Recipes, Sweet Stuff!

Apple Pecan Cream Cheese Bundt Cake with Caramel Frosting

Apple Pecan Cream Cheese Bundt Cake

September calls for apples, pumpkins, and lots of baking!  Recently I created this tried-and-true recipe for an Apple Cream Cheese Bundt Cake that I fell in love with!  The original recipe is from Baked by Rachel but I’ve made a few modifications of my own.

For this recipe you will want to invest a little bit of time, it’s the kind of cake you are making not only for deliciousness but also for presentation.  It took me a good 60-70 minutes to bake, plus about 30+ minutes of prep time and 2 hours of cooling time.  It’d be a great cake to bake in advance because I’m convinced it only got better the next day!

The cream cheese filling bakes up nicely like a cheesecake filling.  The 2+ hours of cooling is recommended in order to get this cheesecake-like texture.  You’ll also want to watch the cake after the 60-minute mark to make sure the cake is set, but that you aren’t over-baking it.

The caramel frosting is a must-do with this recipe but wait to make it when you are ready to spread it on the top of the cake, and not in advance.  It will harden fast because of the sugar and make it hard to spread evenly.  Applying the frosting right after making will also give it a nice smooth look and provide even coverage.

Apple-Cream Cheese Bundt Cake

Ingredients:

Cream Cheese Filling:

  • 1 (8-oz) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cake:

  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans (plus extra for garnish, optional)
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 3 teaspoons apple pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup canola oil ( I used vegetable oil)
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups peeled and finely chopped Gala apples (about 2-3 medium apples)

Caramel Praline Frosting:

  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°F.

To make the filling: Add the cream cheese, butter, and sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed until well combined and smooth. Add the egg, flour, and vanilla and continue beating just until incorporated. Set aside.

Place the pecans on a rimmed baking sheet and toast in the oven for 8-10 minutes, or just until fragrant. Remove the pan to a wire rack.

In a large bowl, whisk the flour, both sugars, the cinnamon, salt, baking soda, nutmeg, and allspice together. Add the eggs, oil, applesauce, and vanilla and mix just until combined (I started with a whisk and switched to a rubber spatula). Fold in the toasted pecans and chopped apples until distributed throughout the batter.

Spoon about 1/2 to 2/3 of the cake batter into the prepared 12-cup bundt pan. Top evenly with the cream cheese filling, leaving a 1-inch border around the edge of the pan (I found this tricky, just do the best you can). Use a thin paring knife to swirl the cream cheese filling with the cake batter just a few times – less is more. Top the filling with the remaining cake batter.

Bake for 60-75 minutes, or until a thin knife inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and cool for 15 minutes, then invert the cake onto the rack and allow to cool completely (at least 2 hours).

To make the frosting: Combine the brown sugar, butter, and milk in a 2-qt saucepan. Set over medium heat, and bring to a boil, whisking almost constantly. Boil for 1 minute, whisking constantly. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Whisk in the confectioners’ sugar, a little at a time, until it is completely incorporated and the frosting is smooth. Gently stir the frosting until it starts to thicken, then pour it over the cooled cake. (The frosting will set up quickly, so don’t make it in advance – wait until the cake has cooled completely.) Garnish with extra pecans, if desired.

 

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