How To Make Fat Cakes for Birds

How to make fat cakes for birds

Give garden birds an energy-rich by making these fat cakes – we show you how.

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Birds love fat cakes and at this time of year they’re just what they need to give them energy and keep warm.

But the feeding balls needn’t be shop bought; you can use all sorts of kitchen scraps such as cheese and dry porridge oats. Just mix with melted lard or suet and set in the fridge overnight.

Avoid using turkey fat, which doesn’t set like suet and lard, and can coat birds’ feathers, preventing them from being able to fly. It can also spread disease.

More ways to help garden birds:

Follow these easy steps to making fat cakes for birds.

Avoid using turkey fat, which doesn't set like suet and lard, and can coat birds' feathers.
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You Will Need

  • Bowl
  • Lard or suet
  • Saucepan
  • Spoon
  • String or twine
  • Old yoghurt pots
  • Unsalted peanuts
  • Currants
  • Sultanas
  • Oats
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Cake crumbs
  • Grated cheese

Total time:

Including overnight refrigeration time

Step 1

Mixing together the dry ingredients
Mixing together the dry ingredients

The best ratio for this recipe is one part fat to two parts dry mixture. Mix all your dry ingredients together in a bowl.

Step 2

Stirring in the melted fat with the dry ingredients
Stirring in the melted fat with the dry ingredients

Melt some lard or suet in a pan and add the dry mix. Stir well until the fat has all been absorbed and the mixture sticks together.

Step 3

Tie string through the bottom of yoghurt pots and add the mixture
Tie string through the bottom of yoghurt pots and add the mixture

Make a hole in the bottom of a yoghurt pot and thread through a length of twine or string, then pack the pot with your warm fat mixture.

Step 4

Set the cakes in the fridge overnight then remove from the pots
Set the cakes in the fridge overnight then remove from the pots

Place in the fridge overnight to set, then cut through and peel away the pot. Tie a big knot at one end of the twine to secure the cake.

Step 5

Hang out the cakes in a sheltered tree or shrub
Hang out the cakes in a sheltered tree or shrub

Hang the cake in a tree or shrub and wait for the birds to come and feast.

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Kate Bradbury says

Keep a store of fat cakes in your freezer, taking just one or two out at a time on cold winter days. Never put them out in summer – in very hot weather the fat may melt and could smear onto birds’ feathers, preventing them from being able to fly.

Kate Bradbury