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Friands Recipe

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This strawberry lemon friands recipe yields delicate little almond cakes that are super easy to make and even easier to eat! And if you’re someone who’s gluten sensitive, then you can easily turn these into gluten free friands by using only almond meal in the recipe.

What are friands?

Madeleines, financiers, and friands all seem similar, and truthfully, they are. 

In all fairness, a madeleine really does deserve a separate name from financiers and friands because it’s got a spongier consistency. But financiers and friands are pretty much interchangeable.

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Are friands and financiers the same?

They’re made with the same kind of batter with the exception that financiers sometimes use browned butter and tend to only contain nuts. The difference in name, however, comes from the fact that financiers are French while friands are technically a product of Australia and New Zealand.

For example, I’ve seen recipes for pistachio friands and giggled to myself knowing that they’re essentially financiers

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A major difference between the two, however, is that friands also contain fruit. Raspberry friands and bluberry friands are some of the most popular ones. Lemon friands are also a staple, which works really well for me as I’m a big fan of lemon anything.

This lemon strawberry friands recipe was the result of both my love for lemon and the fact that I had leftover strawberries sitting in my fridge. Strawberries (fraises) are ripe and available everywhere in the marché this time of year, but I always somehow end up with 6 or 7 strawberries that have gone a little too ripe by the end of the week. 

This isn’t unusual for me, and I’m thinking it may not too unusual for the French since they tend to make plenty use of fruits in their desserts (can anyone say apple tarte tatin?)

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Can you use almond flour to make friands?

Not only can you use almond flour to make friands (they’re often flavored with almond extract too to produce almond friands), but you should! The friands recipe I’m sharing with you here today is made with part almond meal and part all-purpose flour.

If you wanted to make these friands gluten free, you could easily swap out the all-purpose flour and use almond meal entirely. 

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Can you make friands in a muffin tray?

You most certainly can! You definitely don’t have to use a special friands tin (if there even is such a thing?). A classic muffin pan or mini muffin pan will work perfectly well.

For my variation, I used individual brioche tins because I thought the fluted edges would give the cakes a beautiful shape. And they did!

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Can you make friands with whole eggs?

Friands are traditionally made with egg whites, as the egg whites really give the cakes a lighter and airier texture. You won’t destroy the cakes by using whole eggs, but do note that the texture will vary slightly.  

What is the difference between friands and muffins?

Because these delicate cakes are made with a mix of flour and almond meal, they end up being more cake-y than American muffins.

The almond meal really lightens up the batter, in addition to the use of egg whites. The cakes are incredibly moist from the high butter content, making each bite of these cakes absolutely blissful.

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Notes to keep in mind:

  1. Be sure to let your melted butter cool before incorporating it into the rest of your ingredients. 
  2. For extra lemon flavor, feel free to add a quarter teaspoon of lemon extract.
  3. For extra almond flavor, feel free to add a quarter teaspoon of almond extract.
  4. Feel free to swap out the all-purpose flour and use only almond meal.
  5. You can also use almond flour instead of almond meal.


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Friands Recipe

Yield: 6
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

Delicate, buttery cakes embedded with strawberry slices and flavored with lemon. 


  • 7 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 3/4 cup almond meal
  • 3 large egg white
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 5 strawberries, stems removed and sliced


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Melt the butter and set aside until cool. Meanwhile, whisk the flour, powdered sugar, and almond meal together in a large bowl.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until they’ve lost their yellowish tint and look nice and foamy. Make a well in the center of your dry ingredients and pour the egg whites in. Add the zest of the lemon and gently stir together to create a very thick batter.
  3. Add the melted and cooled butter to the batter and stir until the butter is thoroughly mixed in. Divide the batter among 6 well-greased tins (either muffin tins or brioche tins). Place a few strawberry slices on top of each.
  4. Bake the cakes for 20 to 25 minutes, until the edges are golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes clean (or with just a couple of crumbs). Let the cakes slightly cool in their tins before popping them out. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve as is, or with a side of ice cream/whipped cream.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 6 Servings
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 313

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    1. Hi Maureen! Yes you can definitely make them in madeleine tins. They won’t have the same texture as madeleines. The only thing I would test out first is how much batter you’ll want to fill an individual madeleine mold with as I’ve never tested that out with this batter. I would fill one madeleine mold 2/3 full of batter and bake to test for how much the batter ends up filling out the mold and how long it needs to bake to until it springs back to the touch.

    1. Hi Rhonda, yes you can, it just will have a slightly more dense texture than incorporating the almond meal. It will also lack the almond flavor so you may want to use a little almond extract (1/4 tsp) if you still want to get some of that classic almond flavor.

  1. In places the recipe calls for almond meal in others almond flour, which is more finely ground and without any skins, which is best to use?
    The recipe looks wonderful, can’t wait to make. Thanks for rerunning it.

    1. Hi Jan! You can use almond flour or almond meal – either one works! And you can choose to use a mix of all-purpose and almond flours like I did, or just use entirely almond flour/meal. 🙂

  2. Ah! These are so gorgeous and look buttery and delicious! For those with nut allergies, Is it possible to make them using entirely all purpose flour?

    Thank you for these beautiful recipes! I love visiting your site to see what other recipes you share with us!

    1. Thank you so much Kat! I appreciate the kind feedback! These cakes are very light and fluffy because of the almond flour, so what I would suggest is that if you didn’t want to use a nut flour, use cake flour instead. I’m not saying all-purpose flour wouldn’t work – it’s not like these cakes would fail or anything like that, but that really light and airy quality comes from a lighter flour like almond flour or cake flour. 🙂 Let me know if you give it a try! <3

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