Apple and Cream Cheese Bundt Cake with Caramel Pecan Topping

Onward to day three for Apple Week! I saw this recipe for Apple and Cream Cheese Bundt Cake with Caramel Pecan Frosting at Jenny Bakes. It is the essence of Fall flavors in a bundt cake. A moist, spicey cake is mixed with a cream cheese filling, then over the top is a sweet caramel frosting studded with pecans.

Note: The topping for this is quite fussy. When the recipe says to immediately pour the frosting over the cake, please do that! I waited a few minutes too long and it became impossible to pour over the cake and was difficult to work with. Some have had feedback that the topping was more of a glaze, and some have said it was more thick. The longer you let it sit in the pan after preparing the frosting, the thicker it gets.

Apple and Cream Cheese Bundt Cake with Caramel Pecan Topping
Makes one bundt cake


  • Cream Cheese Filling:
  • 1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Apple Cake Batter:
  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans 
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg 
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup canola oil
  • 3/4 cup applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups peeled and finely chopped apples (about 1 1/2 lb.) 
  • Caramel Pecan Frosting:
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup pecan halves (garnish)


  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.
  2. Prepare Batter: Preheat oven to 350ΒΊ. Bake pecans in a shallow pan 8 to 10 minutes or until toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through. Stir together 3 cups flour and next 7 ingredients in a large bowl; stir in eggs and next 3 ingredients, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. Stir in apples and pecans.
  3. Spoon two-thirds of apple mixture 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. Swirl filling through apple mixture using a paring knife. Spoon remaining apple mixture over Cream Cheese Filling.
  4. Bake at 350ΒΊ for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a long wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool cake in pan on a wire rack 15 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack, and cool completely (about 2 hours).
  5. Prepare Frosting: Bring 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup butter, and 3 Tbsp. 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 to 5 minutes or until mixture begins to cool and thickens slightly. Pour immediately over cooled cake. Garnish with pecans.

Recipe from Jenny Bakes

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    1. I want to find out what the two things on the right are in the header after the pink juice stuff, thanks

  1. …WOW…! This cake looks over the top and absolutely wonderful. I read you had a hard time frosting but I think your cake still looks great! Pinned πŸ™‚

  2. OMG! What's not to love about this cake! I know you say the frosting got a little thick and hard to work with but boy does it look amazing, just perfect for me to get a good finger lick! Can't wait to try this one, Pinned!

  3. I'm thinking your thick frosting looks extremely delicious. I am loving apple week too. Now if only I had a huge slice of this cake to go with my coffee this morning…

  4. Ali, this cream cheese bundt cake looks TO DIE FOR! My mom has made a similar bundt cake before but never slathered is with a frosting quite as beautiful as this! I'm so glad I found your blog through this applelicious week!!

  5. Totally trying this soon! And by the way….LOVE the name of your blog – my favorite, favorite show! The title caught my attention and sure enough…my instinct was right!

  6. Totally trying this soon! And by the way….LOVE the name of your blog – my favorite, favorite show! The title caught my attention and sure enough…my instinct was right!

  7. Totally trying this soon! And by the way….LOVE the name of your blog – my favorite, favorite show! The title caught my attention and sure enough…my instinct was right!

  8. Oh my goodness, oh my goodness! I have to try this, definetly. I would like to feature this sometime in Oct/Nov. Thank you so much for a great recipe.

  9. Can we get any closer to heaven? Yummo! Thanks so much for sharing this! Nothing quite like apples and cinnamon to usher in the fall season! β™₯

  10. Thank you so much for this recipe. I made it the other week and it was so delicious. A perfect cake for Fall. I think it might be my favorite cake. I followed your tip and poured my icing over right away. It turned out more like a glaze than a thick icing, but it was amazing! I may let my icing sit longer next time to see if I can get the thick icing you pictured! I did blog about this recipe and referenced back to your blog.

  11. Just made this for our church's Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow. Found it on pinterest and it is DE-LISH! I had a bit of trouble with it sticking but I covered it with the icing and oh, my goodness, it is wonderful! Will be taking it for our dinner on Thursday as well. Thank you again for a great recipe!
    Always Experiencing Him,

  12. I found this recipe in Southern Living Magazine last year and it has become a favorite. The recipe calls for Gala apples. I wanted it to have more a pronouned apple taste so I used half Gala apples and half Granny Smith apples. The cake turned out great.

  13. So making this today!!! Best looking cake I've seen yet on Pinterest. Can't wait to try it. Thanks for sharing.

    1. I'm not sure if it HAS to be stored in the fridge but I sure did because I'm paranoid. I also froze the extras in about quarter sections and wrapped it well in cling wrap.

  14. I "pinned" this recipe last week then made it the other day for a get together at a friend's home. WOW, was it a hit! Thanks for sharing!! I did make and used most of a second batch of the frosting since our group all love frosting. This is certainly going to be a "go-to" cake recipe in our home from now on.

  15. I just found this recipe on Pinterest – OMG! My husband loves applecake and I always make one for him on his birthday. I would love to try this one but he is diabetic and there's a lot of sugar in it. Do you think it would work with Splenda, or do you have another suggestion? Thanks!

  16. Loved this cake …was simply amazing even without the frosting!!! Used granny smith apples and made homemade applesauce…put a lil pumpkin pie spice…but I will br making again and again!! Thanks!!

  17. Just made this cake for the first time. It tastes great, but mine turned out a little dry. I baked for an hour. Any suggestions on what I may have done wrong, or any fixes for next time? Thanks!

  18. There are no words to explain how good this was. I made it with no nuts so it was allergy friendly and it was still amazing. I actually made the topping in the microwave and it came out perfect. Already got requests to make it again.

  19. After I made my frosting, I noticed it didn't look anything like the frosting on your cake, which is what I expected and hoped it would be. What kind of frosting did you make for yours?

    1. Hi Amy – I used the recipe in the post. As I noted up on the post, I waited too long to add the frosting to the cake, which made the frosting thicken up a lot. While it may look nice, it was like working with playdoh, patching in and adding chunks of frosting to the cake and trying to make it look nice. That's why I noted in the instructions to not wait too long to add the frosting. If you would like yours thicker, proceed at your own risk, and just wait a few minutes to add the frosting to the cake. πŸ™‚

  20. Loved this cake but the icing was difficult . It also did not look like the picture, what is the difference?

    1. The frosting/glaze can be difficult to work with if you boil it too long, don't stir it frequently, and also if you wait too long to pour it over the cake. It is impossible for me to know what exactly happened in your kitchen, but I will agree that it is a bit of a fussy frosting recipe.

    1. You could try it out but you would have to adjust baking time, the batter might not all fit in just a tube pan, etc. There are a lot of factors there that might make the baked good turn out poorly. Good luck if you try it!

  21. I made this cake and although its good,I expected from the picture for it to be much more moist. It isn't dry but it also isn't decadent like I thought. I would give this recipe a 6.5 out of 10. Sorry.

    1. Danielle – I appreciate the feedback even if it wasn't your fav. How many days ago did you make it ? Pound cakes and most bundt cakes are much better on the 2nd or 3rd day and get a lot more moist. I wish I knew what you did differently, because my final product was very moist. It could be a huge amount of factors, the oven, the ingredients, if it was over mixed like crazy, baked too long, too hot, etc. If you made it today I would try it again tomorrow. As I said, pound cakes and bundt cakes typically get much more moist by the 2nd or 3rd day.

  22. Made this cake last night for a work morning tea today. Everyone loved it and have shared the recipe. Very popular choice, glad I found the recipe, thank you! πŸ™‚

  23. I'm not sure which pecans should be baked – the ones finely chopped or the ones for the garnish – or both? The whole ones would take longer, or course.

    1. You add the finely chopped pecans to the batter and bake it. The halved pecans are for garnish.

    2. I believe Mom was asking which pecans are suppose to be toasted in the oven before adding to the recipe……the finely chopped, the whole for garnish or both???

    3. Toasting the pecans falls under the "prepare the batter" so that would be the finely chopped, but you could toast all the pecans if you wanted. Toasting the nuts isn't mandatory, it just brings out more flavor in the nuts.

  24. Hello!

    I just wanted to let you know I've made this cake for the last three years at Thanksgiving. My family expects it! They love it. Thanks for the recipe!

  25. So I’m having Christmas early this year. I really wanted to make this bundt cake for thanksgiving but waited last minuet so I thought I’d for sure make it for Christmas the day before! Well.. sadly I messed up on this beautiful cake not once, not twice, but THREE times(I’m very determined to make this cake work). Can you tell me why each time I baked it, then took it out of the pan, that some was still left in the pan causing it to fall apart?? I greased and floured it each time, and followed the directions to a T -not over stirring, exact measurements in the exact order, etc. i thought maybe it was because It was too moist so i cooked it longer, but nope. Then I thought Maybe It needed to cool longer in the pan before dumping onto the wire rack… nope… I really wanted this to work Out): I’m actually typing this as I’m waiting for my third try to cool for 2 hours so I can make the icIng. I’m hoping the icing will act as a glue and hold the chunk that got left in the pan… wish me luck

    1. Hi Kasey – Sorry to hear of all the troubles you had. I didn't have that experience with this recipe. My mom seems cursed with bundt cakes and all of hers stick to her pan, but I can't figure out if it was something she did or the pan itself. It is still a mystery to me. Really the only thing I can recommend is googling why cakes stick to pans, or trying a different pan, since it is really hard for me to know why yours are sticking. I empathize with you for the lost time and money that goes into a recipe and then you can't get the damn thing out of the pan. I've been there too for different recipes I've tried over the years. Wishing you better luck. πŸ™‚