Here are the items I needed to make the cakes... Wax paper, food storage container in the size you want cakes to be, flour, measuring cups, spoon for mixing and pressing, corn syrup, wild bird seed, and unflavored gelatin.
First I used a glass measuring cup and put in 1/2 cup water...put it in the microwave for 1.5 minutes to bring to a boil. Added the package of plain, unflavored gelatin. Mix.
Added 3 Tablespoons of corn syrup. Mix.
Added 3/4 cup flour. Mix.
Here is what it looked like...sort of like white glue (it smelled like it too)!!!
I put 4 cups of birdseed in a big bowl,
and added the "glue" mixture and stirred it with a big spoon.
I used the spoon to put the seed mixture into a 4 inch square plastic food storage container, and pressed the mixture in with the back of the big spoon. The seeds will not stick to the spoon, but they WILL stick to your fingers, so avoid touching the mixture with your hands. You really can do the whole thing without using your fingers/hands, which was wonderful.
After pressing into the container, I immediately turned the container upside down on top of wax paper, and the cake popped out perfectly!
This recipe made 4 seed cakes just the right size for a suet feeder! Of course, you can shape them into ornaments to hang in the trees (use a straw to punch out a hole to hang the ornament through), or make 2 larger blocks for bigger feeders.
I let them lay where I placed them (without moving the wax paper) for at least 1 hour, to allow the cakes to get hard enough. After 2 hours, you can lift them off the paper and turn them over to dry the underneath. You can see the first one I made (on the far left) is thicker than the others, and I think it may be too thick to fit in the suet feeder, so I thinned up the others. I will use the thicker one in my large feeder.
The recipe says to let them dry on the wax paper for 2 days before using in your feeder. The batch I made up yesterday is really nice and dry and firm...although
I have decided to throw away the those first cakes that had artificial sweetner in them, since there is no way to be sure of the effect on the birds. Better safe than sorry. I appreciate everyones input into what to do about that situation. Thanks!!!
I am planning to send 2 of these new cakes to my cousin for her suet feeder. Yeah...no more melting suet cakes in the warmer weather!!! I sure hope the birds like them now!!!
I hope any bird lovers can give this a try...it is a lot of fun to do...