February 1, 2014

DIY Birdseed Cakes aka Let Them Eat Cake

DIY Birdseed Cakes For Our Feathered Friends

Remember the heart shaped jello mold I got at the thrift store?

DIY Birdseed Cakes For Our Feathered Friends

Well, I didn't make jello with it, because that would just be too obvious. And who wants to hear about making jello anyhow? Snoozefest!


I made a birdseed cake with it!!!

That uses gelatin. So, come to think of it, I sort of made jello for you after all.

Come along as I take you through the journey of how to make something you can probably buy in the store for $1. It's so much more fun to make it yourself though!

DIY Birdseed Cakes
Supplies:
  • 3 cups wild bird food
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 3 tablespoons Karo syrup
  • 1 packet unflavored gelatin (Knox or a generic version)
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • non-stick cooking spray - I prefer Pam, for obvious reasons :)
  • a mold of some sort - jello mold, bundt pan, etc
  • string, twine or yarn
  • a straw if your mold doesn't have a hole for easy hanging

DIY Birdseed Cakes For Our Feathered Friends

Directions:

Spray your mold with cooking spray

Mix the gelatin packet into the boiled water until it is dissolved.

Add flour and syrup until it is mixed well. It's going to look like a thick cake batter.

DIY Birdseed Cakes For Our Feathered Friends

Add birdseed into the mixture and mix well.

Spoon 1/2 the mixture into your mold.

Push straw through the seed mixture to the bottom of the mold.

Add a bit of string (this is going to act like a piece of rebar in cement and add extra stability).

DIY Birdseed Cakes For Our Feathered Friends

Spoon remaining seed mixture into the mold and compress it down as much as humanly possible.

DIY Birdseed Cakes For Our Feathered Friends

Put mold into the fridge or freezer overnight to harden up and allow the gelatin to set.

Remove from the mold. If your seed cake doesn't slide out of the mold easily when you turn it upside down, sit the bottom of the mold in a shallow pan of warm water for a few minutes and the cake should pop out.

Gently remove straw and thread a piece of string through the hole for hanging.

DIY Birdseed Cakes For Our Feathered Friends

Tips and Tidbits:

This recipe is for a medium sized jello mold. If you were going to do a large bundt pan, you may want to double it.

Do not dilly dally when making this. Once the mixture starts to cool, you don't have a lot of time to work with it in the molds before it starts setting up.

I figure the birds can steal the "rebar" string to make their nests with when they're done eating through the cake.

I added an extra step of putting a twig in the hole as a little perch for the birdies.

DIY Birdseed Cakes For Our Feathered Friends

I did not put that in the official directions, because so far none of the birds are using the darn twig. They'd prefer to just stand precariously on the top and eat the seed.

So much for my plan of a quaint photo of a cardinal sitting on the twig, eating the birdseed cake and smiling at the camera.

This Explains So Much:

About Karo syrup - My mom used to use this syrup for pancakes and waffles and such. The first time I ever had maple syrup was in college and I about gagged. It's funny that Karo syrup is what I thought syrup was supposed to taste like.

Needless to say, my Mom was not the best cook :) I won't get into what she used for spaghetti sauce.

Now get out of here and feed the little birdies! They need to gain their winter five ten pounds like the rest of us.



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34 comments:

  1. Oh, no! I wonder what my daughters say about my cooking? hehe
    If you stand there long enough, I'm sure you'll get a wink and a smile from a hungry little bird! After all, you cooked dinner for them. Or is it breakfast since it's got Karo syrup in it?

    Nice photos, Pam!

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  2. Oh, the birdies are getting special treatment...I love it! We feed the birds like crazy here and right now we have flocks of goldfinches coming by every day. We at Karo syrup, too or molasses. My Mom wasn't a cook and we thought tv dinners were a treat! haha! Enjoy your weekend! Hugs!

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  3. These are so cute! I'm going to come back for the recipe as I've never used this one. I have everything for the peanut butter and lard ones (doesn't sound yummy but the birds are suppose to flock to it, we'll see). Like the twig idea, but don't know about it because of the deer, they manage to get to all my regular feeders. I can just see them now chewing on the stick or worse yet poking there face with it while they eat! I refuse to stand on a ladder to hang feeders...

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    1. helpful hint: to keep deer away from feeders, hang a cheap bar of face soap from the feeder.
      $store face soap is fine to use, take a small sharp knife, slowly drill a hole into the middle of
      the bar, thread some heavy string or twine thru the hole, make it about 10" to 12" long..tie the twine or heavy string in a knot, hand next to feeder or from the end of the feeder. Also works to place the soap bar in shrubs if the deer find them tasty also! I've tried just about every idea to keep deer away from the feeders, scrubs, and garden..wherever I lived, and this method works the best. Won't hurt to give it a try. Leave out all year long. Nancy W.

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  4. Did your Mom use plain old tomato sauce? My husband's Mother used to make mac and cheese a lot (the boxed stuff) but she didn't.....wait for it..........DRAIN IT. She just put the powdered cheese into the water, stirred it up and served it 'soup style'. BLARG. The first time I made it, he was astonished. "It's SO good", he said. I have a bunch of mold around here - think I might have to do some bird cooking.

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    1. She used tomato PASTE. Just opened a can of tomato paste and stirred it into the cooked noodles. Wow, that mac and cheese makes my stomach turn. Blah!

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  5. I put out a glass of bird seed a day as well as I have a regular seed block. They prefer the loose stuff to the stuff on the block but they are picking at it. Your idea was intriguing. Thanks for sharing.

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  6. So cute, hope lots of birds come to visit!

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  7. LOve the heart birdseed cake. How original and sweet. GREAT idea.

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  8. My grandfather had a big appetite and my grandmother would serve spaghetti with ketchup, being from New England. Their son, my Dad, married an Italian girl and Pop loved going to Nuni's house for spaghetti and meatballs. I was wondering what you were going to make with that Jell-o mold. Hope those little birds cooperate so you can get some pictures. Birds are so beautiful.

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    Replies
    1. OK, ketchup beats tomato PASTE in grossness :)

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  9. I love this Pam...and whether the birds use it or not, the twig is the perfect touch!!
    Thanks for sharing it.

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  10. I feed the birds so this is a great idea - thanks for the directions and recipe.
    Mary

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  11. I'm laughing about the Karo syrup, we only ever used that as a recipe ingredient. But I was in my teens before I actually had real Maple syrup as we grew up on Mrs. Butterworths! Now my kids have only ever had the real thing. I'm also smiling at suzieQ's comment. My dad (a real New England Yankee) wound put ketchup on his spaghetti that my VERY Sicilian mother had just prepared and she would just say "Eech! how do you eat that!?!" :)

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    Replies
    1. I tasted it when I was making the birdseed cakes and it's very very sweet. And thick!!! I can't even imagine using that on pancakes now. I had never heard of the ketchup thing before. That's hilarious!

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  12. I actually remember putting Karo syrup on my pancakes growing up. It was always an option on our table (along with maple syrup and a bowl of brown sugar). I hadn't thought about that syrup in ages. I'm sure your birds appreciate their special Valentine gift.

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  13. This is such a fun project...pinning! Seems like something kids would enjoy doing, too! I am loving reading all these funny food stories. I'm racking my brain thinking about whether we eat anything weird...we probably just don't know it's weird lol.

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  14. This is a fantastic idea! Now I just need to find a suitable mold. Love that you put the twiggy in there. So thoughtful of you!
    Andrea

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  15. I sure don't want my birds to find out how well you treat your birds. I have spread peanut butter on little wooden hearts and rolled them in seeds for my birds. Even though they are wild birds, they are ours, right? Ha! Mostly, I just toss seeds everywhere and fill the feeders. I will be copying your recipe and trying it out. I buy those suet thingys for $1.99 but this looks like fun. I want to see the other side...did it take on the mold design?
    My husband makes syrup...sugar, water and maple flavoring brought to a boil. That's the way his mother stretched their budget. I'm so glad we can afford real syrup now.

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    1. @Vicki, the side that's showing IS the side that was against the mold design part. lol. If you're really up close and look at it from an angle you can see the design on it, but it's not enough that you can see it well in the photos.

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  16. Love it!
    Karo is THE only thing
    Iput on my pancakes!

    M : )

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  17. I totally love this!! I gave my Mom something similar to this for christmas and it was NOT cheap. Thanks for the tutorial. Going to make and pinned. xo

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  18. Oh, that looks like so much fun! I would love to feed our sweet little birds, but the hateful magpies are always so obnoxious and greedy. This might be worth a try though.....
    xoxo
    Teresa

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  19. I love this ! What a great idea!! I love hearts too.
    Hey in school did you get called " Pam in the cooking oil section!" I did everyday by Philip lococo
    used to drive me nuts haha!

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  20. Wow, this is so cute!! I am visiting you via Wow Us Wednesdays and look forward to seeing you at My Dream Canvas.

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  21. This is adorable! I'd have to get over my bird phobia to make it happen. ;)

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  22. This is so cute! My elderly parents like to birdwatch from their apartment but they can't have birdfeeders there. I could make some of these to hang in the bushes outside of their windows to attract more birds there for their entertainment...I don't think anyone would notice them but the birds. Thanks for sharing that tutorial! I saw this at French Country Cottage blog party.

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  23. LOVE this idea! The heart shape is so cute.Thanks for the tutorial. Lucky birds.

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  24. I'd love to make this. I 'm just wondering how long it will take this to melt in the hot sun?? Or maybe it won't.

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    1. I've not had one of these out in the heat of summer yet - it's still in the 30's here :( But I would think they would hold up in all but the hottest part of the summer.

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  25. Oh Pam my kids are so going to love making this project with me! Nice tutorial recipe that will hold up much better than peanut butter on pinecones! Karo on pancakes? I can't imagine, glad my mom was a great cook, we grew up on maple syrup - and now thats all I can use, well, kind of a curse actually because now my kids cant keep their hands off mine- that stuffs not cheap, and they pour it like its water! LOL

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  26. What a great idea! My birds are eating me out of house and home {grin}! If I make some of these, maybe it will slow them down because it will be harder for them to eat, but they'll still get some treats! Pinning to Pinterest!

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  27. This is an awesome idea :} I started making them & couldn't stop. Couple tricks I found was to keep your hand wet & it won't stick to your hands while putting it in the molds & you can work with it much longer. . I used a couple aluminum muffin tins & a old tart pan. There in the freezer now & I'm excited. Here at the Jersey Shore we have a black bird called a Grackle (very destructive to suet) made them there own with sunflower seeds & larger kernel type bird food. Also took care of the squirrels (maybe they'll stop terrorizing my bird feeders) & used corn & old stale cookies & cereal I was gonna throw out.
    My parents also enjoy watching & feeding there birds in NY State all year long, What a huge variety they have, especially finches. They buy suet by the 10 pack box. I'm sure they are gonna love getting these. Anyone who enjoys feeding the birds will love this. SOOO EASY. Let ur imagination run wild. NEXT PENNY GAZING BALL. Thank you again for a awesome idea


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