Homemade fat cake ingredients

Homemade bird fat cake

Over the weekend I made some treats for the birds. We’d almost run out of fat cake and it’s quite expensive to buy if you don’t have space to store in bulk, so I thought I’d make my own. I found a simple recipe on Gardeners’ World and I had everything I needed to make it apart from the lard.


  • Lard or suet
  • Meal worms (optional)
  • Oats (optional)
  • Bird seed
  • String
  • Mould – yogurt pots are ideal

Makes enough for 2 large yogurt pot fat cakes.

Homemade fat cake ingredients

How I did it

I used approx double the amount of seed to lard (e.g. 1/2 cup lard, 1 cup of seed) and added oats to pad the mixture out.

Meal worms for the birds

I used to put meal worms out on the grass for the blackbirds at our old house. I haven’t seen any here and our garden is paved so they’ve just sat in the shed. The RSPB fat cake I normally buy has them in and the birds love them so I added a few to my dry mixture.

Bird seed, oats and meal worms

I didn’t have any yogurt pots so I lined a small tea cup with cling film.

Cup as a fat cake mould

Melting the lard was my least favourite part. I can’t stand the stuff! Partly because it has a horrible smell which seems to get so much stronger when heated. I might use beef suet next time.

Melting lard on the stove top

I tied a couple of knots at the bottom of the string and left a loop at the top for hanging on the branch.

Knotted string

Then poured the mixture into the mould to set overnight in the fridge.

Liquid fat cake in a mould

Ta-dah! The tastiest fat cake in the village (if you’re a hungry bird who loves pork fat of course).

Homemade fat cake hanging in our tree

Nibbled fat cake in a tree
Nibbled a few days later

Bird fat cake recipes

If you want to make your own fat cake check out some of these recipes:

Categories Garden

6 comments on “Homemade bird fat cake

  1. I was just thinking of making one of these the other day! it looks really good! well done!

  2. hi Gemma, found your blog by chance. I sell hand made fat feasties from nut meal and fruit. Specifically for people who want to know exactly what they are feeding their birds. Great blog, how long do your fat balls last and what species go for them. Regards Clive

    • That size lasted for about a week and a half. Most of the birds eating this fatcake were house sparrows and blue tits (that I saw anyway). Thanks for your comment Clive, I’ll check out your website!

  3. how long will they keep for?

    • I had spare fat cake and kept it in the fridge for a couple of weeks. Ours got eaten quite quickly so I’m not sure what the maximum life would be. I think suet would keep for longer than lard because it’s harder and not as moist. Hope that helps!

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