It’s my birthday and I’ll bake if I want to – a lightened up Harvey Wallbanger cake!

Hello, hello!

I hope everyone is enjoying the weekend! I sure am – today’s my birthday!

Yep, I’m 29…. again. 🙂


So, I woke up to this.


And then, when I took the doggies out, I was gifted with this!


I just knew it was going to be a great day. 🙂

In case you forgot, today was supposed to be the day I went for a Boston qualifying time in the Tupelo marathon. Well, because of my injury, obviously THAT didn’t happen but I did get out for a run this morning.


See what I did there? My tiny tribute to the marathon I couldn’t be a part of. It felt great this morning and I’m looking forward to starting my training program for Mississippi Blues in January. Whoop!

So, I decided that I wanted a Harvey Wallbanger cake for my birthday. I haven’t had one of those in ages! My mom used to make them.

What’s a Harvey Wallbanger? Well, it’s a cocktail made with orange juice, vodka, and Galliano liqueur. Yum! And those ingredients go both in the cake and the glaze!

Yes, my mother contributed to the delinquency of a minor and fed me drunk cake. It’s fine. Apparently, I wasn’t a fan then. Psshtt, what did I know? This cake is delicious!


Anywho, I wasn’t truly the baker of this cake.

I was more like the supervisor.


I’ve been teaching Ginny to cook and she’s been teaching me to supervise. 🙂

My sailor made this cake!


I taught him some baking secrets and he did all the work.  He did a great job!

We changed up the ingredients a little from the original recipe because, well, that’s what I do and I wanted to see if I could lighten it up a little. And, it’s my birthday. I get what I want.

So, we substituted some Greek yogurt for the butter, applesauce for the oil, and used 1 egg white in place of a regular egg (the recipe calls for 4).

And the results are AMAZING!

So moist, so flavorful and absolutely fantastic.

I made a good choice.

In both the cake and the man who baked it for me. 🙂


Harvey Wallbanger Cake

1 3/4 cups sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, and 6 tablespoons plain nonfat Greek yogurt
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup plain applesauce
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 large eggs (or 3 eggs and 1 egg white)
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons cornstarch
4 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup Galliano*
1/4 cup vodka
1 tablespoon orange zest
1 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 tablespoon orange juice
1 tablespoon Galliano
1 teaspoon vodka

*look for miniature bottles of Galliano at your liquor store. Otherwise, you’re going to end up spending $30 on a HUGE bottle and then you need to figure out what, besides a Harvey Wallbanger, you can make to drink with it. Or you can buy the whole bottle and have fun figuring out what, besides a Harvey Wallbanger, you can make to drink with it. 🙂

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a 9-cup Bundt® pan.

2. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the sugar, butter and salt until fluffy. Beat in the oil, then the vanilla and eggs, one at a time, beating until each egg completely disappears before adding the next one.

3. In a measuring cup, stir together the orange juice, Galliano, vodka, and orange zest. If everything’s cold, warm it for 30 seconds in the microwave.

4. Whisk the flour, cornstarch, and baking powder in a separate bowl.

5. Add 1/3 of the dry ingredient mixture to the mixing bowl, mixing until it disappears. Scrape the mixing bowl.

6. Add the fresh orange zest with half the liquid. After it’s combined, add another third of the dry, the rest of the wet, mix, scrape, add the last of the dry ingredients and beat until the batter is smooth with one last scrape down for good measure. Now transfer the batter to the prepared pan, and smooth out the top.

7. Bake the cake for 40 to 45 minutes (don’t let it go too long, or it will get dry). The top will bounce back when you touch it lightly with your finger, and a tester or toothpick inserted into the center will come out clean. Remove the cake from the oven and cool it in its pan for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, use a dull knife or pointed icing spatula to loosen the cake from the edge of the pan.

8. For the glaze, whisk the orange juice, vodka, and Galliano together until smooth. The glaze will seem a little thick, but that’s how it should be. Drizzle it over the cake while it’s still lukewarm. The heat from the cake will help the glaze travel over the cake and make a nice, smooth finish.

9. Om nom nom!



1. What’s your favorite birthday dessert?  Are you a traditional cake person or do you like to mix it up and do something different?

2. Have you ever had a Harvey Wallbanger cake? Have you ever baked with liquor?

– jennifer

Fudgey Chocolate Layer Cake

Today is my grandmother’s 93rd birthday.  Seriously. She’s 93. And, she’s one of the most beautiful women in the world. And, she loves chocolate.  Well, who doesn’t?! Oh wait, my uncle, her son doesn’t. Yeah, he’s an odd duck. But, he has great taste in wine and can cook up a storm so we let it go about the chocolate.  Anyway, he’s not here and I’m in charge of the food and if grandma wants chocolate cake, thens grandma gets chocolate cake. 🙂 Grandma also wants Brussels sprouts, which are NOT my favorite, but hey, she’s cute, it’s her birthday, and I love her so I’m making them as part of dinner. Of course, since it’s her birthday, I’ll be willing to let her have my share….cuz I’m generous like that. 🙂 But, I digress….

I found the perfect cake to make her in an old issue (2005) of Food and Wine magazine. Fudgey Chocolate Layer Cake – a delicious cake with lots of buttermilk and coffee mixed into the batter creating a moist, rich, decadent, and fudgey dessert. Perfect for the chocolate lover in all of us! (I had you at “fudgey,” didn’t I? 🙂


Fudgey Chocolate Layer Cake
Makes one 8-inch three-layer cake

1 1/2 cup sugar
1 1/4 cup flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
3 large eggs
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 cup hot coffee
1 1/4 pounds bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon water

1. MAKE THE CAKE: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line the bottoms of three eight-inch round cake pans with rounds of parchment paper. Spray the pans and parchment paper with vegetable cooking spray.

2. In a large bowl, whisk the sugar with the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a small bowl, whisk the buttermilk with the eggs and vanilla. In another small bowl, melt the butter in the hot coffee. Using an electric mixer, beat half of the Bbuttermilk mixture into the dry ingredients at low speed. Beat in half of the coffee mixture, then scrape down the bowl. Beat in the remaining buttermilk and coffee mixtures.

3. Poor the batter evenly between the prepared pans and bake for 25 to thirty minutes, rotating the pans halfway through baking, until the cakes are springy to the touch. Let the cakes cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then turn the cakes out onto a rack to cool completely. peel off the parchment paper.

4. MEANWHILE, MAKE THE FILLING AND FROSTING: put the chocolate in a large bowl. In a small saucepan, bring the cream and corn syrup to a boil. Immediately pour over the chocolate and let stand in a warm place for 5 minutes.. Gently whisk the ganache until smooth. whisk in the butter until incorporated. Refrigerate, stirring frequently, until the ganache is thick enough to spread, about 30 minutes.

5. In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the sugar with the water and heat for 30 seconds. Stir to dissolve the sugar. Set a cake layer on a cake plate and brush lightly with the sugar syrup. Spread about 3/4-cup of the frosting on to the cake in an even 1/4-inch layer. Repeat with the remaining cake layers, sugar syrup and frosting. Spread the remaining frosting around the sides of the cake. Let the cake stand at room temperature for at least 1 hour before slicing.

MAKE AHEAD: The cake will stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Bring to room temperature before slicing.