Saturday, December 3, 2016

Caramel Apple Bundt Cake with Cream Cheese Filling

Great year around, but particularly in the fall and winter, this Bundt cake is moist and delicious. It is very popular every time I make it, and it is simple to prepare.

Caramel Apple Bundt Cake
I got the original recipe from a fellow blogger, but since then have made several slight modifications to make it more reliable. Over time I had trouble with the original recipe with regard to the cream cheese filling, so this version takes care of that problem.

The cut cake.
Perhaps the best thing about this cake is that you should make it 1-3 days in advance, as it tastes better after it sits refrigerated. You can make the caramel sauce below, or use store bought. Both will be good.

Ingredients

Cake:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
Ready for Serving
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
3-4 medium apples, green and red mixed
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla, divided
1 1/4 cups vegetable or canola oil
2 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs

Cream Cheese Layer:
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 large egg

Glaze:
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons white sugar
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1/2 to 1 tsp vanilla

Caramel Sauce: (or store bought)
4 tablespoons butter
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup half-and-half or whipping cream
Pinch of salt
1 tablespoon vanilla

Instructions
Generously grease (or spray with food release) and then flour a large (12 cup) Bundt pan. (This is the classic size pan). Set aside. Preheat oven to 350F degrees.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Set aside. Peel, core and dice 3-4 apples. Toss the apples with the tablespoon of lemon juice to keep from browning. Add the dark brown sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla and toss to combine. Set aside.

Using an electric mixer, blend the oil, sugar, and vanilla until well mixed. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the dry ingredients until just incorporated. The batter will be thick. Drain any excess liquid from the apples (if any) and gently stir the apple mixture into the batter. Pour 2/3 of the batter evenly into the prepared pan. Reserve the remaining batter.

In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese just until smooth. Add the sugar, vanilla and egg and beat on medium speed until creamy and smooth.

Using a spoon or butter knife, make a trench in the center of the cake batter (going around in the circular shape of the Bundt pan) about 1-inch deep (just scoop the excess batter to either side if possible. Spoon the cream cheese mixture into the trench, working quickly before the batter smooths out. If necessary, have someone make the trench slowly as you follow along and add the cream cheese mixture. Try and keep the cream cheese mixture in a ring in the center of the cake so it has cake batter on either side around the circle. Once the cream cheese mixture is in place, pour the reserved apple cake batter on top of it.

Bake the cake for 60 minutes or until a long pick comes out clean when inserted in the center. Remove from the oven to a cooking rack.

While the cake is cooling in the pan, mix the ingredients for the glaze in a small pan over medium high heat. Allow the ingredients to come to a boil and boil for one minute, stirring constantly. Using a long pick, poke holes throughout the Bundt cake.  Pour the glaze over the cake while the cake is still in the pan. Let the cake cool completely in the pan before removing.

Turn the cake out onto a serving plate and store covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Serve chilled or at room temperature, drizzling caramel sauce over each piece.

Home made caramel sauce:  For the caramel sauce, mix the butter, brown sugar, half-and-half or cream, and salt in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook while whisking gently for 5 to 7 minutes, until thickened slightly. Add the vanilla and cook another minute to thicken further. Turn off the heat and pour the sauce into a glass jar or container. Refrigerate until cold (or use slightly warm but not hot). If the caramel sauce has cooled in the fridge long enough to harden, warm slightly before drizzling on each serving of the cake.

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