Thursday, March 3, 2011

Bird seed cake tutorial

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. 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 is a lot of fun to do...
xoxo- Julie


meemsnyc said...

This is awesome! I can't wait to try this!!

marianne said...

This Seems wonderful!
But I bought 2 large buckets of balls with grease and seed. I hope I can feed them before the birds have eggs........
But next winter I will give this a try!

donna said...

You're making me hungry. I'll have to give this recipe a try for when it's warmer here....if it ever is warmer:( The birds have eaten three of the suet cakes that P & I made and they're working on the fourth.

Julie, where do you get the 5-gallon buckets you use for planting veggies? Are they bigger than 5 gal? How's that okra doing?


Mandy said...

How fun! Your birds are going to just love you!!

deepazartz said...

These seed cakes look very nice...
you are nature lover in the true sense:))

Evelyn said...

Someday, when I have a house in the country, I will remember this post. We have seagulls here but there are signs everywhere that says "Don't feed the birds".

Lancashire rose said...

I am so glad I found your recipe. I'm going to try it out. I think I will try putting the mix into large pine cones to hang from the trees as well as stringing them up. Many thanks.

Julie said...

Lancashire Rose- Thanks for that idea! I will definately try it in the pinecones as well!!!

Pokeberry Mary said...

That would be a great recipe for caged parrots! We don't have Bubba and Sweet pea anymore. I gave them to my son in law's grandparents and they have wives now. :) Which I'm pretty sure they prefer to our place. Maybe I'll make them some of those for a treat.

Candy "Sweetstuff" said...

Great post and those seed cakes look great. I bet the birds will love them!

Caca said...

I will give this a try. thanks

yoon see said...

Yeah, it's great!
These seed cakes look so yummy, can I eat too...Ha..Ha..

Anonymous said...

Great recipe. Birds like it. Today I'm trying to add a cup of shelled peanuts to the mix and one cup less bird seed so the woodpeckers like it even more.

Judi said...

Hi Julie *hugs*
This is soooo great..I am defintely going to make some for the winter time. Yes I think its better to use the real sugar as well.
Hope all is well..