Homemade Birdseed Cakes #3

Every year I like to make some homemade birdseed cakes for my feathered friends during the coldest months of the winter. When I was getting ready to make some again this year, I noticed I had a recipe for a batch that made six homemade birdseed cakes, and recipes for a single batch to make just one birdseed cake, but nothing in between. And yes, this year I was feeling like I wanted something in between.

The result is this recipe I came up with to make a batch of four homemade bird seed cakes. Now I’ve got my bases covered no matter what size batch I want to make!

How to make Homemade Birdseed Cakes

My Homemade Birdseed Cakes {Without Gelatin}

For this recipe I’ve used the same method I’ve used in the past. I begin by putting some birdseed in a mixing bowl. I usually like to use a mixture of regular birdseed with a few more black oil sunflower seeds added in.

To the seed, I add some dried fruit (I usually use raisins), some cornmeal (as some grit is good for birds) and for this mixture I decided to use a bit of peanut butter too.

How to make your own birdseed cakes without gelatin

Finally, I pour melted lard over everything and mix it together. Although I’ve made some birdseed cakes in the past that use gelatin, for larger batches I much prefer lard as it’s cheaper, very easy to melt in the microwave, and seems to be liked by the birds too.

Related Reading: Where to look for lard in the grocery store

Once you’ve got everything mixed together, it can be put in a pan lined with parchment paper so the cakes can harden.

Make your own birdseed cakes

This recipe is designed to go into an 8×8 square pan and when hard, the mixture gets removed from the pan and cut down the middle in each direction which ends up giving you four cakes that are each about 4″ square.

Homemamde Birdseed recipe to make four suet cakes

When cutting the cakes things will crumble a little bit, but I always save those crumbles and sprinkle them around on the ground under my feeder. The birds (and squirrels!) appreciate this too.

Then the only thing left to do is hang your cakes out for the birdies to enjoy. Rather than hanging my suet cage from a branch, I’ve been fastening it with a nail in the crook of my tree. The birds seem to linger a little longer because they can easily perch on the tree while they are pecking at the cake. Woodpeckers especially seem to sit there for a quite a while and enjoy.

Homemade bird seed suet cakes

The complete printable recipe for this four cake batch size recipe is below. And if you like feeding the birds too, check out some of my other recipes for more bird feeding inspiration!

Homemade Birdseed Cakes

It's fun and easy to make homemade cakes for your feathered friends. This batch will give you four cakes that are 4" square.
Author: Beverly


  • 2 cups Birdseed Mix
  • 1 cup Black Oil Sunflower Seeds
  • 1/2 cup Cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup Raisins
  • 1/4 cup Peanut Butter (optional)
  • 1 cup Lard


  • Line an 8"x8" square baking pan with parchment paper and set aside.
  • Place the bird seed, sunflower seed, cornmeal, raisins, and peanut butter (if using) in a mixing bowl.
  • Melt the cup of lard in the microwave. (I use my glass measuring cup to measure out the lard, and then the glass cup can go directly into the microwave too. I put it in the microwave for one minute, and then finish up by stirring to melt any remaining unmelted bits that are still floating around.)
  • Pour the melted lard over the seed mixture in your mixing bowl, and stir until everything is well mixed together.
  • Spread the mixture into the prepared 8×8 pan.
  • Place the pan in the freezer for several hours so the mixture can harden.
  • Once hardened, grab the edges of the parchment paper to lift everything out of the pan. The cakes can then be cut into four equal pieces.


If you do not have cornmeal, flour can be substituted.
You can use other types of seed in these cakes if you wish too in any combination to give you about 3 cups total of seed being used.
How to make your own homemade birdseed cakes

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  1. Made a batch today..thank you for the recipe, and my birds especially thank you! I always use suet cakes, less messy than feeder feeding and the birds love, but now I get to make my own for them! I, too, added some diced apple along with some chopped raisins and peanuts. I also added about 1/2 cup of old fashion oats. To make cutting through the big cake into four smaller ones less messy, I let sit on counter till starting to solidify and made cuts then before going into fridge. Thanks again!

  2. I plan on making some of these for my Sister and Brother in law as gifts
    I have made mine cause I was out
    thank you
    Gwen. from Illinois

  3. ok… so there are TONS of recipes for suet cakes out there. Soooo glad I found this one AND so are my feathered friends. The ONLY change I made was to add chopped apples instead of raisins. VERY easy to make and now I’m making my second batch. Thank you for your recipe! (I used my silicone muffin pan that makes 12.)

  4. I just made up two double batches, some in aluminum pans to be cut to size later and using small aluminum pet bowls to make round ones for my ring-style feeders. I will use my apple corer to make the center hole. I will definitely try adding chopped apples next time. Can’t wait to see how my little feathered friends like them!

  5. I tried this and added some diced apple. They are going crazy over the cakes. I will have to make several batches…I can freeze them right?

  6. I use this recipe in a much larger quantity ratio for making multiple 2 pound cakes and it works quite well.

    If I may, I’d like to point out a few cringe worthy suggestions made in the comments..
    DO NOT use Crisco or other vegetable shortening products as they contain hydrogenated oils and are not good for us nor the birds.
    Also, as to using greasy drippings saved from cooking beef, bacon, etc., please don’t add these to your recipes people. If it’s not good for you then it must be hundreds of times worse on the tiny critters you wish to feed. And flour is NOT a good substitute either as most birds cannot digest flour at all..

      1. There is only one type of lard sold in my local grocery store and it is the La Preferida brand and it’s sold in the International Foods area with Hispanic foods. It is usually labeled on the other side of the container as “Manteca”. So that is always what I use and it works well. I think that is a common brand that hopefully you will able to find in a local grocery store too.

    1. I’ve never attempted to store my birdseed cakes for any length of time, but it they are kept in a cool and dry place, I would imagine they could last for many, many months because the lard that holds them together is a shelf stable product.

  7. Great idea! I put feeders on an old tree I call Apple Tree Diner visible from my compute desk. It’s such fun to watch the results! I thank you and I’m sure my bird friends & resident squirrels will thank you.
    Ouch! I dislike the idea of putting a nail in a tree. I’ll find another way to secure the seed holders.
    Thank you again!

  8. I use a very similar recipe that I’ve had for years! I bought a few store bought suet cakes that come in the plastic trays, and I use those for molds for my homemade suet! It’s a lot less messy than cutting the block and of course it’s the perfect size for the suet holders. So much fun seeing the birds enjoy their treat! Mine hang from the eves of my house where I can see them and it keeps the snow off too.

  9. I use bacon drippings in my suet. The birds seem to love it.
    I like the idea of nailing the suet feeder to the tree instead of on a branch. Thanks for the idea!

    1. You’re right Jeanne, bacon drippings are indeed a resourceful ingredient you can use when you’re making your own birdseed cakes.

    2. Please don’t put nails in trees. That is living wood and can become infected. Just tie a string around a branch.

  10. Hi Bev…I’ve been using gelatin but it melts ..very hot summer’s here..(Australia)..30-39 degree’s…🤦🤦
    Is there something else you could suggest that won’t melt on me..
    Many thanks..Louise..

    1. Yes, you could try using a vegetable shortening such as Crisco, or you can try reserved grease drippings from meat you have cooked (such as the drained grease from cooking bacon or browning ground beef) that would congeal at room temperature.