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Brown Butter Apple Tarte Tatin Cake

Two classic desserts converge in this great recipe featuring fall’s favorite fruit. The change of seasons has never tasted better! Why choose between cake or pie when you can have both? This Apple Tarte Tatin Cake is a hybrid of pineapple upside-down cake and tarte Tatin [tart tah-TAN], and made with brown butter, a classic French technique. It gives the cake a very nutty and rich flavor — the perfect end to a Thanksgiving Day celebration.

Brown Butter Apple Tarte Tatin Cake

This Classic Apple Tarte Tatin starts with slow-cooked, caramelized using a classic French technique
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time50 mins
Cooling10 mins
Total Time1 hr 30 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: French
Keyword: Apple Upside Down Cake, Brown Butter Apple Tarte Tatin Cake, Caramelizied Apples, French cake, French Dessert, Tarte Tatin
Servings: 8
Calories: 387kcal


  • Measuring Cups/Spoons Set
  • 10.25" Cast-Iron Skillet
  • Fine-Mesh Sieve Set
  • High-Heat Scraper
  • Box Grater
  • Melon Baller
  • 8" Chef's Knife
  • 18 x 24-Inch Plastic Cutting Board
  • 9" Whisk



  • ½ cup Sugar
  • 3 tbsp. Water
  • 1 tsp. Fresh lemon juice
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 tbsp. Heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp. Unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp. Dark rum or apple juice
  • ½ tsp. Pure vanilla extract


  • 3-4 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and quartered


  • 1 Stick unsalted butter (8 Tbsp.)
  • 1 cup Granny Smith apple, shredded (1 apple)
  • 2 Eggs
  • Minced zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 cup Sugar


  • 1 cup All-purpose flour
  • ¾ tsp. Table salt
  • ½ tsp. Baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. Ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp. Cardamom
  • Powdered sugar


  • Preheat oven to 350°.

The Apples

  • Simmer sugar, water, lemon juice, and salt in a 10-inch cast-iron skillet over medium heat; cook, swirling the pan, until mixture is golden, 6–8 minutes. Off heat, carefully stir in cream (caramel will sputter), butter, rum, and vanilla; cool slightly.
  • Arrange quartered apples in the caramel, packing the pieces tightly (they shrink during cooking); transfer to a baking sheet and set aside.

The Cake

  • Melt butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat until milk solids turn brown, swirling the pan often, about 5 minutes. Set browned butter aside to cool.
  • Whisk together sugar, shredded apple, browned butter, eggs, and zest in a bowl.
  • Add flour, salt, baking powder, ginger, and cardamom; whisk just until blended. Spread batter over apples in skillet, and bake until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, 45–50 minutes. Allow cake to cool 10 minutes, then carefully invert onto a serving platter.
  • Dust warm cake with powdered sugar before slicing. Serve cake with Raisin Sauce and Sweetened Sour Cream.


Per 1/8, Calories: 387

Nutrition Facts

1 servings per container

  • Amount Per ServingCalories387
  • % Daily Value *
  • Total Fat 15g 24%
    • Sodium 261mg 11%
    • Total Carbohydrate 60g 20%
      • Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
    • Protein 3g 6%

      * The % Daily Value tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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      Written by Lisa Yarde

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