- 1 1/2 c unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 8 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
- 3 c granulated sugar
- 6 large eggs
- 3 c all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 c apple butter
- 1/4 c toasted pecans, finely chopped
- 1/2 c unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 c packed light brown sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 c confectioners' sugar
- 3 tbsp. whole milk
- 1/2 c dried apple chips, chopped into small pieces, for garnish
- Prepare a 12-cup Bundt pan with floured pan spray. Preheat oven to 325°F.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat 1 ½ cups (3 sticks) butter and the cream cheese on medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes.
- Gradually add sugar, beating on medium speed for 20 minutes or until light and fluffy.
- Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating until combined after each addition.
- Reduce the speed to low and slowly add in the flour to the bowl of the mixer, beating until just combined. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
- Add in the vanilla extract and mix briefly.
- In a small mixing bowl, combine a ¼ cup of the batter with the apple butter and the chopped pecans. Mix until combined.
- Pour ⅓ of the batter into the prepared Bundt pan. Spoon half of the apple butter mixture on top. Top with another ⅓ of the batter. Place the remaining apple butter mixture on top and swirl with a knife. Top with the remaining ⅓ batter. Tap pan lightly on the counter to remove air bubbles.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour and 20 minutes, up to 1 hour and 35 minutes. A wooden toothpick inserted in the center of the cake should come out clean and the edges of the cake will begin to pull away from the sides when the cake is done baking.
- Cool the cake in the Bundt pan for 10 minutes. Flip the cake out onto a cooling rack and continue to cool for about 2 hours.
- Near the end of the 2 hour cooling time, in a small saucepan, melt remaining butter. After melted, add brown sugar and stir until incorporated. Bring the mixture to a boil, whisking constantly so it does not burn. Boil for 1 minute.
- Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the remaining 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract.
- Alternate mixing in the confectioners’ sugar and milk and stir until smooth and the frosting begins to cool and thicken, about 3 to 5 minutes.
- Immediately spoon the frosting over the cooled cake. Garnish the cake with the chopped apple chips.