Sunday, October 13, 2013

Apple-Cream Cheese Spice Cake with Praline Frosting

Oh this cake. It is magnificent. Easy to prepare and wonderful to eat. The worst part about this cake is how long you have to wait to eat it!

Catherine and I decided to make a cake to eat while the kids were sleeping. We picked this cake out based on the picture but then neglected to read the recipe all the way through before starting to make it around 8:00pm. We figured it would be ready in about 2 hours - perfect for a late night snack. But no.

First, I decided to make the applesauce for the cake and we had to wait for that to cool completely. That took 1 hour.

Nexty, we made the cake batter and cream cheese filling. That took about 20 minutes.

Then we baked the cake. That took 65 minutes.

After removing the cake from the oven, we had to wait for it to cool completely before frosting. That took another 2 1/2 hours.

By the time the cake was ready to be frosted, it was approximately 1:45 AM and we had watched three movies and were about ready to die from exhaustion. A very tired and grumpy Catherine turned to me with a look of undeniable frustration and whined: "You promised me cake!!! Where is it?!? When can we eat it?" She was mad.

Luckily, she loves my children too much to kill their mother.

It took until the following afternoon to frost and remove the first slice from the cake. It was so pretty that I simply had to get a good photograph of it. This frustrated Catherine even more. There was her slice of cake, pretty as could be, enjoying a mini photo shoot. It was almost too much to bear. She really wanted a bite of that cake. She was downright forceful about it.

But in the end, she got what she wanted. And she was happy.

Happy Catherine!
Sadly, it was soon time for her to go and I had fully intended on sending her away with half of this cake. I even wrapped it up for her but then forgot about it as Matthew, Emma, and I said goodbye. I walked back inside to find it sitting on the counter forlornly. I grabbed it quickly and dashed outside, but she was already speeding down the street.

"WAIT! YOUR CAKE!!!" I yelled after her. But she was gone.

Oh well. More for us.

Paul came home and had a slice for a snack and immediately told me: "Remember this cake for my birthday." That pretty much says it all.

Easy to throw together, perfectly moist, and mildly spicy. This cake would be awesome for entertaining. The frosting is amazing - it was the best part of the whole dessert to me and I usually am not a huge fan of frosting. This would make a great non-traditional addition to your Thanksgiving dessert table.

Apple-Cream Cheese Spice Cake with Praline Frosting
from Southern Living, September 2011

For the 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

For the Apple Pecan Cake:
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
1 cup finely chopped, toasted pecans

For the 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

To make the cream cheese filling, combine the cream cheese, butter, and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on medium speed until very smooth. Add egg, flour, and vanilla and beat just until blended. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Whisk together the flour, sugars, salt, baking soda, and spices. In a separate, smaller bowl, whisk together the eggs, oil, applesauce, and vanilla. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add the egg mixture to it. Gently stir together until everything is moistened. Fold in the chopped apples and toasted pecans.

Spoon two-thirds of apple mixture into a greased and floured 12-14 cup Bundt pan. Spoon Cream Cheese Filling over apple mixture, leaving a 1-inch border around edges of pan (I found this to be a bit tedious - but persevere!). Swirl filling through apple mixture using a paring knife. Spoon remaining apple mixture over the cream cheese filling.

Bake at 350 degrees for 60-75 minutes (mine took about 65 minutes) or until a long wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool cake in pan on a wire rack 15 minutes before removing the cake from the pan. Let the cake cool completely on the wire rack before frosting (about 2 hours).

When the cake has cooled completely, prepare the 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. Let the mixture boil for 1 minute while whisking constantly. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla. Gradually whisk in powdered sugar until smooth. Stir gently for 3-5 minutes or until mixture begins to cool and thickens slightly. Pour immediately along the circumference of the cooled cake, allowing it to drip down the sides. Let stand a few minutes before slicing and serving.

1 comment:

  1. Monica, your cake is stunning! I bet Catherine is kicking herself right now :)