Thursday, October 4, 2012

Apple-Cream Cheese Bundt Cake with Praline Frosting

(Thank you all for your excitement over Elliott's return! He arrived safely last night to sweet Virginia and found his little wife waiting for him outside customs with the promised Starbucks decaf soy mocha.  Lena couldn't believe her eyes when her daddy picked her up in his arms; the look of astonishment and joy on her little face will stay with me for a long time.)


Last week two of my cousins, Anna and Allie, came over for dinner.  Before the girls arrived, my grandmother spilled the beans that Anna had just received her Masters diploma in the mail.  (Anna is sorta brilliant and is in a PhD program at Johns Hopkins.)  So I know that a Masters is only a stepping stone on the way to a PhD, but... don't you think getting a diploma in the mail is a rather unceremonious way of finding out you have achieved a major milestone in life? 

Well, we thought so.   So... we baked a cake!  And not just any cake.  This cake was on the front cover of September's Southern Living Magazine, and I happen to have been dreaming of a bite of that cake for weeks.  Can you imagine why?

Lena "helped" me in the kitchen (and might have enjoyed a little batter along the way too!).



This cake is so good, in fact, that it inspired me to write poetry:

Lots of tastes along the way
Make baking a fun way to spend the day!
In the end, we ate the cake. 
Here's the recipe so you too can bake!


 Apple-Cream Cheese Bundt Cake with Praline Frosting 
Hands-on Time: 40 Minutes 
 Total Time: 4 Hours, 10 Minutes 

Ingredients
  • CREAM CHEESE FILLING:
    • 1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, softened
    • 1/4 cup butter, softened
    • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
    • 1 large egg
    • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • APPLE CAKE BATTER:
    • 1 cup finely chopped pecans
    • 3 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 cup granulated sugar
    • 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
    • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
    • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
    • 3/4 cup canola oil
    • 3/4 cup applesauce
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 3 cups peeled and finely chopped Gala apples (about 1 1/2 lb.)
  • PRALINE FROSTING:
    • 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
    • 1/4 cup butter
    • 3 tablespoons milk
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1 cup powdered sugar

Directions

  1. Prepare Filling: Beat first 3 ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer until blended and smooth. Add egg, flour, and vanilla; beat just until blended.
  2. Preheat oven to 350º. Bake pecans in a shallow pan 8 to 10 minutes or until toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through. 
  3. Stir together 3 cups flour and next 7 ingredients in a large bowl; stir in eggs and next 3 ingredients, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. Stir in apples and pecans.
  4. Spoon two-thirds of apple mixture into a greased and floured 14-cup Bundt pan. Spoon Cream Cheese Filling over apple mixture, leaving a 1-inch border around edges of pan. Swirl filling through apple mixture using a paring knife. Spoon remaining apple mixture over Cream Cheese Filling.
  5. Bake at 350º for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a long wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool cake in pan on a wire rack 15 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack, and cool completely (about 2 hours).
  6. Prepare Frosting: Bring 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup butter, and 3 Tbsp. milk to a boil in a 2-qt. saucepan over medium heat, whisking constantly; boil 1 minute, whisking constantly. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla. Gradually whisk in powdered sugar until smooth; stir gently 3 to 5 minutes or until mixture begins to cool and thickens slightly.  Pour immediately over cooled cake.

18 comments:

  1. oh my, does this look yummy! sometimes i feel so restricted by my no dairy no gluten diet ;(

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    Replies
    1. I made this while my hubby was away for just that reason... he can't have dairy!

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  2. YOUR cake looks just as pretty as the magazine cover!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Stacie. I couldn't believe it turned out so well... but the finishing of the cake is pretty fool-proof.

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  3. Looks so good! I love how she has so much batter on her face :) such a great helper!

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    Replies
    1. Haha, she tries. We're working on the patience aspect!

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  4. That cake looks divine! You could be on the cover of the magazine.

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  5. Replies
    1. Already ate it all. :-( I can make you another one!

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  6. Yummm!! You are definitely having fun back home! That cake looks so very good, not something I should be thinking about at 8pm!

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  7. This cake looks divine!! You have a beautiful family, super cute kitchen helper. :) Thanks for sharing this recipe I might have my husband make it, I have a hard time sticking to any recipe. ;)

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  8. yuuuuuumy! Looks like Lena had a good time as the kitchen helper, bless her! :) x

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  9. your family is adorable, love your blog! new follower!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Joanna! Love your blog and your darling daughter.

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  10. Southern Living Cover Cakes are something else, aren't they? We make up special occasions just to bake them! Enjoy your visit!

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    Replies
    1. I didn't know these cakes were a "thing," but now I might be looking for more special occasions in order to make them myself!

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  11. Great minds think alike! I made the EXACT same cake for our "Happy Fall y'all" potluck right after you left for the States! SO, SO, SO yummy :)

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