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December 11, 2010 / Leslie

Weekend Cooking: Peanut Butter Suet (for my feathered friends)

Wild birds love homemade peanut butter suet dough. It’s a favorite of the woodpeckers and a variety of other birds will eat it too. Bluebirds, titmice, nuthatches, jays, wrens, thrashers, towhees and even sparrows enjoy this energy rich food. Suet can be served year-round, but this home made version is best for cooler weather as it will melt in the summer heat.

Eating SuetIn this photo a red-bellied woodpecker and a house sparrow share a meal. (Click for larger, clearer image.)

The basic recipe is simple and only takes a few minutes to make. I’d like to take credit for it, but I found it in Bird Watcher’s Digest. I used vegetable shortening instead of lard; the birds didn’t mind.


  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup lard or vegetable shortening
  • 2 cups plain yellow corn meal
  • 2 cups quick oats
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • raisins (optional)
  • chopped nuts (optional)

Melt peanut putter and shortening or lard in large pan on low heat. Add remainder of ingredients and mix well. Pour into a pan and allow to harden at room temperature.

Chop into chunks or squares and place in a suet cage. I like to re-use the plastic molds that the store bought suet comes in. It can also be served crumbled in a shallow dish.

Store in refrigerator or at room temperature.

Now sit back and watch the birds. They will love you and probably bring their friends. I put the suet cage on the top of a feeder pole with a squirrel deterrent cone on it. Squirrels also love this and will devourer it if they can get to it.

Weekend Cooking is hosted by Beth Fish Reads. Participation is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, fabulous quotations, photographs.



Leave a Comment
  1. Diann @ the thrifty Groove / Dec 11 2010 10:05 am

    Oh, you just remined me that I need to make some of these up soon. My little girl gets o excited making the birds a special treat!


  2. Margot / Dec 11 2010 10:52 am

    What a wonderful idea. I’m so glad you shared this. I read it to my husband, who loves to feed the birds, and he is getting on it today. Thanks.


    • Leslie / Dec 11 2010 6:06 pm

      Your birds will love this. It’s like a giant oatmeal cookie.


  3. Rebecca Rasmussen / Dec 11 2010 1:57 pm

    I will definitely be making this for my St. Louis feathered friends. Thank you so much Leslie! I love coming here to your blog!


    • Leslie / Dec 11 2010 6:04 pm

      Thank you! And I love having you as a regular visitor.


  4. caite@a lovely shore breeze / Dec 11 2010 2:30 pm

    good luck on deterring those furry beasts, the squirrels.


    • Leslie / Dec 11 2010 6:09 pm

      Yup. They have nothing to do all day except figure out a way to get the food. I have wire-tied the suet cage shut so if they do get up there they can’t open it. It slows them down a bit.


  5. Beth F / Dec 11 2010 2:55 pm

    Wow! What a cool idea. I buy my suet and seed cakes for my birds, but it would be fun to make my own.


    • Leslie / Dec 11 2010 6:11 pm

      I buy them too, but the birds are spoiled now and don’t seem to like the store bought ones as much. They last all week instead of a few days.


  6. Suko's Notebook / Dec 11 2010 5:07 pm

    What a charming idea! Lucky birds! And lucky you, you get to watch them eat. 🙂


    • Leslie / Dec 11 2010 6:11 pm

      I probably spend way too much time watching birds and taking their pictures.


  7. Callista / Dec 12 2010 9:49 am

    Great photo shot! I don’t have a suet cage (nor would I know what one was before now) but great idea.


  8. ellie / Dec 12 2010 1:12 pm

    What a neat idea! I love watching the birds in the yard and this would bring more of them in.


  9. Esme / Dec 12 2010 4:43 pm

    What a wonderful idea for the birds in winter. The bird is just beautiful.


  10. Michelle M. / Dec 13 2010 2:07 pm

    I need to make this with my groovy girl over Christmas break. Our dogs harasses all the birds in our backyard but somehow they keep visiting the feeder. What a great picture and thank you for the recipe!


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