Apple Cake Tatin

I’ve been so distracted discovering and baking new concoctions that I’d forgotten to make some of my all time favorite recipes that I had promised to share when Bella Baking first got underway. Today I’m back with one of my go to apple desserts known as the Apple Cake Tatin. Not only does it sound fancy, it looks and tastes fanciful too!

Apple Cake Tatin

In case you’re wondering what the name means, ‘Tatin’ is essentially an upside-down tart in which the fruit (usually apples) are caramelized before the tart is baked.

Caramelized apples covered with powdered sugar

What I absolutely love about this cake is its silky texture, which is due in large part to the sour cream that goes into the batter. The soft, fluffy cake combined with the caramelized apples on top are truly the perfect combo. Another bonus: it’s incredibly simple to make.

Close up of the caramelized apples

One important thing to keep in mind when choosing apples for your Tatin is to pick some that will hold their shape while cooking, and not melt into apple sauce. Golden Delicious or Granny Smith apples are excellent choices.

Granny Smith Apples

Another alternative for your Tatin is to forgo the apples and use other stone fruit like peaches or pears. The key is to choose fruit that will hold its shape. Other than that, whatever fruit you use will be icing on a delicious cake, which incidentally goes perfectly paired with an afternoon tea or served as an after dinner treat. I guarantee you’ll get lots of ‘oohs and aahs’ when you serve this baby!

Read on for the recipe.

Sliced cake

Apple Cake Tatin

(recipe courtesy of Ina Garten)


~ 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for greasing the dish
~ 1 1/4 granny smith apples, peeled and sliced into 12 pieces
~ 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar, divided
~ 2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
~ 1/3 cup sour cream
~ 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
~ 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
~ 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
~ 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
~ 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
~ Confectioners’ sugar for dusting


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Generously butter a 9-inch glass pie dish and arrange the apples in the dish, cut side down.

Combine 1 cup of the granulated sugar and 1/3 cup water in a small saucepan and cook over high heat until it turns a warm amber color. Swirl the pan but don’t stir. Pour evenly over the apple slices.

Meanwhile, cream the 6 tablespoons of butter and the remaining 3/4 cup of granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, until light and fluffy. Lower the speed and beat in the eggs 1 at a time. Add the sour cream, zest, and vanilla and mix until combined. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt and, with the mixer on low speed, add it to the butter mixture. Mix only until combined.

Pour the cake batter evenly over the apple slices and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool for 15 minutes, then invert the cake onto a flat plate. If an apple slice sticks, ease it out and replace it in the design on top of the cake. Serve warm or at room temperature, dusted with confectioners’ sugar.

Ready to eat!

One thought on “Apple Cake Tatin

  1. I can not wait to surprise my family with this lovely cake/ tart… thank you for giving freely your knowledge of such an exeptonal and yummy yummification delite…. Lori Margaret xoxo

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