An apple cake...

As September days chug along, I find myself eating lots of apples. The prices have finally come down and all my favorites just call out to me at the market...Honey Crisp, Gala, and Fuji top the list. Today I want to share with you a new recipe from a pinterest post. 

I don't know about you, but I can get lost on pinterest for hours some evenings. Though I usually focus on interior design, sometimes a food post will catch my eye and I just have to stop and click to read the recipe. I'll be honest...I will probably never cook or bake or even try many of the recipes I've pinned, but it sure is fun to imagine. Friends of mine who have actually tried a number of pinterest recipes say the results have been mixed...some worked and were delicious...others not so much. I did try a Snickerdoodle cookie recipe and it flopped! Not sure if it was missing some ingredient or what....it couldn't possibly have been baker error! Sigh...very possibly! 

Well, this recipe for Apple-Cream Cheese Bundt Cake caught my eye and I decided to try it. Bundt cakes are usually fun to make, but the scary part comes when you flip it over to dislodge the cake. Have you ever had the experience of having the cake come apart with part of the cake remaining in the pan? No fun! I'm happy to say this cake came out of the bundt cake pan perfectly.

I just hope it tastes as good as it smells and looks! I noticed that the recipe originally came from a Southern Living magazine, which is a good sign.

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 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 unsweetened applesauce
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups peeled and finely chopped Gala apples (about 2-3 medium apples)

Praline Frosting
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter
3 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup confectioners' sugar

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray a 12 or 14 cup bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray with
flour (the cake will fit in a 12-cup bundt, but just barely).

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 toaste 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 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.

Grab a fork and dig in...

Grab a fork and dig in...

If you've been following along, I posted a Caramel Apple idea and Apple Crisp recipe earlier. An apple a day...remember? As we head into the weekend after a rainy day or two, I hope you get out and enjoy the sun and the beautiful fall we are having. Warmly, Gracia

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