Tarte Tatin is a pastry that looks (and sounds) fancy but is actually crazy easy to make!

This gorgeous apple tart has apples caramelized in a butter honey sauce and topped with flakey puff pastry. Once baked it’s all flipped over before serving for a gorgeous dessert.

top view of finished Tarte Tatin with apples beside it

What is Tarte Tatin?

Tarte Tatin (prounounced is “Tart Ta-tan”) is a tasty caramelized apple tart.

It is named after the Tatin sisters, who created this unusual upside-down pastry at their hotel in France. While it looks fancy, it is in fact super easy to make!

ingredients and pan ready to make Tarte Tatin


Just 6 simple ingredients (plus whipped cream on top) are cooked in such a way as to create complex flavors!

APPLES We use Honeycrisp apples for their texture and high sugar content. For a tarter tart (pun intended!) use Granny Smith apples instead!

BUTTER Use salted butter for this recipe, it simply tastes better. Accept no substitutes, making a Tarte Tatin without real butter is not going to yield the same flavor.

SWEETENER Honey and sugar mixed with butter are what creates the caramel apple perfection.

DOUGH This recipe calls for a premade sheet of puff pastry keeping this recipe simple and quick.

How to Make Tarte Tatin

With a little care regarding temperature and time, anyone can make this super fancy-feeling French pastry! Here’s a brief overview of the process:

  1. Peel, slice apples. Toss with sugar.
  2. Melt butter & honey in a skillet. Top with sugar & do not stir. Arrange apples on top of the caramel in a tightly packed spiral.

process of adding apples and crust to make Tarte Tatin

  1. Place chilled puff pastry on top and bake until golden.
  2. Place a plate over the skillet and quickly flip it over so the apples are on top.


taken a slice of Tarte Tatin and putting it on a plate


  • Ensure the pastry is well chilled for best results.
  • Tarte Tatin should be made in an ovenproof skillet.
  • This dessert works best in cast-iron.
  • Use real butter, natural honey, and good quality sugar. Buy the best fresh apples, too, since a dessert with just 6 ingredients relies on quality ingredients and some patience. Bon appétit!

Apples À La Mode

Did your family love this Apple Tarte Tatin? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below! 

top view of finished Tarte Tatin with apples beside it
5 from 10 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Tarte Tatin

This classic and cozy French pastry dessert is made with just 5 ingredients. It looks impressive but it's simple enough for a beginner baker.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 8 servings
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  • 5 Honeycrisp apples
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 sheet puff pastry dough thawed
  • 4 tablespoons salted butter
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • Whipped cream for serving


  • Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  • Peel and core the apples. Cut one of the apples in half and reserve a full half. Slice the remainign apples into quarters. Toss with 2 tablespoons of sugar.
  • Roll the thawed pastry dough and cut into a 12-inch circle, place the circle in the refrigerator until ready to use.
  • In a 10-inch cast-iron skillet, melt the butter and honey together over medium heat. Once the butter begins to bubble and turn a light golden brown, sprinkle the ½ cup of sugar over the top (DO NOT STIR) and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Once the mixture begins to get dark brown with bubbles, add the apples so the halved apple is in the center, cut-side up, and the rest of the apples are arranged so they go around the center apple. They should be tucked in next to each other on their sides and tightly packed. Continue to cook over medium heat for 10 minutes. The butter mixture should turn a dark brown color.
  • Take the dough circle out of the fridge and place it over the top of the apples, gently and carefully tucking it in around the edges.
  • Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes until the pastry is golden brown. Remove from oven and cool in the skillet for 30 minutes.
  • Very carefully, but quickly, invert a large plate or cake stand over the top of the skillet and flip them so the tarte is now apple-side up on the plate.
  • Slice and serve warm with whipped cream or keep at room temperature for up to 4 hours before refrigerating. This is best served BEFORE refrigerating otherwise the puff pastry texture changes.


Other varieties of apples may be used, but make sure that they are large and firmer. Gala and Granny Smith are both great alternatives.
100% pure maple syrup may be used in place of honey.
This tarte tatin is made in a fairly traditional and simple way. However, if you want some spice, a teaspoon of cinnamon or apple pie spice could be mixed in with the apples and sugar.
 The addition of honey is untraditional, you could use an additional 2 tablespoons of butter, if desired, but I love the flavor it adds.
It’s important to prepare the apples first and not during cooking because the apples need time to sit in the sugar mixture to soften them and help release juices.
It’s also very important that the puff pastry gets refrigerated before baking. You’ll need the dough to be thawed enough to roll out to the right size, however, puff pastry baked best when it’s cold.
This recipe can be made with peaches as well.
5 from 10 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 354 | Carbohydrates: 49g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 15mg | Sodium: 128mg | Potassium: 145mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 32g | Vitamin A: 237IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 12mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Cake, Dessert
Cuisine American
Tarte Tatin with a title and a plated piece
close up of Tarte Tatin with writing
Tarte Tatin on a plate with whipped cream and a title
top view of Tarte Tatin with a title



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Holly Nilsson is the creator of Spend With Pennies, where she creates easy, comforting recipes made for real life. With a passion for nostalgic flavors and simplified techniques, Holly helps busy home cooks create delicious meals that always work. She is also the author of “Everyday Comfort,” which promises to inspire even more hearty, home-cooked meals.
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