Wow. Two cakes in one month! This is rare. Don’t get me wrong… I love cake, but it feels like such a special occasion treat that I usually don’t put the effort into a full cake more than several times per year. Plus, a full-sized cake is just so much for the two of us to finish off, that it usually becomes dry and stale by the time we get down to the last crumbs… and it is such a shame to waste cake…. So, I generally love cake for larger family get-togethers, parties, birthdays, etc.
But, well… I had these apples sitting around that I needed to use up…. And, oh… some cream cheese and heavy cream in my fridge. In fact, I just happened to have all the ingredients for this lovely cake here at home, so I guess this cake was meant to be!
Easter is just around the corner and this cake would be an awesome finale to your holiday meal. Carrot cake seems to be all the rage for Easter, but if you want something a little different, this cake would be a great choice. It has similar warm cinnamon and nutmeg spiced cake base, with a swirly cream cheese layer baked right in. The apples add tart, fresh flavor to balance the sweetness of the cake. The caramel sauce really sends this dessert over the top, but honestly it is just as good without it. Use a light hand when drizzling your caramel or it may overpower the other flavors in the cake.
This cake is super moist, but the outer crust is deliciously crumbly which adds textural interest. The glaze oozes into the nooks and crannies of this cake, creating moist pockets of carameliness throughout the cake intermixed with tangy hunks of apple. The cream cheese swirl elevates this cake from a simple bundt, adding rich flavor and visual appeal. There is enough going on in this cake, that each bite is just a little bit different from the last, but it all comes together with delicious harmony.
This recipe comes from Mel over at Mel’s Kitchen Cafe. Mel doesn’t know me, but I stalk her blog daily and I just have to give a shout out to Mel for her delicious, family-friendly, all-from-scratch recipes. Her blog is a constant inspiration for me and a source of numerous yummy meals around this house. Thanks, Mel!
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- ½ tsp salt
- 3 medium apples (or about 3 cups finely chopped)
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 3 tbsp dark brown sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla, divided
- 1⅛ cup vegetable or canola oil
- 1¾ cup granulated sugar
- 3 eggs
- 8 oz cream cheese
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- ½ tsp vanilla
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 tbsp granulated sugar
- 2 tbsp heavy cream
- ½ tsp vanilla
- 4 tbsp butter
- 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- ½ cup heavy cream
- pinch of salt
- 2 tsp vanilla
- Grease and flour a 9 or 10-inch bundt pan. Set aside. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Set aside. Peel, core and dice 3 cups of apples. Toss the apples with the lemon juice to prevent browning. Add the brown sugar and 1 tsp vanilla, and toss to combine. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, blend the oil, sugar, and remaining 1 tsp vanilla until well combined. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Gently stir in the dry ingredients, just until combined. Do not overmix. The batter will be quite thick. Carefully fold in the apples until incorporated. Pour about ¾ of the batter evenly into the prepared pan.
- In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the sugar, egg and vanilla and mix on medium speed until creamy and smooth. Using a large spoon, drop the cream cheese mixture into the center of the cake batter, working your way around the bundt to form a ring. Gently spoon the remaining cake batter on top of the cream cheese mixture. Using a knife, gently swirl the cream cheese mixture into the cake batter.
- Bake at 350 degrees F for 65-75 minutes. After 1 hour of cooking time, begin checking the cake about every 5 minutes for doneness. Remove the cake from the oven when a toothpick inserted near the middle comes out with only a few moist crumbs.
- While the cake is cooling, prepare the glaze. In a small saucepan, mix the butter, brown sugar, white sugar, and cream. Bring to a boil, and stir for 1 minute. Add the vanilla. Pour the hot glaze gently over the warm cake while it is still in the pan. Allow the cake to finish cooling completely in the pan, then invert onto a serving plate and refrigerate until serving.
- To prepare the caramel sauce, combine the butter, sugar, cream and pinch of salt in a saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Simmer for 5-7 minutes, stirring gently until mixture is slightly thickened. Add the vanilla, stir for another minute then remove from the heat. Store caramel sauce in a jar until ready to serve. Drizzle sauce over cake as desired to serve.
You can make the caramel sauce ahead of time. This cake stores well in the refrigerator for up to three days.
You can sprinkle powdered sugar over the cake, if desired. I think it really dresses the cake up and improves the presentation.
Recipe very slightly adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe recipe for Caramel Apple Bundt Cake