DIY Birdseed Cakes For Birdola Stackers
Feeding the birds is a fun little hobby I enjoy during the winter months. This year I’ve added a new bird feeder to my collection – the Birdola Stacker
The benefit of the Stacker is that you can stack up different types of birdseed cakes and attract more birds with a bigger variety of bird seeds. They have a stackers for cardinals, woodpeckers, finches, even a stacker with beetles in i!
But much like the way we can buy computer printers for a good price, but then spend whole bunches of money on the printer ink, so it is with the Birdola Stacker. You can get yourself a Stacker feeder for a nice price of $6.99, but then each of the little stacker cakes that go on it will cost you another $3.99.
Ummm, I think I can Make My Own.
* but I will probably not be making the beetle variety *
So if you’re a bird lover too and would like to give this new Birdola Stacker a try, here’s the DIY method I came up with to make the refill cakes. The binder for these cakes can either be lard (see my post on how to find lard in a grocery store), or it can be Knox unflavored gelatine
These cakes can just be made with the basic birdseed mix or you can branch out and add in some safflower seed, thistle seed, black oiler sunflower seeds, or fruits or nuts to bring in more types of birds as the stacker is intended to be used.
DIY Birdola Stacker Birdseed Cakes
1/2 cup Lard – OR –
1/2 cup Water + 1 envelope of Knox Gelatine
1-1/2 cups Birdseed
If you’re using the lard, measure it out into a “dry ingredient” measuring cup and then place in a microwave safe bowl. Melt the lard in the microwave (it will take about 1 minute, 45 seconds). Then stir in the birdseed.
If you’re using the gelatin, measure a 1/2 cup water into a small saucepan and add the dry gelatine. Heat on the stove for a few minutes to heat the water and dissolve the gelatine. Remove from the heat and stir in the birdseed.
NOW – you will need to have a couple of round molds about 4″ in diameter. I ended up cutting the tops off from a couple of plastic 18 oz drinking cups. This worked quite well because you can cut your molds with higher sides than the usual method of using a cookie cutter. This will let you make a thicker birdseed cake much like the Birdola Stackers.
Put your molds in a pan lined with wax paper and divide your prepared mixture between the molds. Some of the “wet goo” will seep out from under your molds, and that’s OK.
Use the handle of a wooden spoon or use a drinking straw to make a hole in the middle of your birdseed cakes. Once again, the “wet goo” will kind of seep back into the hole, and that’s OK.
Put in the refrigerator for a couple of hours to harden.
You can easily remove the cup molds from the birdseed cakes by snipping them off.
Any of the gelatin or lard that is in the hole area of the bottom of the cake should be soft enough to push through and clear the hole.
If some of the seeds crumble off the cake, no worries! The stacker I bought from the store did the same thing.
You Might Also Like:
Homemade Birdseed Cakes #2 (like suet cakes for cage feeders)
Homemade Birdseed Cakes #1 (A little more peanut butter in this recipe)
Where do you store the stackers? I put them in the garage in a baggie thinking that will keep all the seeds in there but after a day or two they were moldy. So I put them in the refrigerator — those two were not moldy but crumbled easily. Maybe I did not pack them down well enough?? I will try another batch and pack them down well and see how that goes but I would like to know where people store them until you are ready to set them out. I can’t set out many at a time, we have a couple of hungry squirrels who like to cart them off. I know the squirrels need to eat so started feeding them but then that just attacked lots more squirrels in our backyard by the pool and afraid they may fall in (like too many frogs and mice do). Thanks for your help.
Where do you store the stackers after you have made them. I put them individually in a ziplock sandwich bag and two days later is was molding. So I now know I can’t keep them outside, or zipped up in a zipper bag…..should I keep them in the refrigerator? I would like to make 15-20 ahead but will they keep? Can you freeze them?
If I make several, do they need to be refrigerated?
If you live in a warmer environment, it would probably be helpful to refrigerate them, although it might not be necessary. I’ve always kept my homemade birdseed cakes in my garage where it’s cold during the winter months when I’m feeding the birds.
Recommendation: After dissolving gelatin in boiling water, let it cool to room temperature before mixing with the seed. It won’t set up! When I mixed seed with the hot liquid, a LAKE of the liquid formed under the cups (thus less adhering to the seeds).
Can I just buy this from you!?
Oh sorry, I don’t have any for sale, but they are very easy to make if you give them a try!
Should you compact the seed after putting it in the mold?
No, I don’t think you have to worry about compacting the seed. It will all harden up together OK as it dries.
When you say 1 envelope of knox gelatin is it the 0.25oz ?? The only non flavored gelatin we have is in a box with 4 pouches each holding 0.25oz.
The usual size of an envelope is the .25 oz size so I would think that would be correct. One envelope is equal to about 2 teaspoons of gelatin.
Correct yes!! Those are the ones I’m using!! Thank You so much for taking the time to clarify!
Love this recipe. I’m also looking for a bird pancake recipe. My mother used to make little pancakes for the birds in the winter and they could warm their feet and eat at the same time! I don’t think eggs and milk and flour are good food for birds. I was thinking cornmeal and bird seed could work–maybe some peanut butter too? But how would I keep it together as a warm pancake that you can flip in a pan without an egg? Any suggestions?
Hmmm, I’ve never heard of making a bird pancake recipe, however I do have a no-melt suet cake recipe for birds that uses cornmeal, flour, and peanut butter that is more dough-like. Here’s the link to that recipe: https://www.themakeyourownzone.com/no-melt-suet-cakes-for-birds/
Excellent description of process and great pictures
Would this still work in the summer or in warm climate?
I have only used these during winter months so I can’t say for sure, but I think they would start to melt a bit if the weather was very warm.
HOw Do you make the bird cakes thAt look like cakes for birds? I see them in the stores, I bought 1 and the birds love those too.. But can’t find any information on how to make them. I have mad a lot of suit ones..n they loves these too..
I actually just published another birdseed cake recipe today that makes 6 cakes that fit perfect in feeders- here’s the link: https://www.themakeyourownzone.com/2016/01/homemade-birdseed-cakes-2.html They use lard because I can’t find true suet where I live. Lard works OK too as it is an animal fat, rather than a vegetable fat like Crisco.
Hi, Beverly, thank you for the idea and the recipe. My wife and buy bird feed from outside and it is expensive, so this will be good. But – as vegetarians ourselves, we don’t want to use gelatin or lard. Any substitutes we can use?
One suggestion is to use Crisco which is an all vegetable shortening, although there is some debate on if Crisco is good for birds. Here’s a link to an article about that subject, from which I decided Crisco would be OK for birds: http://www.bluebirdnut.com/the_fat_question.htm Another idea might be to just use peanut butter with birdseed. You could try putting peanut butter on a pine cone, for instance, and then rolling it in bird seed and hanging it on a tree.
Thank you so much, Beverly, appreciate it. Will try the peanut butter first and see how it goes.
Thank you for the ideas!! I’ve dehydrated my own grapes for raisins. Those should be acceptable to include after chopping into smaller pieces? I have the same type of feeder as yours, although mine has the spike coming up from the bottom, so I was thinking of using a large PCV pipe, coated with a small amount of lard for easier removal. Your thoughts?
I think your own dehydrated grapes would work just fine in is recipe. I also think the PVC pipe would work too, as long as it was a pretty skinny pipe, assuming you are wanting to slip the cakes onto the pipe and stack them.
Thnaks for the great idea, Bev! I can’t wait to try it. I just saw another recipe for the standard suet feeder: 1.5 cups seed, a handful of peanuts in the shell, and 1/2 cup peanut butter. You somehow trowel this into the feeder. Thanks for saving us money. I enjoy your blog.
Thanks Judith! Be prepared for anything made with peanut butter to be a favorite with the squirrels. I tell myself that the squirrels have to eat too 🙂
Add some red chili flakes in with the mix. My squirrels are not fond of getting a hot mouth and birds apparently dont get the heat the way mammals do. I also put the flakes in my chickens feed to warm them through the winter.