blueberry coconut pound cakes.
lately, all i’ve been craving is blueberries.
blueberry pie, blueberry muffins, blueberry smoothies, blueberry scones…just give me anything with a blueberry in it, and i’m a happy girl.
funny thing is, i used to hate those cute little azure berries. hated them with a fiery, burning passion.
growing up, i’d only sampled fresh blueberries, and didn’t care much for the texture. i was truly a texture-phobic child. i’d refuse anything i deemed to have a ‘weird’ texture, including broccoli, eggs, and yogurt. thankfully, i grew out of that!
i hate to admit it, but the first time i recall enjoying blueberries, they were overly sweet, syrupy, and straight out of a can. the berries were smooth and burst easily between my teeth. the creepy skin on the exterior that i loathed as a kid was nowhere to be found. i was in love.
not long after that first positive blueberry experience, i started cooking and baking more and more. i realized that i could do a lot better than pretty much anything contained in a can. to date, i’ve made more sauces, syrups, glazes, jams, jellies, and fillings using fresh fruit than i can recall. i like that.
oh, i’ve also made more than my fair share of flavored vodkas and spirits derived from fresh fruits. but that’s for another post.
long story short, i like blueberries. i like them fresh, i like them cooked. i particularly love them dried.
a dried blueberry is a tiny shriveled gem of concentrated sweetness. their tartness is amplified to the nth degree.
in my very humble opinion, i think dried blueberries are absolutely perfect in these blueberry coconut pound cakes.
‘pound cake’ may be a slight misnomer for these little beauties. the crumb is nearly identical to traditional pound cake, but in no way does the recipe resemble the normal ratio for it. there’s a minimal amount of butter (in terms of cake-making!), and there are no chemical leaveners whatsoever. this cake relies on eggs for lift, which is to say the desired amount of rising here is minimal. all of these factors work harmoniously to produce a dense, perfectly sweet cake laced with hints of coconut and blueberries.
using unsweetened flaked coconut, which can be found in the bulk-bin section of most natural foods or organic grocery stores lends a wonderful coconut flavor to this cake, without making the batter overly-sweet. i feel that traditional sweetened coconut, which can be found at most large grocery stores would overpower the subtlety of this cake. the addition of coconut milk rounds out the tropical notes, while adding body and depth.
i honestly can’t think of a more perfect springtime dessert.
blueberry coconut pound cake
Yield: see description below
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
i used a mini bundt pan, which yielded six cakes. feel free to make a standard-sized loaf cake with this recipe, or 12 standard-sized small cakes baked in muffin tins.
for the pound cake
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
zest of 1 lemon
2 large eggs
5 tablespoons coconut milk (use regular milk if you don't have coconut milk on-hand)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 heaping cup dried blueberries (feel free to substitute fresh or frozen)
1/2 cup unsweetened flaked coconut, plus more for topping
for the glaze
2 tablespoons coconut milk
1 cup confectioners sugar
for the pound cake
preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
using the paddle attachment on your electric mixer, beat butter until fluffy, about 2 minutes.
if you don't have a stand mixer, you can do this by hand using a silicone spatula, but it will take a few minutes longer.
add the sugar and zest, and beat 1-2 minutes more.
add eggs, one a time, until fully incorporated.
add coconut milk, flour, and salt, and beat just until incorporated.
using a silicone spatula, fold in blueberries and flaked coconut.
pour batter into tins, filling halfway up the sides. tap the baking tin on the counter once to release any air bubbles.
if baking in muffin tins, bake 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
if baking in a loaf pan, bake 28-32 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
remove from oven and cool completely on a baking rack.
for the toasted coconut topping
preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
spread a layer of flaked coconut onto a baking sheet and bake for 2-3 minutes, or until the coconut is slightly toasted and golden brown.
remove from oven and cool completely.
for the glaze
mix coconut milk and confectioners sugar together to form a thick glaze. reserve in a bowl until ready to use.
assembling the cakes
once the cakes are cooled, drizzle liberally with the glaze, and sprinkle the tops with toasted coconut.
the cakes will keep up to three days at room temperature stored in an airtight container.