Cheddar Cheese Pound Cake with Brandy Caramel Apples

This poundcake created by chef Dawn Burrell gets a bit of a savory edge from the mellow cheddar cheese mixed into the batter and sprinkled on top of the cake as it bakes. It's excellent with afternoon coffee or tea on its own, but the Brandy Caramel Apples move it clearly into dessert territory (add a scoop of ice cream to take it over the top). You can bake one large cake in a Bundt or tube pan, or two cakes baked in loaf pans.

Cheddar Cheese Pound Cake with Caramelized Apples
Photo: Photo by Sarah Crowder / Food Styling by Chandra Ram
Active Time:
45 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs 15 mins


Cheddar Cheese Pound Cake

  • 2 ¾ cups sugar, divided

  • 6 ounces cheddar cheese (such as Kerrygold savory cheddar), shredded

  • ¼ cup evaporated milk

  • 1 cup (8 ounces) unsalted butter, softened

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened (1 cup)

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla paste

  • 5 eggs

  • 3 cups about 13 ounces) all-purpose flour

  • 1 ¼ teaspoons baking powder

  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 cup shredded mild cheddar cheese, divided

Brandy Caramel Apples

  • ½ cup unsalted butter

  • 2 large Pink Lady or Fuji apples, thinly sliced with skin on (1 pound)

  • 1 ½ cups sugar

  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • ½ cup (4 ounces) apple brandy


Make the Cheddar Cheese Pound Cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray baking pan with baking spray. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of the sugar inside pan, turning it to evenly coat the inside. Set aside.

  2. Place shredded savory cheddar cheese in a blender. Heat evaporated milk in a small saucepan over medium heat to a simmer. Pour hot milk over cheese in blender. Blend cheddar mixture on high until it forms a smooth cheese sauce. Transfer mixture to a small bowl to cool slightly; set aside.

  3. In a large mixing bowl with a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter, cream cheese and remaining 2 1/2 cups sugar until light and fluffy. Add vanilla extract or bean paste and mix until combined. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing until each egg is completely incorporated. After final egg is incorporated, mix on medium-high for 5 minutes to aerate batter.

  4. Add cheese sauce to batter and mix until incorporated. Stir together flour, baking powder and salt in a separate bowl. Add flour mixture to batter in 3 additions, mixing on low in between additions until flour is fully incorporated. Add 1/2 cup of the shredded mild cheddar cheese to the batter and stir to combine. Pour cake batter in the prepared cake pans, dividing it equally if using 2 loaf pans.

  5. If baking 1 large cake in a tube or Bundt pan, bake for 25 minutes. Remove cake from oven and top with remaining 1/2 cup shredded mild cheddar cheese. Return cake to oven and bake for another 50 to 60 minutes, until golden on top and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. If baking 2 cakes in loaf pans, bake for 15 minutes. Remove cakes from oven, and divide remaining 1/2 cup shredded mild cheddar cheese on top of each cake. Return cakes to oven and bake for another 40 to 45 minutes, until cakes are golden on top and a cake tester inserted in the center of each comes out clean. Remove cake from oven and let cool on a rack for 15 minutes. Use a knife to separate cake from edges of pan, then gently tip cake out onto a cooling rack.

Make the Brandy Caramel Apples:

  1. Melt butter in a cast-iron or heavy skillet over high heat. When butter begins to foam, add apples to the pan. Sauté apples until slightly caramelized. Stir in brown sugar and continue to sauté until sugar melts. Deglaze pan with apple brandy. Stir in sugar and simmer for 3 minutes, until caramel thickens slightly. Hold warm until ready to serve; pour Brandy Caramel Apples over Cheddar Cheese Pound Cake.

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