3 cup all-purpose flour
2 1/4 cup granulated sugar, divided use
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
4 large eggs, beaten
1 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup orange juice
2 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
7 medium Honeycrisp baking apples, peeled and chopped
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
18-oz. package cream cheese
1/2 cup butter or margarine
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup whipping cream
1 1/2 cup chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan.
To make Cake: In a mixing bowl, combine flour, 2 cups of the granulated sugar, the baking powder and the salt. Set flour mixture aside.
In a second bowl, combine beaten eggs, oil, orange juice and vanilla. Pour egg mixture into flour mixture and mix well, but just until combined, with electric mixer. Do not over mix.
In a third bowl, toss chopped apples, cinnamon and remaining 1/4 cup granulated sugar. Separately, cube the cream cheese and divide into thirds.
Spread 1/3 of batter in prepared tube pan. Sprinkle with 1/3 of apples and 1/3 of cream cheese. Repeat until all batter, apples and cream cheese are used; a layer of apples and cream cheese will be on top, not covered by batter. Bake 50 to 55 minutes, at which point cake should be not quite done.
While cake is baking, make Topping. Place the butter, brown sugar, whipping cream and pecans in a small saucepan. Stirring constantly, bring mixture to a boil. Remove mixture from heat and pour over the almost-done cake. Bake 5 to 10 minutes more until wooden toothpick or skewer inserted in cake comes out clean. Cool cake in pan 15 to 20 minutes, then remove from pan and cool on wire rack.
Note: Cake should be served with the nut-topping side up. Cake is better the day after it is baked.