Pemmican Cake Recipe

Pemmican is a nutritious, high calorie food that can be prepared in quantities and stored. The French and English explorers, trappers, and traders, bought large quantities of pemmican from the Aboriginals, and even learned to make pemmican. Pemmican would be sealed inside an animal skin or stomach cavity to preserve it. Europeans carried these pemmican stores on long furtrading expeditions.


  • 1 package beef jerky
  • 1 cup dried berries, such as dried blueberries, cranberries, or cherries
  • 1 cup chopped nuts or sunflower seeds
  • ¼ cup beef suet or vegetable shortening
  • Honey to taste (1 to 3 teaspoons)
  • 12-cup muffin tin


  1. Line muffin cups with paper liners (or grease cups well).
  2. Grind or chop beef jerky into confettisize pieces to make about 1 cup. Melt suet or shortening in a saucepan.
  3. Remove from heat, stir in beef jerky, dried berries, and seeds. Stir in honey.
  4. Spoon about ¼ cup of the pemmican mixture into each muffin cup. Press down firmly to make a cake, smoothing the top.
  5. Refrigerate until well set.

Serves 12.

Learn More about Native Canadian foods:

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