An extra burst of flavor is found in the cream cheese filling and praline frosting.
Cream Cheese Filling:
1 (8 oz.) pkg. softened cream cheese
¼ cup softened butter
½ cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 Tbsp. all purpose flour
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Apple Cake Batter:
1 cup finely chopped pecans
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
½ tsp. ground allspice
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup canola oil
3/4 cup applesauce
1 tsp. vanilla
3 cups peeled and finely chopped Gala apples (about 1.5 lbs)
¼ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 Tbsp. butter
1½ Tbsp. milk
½ tsp. vanilla
½ cup powdered sugar
Step 1 - Prepare filling. Beat first 3 ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer until blended and smooth. Add egg, flour, and vanilla; beat just until blended.
Step 2 - Prepare batter: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake pecans in a shallow pan 8-10 minutes or until toasted and fragrant; stirring halfway through. Stir together the flour and next 7 ingredients (through Allspice). Add eggs and next 3 ingredients stirring until dry ingredients are moistened. Finally, stir in apples and pecans.
Step 3 - Spoon 2/3 of the batter into a greased and floured 14-cup Bundt pan. Spoon cream cheese filling over apple mixture leaving a 1 inch border around edges of pan (I found this difficult to accomplish). Swirl filling through apple mixture using a paring knife. Spoon remaining apple mixture over cream cheese filling.
Step 4 - Bake at 350 degrees for 1-1.25 hours or until a long wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool cake in pan on a wire rack for 15-20 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack and cool completely (about 2 hours)
Step 5 - Prepare frosting. Bring brown sugar, butter and milk to a boil in a 2 qt. saucepan over medium heat, whisking constantly; boil 1 minute, whisking constantly. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla. Gradually whisk in powdered sugar until smooth; stir gently 3-5 minutes or until mixture begins to cool and thickens slightly. Pour immediately over cooled cake.
NOTES: I opted to roast the pecans the night before to save myself that step. Also, I already changed the praline frosting ingredients to half of what the original recipe called for....I felt there was way too much since it's extremely sweet
adapted from: www.southernliving.com
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