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Financiers (Almond Tea Cakes) classic

Financiers (Almond Tea Cakes) classic

These classic  Financiers Cakes make the most delicious little treat. Perfect with your morning or afternoon tea, these Brown Butter Almond Tea Cakes are a great sweet snack and edible gift idea.

Financiers (Almond Tea Cakes) classic

What Are Financiers

A "Financier" (originally called "visitandine") is a traditional French tea cake made with Almond Meal and Brown Butter ("beurre-noisette" in French). They can be enjoyed plain like here, or flavoured with many other ingredients like fruits, chocolate, spices, nuts.

5 basic ingredients

Butter: we are using Unsalted Butter here, slowly melted on the stove to make Brown Butter (see how to make brown butter below). If you don't want to make brown butter, you can simply use melted butter, but the brown butter does provide a LOT of flavour.

Dry Ingredients: a mix of Almond Meal (Almond Flour will work too), Plain/All-Purpose Flour (I have not tried this recipe with a gluten-free flour substitute), Icing Sugar (or more traditionally Confectioners/Powdered Sugar) and a pinch of Salt. Make sure to sift them well so you don't get lumps in the batter.

Egg Whites: some recipes use straight egg whites but I like to use slightly whipped Egg Whites. There is no raising agent in this recipe like baking powder, so slightly whipping the egg whites will make your financiers lighter.

Optional: a little bit of Vanilla in the batter for flavour and some Flaked Almonds on top for texture.

Optional Addition & Flavour Variation

This recipe is for a basic financier cake. But you can vary much create thousands of variation using this basic recipe and adding ingredients like:

Fruits: Berries, Figs, Cherries, chunks of Pears or Apples or some Citrus like Orange and Lemon juice / zest.

Nuts: replace (or combine) the Almond Meal with other nut flour such as Hazelnut Flour or Pistachios for example.

Chocolate: replace a little bit of the flour with Cacao Powder, or add Chocolate Chunks to the batter like I did in these.

Tea like Matcha or even Coffee like.

Spices: cinnamon, ginger, allspices, cardamom,... any of your favourite spice will add lots of flavors to these cakes.


  • 150 gr Unsalted Butter
  • 25 gr Plain / All-Purpose Flour
  • 125 gr Almond Meal
  • 100 gr Icing Sugar - or Powdered Sugar
  • 1 pinch Salt
  • 5 Egg Whites - about 150 grams
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract - optional
  • Flaked Almonds - optional, to taste


1. Preheat your oven on 160'C/325'F and generously grease a Financier Pan (see note 1). Optionally, dust the pan with flour and tip out any excess.

2. Prepare the Brown Butter: place the butter in a small saucepan and turn on low to medium low heat. Cook until the butter has completely melted and starts to get foamy. Keep on cooking, occasionally stirring, until the melted butter starts to turn golden and releases a nutty aroma (about 5 to 8 minutes approximately). Once you see small brown specks at the bottom of the saucepan, remove from the heat (see note 2). Set aside to cool down.

Financiers (Almond Tea Cakes) classic

3. In a large mixing bowl, sift together the Flour, Almond Meal, Icing Sugar and Salt. Mix to combine.

4. In a separate bowl, lightly whisk the Egg Whites until slightly bubbly (see note 3). Add the egg whites to the dry ingredients and mix until smooth.

5. Add the slightly cooled Brown Butter and Vanilla to the dry, whisking until just combined.

6. Place the batter in a piping bag and pipe into a Financier Pan (or simply spoon/scoop it). Spread with the back of a spoon if needed, then top with Flaked Almonds (optional).

7. Bake for about 20min, or until lightly golden. Take out of the oven and leave for about 10 minutes before removing from the financier pan (see note 4). Leave on a cooling rack until cold.


1. If you don't have a Financier Pan, you can use any small cake pan instead like a regular or mini muffin pan or mini loaf pan.

2. The small specks are the caramelised milk solids than have separated from the fats. They contain most of the flavours of brown butter so don't discard it - make sure you use it all in the batter!

3. There are no raising agents used here. Slightly whipping the egg whites will incorporate some air into the batter, resulting in a much lighter crumb - but it is optional. I have made financiers with fully whipped egg whites (stiff peaks) and it does work - you will get extremely fluffy cakes. 

4. The cakes will be very soft when they just come out of the oven so leaving them for 10 minutes in the pan will make it easier to release. Financier batter can be a bit sticky, so if the cakes are sticking to the pan, use a small knife to gently lift the edges until the cakes are released.