Isis is beautiful!

  31. That’s so cute a cake for your dog, I don’t want my babies (cats) seeing it they will want one too!

  32. What a beautiful pup! They’re always still “pups,” aren’t they, no matter how old they get :)

    I love that you dolled up her birthday cake. It looks fancier than anything I’ve ever gotten for my own birthday!

  33. That’s so sweet! :)

  34. Oh my gosh, this is the cutest EVER!

  35. Awww Happy Birthday Isis! You’re just beautiful!

  36. What a gorgeous girl! Happy Birthday, Isis!

  37. Happy Birthday, Isis! It was my puppy’s birthday yesterday too.

  38. You are such a sweetie! All that prep for a 5 second chow fest! :) Too cute :)

  39. I love the crinkle nose in the eating pic!

  40. AWWWWWWWWWW! Dogs are the greatest beings ever!! That was SO nice of you! Lucky puppy-doggy!! So beautiful!

  41. How sweet, a doggie b-day cake! Actually it looks a lot better than regular people b-day cakes. Happy Birthday Isis! :-)

  42. Aw, happy birthday to Isis! Pets are such a blessing. Isis is a beauty, too!

  43. Happy birthday, Isis!!!

    This post made me smile like a loon! And wow that cake looks amazing!! I wish I could make that for my doggies!!

  44. What a beautiful doggie cake! I love how she’s just snarfing it up!

  45. AWww… Happy Birthday Isis!

    Dogs are simply the best friends ever.

  46. Too beautiful, Hannah!!! :)

  47. Happy 12th birthday Isis. You certainly look young (and beautiful) for your age.

  48. First off, Happy belated birthday. Secondly, your doggy is one lucky pup! Not only do you make human food look gorgeous, but you take it to the same level with pup chow! Adorable, and she loves it! Dogs are awesome :)

  49. What an incredible thing to do for your sweet dog! Your creation is spectacular.

  50. Happy belated birthday, Isis! Many happy, healthy returns to a lovely and very lucky dog. The cake looks amazing — it totally puts my Nigel’s birthday from a month ago muffins to shame.

  51. How cute :) My cats wish I’d bake for them!

  52. you are amazing, as always!
    and i sure wish i had the food photography talent that you have.

  53. Awwww, that is so cute! My oldest cat will be 14 in June, i’ve had her since she was a month old.

  54. What a sweetheart!
    It’s very evident that you love your dog and that the feeling is mutual. :)

  55. What a fabulous puppy cake! And what a cute pup for it to go to! -e

  56. Does your carrot cake contain grains?

  57. What kind of flower is that?

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