A Zuke’s Valentine: Pupcake Recipe

Posted on Feb 11, 2017
A Zuke’s Valentine: Pupcake Recipe

Dogs know a thing or two about love, and they are often far better at expressing it than us humans.
If they love someone, they let it show without holding back. Dogs celebrate love everyday, as should we, really! But just because it is Valentine’s Day, we teamed up with our friends at Zuke’s to give you a hand with a little special something for that special canine in your life.

Happy Valentine’s Day to you friends!

Now and everyday, we are grateful for your friendship. Hope you enjoy this little film we made. I’ve included the recipe in this post for you and make sure you visit us on Instagram for a chance to win a sweet Valentine prize for your dog! Follow us at @thelabsand.co or @willowthewildandco for giveaway details.

This recipe for Sunflower and Coconut Cupcakes has only a handful of ingredients, and unlike cupcakes for humans, these sweets are a healthy treat for dogs to enjoy. They drive Willow a little nuts in fact. I did make some minor changes to the original recipe (which you can find in this book), using sweet potatoes instead of red potatoes, adding a yogurt frosting with coconut and decorating them with Zuke’s Minis. To learn more about Zuke’s and their varied line of delicious treats and foods for dogs, make sure you visit them here and follow them here.


Original recipe from Home Cooking for Your Dog
Makes 12 cupcakes

You will need:

  • 4 or 5 sweet potatoes
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seed oil
  • 3/4 pound (12 ounces) ground beef
  • 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1.5 cups of plain, nonfat yogurt
  • Zuke’s Mini Naturals for yummy garnish
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners or grease with coconut oil or nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Peel the sweet potatoes and place in a large saucepan with enough water to cover. Bring the water to a boil and cook them until they are soft when pierced with a fork, about 25 minutes. Drain them and mash well in the pan. You should have about 5 cups of mashed potatoes.
  3. In a large bowl, beat the eggs. Add the mashed potatoes and the oil and mix well.
  4. Fill each muffin cup halfway with the batter. Place 1 tablespoon of the ground beef in the middle of each cupcake (I like to roll each tablespoon into a little meatball). Fill the rest of the cups with batter. I find an ice-cream scoop to be a nifty tool for this.
  5. Bake the cupcakes for 40 minutes or until golden brown at the top. Allow them to cool for at least 30 minutes in the pan.
  6. Remove the cupcakes from the pan carefully (they will be solid but soft). Mix in the coconut into the yogurt and frost the cupcakes. Add a few Zuke’s Minis treats as a garnish. Cover the leftovers with foil and refrigerate them for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.


This little film was made on an iPhone with a Moment lens and edited in Adobe Premier.

Willow thrives learning new tricks. In this film, we made use of many of the tricks we have learned in our Canine Circus School classes as well as some from our own bag. Some of those include:

  • down/stay with chin on paws
  • stand/stay with chin resting on tabletop
  • shaped retrieve (pick up a thing and take it to someone or something, in this case Corbin)
  • wait/release with a treat (in this case, a cupcake)

Wishing you all a sweet Valentine’s and may your dogs be a daily reminder that love and friendship don’t need a silly holiday to be celebrated, they are something worth celebrating everyday. 🙂