A Southern Grace: two birds, one stone

March 13, 2015

two birds, one stone


Now that we have a back yard (and a front yard!)(we have yards!!), we've unintentionally become amateur bird watchers.

We got a bird feeder, and I'm proud to announce that we wasted no time in successfully fattening up everything from chickadees to thrashers to robins to cardinals. At the pace they were eating in February, we would've had to buy 10 pounds of seed a week to keep up with demand! So greedy, those birds. But so, so pretty.

Here's where I segue into the recipe I'm featuring. (You're on to me if you realize I just wanted to show you some critter pictures...) I killed* two birds with one stone with this dessert by a)making use of coconut oil, which I'm really trying to incorporate into more recipes, and b)satisfying my random, inexplicable, powerful craving for pound cake.

I'm not exaggerating or boasting when I tell you that certain bites of this cake were some of the finest that ever passed between my lips. That's an odd sentence, so let me explain. I don't know if it was my oven (which is notoriously spastic)(through no fault of my own, of course) or the altering of the recipe, but the exterior of this cake was brown-bordering-on-burnt. Not good. The inside, though, and the top (which is my absolute favorite part!) were fine, nay, fabulous. Soft and fluffy and pillowy are three adjectives which might describe the middle of the cake, as well as ideally dense and flavorful. There was only the slightest hint of coconut, which, as a coconut lover, I enjoyed.

I'm delighted with the addition of coconut oil to this classic recipe, though my ancestors may cringe at the thought of using anything except (personally-churned) butter (using milk from the cow in the barn) in a pound cake. Times have changed, and (mostly) for the better! (I wouldn't mind a pet dairy cow, but I guess fat wild birds, squirrels, chipmunks, and bunnies will suffice for now.)

Where do you like to use coconut oil?

Slightly-Better-For-You Pound Cake
Based on Paula Deen's recipe
Makes 2 9x5-inch loaves
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, softened
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 5 eggs
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two 9x5-inch loaf pans or one tube pan.
With a mixer, cream butter and coconut oil together for a minute or two, until fluffy.
Gradually add the sugar, and beat for a while, 5 minutes or so. You want an extremely light and creamy blend.
Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each addition.
Stir dry ingredients together in a bowl and add to mixer alternately with milk, starting with the flour and ending with the flour.
Mix in vanilla.
Pour into prepared pan(s) and bake for 50-60 minutes for loaves or 70-90 minutes for a tube pan, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.

*Disclaimer: No birds were harmed in the making of this post...but plenty were overfed.
♥Credit for the critter photos goes to my boo.


Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Cute critters and delicious looking proud cake.



Angie Schneider said...

I love to bake with coconut oil too. Your pound cake has a very fine and smooth crumb.

Pam said...

We have a lot of birds in our yard too. I am using coconut oil in most all of my baked goods now. I love it. The pound cake looks fluffy and moist. Nicely done Grace.

Marjie said...

I have the impression that coconut oil is high in cholesterol? I'll have to look that up, because I love a good pound cake. I'm happy to see that you're overfeeding birdies and bunnies. Just as long as the deer don't show up, because they will eat everything in your pretty new yards! Really, they are just very tall, very destructive rodents.

Patricia Bacon said...

Have never made my own pound cake ( only hot milk cake). This will be my first attempt.

Flavors by Four said...

Suddenly I feel like making a pound cake too. It looks delicious.

Betty said...

I love the dark crust on a pound cake- it's my favorite part! Must try this with the coconut oil- I've been using it for cooking but have not yet used it for baking. You've got yourself some cute critters there!:)

Alicia Foodycat said...

Beautiful cake! Our bird feeder ends up feeding more squirrels than birds, but we still like them.

Barbara said...

Coconut oil is great! I use it mostly on some healthy breakfast cookies. Will love trying it out on your pound cake recipe. Looks marvelous, Grace.
I know how you feel about yards....always had one when the kids were little, then moved to a condo and now am back in a house with a yard and I LOVE watching all the wild life!

Joanne said...

Ooo love this healthier version of pound cake! Not gonna lie...I made a real life pound cake recently and it totally freaked me out to add THAT MUCH BUTTER. Coconut oil seems much more reasonable.

Big Rigs 'n Lil' Cookies said...

I can finally say that I saw my first Robin!! Thank you for that :)
Your pound cake looks wonderful. Maybe now I can make it and feel a tad less guilty about it!

Beth said...

I'd love to try your pound cake. And I haven't used coconut oil in anything, but I'd be game to try!

~~louise~~ said...

No critters in my neck of the woods yet, Grace. Although, I am patiently waiting. I think the bunny has been around because all of the carrot shavings are gone but, we haven't seen him yet.

I'm on board for a good delectable pound cake. However, I'm still not sure about using coconut oil. "In my day," coconut oil was a big no no for a healthier diet. I know the craze has begun again and why not, a hint of coconut is always a good thing. I really need to spend some time learning about fats and such. for the time being though, Pound Cake seems to be off limits with coconut or butter!

I'll just dream about you devouring yours:) Thanks for sharing, Grace...Enjoy every moment in those yards!!!

Sue/the view from great island said...

I don't use coconut oil enough, even though I know it's super good for me, and I have a huge jar of it in the cupboard, this is just the inspiration I need to crack it open!

Choc Chip Uru @ Go Bake Yourself said...

This pound cake looks so moist and dense, need a taste :D

Choc Chip Uru

Katerina said...

Birds are so cute to watch and your cake looks so soft and tasty!

The Sea Salt said...

I would definitely try this! You know I love coconut oil!

Shobha Kamath said...

Gr8 looking cake! We use a lot of coconut oil but I have never used it in cakes before. Loved the cute looking birds.