Ann Reardon

Secret Life of Pets dog Cake

the secret life of pets cake ann reardon

We have a 5 year old in the house so when we go to the movies as a family we tend to all go to something suitable for the youngest. The latest trip was to see the Secret Life of Pets. I must admit the dim lighting plus the comfy chairs was quite conducive to sleep. I’m sure I nodded off for just a moment, but the kids tell me that the sewers scene was not near the start of the movie.

Life goes in seasons and at our place at the moment it’s a little on the crazy side. Our house is for sale which means twice a week it has to be in pristine condition for home opens. Given that we have three kids and we not only live here, I also film videos in the kitchen and work here, that is quite hard to achieve.

On top of all of that this week was Brandcast, a huge event put on by google for brands and advertising agencies. This year I had the privilege of having a How To Cook That dessert stand with dessert tubes for guests and resin models of some of my creations.

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Moments before the dessert tubes were added and 1,700 people came through

To make this Secret Life of Pet cake you will need:

(serves 8-10)

Dog Cake Template


Cake spike and cake pop sticks, two small cake boards (see template)
One and half times my chocolate cake recipe baked in two 38cm (14.96 inches) x 25cm (9.84 inches) trays.

Strawberry puree
600g (21.16 ounces) strawberries
Puree the strawberries in blender. Pour the puree into a fine sieve and push it through with a spoon, until you have just the seeds left in the sieve and the juice is all in the bowl. You should end up with about 470g (16.58 ounces) or 1 3/4 cups plus 2Tb of juice. Split this into two bowls.

Strawberry ganache
235g (8.29 ounces) fresh strawberry puree, see above
1150g (40.57 ounces) white chocolate, melted
Mix the strawberry puree with the melted white chocolate. Place in the fridge to thicken.

Thin strawberry Jam / Syrup
235g (8.29 ounces) or 3/4 cup plus 3 Tbsp fresh strawberry puree
1/2 cup or 109g (3.84 ounces) sugar
Place the puree and sugar in a saucepan and heat until the sugar dissolves. Allow to cool.

750g (26.46 ounces) White fondant
250g (8.82 ounces) orange fondant to cover the cake board (optional)
50g (1.76 ounces) green fondant for the ball
250g (8.82 ounces) brown fondant for the patches and ears
50g (1.76 ounces) black fondant for eyes and nose
50g (1.76 ounces) blue fondant for the colour

edible gold lustre dust
tylose powder for the ears
A square cake board 25cm (9.84 inches) x 25cm (9.84 inches)

Trim the top of your cakes to level them. Cut out the circles of cake as shown on the template.

the secret life of pets cake

Stack the cakes layering them with strawberry jam and ganache. Add the cake pop sticks and cake boards for support as you stack. See the video for a detailed demonstration.

Place your side template in front of the cake and cut away the pieces of cake that you can see.

Repeat with the back template then round off any corners, just take off a tiny amount.

Cover the whole cake in ganache. I like to warm up the ganache a little to make it easy to spread on a fresh cake.

Once it is covered take some acetate or bendy plastic and run it up the sides to smooth out the ganache. Then put it in the fridge for about an hour for the ganache to set firmly.

Wrap some white fondant around the front of the cake and at the back squeeze it together to make a join. Cut off the bulk of the excess so the weight doesn’t drag it down then continue to smooth it and shape it and once you’re happy, trim off the rest of the fondant. Trim the excess from around the base and tuck it in.

Take some more fondant and drape it over his head. Squeeze it up and the back.
Trim it off roughly, then smooth and shape the fondant around his face,
If you don’t want to use fondant watch the teddy bear cake video for how to pipe fur on a cake.

Trim it off neatly and using a knife cut it at neck level where the other fondant came to.

Follow the directions in the video to make the collar, eyes, nose, eyebrows and legs.

Store in the fridge until ready to serve.

dog cake pets ann reardon
Copyright © 2016 Reardon Media Pty Ltd. All rights reserved. How To Cook That

My Cookbook

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All recipe quantities in the book are in grams, ounces and cups.

60 Comments View Comments

  1. Hi! I purchased the pattern after watching the video about 15 times. Ann makes it look very easy but it’s not. The $5.99 pattern frankly is quite useless! There are no measurements!! So you don’t really know how much to carve from 2 pieces of flat paper. It’d be great to have atleast the measurements of how far the first support in the board is from the edge. But no. It’d be great to get more for $6!!! I mean I could have just baked circles of 1 size and carved them out! I just wasted 6-7 hours trying to make it cake! I was also confident after reading other comments and seeing other’s success pictures! But wait a minute, not one person had an issue making this cake with the sub-par instructions provided? I am no professional cake maker but I’ve made more than a few cakes, so I thought this one should work out! What a farce!

    • Hi Shaiffu, I am sorry you experienced difficulty. The template provided is exactly to size and so no additional measurements are required. All items are noted in the template and the method is fully demonstrated in the video. Professional cake bakers as well as home cooks have used this template effectively, so it is surprising that you felt that you needed more direction. However I understand how frustrating it can be when things aren’t working out as you hoped.

  2. Rating: 5

    Thank you for your tutorial. I created Max for my daughters birthday party on 24th September and it was a hit. So structurally stable too it withstood 54km winds here on the Gold Coast. thanks once again.

    • That is awesome Sheree. Great job on the cake- it looks fabulous!

  3. Hi, I am going to try to make this cake this week thanks to your wonderful instructions and how to video. I just have a few questions though and hope you can answer them. Just wondering how did you get the cake spoke to stay in the cake board? I worried that if I drill a hole into the cake board the spoke won’t stay in there and come out the bottom. I’d like to know how you did it as all I could see was you sticking it into the cake board. Also my next question is for the two small cutbout cake boards did you use just the thick cardboard cake boards? Or how thick was it as it’s so hard to cut the mdf cake boards and if I can use the cardboard ones and they will hold up. Thank you so much for your help, Sheree.

    • Hi Sheree. Make your hole in the cake board a little smaller than your spike so when you push it in, it becomes wedged. You can also set your board on a serving tray or extra board to ensure it wont fall through. Ann uses cake boards that you can purchase from a baking store or supermarket, you can make these yourself or cut down the commercial ones. Ann is a wiz at using tools so will cut card and board to shape with ease. If you don’t want to cut the mdf composite cake board, then you could cut out corrugated card to shape and tape two layers together to make it strong, then cover it with the foil or plastic wrap. it won’t look as pretty but will do the job in most cases.

      • Rating: 4.5

        Thanks for replying but party was on 24th so I figured it all out. Turned out amazingly. Thank you.

  4. made this cake – the first fondant decorated cake i’ve done – turned our great!

    • WOW!!! That is amazing Annie, you did a beautiful job!

  5. We made the dog cake but with our dog.

    • Hi Sarah, He looks so cute! Well done!

  6. Can you advise how deep your 38cm (14.96 inches) x 25cm (9.84 inches) trays are? I got ones which are .75 inches and they seem like they’re going to be too shallow? Thanks!

    • Hi Tabitha, Ann’s are about 1 inch deep.

  7. Rating: 4

    Hi! Would love to make this cake for my daughter’s birthday but she does not like chocolate – do you have a vanilla cake recipe the same pan size that you can recommend?

  8. Hi. I would like to purchase this template, but do you send a physical template or email? Just need to know as the party is three weeks away and we are worried that they wouldn’t arrive in time from Australia to UK if snail mail.

    • Hi Bronagh, all templates come as downloadable PDF’s that are available immediately on purchase.

  9. Do the templates take the shape that the cakes needed to be carve guiding us with just a little bit of carving options or are all the body and head templates just circles. Want to get this template too but had a question

    • Hi Sharon, Ann usually provides a template for the pieces and for shaping the profile. You can see her use it in the video.

  10. Cant find the template u used for this cake – (max secret of pets) could you send it to me please? I would love to try this for a birthday cake friday!

  11. How tall is Max ? And how tall are each layers ? Thank you ! I love this cake ! 🙂

    • Hi Gaia, you can decide how high you want your layers, but Ann’s were about 2.5cm high. The template provides all the measurments you might need. Happy baking! The finished cake is about the height of an A4 sheet of paper or around 30cm tall

  12. Thanks for innroducitg a little rationality into this debate.

  13. Can you make a Giant Raffaello??

  14. I have been trying to find rectangular cake tins the size you specify, but can only seem to find swiss roll tins, which look too shallow. Is there a special name for the tins you use or how deep are they please? x

    • Hi Claire, This is a very standard baking tray size and it is about 2cm deep.

      • Thank you – how long do you bake your cake for in that size of tin please? Cant wait to try this!

  15. Rating: 5

    I’ve been watching your videos for forever and they are just amazing and so creative and I love all of the cakes you’ve made! Im a baker myself and I bake all the time for my family and when I grow up I want to live in France and open up a bakery?

    • That is fabulous Isabella. Do post a pic of your next creation. We would love to see it!

  16. You should do a meeting when you move to Melbourne! I’m from the US and living in Oz for a year and wouldn’t want to miss the chance to meet one of my favorite youtubers!

    • Hi Lindsey, Ann will be at FanFest in Melbourne this November. Details will be available soon!

  17. Can you make a gadget cake my sisters birthday is September 22. She loves secret life if pets

  18. This cake is so creative when do you have time to plan something so cool like that?

    • Hi Melissa, Ann has such a creative mind. She is always thinking, planning and coming up with cool ideas.

  19. Thanks Sierra, I am not sure why it keeps reverting back to that link, I’ve made some more changes so hopefully next week it will all work smoothly

    • Ann! AMAZING cake!!! You are amazing and I just love watching you:-) keep on baking you are an inspiration and you are the one excuse to get my family together. You are being loved and just to let you know that you are an amazing person and are being loved somewhere by more than one video. Its hard to show you what we made because it gets eaten before I could even get the camera! 🙂 🙂 :-)<3<3<3

      • More than one person*** oops 🙂 🙂

      • Thanks Arika, It is great to hear that you are making good use of the tutorials and doing something that brings your family together.

      • Thanks Arika – I’ve done that before too, the chocolate spiral desserts were all eaten before i got a photoof the inside.

      • That’s a clever answer to a tricky quoetisn

  20. Amazing!
    I do need to tell you that the link in the email I got for the cake on YouTube went to the chocolate spiral video.

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