These financier cakes offer a delightful blend of nutty richness, buttery indulgence, and delicate sweetness in every bite. This recipe will show you how easy it is to make these fancy little cakes with just a few ingredients in your own kitchen.

A stack of financier cakes topped with almonds on a white plate.

What is a financier cake:

A financier cake is a small French almond cake made with almond flour, sugar, egg whites, and browned butter. It’s known for its delicate texture, moist crumb, and rich flavor, often featuring a slight nuttiness from the almond flour and a hint of caramelization. The name “financier” is said to come from its traditional rectangular shape, resembling a bar of gold, and from its popularity among bankers and financiers in Paris in the late 19th century.

Why you’ll love this recipe:

  • No fuss with browning butter – Instead of having to brown the butter, you bake these financiers at a high temp to caramelize the edges and create the same brown butter taste. It also cuts the baking time in half!
  • A texture that wows – These financier cakes have crispy, golden caramelized edges and a soft, moist, frangipane-like center. It’s like a cake version of an amaretti cookie.
  • A taste that is unforgettable – The taste is rich and buttery with a sweet almond custard flavor. The addition of raspberries or almonds add another layer of flavor and texture.
Mini financiers on a light speckled surface with almonds scattered around.

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • Unsalted Butter: Provides richness, moisture, and flavor.
  • Egg Whites: The beaten egg whites bind all the dry ingredients together and helps the cakes rise in the oven.
  • Granulated Sugar: Sweetens the cakes and adds moisture. It also help to create a delicate crust on the outside of the cakes.
  • Almond Flour: Adds a rich, nutty flavor to the cakes and contributes to their tender texture. Almond flour is a key ingredient in financier cakes and gives them their characteristic taste.
  • All-Purpose Flour: Provides additional structure. While almond flour is the primary flour in financier cakes, a small amount of all-purpose flour helps achieve the desired texture.
  • Salt: Enhances the flavor and balances the sweetness. A small amount of salt can help bring out the nutty and buttery notes in the cakes.
  • Toppings (optional): Additional toppings like fruit or nuts not only adds another layer of flavor or texture, but it also enhance the visual appeal.

How to make financier cakes:

(The full written and printable recipe is further below.)

process shots of how to make financier cake batter
  1. Melt the butter in the microwave and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, toss together the sugar, almond flour, all-purpose flour, and salt.
  3. In a large bowl, beat the egg whites for 1-2 minutes on high until frothy.
  4. Gently stir in the dry ingredients until just combined.
  5. Add the melted butter and gently mix until all the butter is incorporated.
  6. Spoon the batter evenly into a buttered mini muffin pan. Add toppings if using. Bake at 400F for 10-12 minutes until golden brown and crispy around the edges.
financier batter in a bowl and in a mini muffin pan topped with raspberries and almonds

Variations:

  • Almond flour – Even though it’s the traditional key ingredient. You can use other nut flours instead for a different variation like hazelnut or pistachio flour.
  • All-purpose flour – Can be replaced with oat flour for a gluten-free version.
  • Almond extract – Can be substituted with citrus zest or spices.
  • Toppings – Almost any fruit can be used like raspberries, cherries (pitted and cut in half), blueberries, and strawberry (slices or cut in half if small). You can also top the financiers with nuts like almond slices or chopped pistachios.

How to serve:

Financiers are commonly served with afternoon tea or coffee, but you can enjoy them any time of day. Serve with a dusting of powdered sugar if desired. Financiers are best eaten the day they are made.

Three financier cakes on a plate with a bite taken out of one of them.

FAQ:

How do you pronounce financier?

“Financier” is 4 syllables and pronounced “fee-nan-see-eh”.

What is the difference between financiers and madeleines?

Both are classic French tea cakes, but they differ in shape and ingredients. Financiers are dense cakes made with almond flour and egg whites, boasting a nutty flavor and chewy edges. Madeleines, in contrast, are lighter, shell-shaped cakes, typically flavored with citrus zest and made with whole eggs.

What is the difference between almond flour and almond meal?

Almond flour is finer and lighter in color, made from blanched almonds, and is often used in recipes that require a finer texture. Almond meal, on the other hand, has a coarser texture and a darker color due to the presence of almond skins. I recommend using almond flour for this recipe.

What should I do with the leftover egg yolks?

From custards to sauces to golden fried rice, there are many uses for leftover egg yolks. Here are three of my own recipes you can make:
Honey Lemon Curd
Banana Cream Pie
Easy Creme Brulee

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Financier Cakes

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  • Author: Lily Ernst
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 10 min
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 24
  • Category: dessert, snack
  • Method: bake
  • Cuisine: French

Description

These financier cakes offer a delightful blend of nutty richness, buttery indulgence, and delicate sweetness in every bite.


Ingredients

Financiers:

  • 1/2 cup (113g/1 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for greasing the pan
  • 3/4 cup (150 g) granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup (75g) almond flour
  • 1/3 cup (50 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract

Optional toppings:

  • small pieces of fruit (I used raspberries cut in half)
  • chopped nuts (I used chopped almond slices)
  • powdered sugar for dusting

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400F and butter a 24-unit mini muffin pan (or a 12-unit mini muffin pan baked in two batches).
  2. Melt the butter in the microwave for 30-45 seconds. Stir until completely melted and set aside to cool.
  3. In a medium bowl, toss together the sugar, almond flour, all-purpose flour, and salt. 
  4. In a large bowl, beat the egg whites for 1-2 minutes on high until frothy.
  5. Gently stir in the dry ingredients until just combined.
  6. Add the melted butter and gently mix until all the butter is incorporated.
  7. Spoon the batter evenly into the prepared mini muffin pan using a small cookie scoop or teaspoon. Add toppings if using.
  8. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown and crispy around the edges. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer the financiers to a wire rack to cool completely. Dust with powdered sugar before serving if desired.

Notes

Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days at room temperature.

Recipe adapted from Eat. Live. Travel. Write.