Fresh fruit and produce are so abundant at this time of year. Our apple tree is beginning to make ripening noises and I couldn’t be happier. Although I have not made the Apple Cream Cheese Bundt Cake, my sister Patti did and I have to take her word for it that it is incredibly good, as she is an excellent baker.

APPLE CREAM CHEESE BUNDT CAKE

Cream Cheese filling:

1 (8oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened

1/4 C butter, softened

1/2 C granulated sugar

1 large egg

2 T all-purpose flour

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Apple Cake Batter:

1 C finely chopped pecans

3 C all-purpose flour

1 C granulated sugar

1 C firmly packed brown sugar

2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. ground nutmeg

1/2 tsp, allspice

3 large eggs, lightly b eaten

3/4 C canola oil

3/4 C applesauce

1 tsp. vanilla extract

3 C peeled and finely chopped Gala apples (about 1/2 lb.)*

Praline Frosting:

1/2 C firmly packed brown sugar

1/4 C butter

3  T milk

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 C powdered sugar

To prepare filling: Beat first three ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer until blended and smooth. Add egg, flour and vanilla; beat until blended.

To prepare batter: Preheat oven to 350. Toast pecans in a shallow pan for 8-10 minutes until fragrant, stirring half way through. Stir together 3 cups of flour and the next seven (7) ingredients in a large bowl. Stir in eggs and next three (3) ingredients stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. Stir in apples and pecans.

Spoon 2/3 of the apple mixture into a greased and floured Bundt pan. Spoon cream cheese filling over the apple mixture leaving a one (1) inch border around the edges of the pan. Spoon remaining apple mixture over the cream cheese filling.

Bake for 1 hour to 1:15 until a long wooden pick comes out clean.  Cool cake on rack for 15 minutes; remove cake from pan and cool completely, about 2 hours.

To prepare frosting: Bring the brown sugar, butter and milk to a boil in a 2 qt. saucepan over medium heat, whisking constantly. Boil 1 minute, again whisking constantly. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla. Gradually whisk in powdered sugar until smooth; stir gently for 3-5 minutes or until mixture begins to cool and thicken slightly. Pour immediately over cooled cake.

*I plan to use apples from my tree, which are a bit more tart than Galas, which are sweeter.

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