Tag Archives: birds

Feeding the birds/ Cornbread Birdseed Cake

    Feeding the Birds is a hobby of mine and one many other’s enjoy too.

   Baking cornbread birdseed cakes is something new.

In a previous post, the birdseed cake was made using flour. My interest also is in making feeding the birds easier.  So while I was at a Dollar General store a couple of days back  a couple of boxes of Jiffy brand cornbread mix were purchased.  I figured that it was worth making a seed cake from them and see if the birds liked it.

Many of the birds that come to the feeders I have set up outside my studio window don’t appear to be interested in the ground corn.  Since peanut butter is used in the birdseed cake recipe the birds might eat the ground corn as well. ( this works with the flour seed cakes).

My hope too was that the cornbread mix would prepare easily shortening the prep time and provide a softer

cake for the birds.

 

Tuffed Titmouse

The birds do well with the birdseed cakes made from flour but the cakes often are quite hard which makes it difficult for many of smaller birds to access what they need.

I am still working on the birdseed cake recipe to find just the right mixture so that the finished cake is firm yet easily consumable by the birds. Nothing is lost with the firm seed cakes I simply break them up a bit when it is seen that the birds are having difficulty.

 

The Jiffy mix turned out just as it should even with the addition of a cup of the birdseed mix in the first cake. And in the second seed cake,

a half cup of peanut butter was added along with the birdseed.

   The squirrels insist on getting some too.

I use a planter box tray just outside my window as the main feeder so the full -size seed cake is simply placed on the tray.

The seed cake is broken in half when the suet cake feeder is filled.

You can check out the bird seed cake using flour at http://www.philjrsartscraftsmore.com/baking-is-for-the-birdsno-really-for-birds/.

To make the birdseed cake using the Jiffy cornbread mix follow the directions for the regular recipe (you can substitute water for the milk) then add 1/2 to 1 cup birdseed mix of your choosing, along with 1/2 cup peanut butter.

If necessary you can add just a bit more water if your mixture appears too dry. Bake until the cake is firm. Use an 8”by 4” loaf pan.

Baking for the Birds/no really for birds

baking for the birds
One of many Chickadees that stop by daily

  I have baked a lot of food for people. For their parties and meals in the restaurant. But two or three months back I began baking for the birds; what one man calls bird pies.

 

Nuthatch/a frequent visitor
Nuthatch/a frequent visitor

The person I am referring to owns a bakery in Canada. There is an article in the FarmShow paper about what this man did in his business to use the leftover bread dough he had.

He took the bread dough and added birdseed to it and baked the bread for three hours in the oven.   I do not have the article near me but his seed cakes were in the shape of small pie If I remember correctly. The bakery drivers then delivered the bird pies to stores where the company has other baked goods. And soon the pies were a hit with the customers. Well, the customer’s birds anyway.

 

Tuffed Titmouse
Tuffed Titmouse

I attempted to contact the bakery owner through contact information that was provided but was unable to receive a response. Likely from the owner being extra busy baking for the birds. As many a business person knows, you just never know what is going to popular every time.

 

  But I know how to bake and have fed birds for many years. My idea was to add peanut butter to the dough and seeds and find out if the song birds would consume the dough as well as the seeds. Sparrows and Starlings and a couple other birds will eat some bread especially when they get really hungry. Yet birds like Chickadees and Nuthatches and Cardinals rarely eat bread.

 

An earlier batch of cakes
An earlier batch of cakes

For my first bird (seed) cakes, I used flour, peanut butter, seeds, and water. Just enough water was added to have the dough the consistency of bread dough.  After baking the first batch or two it was time to find out if a more moist mix that also included some baking powder would yield a softer cake.

By adding the baking powder and adding enough water to bring the mix to the consistency of a thick cake batter the finished cake was much better in my opinion.  The birds worked on all the finished bread; just a bit more strenuously on some of them.

 

The ingredients baking for the birs step one
The ingredients

What I would like to do is share with you a simple recipe that you can make for yourself ( if you feed the birds that is).

  •     You will need: 2 cups all-purpose flour
  •      One half cup peanut butter
  •      One cup birdseed of your own choosing
  •       one teaspoon baking powder
  •       1 1/2 cups water
  •      Also  two small bread pans
  • 8”by3 7/8” by 2 1/2”
  • shortening or veg oil

In a 2 quart bowl add the flour and baking powder and seeds mix together.

Add the peanut butter and some of the water ( a cup ) to the flour, begin mixing it all together. add the rest of the water and stir.

 

The mix
The mix

It may take a little more water to get it to the consistency you want. Should you add too much water simply add a little more flour. Start your oven warming to 330 degrees F. for a convection oven. 350 degrees for a standard oven.

Let your mixture set a few minutes. Just as in regular baking this extra time lets the dough relax (soften a little).

Now measure out 2 cups and pour this into one of the greased pans. It will take using a spatula or butter knife to get the dough out of the cup.  There should be about 2 cups of dough left place that in the second greased pan.

Place both pans in the oven and set a timer for 60 minutes.

 

Finished loaves cooling
Finished loaves cooling

Once the timer has rung turn the oven off but leave the pans inside the oven a little longer.  This helps reduce the moisture content a bit more. Then after you have removed the pans take the finished bread out of the pans to cool and you are good to go.

It is not just the birds who come to visit
It is not just the birds who come to visit

My feeding area is not fancy. It is also under a raised porch so I can have a tray right outside my studio window w/o snow or rain getting in the tray.

I am going to be baking these and other bird pies and have them available for purchase very soon.                                                                             Look me up at. http://www.bonanza.com/booths/PCJR57

Thank you for stopping by.