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DIY bird cakes: Three great recipes

bird cakes
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Looking to jazz up your bird feeder? Why not make up bird cakes and pretend it's a special occasion everyday?

These can make for a great addition to the best bird feeder, or simply just placed around the garden.

Wherever you choose to put them, you'll find these DIY bird cakes so easy to make that you'll have them ready in no time, whether it's a regular weekend craft or a one-off activity with a friend or family member. 

You'll find most ingredients can be sourced from your kitchen, while spare birdseed can often be integrated for a cheap and cheerful meal, your feathered friends are sure to come back for your DIY bird cakes time and time again. 

bird cakes

(Image credit: Getty Images)

DIY peanut butter bird cakes

  • 1 cup of large or rendered suet
  • 1 cup of smooth or chunky peanut butter
  • 3 cups of stone ground cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup of white flour
  • 2 cups of birdseed
  • 1 cup of millet (or berries, raisins and/or fruits)
  • String or wire
  • Large spoons
  • Plastic cups
  • 1 microwaveable bowl
  • 1 large mixing bowl

Method
Add the peanut butter and 1 cup of large to the microwaveable safe bowl. Melt these ingredients just until they are smooth, not boiling hot.
Add the mixture to the large mixing bowl, and mix in 3 cups of stone ground cornmeal and the flour.     
Add a cup of millet or your fruits and raisins and 2 cups of birdseed. Mix together until you have a thick consistency.   
Spray plastic cups with cooking spray and fill them with the mixture.
After a few seconds, make a hole on the top of each cup's mixture and place them on a cookie sheet. Pop them in the freezer for approximately an hour. 
Turn the cakes out of their cups and place florist wire through each of the cakes, running all the way through to the bottom. Be sure to bend the wire over so it creates a loop at the top of the cake to keep it from sliding through the hole.
Hang them on trees or place on bamboo sticks. 

DIY fat cakes for birds

bird seed cake

(Image credit: David Brittain)
  • Biscuit cutters or empty yoghurt pots
  • String and scissors 
  • Bowl and spoon 
  • Birdseed, nuts, raisins 
  • Grated cheese 
  • Lard or suet

Method
Cut the birdseed, nuts, raisins, grated cheese, lard, or suet into small pieces and add to a bowl at room temperature. Mix together well.
Place your cutters flat on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper. If you’re using pots, make a small hole in the base of each one. Take a metre of string, make a knot about 2cm from one end then poke the string through the hole in the pot so the knot is inside.
Spoon your birdseed mixture into each prepared cutter or pot, pressing it down evenly. Poke a hole through the mixture in each cutter near one edge to make a hole for the string. Fill as many moulds as you can until all the mixture has been used up. Place the filled moulds in the fridge and leave to chill thoroughly.
When the mixture has set, you can press out the shapes from the biscuit cutters or cut the plastic pot away from the cake with scissors. Thread string through the hole and hang up a cake outside. Use just one at a time, keeping the others in the fridge until needed.
Hang from a tree or bird table – the cake might start to break up in wet weather, but once the birds get a taste it won’t last long!

Bird cupcakes

bird cakes

(Image credit: C&J Wildlife)
  • 30g unsalted beef or lamb fat
  • 90g CJ Wildlife Bird Cake Mix
  • Sunflower seeds , dried mealworms, raisins or fruit and berries, to decorate

Method
Melt the beef or lamb suet in a saucepan.
Mix in sufficient Bird Cake Mix to absorb most of the fat.
Pour into cupcake cases – if too much free fat appears on top, add more cake mix to absorb the fat.
Allow the mixture to cool slightly before adding extra treats for your birds – garnish with a layer of black sunflower seeds, dried or oil-enriched mealworms, dried fruit or berries from the garden. Allow the mixture to cool further and solidify (ideally in the fridge).
Remove from the mold, hang up, and watch the birds arrive for their home-made treat.

Tip
Sit a piece of string or ribbon into each cupcake case before filling to give you a quick and easy hanger!
If you'd like to add peanuts to your cupcakes, be sure to crush them before adding, as whole peanuts are a choking hazard to smaller garden birds.