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Apple Cream Cheese Bundt Cake


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I often run across recipes that sound so incredibly good to me that I want so badly to make but never really have a need to.  I used to use Joe as my baking experiment tester.  When he worked in Portland I would try out new cookies, cakes and desserts... try one piece and send the rest to work with him.  He would then turn around and email me the chain of correspondence starting with his all-staff announcement that "my wife has made cookies and they are in the 6th floor lounge" and ending with a string of compliments that would make any baker beam.  It was therapeutic for me... I could try new things without wasting or eating more than humanly necessary and I got positive feedback for trying new recipes.  But now that we've moved to Bend and he works in an office of 4, this system no longer works for me.  Fortunately I work with a good number of coworkers who, for the most part, enjoy my experimentation.  UNfortunately, I work with nothing but women and I never know when, at any given time, all, some or none of them could be on some crazy diet for which I will be accused of sabotaging with my baking endeavors.

Day 1: took the cake to work and managed to pawn off about half of it to much appreciative coworkers.
Day 2: took it back home, Joe, Shawna (my niece) and I ate a piece for dessert
Day 3: Shawna and I ate a piece for dessert
Day 4: Shawna ate a piece for dessert
Day5: I threw a small leftover piece away

Not too bad, I suppose for such a large (and oh so delicious) cake...

Apple Cream Cheese Bundt Cake

1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup finely chopped pecans
3 cups flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup canola oil
1 cup applesauce
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups peeled and finely chopped Gala apples (about 3 medium apples)

1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup butter
3 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup powdered sugar

Prepare filling: beat first 3 ingredients with an electric mixer at medium speed until smooth.  Add egg, flour, and vanilla, beat just until blended.

Prepare batter: preheat oven to 350.  Bake pecans in a shallow pan 8-10 minutes or until toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through.  Stir together 3 cups flour and next 7 ingredients (through allspice) in a large bowl.  Stir in eggs and next 3 ingredients, stirring just until dry ingredients are moist.  Fold in apples and pecans.

Spoon 1/2 of apple mixture into greased and floured 14-cup bundt pan.  Pour cream cheese filling over batter and swirl with a knife.  Top with remaining apple batter.   Bake at 350 for 1 hour, to 1 hour 15 minutes or until a long wodden pick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool in pan on wire rack for 15 minutes then remove from pan to rack to cool completely.

Prepare frosting: bring 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup butter and 3 T milk to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium heat, whisking constantly.  Boil 1 minute, whisking constantly.  Remove from heat; add vanilla.  Gradually whisk in powdered sugar until smooth.  Stir gently until mixture begins to cool and slightly thicken. Pour immediately over cooled cake (frosting sets up quickly!)


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