Because our family decided to exchange homemade gifts this year & because we are avid birders, I decided to try my hand at making bird seed cakes. It turned out to be a great success. The basics of this recipe are lard, peanut butter & cornmeal. Other ingredients may be added as you choose. (In addition, I also tried my hand at doggie treats. Stay tuned…that will be up next in this space.)
This is the recipe I used originally – as printed in Birds & Blooms Magazine.
1 Cup Shortening
2 Cups Chunky Peanut Butter
Melt these together for approximately 1 minute in the microwave.
Fill cupcake tins and top with your choice of nuts, birdseed or dried berries. Cool in the refrigerator. To give as a gift, arrange on a plate or stack and then wrap in cellophane. (I placed several in one of my homemade baskets & put cellophane over the whole thing.) Attach a recipe card so your recipient can make more. Add a bow & you have an instant gift!
Our birds did not take to this right away. So when I made it the second time, I made these changes & now they’ve been arguing over it. ;-)
1 cup lard
2 cups chunky peanut butter
4 cups cornmeal
2/3 C. Sunflower Seeds
2/3 C. Thistle Seeds
Melt the lard and peanut butter. Add the cornmeal & stir to mix. Add the birdseed & mix well.
Fill cupcake pans that have liners. Cool cupcakes in refrigerator or freezer. If the mixture hardens in your microwave safe bowl, it may be reheated to soften. I have also put the mixture in plastic trays that were saved from purchased suet cakes. That works quite well also. One of the reasons for using cupcakes is that you can easily sit them around in various places on your patio or in your yard.
And as you can see, the birds now really like them – they were especially popular during our last snow storm. :-)
So something that started out to be about making homemade gifts for family turned into a good deed for our birds. I think we’ll branch out now and try some new and different recipes. Here’s a list of things you can use from A Home for Wild Birds.
- Raisins or Currants
- Shelled peanuts
- Birdseed mix
- Black oil sunflower seeds
- Molds to shape your creations
- String or yarn
- Lard, shortening or rendered suet
- Crunchy peanut butter
- Stale bread, breadcrumbs or crackers
- Cornmeal or cornbread mix
- Cream of wheat
- Graham crackers
- Flour (whole wheat flour preferred)
Have fun! Your birds will thank you. :-)