Tarte Tatin Apple Cake
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5 from 1 vote

Tarte Tatin with Brandy Caramelized Apples

Apple Tarte Tatin is a fancy name for apple upside down cake. In this version of the cake, the apples are caramelized in brown sugar and brandy. A perfectly delicious way to celebrate fall! It can be made in less than an hour, so it’s a beautiful looking dessert to make when you don’t have a lot of time to plan out something more elaborate.
Course Dessert
Cuisine French
Keyword Apple Upside Down Cake, Caramelizied Apples, French cake, french dessert, Tarte Tatin
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 8
Calories 378kcal
Author Olga


Caramelized Brandied Apples:

  • 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, more for buttering the pan
  • ½ cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Brandy
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Wet Cake Ingredients:

  • 8 tablespoons or ½ cup, or 4 oz unsalted butter, softened
  • ¾ cup regular sugar
  • 2 extra-large eggs very important, if eggs are small, use 3 eggs!
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Dry Cake Ingredients

  • 1 cup unbleached all purpose flour sifted
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt


  • Preheat oven to 350 F.
  • APPLE PREPARATION: Peel, core and slice apples into wedges. I ended up using 25 apple wedges for my 9-inch round pan. Set aside. 
  • Melt butter in a medium skillet (I used cast iron skillet) over medium heat. Add brown sugar and cook until sugar is evenly moistened, about 2-3 minutes.  
  • BRANDY: Stir in brandy (it will bubble up) and simmer for 2 more minutes (bubbles will continue). Add apples to the brandied mixture and cook on low heat for only 1 to 2 minutes – and then remove pan from heat and add vanilla.
  • To avoid over-steaming the apples in the hot cast iron pan, immediately move apple slices from the skillet to the 9-inch glass pie baking dish, using a serving turner or a fork. 
  • ARRANGE APPLES: Arrange apple slices in a circular pattern in the round baking dish (as many apples as fit – mine fit 25 apple wedges, they can overlap too), making sure all slices fit tightly together. Pour hot brandy-brown sugar caramel mixture over the apples and set aside.
  • CAKE LIQUID INGREDIENTS: Mix softened butter and sugar in a bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed. Lower the speed and beat in both eggs, one at a time. Add sour cream, vanilla and mix until combined.
  • CAKE DRY INGREDIENTS: These need to be mixed separately from liquid ingredients and folded gently into the liquid cake batter. Sift flour, baking powder and salt and add it to the liquid ingredients gently with a spatula. Don’t overmix. It should only take a minute. Done and ready to pour it over the apples.
  • PUTTING THE CAKE TOGETHER: Pour the cake batter evenly over the apples (work with the spatula to even out the top) and bake for 30 to 40 minutes at 350 F until a cake tester comes out clean. 
  • Cool for 15 minutes, then invert the cake onto a flat plate with caramelized apples on top.


Calories: 378kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 91mg | Sodium: 201mg | Potassium: 114mg | Sugar: 32g | Vitamin A: 12.9% | Calcium: 5.7% | Iron: 5.9%