Oh people this cake… You just don’t understand. This even blew my expectations out of the water. I mean it’s like you kinda know when you’re baking that just by the batter something is going to be good. Plus okay if you’re like me you eat the batter. I have to. For me that’s how I know, for the most part, how stuff will taste after it’s cooked. I’m not a huge sweets person but I’m human (and a woman) so I do get a sweet tooth craving from time to time.
About a week ago I bought about 10 pounds of apples and up until fairly recently I couldn’t eat a raw apple without getting ill. Cooked apples I could eat til the cows come home but a raw one? Oh dear lord I just about wanted to die. But Mr. Fantabulous loves them and do I.. cooked. Well the one night Mr. Fantabulous asked for a light snack (mind you he’s been sick as a dog with a severe summer flu so thus only light foods this time) so I cut up some apples for him.You knw how when you cut an apple you can smell that apple-y goodness – not too sweet, not tart and just super juicy? Yeah, that’s what these were. So I gave in to temptation and tried a slice… and waited… and waited. I was waiting to get sick as usual however this time I didn’t .
The next day I took one to work and decided to try again since I was okay the night before. Well WOO HOO (not so much for you but more for me.. okay all for me) I can now eat them raw. Seriously this is a huge thing for me! We had apple trees growing up and I would climb up the tree and just pick them and eat ’em in the tree. Well as I said Mr. Fantabulous was/is sick so he wasn’t eating as much and surely there was no way I could eat 10 pounds of apples though I did give it a shot. LOL Thus I needed to make a dessert plus I was in a cake type of mood.
First though I NEED to talk about this plate. I LOVE LOVE LOVE it! This is another one of my awesome food porn finds at Homegoods. Seriously if they said “Lori, if we put up a bed and kitchen/stove for you, would you move in to our store?” Um.. duh! YES! HAHA Well okay I guess I’d have to consult Mr. Fantabulous about it but OooooMmmmmmGeeeeee!!! Could you imagine?!
Okay enough Fantasy Land and back to reality; reality that this cake friggen ROCKS! I mean first you have those chunks of apples, that cinnamony vanilla soft cake, that whipped fluffy white frosting drizzle and la pièce de résistance… that Cinnamon Cheesecake Swirl! Oh dear sweet baby Jesus! It’s creamy, velvety even. It’s the perfect texture contrast to the tender crumb of the cake and those soft chunks of apples. It’s not too sweet and the cinnamon balances perfectly the tanginess of the mascarpone.
Wait what? Mascarpone? No cream cheese? Nope.. no cream cheese. Do you know the difference? Mascarpone is a buttery, double- or triple-cream cheese made from cow’s milk. It is ivory-colored, soft, and delicate. It’s a form of cream thickened with acid. It’s lightly sweet, soft, creamy, and way lower in sodium than cream cheese. Cream cheese is a soft, unripened cheese made from cow’s milk and by law must contain at least 33 percent milk fat and not more than 55 percent moisture. To me there is a huge difference in taste and texture. I actually prefer mascarpone however it is pricier than cream cheese.
Now this cake has a few steps because it has 3 ‘layers’ if you will – the cake, the swirls and the frosting so yes there are a a fair amount of steps but trust me it’s well worth it! Plus seriously I love using my bundt pan. It’s one of those pans that are kinda underrated. What I mean is that more often than none we’ll use the standard round pans when making cakes as we traditionally want to layer them and stuff them with filling the middle. Bundts are more thought of as just a solid piece of cake with maybe some drizzle on top. Trying to frost an entire bundt cake like a round cake is a royal PITA! If I can’t drizzle or pour the frosting over, it’s going nekkid. BUT what people are seeing is while it may not be the prettiest to slice it in half and fill it then place the top back on, they can either use a squirt bottle and inject filling into it after it’s done OR bake it in it like I did with the cheesecake swirls! I love doing that as it’s kind of like finding a bonus fry at the bottom of your bag. You think “Oh yum a slice of cake!” but when you cut it and plate it you see “OMG it has CHEESECAKE IN IT TOO!!!” Yeah.. it’s that kind of awesome!
Now I will be completely honest I made this cake on a Sunday and it’s now Saturday. So 6 days later the cake is 1/2 gone ANDDDDDDDDDDDD Mr. Fantabulous only had a single small piece…last night. *blush* Yeah me, the girl who isn’t a sweet eater ate this thing! Seriously I contemplated running while eating a piece of this cause in my mind if you eat cake and workout at the same time the calories ingested are negated by the calories burned. Right? LOL
*sigh* if only, huh?
So as I was saying earlier, when I tasted the batters I knew this was going to be good but I had no idea it would be THIS awesome! I actually impressed myself! It’s funny when you think about it… with just simple basic ingredients: flour, water, egg, dairy and fruit you can create something mindblowing. This is one of those cakes where I see it being perfect for the fall and winter or because it’s Tuesday. This for a Sunday brunch with a nice cup of tea or coffee would be perfect. Or no wait, it’s a rainy day and you’re kinda bummed out because of the weather. Just imagine popping in a movie, curling up on the couch and having a slice (or two of this… I won’t judge if you won’t).
As I said, Mr. Fantabulous had his first slice last night. It’s funny because I only knew this as he was in the kitchen on the phone chatting away while I was in the office. I could hear the fork clanking off of the plate and him chit chatting. Well at one point, post clank I heard “My God Lori made this cake that is awesome! WOW you have GOT to try this. It’s some apple-y thing with this white stuff on top. So good!” and then blah blah blah (insert some boy talk about motors or powertools). LOL
Yeah it’s a definite keeper though I suspect I may have to make 2 from now on… a ‘his’ and ‘hers’ LOL
So while the calories don’t offset one another if you workout WHILE eating (damn it) this is one worth running that extra mile for.
Cinnamon Cheesecake Filling
- 8 ounces mascarpone, softened
- 4 Tbl unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 XL egg, at room temperature
- 2 Tbl flour
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 2 cups flour
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 2/3 cup plus 2 Tbl light brown sugar, packed
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 2 XL eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 cups peeled and coarse to finely chopped sweet apples (about 2-3 medium apples) – Gala, Fugi, Envy
Whipped Vanilla Bean Frosting
- 1 cup milk
- 5 Tbl flour
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar (not confectioners)
- 1 vanilla bean, split and seeded
- Additional milk or heavy cream to thin out *optional
- Preheat oven to 350 F with the rack in the middle.
- Spray a 12 cup bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray with flour.
To make the filling:
- Add the mascarpone, butter and sugar in a bowl.
- Using electric hand mixer, beat on medium speed until well combined and
- Add the eggs, flour, cinnamon and vanilla beating just until incorporated.
- Set aside.
To make the cake:
- Add the flour, sugar, cinnamon, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg and whisk.
- Add the eggs, oil, applesauce and vanilla and mix just until using a sturdy spoon.
- Fold in the apples until evenly distributed.
- Spoon 1/3 of the cake batter into the prepared pan.
- Top evenly with 1/2 of the cheesecake filling, leaving a 1-inch border around the edge of the pan. This is easiest if you spoon it in instead pouring it. Try your best to not have it touch the sides of the pan.
- Use a thin, long blade knife to swirl the cheesecake filling with the cake batter just a few times. Don’t overdo it.
- Top with another 1/3 of the batter and the rest of the cheesecake filling.
- Stick the knife in only about an inch and swirl again.
- Top with the remaining cake batter.
- Bake for 55-65 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out
- Transfer the pan to a wire rack and cool for 15-20 minutes.
- Place another wire rack on top and grasping the rack with the edges of the pan, gently invert the cake onto the rack and allow to cool completely ~at least 2-3 hours.
To make the frosting:
- Place milk and flour in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
- Whisk continuously until the mixture begins to bubble lightly and the mixture thickens.
- After about 7 minutes the mixture should be the consistency of thick cake batter.
- Remove from the heat, add in the vanilla bean seeds, stir and set aside to cool completely.
- Once the mixture has cooled completely (THIS IS IMPORTANT!), in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk, add the butter and sugar and beat on high until light and fluffy and almost white in color, ~ 3 minutes. The sugar should be completely incorporated into the butter.
- Stop the mixer and add the cooled milk mixture to the butter mixture.
- Beat on high until all ingredients are incorporated, about 1 minute. The texture should resemble whipped cream.
- At this point you can spread on top of the cake or if you want a drizzle consistency add in a few Tbl of cream or milk to the frosting to thin it out slightly.