Raspberry and Almond Friands

Raspberry and Almond Friands must be one of Australia's best-kept culinary secrets. These incredibly delicious little almond cakes are one of the most popular sweet treats sold in Australian cafes and are perfect with a strong cup of coffee or afternoon tea.

I have always been fascinated with the way recipes change and adapt as they make their way around the globe, with each country putting their unique spin on the original. 

While New Zealand and Australia will never agree on who created the pavlova or the flat white coffee, one of my favourite sweet treats, Raspberry and Almond Friands are definitely an Australian invention.

Raspberry and Almond Friands on a cooling rack with fresh raspberries and a cup of espresso

What are friands?

Friands are small, moist almond cakes, with a deliciously chewy crumb. Friands are usually flavoured with fruit like berries as well as vanilla and sometimes orange or lemon zest. They are traditionally baked in an oval friand pan, similar to a muffin pan.

These tasty little cakes actually began life as French financier cakes; small, rich, gold-bar-shaped mini cakes. As the story goes, a cook working in Australia wanted to make financiers but didn’t have the properly shaped forms, so he or she used small oval aspic moulds, and the friand was born.

Dry ingredients for friands in a white bowl

What’s the difference between friands and financiers?

Apart from the shape, financiers are usually eaten plain. Friands on the other hand are always flavoured, usually with soft fruit like berries, as in today’s recipe: Raspberry and Almond Friands.

Friand pan vs. muffin pan

In Australia, buying a friand pan to make these in is usually as simple as popping out to your local Woolworths or Kmart, not the case when you live abroad. I use and thoroughly recommend the Masterclass friand pan (affiliate link) which is easily available online and of very good quality.

Lightly beaten Egg Whites
There’s no need to use an electric mixer, simply whisk the egg white until light and frothy.
Fresh raspberries on a white cloth

Friand ingredients

Friands are made with simple ingredients and can easily be adapted to be gluten-free. To make friands at home, you’ll need:

  • butter
  • powdered or icing sugar
  • plain flour (can be gluten-free plain flour)
  • ground almonds / almond meal
  • egg whites
  • vanilla or almond extract
  • berries

How to make friands

Friands are so simple to make that you don’t even need a mixer, just a couple of bowls and a whisk.

  1. First, stir together the dry ingredients.
  2. Whisk the egg whites until light and frothy.
  3. Fold the beaten egg whites and the almond mixture together.
  4. Pour into a well-greased friand or muffin pan.
  5. Top with berries and nuts.
  6. Bake until risen and golden brown.
Friand Batter in a friand pan

Variations

I like to make Raspberry and Almond friands as the flavours so so well together, but you can mix and match the flavours to suit what is in season. You could try:

  • Blueberry and lemon (add plenty of lemon zest)
  • Blackberry and hazelnut
  • Fig and pistachio
  • … or let your imagination run wild!

If you like, use a mix of fruit and make different kinds of friands in the same pan.

Friand batter topped with raspberries, almonds and pistachios in a friand pan

Pro tips

Depending on which baking tin you are using, it is important to grease the pan extra well. This will ensure that the friands don’t stick to the sides.

If you find they are stuck to the sides, don’t panic! Loosen them gently with a small, sharp knife, twisting gently until they come loose.

These delicious little cakes will keep for several days, well covered in a cool, dry place. The recipe makes 12, though you can scale the recipe up or down to suit your needs.

Baked Raspberry and Almond Friands in a Friand Pan

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a ‘standard’ muffin tin? What is a friand pan and where can I buy one?

A ‘standard’ muffin tin holds 75ml of liquid in each cup – the sort you would use for small cupcakes. A friand pan is an Australian invention and combines the shape of the original aspic mould with the ease of a muffin tin. Outside of Australia, you can get them online (link in recipe card).

What can I do with my leftover egg yolks?

I’m glad you asked! It is a great shame to let egg yolks go to waste. I like to use them to whip up a batch of creme patisserie or custard. Or you can make delicious Homemade Pasta, a French Vanilla Custard Tart, Portuguese Custard Tarts (yum!) or even Sweet Chilli Mayonnaise (perfect for seafood!)

Can I make friands with other fruit?

Friands are a fantastic way to use up whatever soft fruit is in season. They are especially good with berries, stone fruit or figs.

Can I make friands gluten-free?

You sure can! Just replace the very small amount of plain flour with your favourite gluten-free flour blend.

Raspberry and Almond Friands on a wire rack
Raspberries are a popular topping for friands, but all slightly tart fruit will work well. Plums, berries or even figs are delicious.
Raspberry and Almond Friands on a cake stand

Raspberry and Almond Friands Recipe

Raspberry and Almond Friands on a cooling rack with fresh raspberries and a cup of espresso

Raspberry and Almond Friands

Jay Wadams
An Australian café classic, Raspberry and Almond Friands are sweet, buttery, morsels of deliciousness. These small almond cakes are perfect served with a strong coffee or for afternoon tea.
4.72 from 32 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Serves 12 Friands

Ingredients
 

  • 150 g unsalted butter
  • 250 g powdered or icing sugar
  • 100 g plain or all-purpose flour
  • 150 g ground almonds , (almond meal)
  • pinch of salt
  • 6 medium egg whites, see notes
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract or 3-4 drops bitter almond oil, see notes
  • 24 fresh raspberries
  • 2 Tbsp flaked almonds

optional:

  • 3 tsp finely chopped pistachios, unsalted

Instructions
 

  • PREPARE: Heat the oven to 180 °C / 350 °F / Gas 4. Melt the butter in a small saucepan, and generously brush a 12-hole standard muffin tin or friand pan (see notes) with a little of the butter. Place the friand or muffin pan in the fridge for 2 minutes, then brush again with butter. Place in the fridge while you continue the recipe.
  • MIX DRY INGREDIENTS: Sift the sugar and flour together into a large mixing bowl, then stir through the almonds and salt.
  • BEAT EGG WHITES: In a separate large bowl, whisk the egg whites just until they are light and fluffy, only a minute or two, it is not necessary to whip them to soft peaks. Stir the egg whites into the dry ingredients, then pour in the melted butter and vanilla, mixing gently, until combined.
  • BAKE: Divide the mixture between the cups of the muffin tin or friand pan, and place 2-3 raspberries and a pinch of flaked almonds on the top of each friand. Bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes until well risen and golden brown.
  • COOL: Allow to cool in the tin for 5 minutes before turning out to a rack to cool completely. If you need to loosen the friands from the side of the tin at all, use a thin, sharp knife to loosen, then twist gently before turning out. Transfer the friands to a wire rack to cool.
  • SERVE: Friands can be eaten warm, but are much better served at room temperature, or even chilled, dusted lightly with powdered sugar. These cakes will keep in an airtight container for several days and they get better as they go on! If you have a smaller muffin tin or friand tin, simply halve the recipe.

Notes

  • Save the egg yolks! They are great for making mayonnaise, creme brulee or custard!
  • A ‘standard’ muffin tin holds 75ml of liquid in each cup – the sort you would use for small cupcakes. A friand pan is an Australian invention and combines the shape of the origin aspic mould with the ease of a muffin tin. I use and thoroughly recommend the Masterclass brand of friand pan, link below.
  • I love the flavour of bitter almonds, so I like to add a few drops of bitter almond oil to the friand batter. This is easily available in Germany and available online. Only a few drops are needed as a little goes a long way!
  • Imperial measurements are approximate. For best and most accurate results I use and recommend a digital kitchen scale.

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 friand | Calories: 300kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.4g | Cholesterol: 27mg | Sodium: 27mg | Potassium: 69mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 21g | Vitamin A: 317IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 39mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Leave a review or a star rating and let me know how it was! Use the hashtag #daysofjay on Instagram so I can see your delicious creations.
Course | Sweet Things
Cuisine | Australian
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Jay Wadams
Jay Wadams

Jay Wadams is a cookbook author, food photographer and Le Cordon Bleu Gastronomy and Nutrition graduate. Based in Italy 🇮🇹 Germany 🇩🇪 and Australia 🇦🇺.

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3 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I’ve made these twice now (all in one week). Very easy to follow recipe resulting in sweet, delicious and decadent treats that I can share with family. I have made each serving slightly smaller and baked in a star shaped cupcake tin that I had in my cupboard. Yields about 9 little cakes that are so pretty! Yum!

  2. 5 stars
    I’ve made these twice now (all in one week). Very easy to follow recipe resulting in sweet, delicious and decadent treats that I can share with family. I have made each serving slightly smaller and baked in a star shaped cupcake tin that I had in my cupboard. Yields about 9 little cakes that are so pretty! Yum!

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