Grandbaby Cakes’ Banana Tarte Tatin Is the Easiest Showstopper Dessert I Know

published Apr 24, 2023
Kitchn Love Letters
Grandbaby Cakes’ Banana Tarte Tatin Recipe

Tarte tatin is one of my favorites and since it often begins with the convenience of store-bought puff pastry, it’s simple to throw together, too. From the classic apple to this bananas Foster version, its adaptable nature is why I depend on tarte tatin for unfussy entertaining. Here warming cinnamon and nutmeg heighten bananas that are tenderized in a brown sugar caramel. With a splash of rum, this dessert is the perfect marriage of NOLA and French vibes, the very definition of Creole influence.

Serves8

Makesone 9-inch tart

Jump to Recipe
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Grandbaby Cakes bananas fosters tarte tatin from Everyday Grand cookbook.
Credit: Clarkson Potter

Jocelyn Delk Adams, also known as Grandbaby Cakes, is very much beloved here at Kitchn. She’s been a contender — and winner — in numerous recipe showdowns with recipes like her carrot cake, which uses an unexpected technique. There are also countless recipe reviews on the site raving about recipes like her Glazed Meyer Lemon Olive Oil Cake

Luckily for us all, last month Jocelyn released her newest cookbook, Everyday Grand, and unsurprisingly it is full of kitchen gems that are fun and surprising, whilst still being very accessible to the average home cook. A perfect example of this is the stunning Banana Tarte Tatin recipe from the book. 

Why I Love Grandbaby Cakes’ Banana Tarte Tatin 

It’s rare to have such a showstopping dessert that doesn’t require intensive labor and lots of time, but Jocelyn makes it happen with her Banana Tarte Tatin. The recipe calls for thawed frozen, store-bought puff pastry which saves a ton of time in comparison to making your own from scratch, and the caramel and banana top layer comes together in less than 10 minutes. Then, all you do is wrap the puff pastry around the inside edges of the skillet, and let the oven do the rest. The end result is a gorgeous, caramelized dream of a dessert that will cause quite a stir at the dinner table. 

A few times throughout the recipe, Jocelyn reminds readers not to be “too precious” about certain steps in the instructions. That’s something I love about using her recipes — she really is cooking for people at home to be able to follow along without the stress of perfection. This, in my opinion, allows you to focus on the joy and excitement that can happen in the kitchen. The most exciting part of this recipe for me was flipping the skillet over onto a plate and seeing the final result. I was worried about whether or not some of the bananas and caramel would stick to the skillet, but much to my happiness it came out beautifully with absolutely no broken banana pieces. 

Of course, it doesn’t hurt that the Banana Tarte Tatin turned out to be absolutely delicious. 

If You’re Making Grandbaby Cakes’ Banana Tarte Tatin, a Few Tips 

1. A cast iron skillet will get the job done, too. Jocelyn’s preference is for a stainless steel skillet, but I made the recipe using a 10-inch cast iron skillet and it still turned out wonderfully. 
2. Quality really does matter. I agree with Jocelyn that this recipe calls for the best of the best when it comes to store-bought puff pastry — it really enhances the flavor. 
3. Don’t skip chilling the puff pastry circle. In order to avoid this beautiful dish turning into a buttery mess, it’s really important to give the puff pastry a bit of time to chill again before putting it in the oven.

Grandbaby Cakes’ Banana Tarte Tatin Recipe

Tarte tatin is one of my favorites and since it often begins with the convenience of store-bought puff pastry, it’s simple to throw together, too. From the classic apple to this bananas Foster version, its adaptable nature is why I depend on tarte tatin for unfussy entertaining. Here warming cinnamon and nutmeg heighten bananas that are tenderized in a brown sugar caramel. With a splash of rum, this dessert is the perfect marriage of NOLA and French vibes, the very definition of Creole influence.

Makes one 9-inch tart

Serves 8

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 1 sheet

    frozen all-butter puff pastry, defrosted

  • 3 tablespoons (43 grams)

    unsalted butter

  • 1/2 cup

    packed (110 grams) light brown sugar

  • 1/8 teaspoon

    ground cinnamon

  • 1/8 teaspoon

    freshly grated nutmeg

  • 1/8 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 5

    large firm bananas, peeled and halved lengthwise

  • 2 tablespoons

    dark rum

  • Vanilla ice cream, for serving

Instructions

  1. Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 400°F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

  2. Cut the puff pastry into a round roughly 10 inches wide. Don’t be super precious about it—this is a rustic dessert. Transfer the pastry round to the prepared baking sheet. Make a few ½-inch-long slits in the pastry or use a fork to poke it in a few places. Throw that in the fridge while you work on the caramel and bananas.

  3. In a 9-inch ovenproof skillet (preferably stainless steel), melt the butter over mediumhigh heat. Stir in the brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt and cook, swirling the skillet occasionally, until the mixture turns a medium amber color, about 3 minutes. Arrange the bananas in the caramel and cook, without moving them, until they just start to soften around the edges, 90 seconds to 2 minutes. Pour the rum over the bananas and cook until it evaporates and the caramel thickens slightly, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat.

  4. Arrange the pastry round over the bananas, tucking it into the skillet around the edge—again, it doesn’t have to be perfect. Transfer to the oven and bake for about 25 minutes, until the pastry is golden and puffed.

  5. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 40 minutes to 1 hour. Place a plate wider than the skillet on top and carefully invert the pan and plate together so the tart ends up on the plate. Serve with vanilla ice cream alongside.

Recipe Notes

Since we are cutting corners on time, don’t cut corners on quality. An all-butter puff pastry will pay dividends. Dufour is definitely a splurge, while Trader Joe’s is shockingly affordable—both are excellent quality and the rich flavor will be well worth it. Butter stay winning.