Clifford Birthday Party: Dog Bowl Birthday Cake | Recipes | PBS Food

Clifford Birthday Party: Emily Elizabeth’s “Dog Bowl” Birthday Cake

A great cake for the perfect Clifford Birthday celebration!



  • What You'll Need for the Cake:
  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 pinch salt
  • Decorator frosting (recipe below)
  • Tube frosting with thin tip in desired color (for writing)
  • What You'll Need for the Kibble:
  • Mini wheats cereal
  • Chocolate cookies crumbled
  • Graham crackers. crumbled
  • Animal crackers
  • Any other "kibble" topping your child desires!
  • What You'll Need for the Decorator Frosting:
  • 1/ 2 cup shortening
  • 1/ 4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/ 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 tablespoons warm water
  • 1 (16 ounce) package confectioners' sugar
  • Food coloring


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 8" round layer cake pans.
  2. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until smooth and fluffy. Mix in the vanilla extract.
  3. Separate the eggs and set whites aside. Add egg yolks one at a time to the creamed mixture, beating after each addition.
  4. Mix baking powder and the flour together. Begin sifting a bit of the flour mixture into the creamed batter. Continue adding the flour and then, the milk alternately, while beating the mixture continually until air bubbles show.
  5. In a separate bowl beat the egg whites with a dash of salt until stiff peaks form. Gently fold egg whites into the batter.
  6. Pour batter into prepared pan(s).
  7. Bake at 350 degrees until toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean -- approximately 25 to 35 minutes. Cool cakes on a wire rack.
  8. Once cakes have cooled, slice off a sliver of the cake tops so they don't have a curved shape and can rest flatly on each other when stacked.
  9. Prepare decorator frosting and tint it desired color (we choose Clifford red!).
  10. Frost the bottom cake completely. For the top cake, create a well for the "dog food" by scooping out some cake about one-inch deep (see the photo for the finished cake). Place top cake on bottom cake and frost, covering the "seam" with frosting.
  11. Do not worry if the "well" is a bit crumby when you frost it. Fill in with any type of "kibble" topping your child desires!
  12. Use tube frosting in a contrasting color to write your happy birthday message along the dog bowl rim.
  13. Enjoy!
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