I have thirty-one recipes in my queue waiting for me to take photos and post them. This is part of my attempt to get them out to you. Here is the first Christmas in… recipe.
Years ago, sometime in the 80s, someone gave me their old Bundt cake pan when they were moving. I never used it, not once, so I donated it when we remodeled the kitchen a few years ago.
And then I immediately started craving Bundt cake.
I staved it off for a couple of years, and then the Christmas before last, the craving got too strong and I gave in and bought another Bundt pan. What got to me was that I was specifically craving an apple Bundt cake and I had found this recipe. This recipe has all the apple cake things: spices, nuts, cream cheese, and a praline topping. It’s such an over-the-top cake, I knew I had to make it.
Veganizing the cake was easy – I used ground flax seeds and water in place of the eggs, and vegan cream cheese. Both of these steps have worked well for me in the past.
I also tweaked the spices, and cut the glaze in half. I’ve found that most Bundt cake glazes make too much and half of it ends up on the cake plate instead of where it belongs. The glaze is amazing, by the way. The first time I made the cake I left it off and just used a dusting of powdered sugar, but I liked it so much when I finally made it that I’m dreaming up another cake recipe to use it on. It deserves to be on more than one cake.
One last change I made was to slip a cup of whole wheat pastry flour into the cake. This, along with the nuts and cream cheese, means you’re less likely to have a blood sugar crash if you eat a big slice of cake for breakfast. (Oh yes, I did.)
- 1 (8-ounce) package vegan cream cheese, at room temperature
- 4 tablespoons Earth Balance margarine
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 3 tablespoons flax seed meal
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 3/4 cup canola oil
- 3/4 cup apple sauce
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon cloves
- 3 cups peeled and finely chopped Granny Smith apples, from about 3 large apples
- 1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons Earth Balance margarine
- 1-1/2 tablespoons almond milk
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar.
With an electric mixer, combine the cream cheese, margarine, sugar, vanilla, and cornstarch until smooth. (A handheld mixer works great for this) Set aside.
Spread the pecans in a single layer in a baking pan. Bake at 350 F (I don't preheat the oven for this) until fragrant, about 10 to 12 minutes. Stir once or twice. Note: if your oven is already hot, this will not take as long.
Oil a Bundt pan. Preheat oven to 350 F.
Add the flax seed meal, water, sugar, brown sugar, oil, and applesauce to the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat on medium until frothy. Add the vanilla and blend.
Measure the flours, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves into a bowl and combine with a large spoon. While the mixer is running on low, add the dry ingredients to the wet ones one heaping spoonful at a time. As soon as you've added the last spoonful, turn off the mixer to prevent over mixing, even if some of the dry ingredients are not yet incorporated. Add the toasted pecans and apples to the batter, and stir them in with a spoon. Stir just enough to incorporate the last of the dry ingredients.
Spoon about 1/2 the batter into the cake pan. Add the cream cheese filling, keeping it away from the sides of the pan. Top with the remaining batter. Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool to room temperature before glazing.
In a medium saucepan, bring the margarine, milk, and brown sugar to a boil. Whisk continuously for a minute. Turn heat down to low and stir in vanilla. Gradually add powdered sugar and whisk until completely smooth. Drizzle over cake right away.