Cider "syrup" is folded into this cake for a rich caramelized flavor.
2 1/4 cups apple cider, divided
2 1/4 cups granulated sugar, divided
1 tablespoon stick margarine or butter
3 cups sliced peeled cooking apple (such as Braeburn, Rome, or McIntosh)
2 1/2 tablespoons dry breadcrumbs
1/2 cup stick margarine or butter, softened
1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
1 (8-ounce) block fat-free cream cheese
3 large eggs
6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, divided
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup low-fat buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
How to Make It
Bring 2 cups cider to a boil in a large, heavy saucepan over high heat. Cook until reduced to 1/2 cup (about 20 minutes). Reduce heat to medium-high; stir in 1/2 cup granulated sugar. Cook 5 minutes or until sugar dissolves and cider is thick and dark-colored, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; cool 1 minute. Stir in 1 tablespoon margarine. Stir in apple; cook 15 minutes over medium-high heat or until the liquid is absorbed, stirring frequently. Remove from heat; cool. (If apple mixture hardens, place it over low heat until softened).
Preheat oven to 325°.
Coat a 12-cup Bundt pan with cooking spray; dust with breadcrumbs.
Combine 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar, 1/2 cup margarine, lemon rind, and cream cheese in a large bowl; beat at medium speed of a mixer until well-blended (about 5 minutes). Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in 2 tablespoons lemon juice. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Fold in apple mixture. Pour into prepared pan; bake at 325° for 1 1/2 hours or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
Combine 1/4 cup cider, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, 1/4 cup lemon juice, and vanilla; let stand until sugar dissolves, stirring occasionally. Cool cake in pan 5 minutes, and pierce with a wooden skewer in several places. Pour cider mixture over cake in pan, and let stand 10 minutes. Remove from pan, and cool completely on a wire rack. Sift powdered sugar over top of cake.