We all are fully aware how important a balanced diet is, and especially the importance of partnering it with regular exercise, and we try daily to abide by this - including our pets in this regime gives us a further sense of well being.

Part of successfully maintaining that balance is to also include little rewards, motivations for our good behaviours (eating all of our kale salad, going out for a power walk even when it’s -10 outside) and it’s easy to see how our pets respond the same way.  So why not reward our dogs when they deserve it, but also do them the favour of offering a homemade, nutritious treat?

These Double Apple Pupcakes have been designed with nutrition and taste appeal in mind.  Like people, dogs benefit from a healthy inclusion of vitamins and minerals in their diet.  Using 100% whole wheat flour ensures fibre plus protein, while unsweetened applesauce offers vitamin C and additional fibre.  Dogs have no need for refined sugar, so only a touch of molasses adds an appealing colour (more for our own benefit) but a little calcium and iron, too.  A little olive oil is a healthy fat and can also help with dry skin, especially in winter (I used to put a spoonful of olive oil in my beagles’ food in winter, to prevent itching).  The added cinnamon is for the human appeal – they smell delightful when baking.

These pupcakes are a snap to make (get the kids to help), they freeze well (and make a cooling treat right from the freezer on hot days) and guess what…people like them, too!  The lack of sugar and low fat nature of them makes them not as sweet or delicate as “people” muffins, but I have caught myself popping one in my mouth with an afternoon cup of tea! 

And I should qualify this recipe by saying that I put it through extensive blind tastings. In order to decide on this particular recipe, I made 2 types of pupcakes – this apple version and a pumpkin peanut butter version.  I took the votes of volunteer taste testers: Chewie the Labradoodle, Sparky the mini Collie, Shadow the German Shepherd, Maple the Beagle mix (and even Millie the cat). I would hold each treat in a closed hand and each dog would pick with their nose which treat they wanted – The Double Apple Pupcake was the treat of choice!  Visit for great ways to get involved.

I hope your beloved pet becomes as big a fan of these healthy treats as my taste testers.


These are wholesome treats for the puppy or dog in your family. 

Makes 48 mini pupcakes

• 4 cups           whole wheat flour
• 1 tbsp            baking powder
• ¼ tsp             ground cinnamon
• 1 ½ cups       unsweetened applesauce
• 1 ½ cups       water
• ¼ cup            fancy molasses
• 3 tbsp           olive oil
• 1                   large egg
• 1 cup            chopped dried apples

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.  Lightly grease mini muffin tins.

2. Stir the flour, baking powder and cinnamon together in a large mixing bowl.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk the applesauce, water, molasses, oil, and egg together.  Add this to the flour all at once and stir just until blended.  Stir in the chopped dried apples.  Spoon this into the prepared muffin tins and bake for about 30 minutes, until the pupcakes spring back when gently pressed.  Let the pupcakes cool for 15 minutes in the tin before turning out.

The pupcakes will keep in an airtight container for up to 5 days, or can be frozen for up to 3 months.