Spring has yet to arrive, and the birds have been draining our feeders every week. So, I thought I would make them a special treat. Technically this is not a suet cake. Making a traditional suet cake involves melting a big chunk of animal fat into liquid form, and the thought of that smell filling my kitchen makes me cringe. So, I used shortening instead of suet. These would make great gifts for bird lovers!
The verdict is in. The birds love it! I took this photo only a few minutes after I put the cake out, and there has been a steady stream of feathery visitors ever since.
1 cup shortening
1 cup peanut butter
3 cups cornmeal
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 cup peanut pieces
(You have wiggle room on the ingredients and amounts. Birds aren’t picky!)
1. Line an 8×8 pan or baking dish with wax paper and set aside. (If you crinkle up the wax paper up first it will conform to the shape of your dish more easily.)
2. Melt shortening in a saucepan over low heat. In the meantime crush or chop your peanuts.
3. Once the shortening has completely melted, stir in the peanut butter until smooth. Then mix in the flour and cornmeal and remove from heat.
4. Stir in the rolled oats, breadcrumbs and peanuts. Pour the mixture into the prepared 8×8 pan and smooth the surface with the back of a spoon. Place in the refrigerator to set.
5. When the cake has solidified pull it out of the dish and flip it over on a plate wax paper side up. Peel off the paper, cut the cake into quarters and wrap each piece in wax paper. Store in the refrigerator or freezer until you are ready to pop them in your suet feeder!