This healthier apple cream cheese bundt cake with praline frosting is made with 100% whole grains (or all-purpose flour) but is still deliciously moist and bursting with fall flavors!
Today’s recipe is the first of many apple cakes to come this fall. Whenever I travel abroad, a bakery, or perhaps a grocery store with an in-store bakery, is usually the first stop after dropping off our luggage at the hotel. It seems like everywhere I go, each country has their own special apple cake. They’re usually quite different than our American apple cakes and I thought it’d be fun to share some of the ones I’ve tried.
So every Monday, I’m going to be sharing some kind of international apple cake recipe. I’m starting off with this non-international American apple bundt cake, just because I’m so excited about the pictures. They were the first pictures I took with my new camera. I had no idea what a huge difference a better quality camera would make!
This apple cake is quite heavily spiced, as American apple cakes often are. None of the other apple cake recipes I’ll be sharing have very much, if any, spices. It seems as though other countries prefer to showcase the apples rather than throw them in as an afterthought into their spice cake. I love spice cake so I certainly don’t mind the addition of apples!
I haven’t posted a bundt cake recipe in so long because my last several attempts have all been mega-disasters. No matter how much I greased the pan, my bundt cakes always fell apart. I figured that either my bundt pan was to blame or I was just hexed.
So I bought this bundt pan. If we’re being honest here, when it comes to kitchenware, I normally buy the cheapest option with great reviews. But after all my bundt cake issues, I thought it may be worth the few extra dollars. And after using my new bundt pan a few times, I can say that it was totally worth the money! I LOVE this pan. Quality does matter, it seems. ;)
The new pan (perhaps in combination with some Pam) resulted in this cake plopping right out. I was so happy I was shaking and have to admit that I almost cried. I have bundt cakes back in my life!
I’ve made this apple bundt cake SO many times. I heavily adapted it to make it a little healthier from a recipe I found on My Recipes years ago. Things like honey and coconut sugar instead of brown and granulated sugar, whole wheat or whole spelt instead of all-purpose, and coconut oil instead of canola oil.
If you don’t want to make the filling, then just reduce the baking time. It’d also be great without the praline frosting and a little powdered sugar dusted on top. But really, the praline frosting is so incredibly good I don’t recommend skipping it!
I used coconut sugar instead of brown sugar in the frosting and it came out looking pretty dark. But it tasted amazing! If you don’t want to use powdered sugar in the frosting , you can make your own powdered coconut sugar. It’d have an even darker taste but I bet it’d still work (though I haven’t tried it so I’m not making any guarantees!)
The original recipe calls for baking the cake for 60-75 minutes. I’ve made this cake in different pans and in different ovens and never needed more than 50 minutes. I think it most likely has to do with me subbing in 1/2 cup of honey for the sugar and whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose. If yours takes a little longer than 50 minutes, don’t be alarmed and just continue baking until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
I hope y’all enjoy the cake and stick around for my next apple cake – a Norwegian one! Or maybe Italian. Or Polish. It’s honestly kind of overwhelming how many apple cakes are out there to be enjoyed. ;)
Healthier Apple Cream Cheese Bundt Cake (100% whole grain)
- Prep Time:
- Cook Time:
- Ready in:
- Yield: 12-14 pieces
- 8 ounces (225 grams) cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup (56 grams) butter, softened
- 1/2 cup (100 grams) coconut sugar or granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoons whole wheat flour, white whole wheat flour or all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 cups (400 grams) whole wheat flour, white whole wheat flour or all-purpose flour
- 1 cup (200 grams) coconut sugar, raw sugar or half granulated / half brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 cup (160 grams) honey
- 3/4 cup (175ml) olive oil, canola oil, or melted coconut oil1
- 3/4 cup (186 grams) unsweetened applesauce
- 1 tablespoon molasses
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 1/2 cups peeled and diced apples (this was 645 grams of whole apples and 410 grams of peeled and chopped apples)
- 1/2 cup (100 grams) coconut sugar or brown sugar
- 1/4 cup (56 grams) unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons milk
- pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4-1 cup (86-115 grams) powdered sugar (I used 3/4 cup but you may want up to 1 cup)
For the praline frosting:
- Preheat your oven to 350 °F (175°C). Spray a 12 or 14-cup bundt pan very thoroughly with cooking spray.
- For the filling, combine the cream cheese, butter, and sugar in a medium bowl. Beat with an electric mixer until well combined and then add the egg, flour and vanilla. Beat just until combined.
- For the cake, mix together the dry ingredients in a large bowl. In a medium bowl, mix together the wet ingredients. Add the wet mix to the dry and stir, just until combined. Fold in the apples.
- Pour about 1/2 of the batter into the greased pan and then top with the cream cheese filling, keeping a one inch border around the pan's edge. Pour the rest of the batter over the filling.
- Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. It might be a little sticky and that's okay because it'll continue to cook even after it's out of the oven. Let the cake cool in the pan for 15 minutes and then turn out onto a wire rack to let cool completely.
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, mix together the coconut sugar, butter, milk and salt. Whisking continuously, bring to a boil and continue boiling, while whisking continuously, for 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Gradually whisk in the powdered sugar and mix until totally smooth. Stir occasionally for about 3 minutes or until the frosting has slightly thickened. Immediately pour over the cooled cake. If you wait until the frosting is too cool, it'll make glazing the cake more difficult. If it's thickened too much, place back on the heat for a few moments until it's more liquid.
- Cover and refrigerate any leftover cake. Stays well for 3-4 days when refrigerated.
For the cake:
For the praline frosting:
- I used refined coconut oil, which doesn't have any coconut taste. If you use unrefined coconut oil, this cake may have a hint of coconut taste to it. However, I think that's unlikely given how much spice is in there!
Adapted from My Recipes
44 comments on “Healthier Apple Cream Cheese Bundt Cake” — Add one!
I just discovered your Apple Cream Cheese Bundt Cake and followed the recipe exactly, it’s in the oven as I type this. I read the very first comment suggesting leaving out the butter and flour in the cream cheese mixture. Should I have followed the cream cheese recipe as you originally created it or omit the butter & flour? Thanks so much!
I’m sorry for just now seeing your comment! (my son and I have been sick for weeks) The recipe is correct as written. I haven’t tried omitting the flour and butter – just the way the recipe is written. :) I hope that you enjoyed the cake! Sorry again for my slow reply.
I made this cake too, after the apple cheesecake bars and the french cake(gosh, if I were to give myself the challenge of making everything you posted that just uses apples, I’d be busy till spring! You’re one mean baking machine! How DO you do it?)
It’s a good cake! Who knew that apples and cheese go well together? I had my doubts but your apple cheesecake bars made me a believer.
It worked well with my standard 60-40 whole spelt-oat flour mixture, and I managed to get away with much less sweetener without making the cake dry. And 2/3 cup oil was plenty as far as I could tell.. Also, my cake was done in 35 mins. Oh, and I almost forgot-I put half fresh goat cheese in the filling, and will be going with all of it next time I’ll be making this; maybe thinned down with some milk or yogurt. Also, do you think there’s a purpose to the butter in the filling? Or the flour? I’m thinking the flour makes it denser and more ‘bakeable’, but the butter? Also, I went for a goat cheese icing I found here: 84thand3rd.com/2013/04/19/genius-goat-chevre-icing/ which paired nicely with the cake.
Haha. You’ve been busy baking! How does your 60-40 whole spelt oat flour mixture work? I’m never sure how to replace oat flour in a whole wheat recipe. 1 cup whole wheat = 125 grams and 1 cup oat flour = 92 (or something like that). So do you go by weight or do you go by volume when using oat flour in your sub? I go by weight and it usually doesn’t work out how I had hoped it would, but I’m not sure if that’s because it’s not a direct sub or because I used too much oat flour. The fresh goat cheese sounds interesting! I’ll have to try that. I think you’re right about the flour and now that I think about it, I have no idea the purpose of the butter. I’ve never used butter in any other cheesecake filling recipes! It was in the original and I just went with it because it always came out well. I’ll omit it next time and see what happens. Thanks so much for your wonderful feedback and tips! :)
Gosh, I wish I could say that I’m THAT precise of a baker (they say that baking SHOULD be precise, but mine is anything but. If you saw me measuring you’d probably laugh, or cry, or hit me a little ;)). I usually go by volume when subbing. But you should know that (living a few countries S-E from you) I don’t use “cups”, but rather I have A cup that has roughly the mL capacity of a US measuring cup, and I take it from there, measuring with my eyes and fingers :). This recipe was actually the 1st one in months that I used a kitchen scale for. It never even occurred to me that they might weigh differently, that’s such a good point, thanks! I’ve just had such pleasing(to me) experiences with the combo that I just do that whenever a recipe calls for flour, while adding a bit more liquid to compensate. I’m a bit weird like that and like to reduce wheat where I can in favor of other flours, makes me feel like I’ve done something healthy, though I don’t know if that’s true.. I just point it out in comments if maybe there’s another person wondering if something like that could work.. Hope I’m not boring with it.
(I’m thinking the butter might lend some creaminess to the filling, but I don’t think it’s all that important in there.)
Keep up the good work with your recipes! Next stop for me-your apple oatmeal bread! (Yes, this cake has already been devoured.)
Oh my. I don’t think we could ever bake together. ;) Haha. I’m super precise when baking and when I bake with other people and they just eyeball something or add “about” a cup or or or… I explode on the inside. :D You’re definitely not boring anyone with your hints! They’re helpful and interesting. Thanks so much! I hope you’ll enjoy the oatmeal bread. I remember that one being a little “loose” already due to its lack of gluten so I’m not sure how subbing in oat flour will work. Good luck!
Oh my! I am in love with this whole idea! It looks so yummy, too!
Thanks, Whitni! I hope you’ll enjoy it if you give it a try. :)
When using a Bundt pan (or my mini Bundts), I grease AND flour. Very easy release! If all else fails, make a trifle out of the broken cake.
A trifle is a great idea! I’m determined to not let it happen again, though. ;) Maybe my issue was just the pan. I’ll butter and flour my new bundt pan next time and see what happens! Thanks for your comment. :)
I’m excited about all these apple recipes coming soon!! And your pictures are beautiful! What camera do you use now? I want to upgrade mine but I’m a bit lost, there are so many to choose from out there…
Thank you! And I’m so excited that you’re excited. :) I went from the Canon T1i to Canon 6D. It was a big jump. ;)
I am so excited about this series! The first apple cake is amazing! Would you happen to be doing an Italian one?
Thanks! And of course there’ll be an Italian apple cake. How could there not?! ;)
I’m so in love with this! I’d totally make this with the filling AND the praline frosting! That filling alone makes me want to make this tonight!
It’s definitely the best way! ;)
This cake looks very good. I am not a cream cheese person, but most of my family love it. I need to try this. The pan is a jewel. I have had this pan fora year or more and love it. I have better luck with Pam but like you not crazy about the ingredients. However, a person would not consume very much.
Excited about the other apple cakes. Glad it is apple not pumpkin. This is apple season!!!
YES! I’m totally with you. We have all of October and November for pumpkin. It’s apple time! I hope you’ll enjoy the cake if you try it. You can always just omit the cream cheese filling! And I love that pan, too. I’m going to try to take really good care of it so I don’t have to buy another. ;) Thanks for your comment!
This looks soooo good!! I could go a few slices right now :)
Same here! I’m sad it’s all gone.
That filling and frosting have my heart going pitter patter. I found it interesting when you said that butter and coconut oil are not recommended for oiling a bundt pan. Learn something new everyday.
I read that it has something to do with water content and that shortening is better. I often use butter for pans, as well, so maybe it’s really just problematic with bundt pans?
You could try ordering a Misto and filling it with olive oil instead of using Pam? We have one and though it’s intended for food, we actually use it to spray bleach and vinegar (Josh does screen printing-ish with bleach) and it gives a really nice, even spray. I’m excited for Monday apple cakes! I have SO MANY APPLES from my parent’s apple tree and I need a million ways to use them.
Thanks! That’s a great idea. I’ll definitely look into that! And aww… I want parents with apple trees. Can I borrow yours? ;)
I thought it looked delicious when I saw the frosting. But then I saw the inside and DROOOOOOL! I love coconut sugar — In fact, I used it in our morning juice today to bring out the flavor of strawberries.
Thanks, Sarah! And I love coconut sugar, too. It’s such good stuff!
I have a serious thing for apple cakes…I think I love them more than any other dessert! Your healthier apple cream cheese cake is just lovely. Oh, and that glaze!!
I’m thrilled that you’re so enthusiastic about apple cakes because there are so many more coming! :)
I butter and flour my pan and it works pretty good, as long as I get it into all the crevices. I love the swirl in the middle of your cake, and the praline glaze sounds amazing!
Then maybe it was my pan! It was pretty scratched up, but I didn’t think it’d create such a huge problem. It was really terrible!
Wow! That looks AMAZING! That frosting….drool…
Haha. Right?! ;)
I love apple cake and the addition of cream cheese here sounds great. I also love cream cheese frosting (red velvet cake!).
You can never go wrong with cream cheese, right? ;)
I’d totally say that new bundt pan was worth the money – this cake is perfection! (Looking forward to the other cakes in your series!)
Same here! I’m making next week’s cake today and I’m so torn over which one to do first. There are so many!
Your photos are stunning! The filling looks amazing inside too! Congrats on your new camera!
Thanks so much, Brenda. :)
Since I have had a major sweet tooth during this pregnancy I could use a little bit of healthy to go with it. I think I could eat a bowl of the glaze too!
A bowl of frosting sounds like the right way to go! :)
Ohhhh, ahhhhh. This cake is absolutely amazing. So many wonderful ingredients. I’m going to go check out that bundt pan.
Thank you, Ginny! The pan is really great. I love that it’s cast aluminum! No more water sneaking under the edges and creating rusty areas.
Oh yay, this is a series that I will be looking forward to, I love apple cake – all sorts! I love the contrasting color that the cake and cream cheese layers bring to this one.
Thanks, Heather! And I’m so happy to hear that you’re looking forward to the apple cake series. :)