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Friday, April 27, 2012

Harvey Wallbanger Cake for Picnic Day

I made this cake for a small gathering on Unitrans alumni friends in Davis last weekend.  It was the 98th Picnic Day celebration and the 1st Picnic Day at the Park for me and my Unitrans buddies.  Our fellow alumni, Mike, has gathered at Davis Central Park for years and I was lucky enough to stumble on his mini-party last year for the first time.   As you might remember I helped organize a reunion of my Unitrans buds last October...The pictures pretty much told the story.  No bus driving this time, but we had a blast, replete with a great BBQ at Mike's beautiful home (off the golf course) in Woodland. 

My friend, Lisa, gave me this recipe.  It started with a phone call...I rarely answer my phone (as most of my friends know...).  When I heard Lisa's voice, it sounded kinda concerned.  She had planned to make her father's favorite bday cake, Harvey Wallbanger, and couldn't find a key ingredient: orange cake mix.  The cake is based on the cocktail which dates back to the 1950s.  Once I heard the NAME of this cake, I was IN! 

So, onto the internet search to figure out what this cake was all about...I found a few recipes with pictures.  Intriguing.  Fun.  Different.  Galliano?  I needed a REASON to buy some...Really.  It's the truth.  I have a fondness for this Italian vanilla-anise liqueur after many a Unitrans trip up to Poor Reds for amazing Golden Cadillacs and the best tasting ribs on EARTH.  Mind you, after a few too many cocktails at a very young age, most ANY food is going to be the BEST you've ever tasted.  ;-) 

A few weeks later, Lisa had successfully made the cake with a yellow mix and she saved me a piece...Moist and such a different, yet amazingly complex flavor.  I knew I had Picnic Day plans with my Unitrans buds (Lisa's husband, Ivan, and I drove buses see the connections here) and THIS WAS THE CAKE! 

Unitrans alumni meets Poor Reds memories meets Picnic Day at the Park!

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Buy some Galliano.  I chose to buy the small bottle (mistake) cuz I really wanted the cool Harvey Wallbanger glass that came with it.  Needless-to-say, the Galliano is almost gone.  And, yes, it's on the shopping list...Italian, too.  Just sayin'...
Assemble you cake ingredients...This is a classic Dump Cake.
Grease and lightly flour a Bundt pan.   I have a fancy Bundt pan now and I'm very proud! 
Combine all the cake ingredients in a large mixing bowl.  Dump cake = EASY
Mix as directed and you'll have a smooth batter.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan.  Beautiful Bundt pan...Ah.
Bake as directed and look at what loveliness comes out of the oven...
Comes out of the pan like a dream...Dream...Dream...This is the cake right out of the pan...
When the cake has completely cooled, make your glaze.  Glaze with gusto!  P.S. I made this a day ahead and glazed it at the party....

Harvey Wallbanger Cake
Recipe from Lisa Yount

1 18 1/2 oz orange or yellow cake mix (I used yellow)
1 3.4 oz instant vanilla pudding mix
1/2 tsp baking powder (optional)
4 eggs
1/2 tsp orange extract
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup Galliano
2 tbsp Vodka
Zest of one orange

1 cup confectioners' sugar
1/4 tsp orange extract
1 tbsp orange juice
1 tbsp Galliano
1 tsp Vodka

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and lightly flour a Bundt pan. 
2. Combine all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl.  Mix on low for 30 seconds to combine.  3. Beat on medium for 2 minutes.  Mix in the orange zest.  (I didn't do this and the zest gets all trapped in the beaters, so next time I'll know better.)
4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
5. Bake for 35-40 minutes until browned and a cake tester comes out clean.  Cool on a rack for 20 minutes.  Remove from the pan and cool for at least 1.5 hours before you make the glaze.
6. To make the glaze, combine the glaze ingredients in a small bowl.  Mix until smooth and a bit thick but thin enough to run down the sides.
7. You're ready to eat!

This is me and Mike, post 5 hours in 90 degree weather.  The BBQ had just started and I waited to glaze the cake at this point.  I think my beer (thanks Cammy!) is on the counter somewhere...And, yes, please note my Red Neck. 
Thanks again, Mike, for hosting the BBQ and for all my Unitrans buds for coming out to Picnic Day at the Park...See you all (and hopefully many more) next year! 

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  1. Saw this on fb. I think my mom makes a cake like this. Will have to try it!

    1. It's a great cake! And, I would imagine you can make it however you like, inchanging this and that. I made one with chocolate cake mix and Kahlua. Let me know how it turns out!

  2. Hi Sweet Friend, This brings back such great memories because it is my hubby's favorite drink and the first one I learned to make (even though I wasn't old enough to drink it yet...tee hee!) We really should have one BIG dessert party one day, don't you think;-)

    1. Yes! BIG Dessert Party!!! I had never heard of this drink and here you've been making them for the man you love! :) A happy story for me...

      P.S. I plan to make the "from scratch" version when I have more Galliano. Right now, I'm saving what's left for Golden Cadillacs. ;)

  3. Yay, you went to the dark side by using cake mix! Was it moist and totally awesome?! Looks it for sure--and refreshing, too!

    1. And, I ventured yet again yesterday into cake mix land: Banana Rum Toffee Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting. Moist and totally awesome (or so I've been told today from my work mates who have consumed the whole thing...All before noon). Just wait. You'll see. :)


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