But… before we get to the cake, please indulge me for a moment…
In January 2009 I was at the National Mill Dog Rescue kennel, dropping off some donations. I decided to take a quick spin down the main aisle, which has kennels on both sides… and in the very first kennel on the right I saw this white and tan cocker, curled up in a ball. Her name was Sally, and she was 3 yrs old. I asked about her, and in return was asked if I would foster her. Theresa, NMDR founder, said that Sally was the most damaged dog she had ever seen rescued from a puppy mill. She described her as “not even knowing she was alive”, and I’d have to agree.
Sally came home with me on February 1st, and spent her first month or so in the corner of our family room, staring at the floor. She wouldn’t make eye contact with us, nor would she interact with our other pets. It took months before she would let us pet her, and even longer before she would play with us. Eventually she became comfortable with me, but she was still very nervous with Jason (most puppy mill workers are men, so this is pretty common with puppy mill survivors)… and we just couldn’t get her house-trained. After 10 months of cleaning up after her pottying in the house we decided to place her in the prison training program. It’s a wonderful program where they teach prison inmates to train dogs, then they rescue dogs from shelters- dogs that are considered unadoptable. These dogs live with with the prisoners in their cells, and they learn how to be well-behaved pets… then they’re adopted out to wonderful forever homes! For the same price, pet parents can can place their own critters in the program for 6 weeks.
So, for about $475, Sally went to live with a kind inmate named Shelton who taught her to potty outside, to walk on a leash and… (wait for it)… to walk upright on her back legs! The best part was she was no longer especially afraid of men. Oh, and the fact that she no longer went to the bathroom inside the house made me pretty happy. Another cool thing was that Shelton kept a detailed daily journal of all the time he spent with Sally, and what they worked on. You can tell from reading it that he came to love her, and was heartbroken when it was time for her to come home. We, on the other hand, were ecstatic! Sally is now a happy little member of our family, and I’m so grateful to NMDR for rescuing her, and to the prison program for helping her to realize her full potential!
Okay, NOW it’s cake time!
I love, love, LOVE her recipes! They’re all delicious and better yet are all altitude-adjusted for the baking-challenged like myself. For those of you at who’ve always lived at low altitudes: You have no idea how lucky you are!
Anyhoo… Last weekend I was at the market and spotted blueberries on sale, and thought to myself “Self? What could I make with those blueberries?” Pancakes? Eh. Muffins? Nah.
Did I mention I was home alone and would get to really stuff my face with whatever I chose to make? Also, I still had coconut flakes left over from when I made the last bundt, which pretty much sealed the deal.
There are some changes in my version vs. April’s, mine is a little less sweet. And, obvs, it has blueberries instead of lemons. You should probably go ahead and make both. No need to choose a winner, just be grateful that you have two cakes to eat!
Blueberry-Coconut Bundt Cake
Recipe adapted from Epicurean Vegan.
I chose to reduce the sugar and to forgo most of the powdered sugar in an effort to reduce the sweetness. I guess I don’t have much of a sweet tooth!
- Bakers Joy (or other nonstick spray)
- 1-1/3 cups granulated sugar
- 2/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1 13.5 oz can light coconut milk
- ¼ cup So Delicious coconut milk (plus 4 T)
- 2.5 t vanilla extract
- 3 cups AP flour
- 2 t baking soda
- 1 t salt
- 1 ½ cups shredded unsweetened coconut
- 1 ½ cups blueberries (fresh or thawed and rinsed)
- Powdered sugar, if desired
- Spray inside of bundt pan with Baker’s Joy, and set aside.
- In a large bowl combine the sugar, vegetable oil, both kinds of coconut milk, and vanilla. Stir really well to get rid of any lumps.
- Stir the remaining dry ingredients (leaving out the blueberries and coconut flakes), a small amount at a time, into the mixture. Once well mixed, fold in the blueberries and coconut flakes.
- Pour into pan and bake for 50-55 minutes at 350 degrees or until a wooden skewer comes out clean (well, it may be stained blue if you stab a berry! Just make sure there’s no cake goo stuck to it)
- Allow to cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes, then remove from pan onto cooling rack. Once completely cooled you can sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired.