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Financiers bring out the best of basic ingredients, delivering big flavor with minimal fuss. They’re irresistibly buttery, moist, and flavorful!

financiers served on a small white cake stand

Meet your new baking obsession – financiers! These little French cakes are a treasure trove of flavor, packed with nutty almond flour and infused with the rich, caramel-like taste of brown butter. Whether you’re looking to impress guests at your next gathering or simply want a fancy bite-sized treat to pair with your afternoon tea, this financier recipe promises simplicity in preparation but sophistication in taste.

Why You’ll Love This Financiers Recipe

  • Deliciously nutty. The combination of almond flour and brown butter gives financiers a rich, nutty, irresistibly butter flavor.
  • Elegant and sophisticated. With their golden-brown edges and tender, moist centers, these little cakes have a refined look that makes them perfect for tea parties, brunches, or as a classy dessert after a dinner party.
  • Simple ingredients, basic tools. Despite their elegant appearance, these little cakes are made with basic ingredients. And you won’t need any special rectangular molds – we’re making them in mini muffin pans!
  • Adaptable. Whether you top them with fruit, nuts, or chocolate, you can easily customize your financiers to suit your taste or to use whatever you have on hand.
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overhead view of three financiers on a white plate with more cakes and bowls of various toppings surrounding

What Are Financiers?

Financiers are wonderful little French almond cakes known for their light, moist texture and a deliciously rich, buttery flavor, with a nice nutty almond note thanks to the almond flour in the batter. They’re usually made with beurre noisette (that’s brown butter!), which adds a deep, almost caramel-like taste. What makes them particularly special are their crisp edges and soft interior. They’re often enjoyed as a sweet snack or with tea and coffee.

Financiers got their name because of their original shape and the clientele they were intended to attract. The story goes like this: these little almond cakes were originally popularized by a French baker named Lasne in the 1890s. His bakery was located near the financial district in Paris, which was frequented by financiers and other wealthy businessmen.

To cater to his upscale clientele, who were always in a hurry and needed a snack that wouldn’t dirty their suits, Lasne designed these cakes to be small and easy to eat without making a mess. He baked them in rectangular molds that made the cakes resemble gold bars, which seemed fitting given his financial district customers. The shape and the association with the local financiers led to the cakes being called “financiers.”

overhead view of ingredients for financiers

What You’ll Need

See the recipe card below for the full recipe, including ingredient quantities.

  • Unsalted butter – You’ll be browning the butter for these little cakes. See my tips section below for my pointers for getting perfectly browned butter.
  • Sugar
  • Almond flour – This is made from blanched almonds, unlike almond meal which uses almonds with the skins intact.
  • Egg whites – It’s easier to separate eggs while they’re cold; then let them come to room temperature for mixing. You can freeze the egg yolks, or use them in recipes that need an egg yolk like my almond cookies or chewy chocolate cookies.
  • All-purpose flour – Measure by weight or use the spoon and sweep method. Learn more: How to Measure Flour
  • Toppings – See below for some topping ideas.

Topping Ideas

There are so many options for topping your financiers! Pick one or two or go with a variety for a beautiful presentation. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Fruit – Top your financiers with a small piece of fruit. Try raspberries, blueberries, pears, plums, apples, or another of your favorites. You can use a whole raspberry or blueberry, but be sure to cut larger fruits into smaller pieces.
  • Nuts – Sliced or whole almonds will further enhance the almond flavor. Pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts, or pistachios are good options, too.
  • Chocolate – Chocolate chips or chocolate chunks are a great topping. Dark chocolate in particular pairs very well with the almond flavor of these cakes.
  • Coconut – Add a sprinkle of shredded coconut for extra flavor and a little crunch.
overhead view of financiers scattered over a marble countertop

How to Make Financiers

  • Brown the butter. Cook the butter in a saucepan or skillet over medium heat until the butter melts, becomes foamy, and forms brown bits in the bottom of the pan. Set aside.
  • Mix over heat. Cook the sugar, almond flour, and egg whites over medium-low heat until thin and lightened in color.
  • Finish mixing. With the pan off the heat, stir in the flour followed by the brown butter.
  • Chill. Place the mixture in a heatproof bowl, cover directly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for an hour up to overnight.
  • Prepare for baking. Heat the oven to 400°F. Lightly grease 24 mini muffin cups.
  • Portion and bake. Fill each muffin cup almost to the top, and place any desired toppings on top, pressing down gently. Bake 10 to 13 minutes, or until golden brown. Then cool in the pans on a wire rack for about 10 minutes before placing the cakes on a wire rack to cool completely.
overhead view of financiers cooling on a wire rack

Tips for Success

  • Take care browning the butter. Don’t rush the process, and don’t multitask. You’ll need your eyes, nose, and ears here. Watch carefully for the color change and nutty aroma to avoid burning it. Once you melt the butter, let it continue cooking until it foams and begins forming brown bits on the bottom of the pan. You’ll hear the foaming, bubbling sounds subside and begin smelling that signature nutty aroma.
  • Be gentle. When combining the sugar, almond flour, and egg whites, make sure to stir constantly and gently over medium-low heat. Every stovetop is different, so adjust as needed. This step helps the sugar dissolve and prevents the egg whites from cooking, resulting in a smooth batter.
  • Chill the batter. A little time in the refrigerator will help the flavors meld and the batter to thicken a bit. You’ll get better structured and more flavorful financiers.
financiers on a wire rack


If you’re looking for something that strays a bit from the traditional, try one of these ideas.

  • Citrus zest. Add a pinch or two of citrus zest to the batter when stirring in the all-purpose flour.
  • Spices. A pinch of cinnamon, nutmeg, or cardamom can be added to the batter to introduce warmth and complexity.
  • Extracts and liqueurs. A dash of almond extract can intensify the almond flavor, or add vanilla extract for a comforting, familiar flavor addition. A small amount of rum, brandy, or an orange-flavored liqueur can add a sophisticated touch.
  • Different nut flours. Try substituting hazelnut flour, pistachio flour, pecan flour, or another nut flour. Just keep in mind that other nut flours may absorb moisture differently and have different fat content, so you may need to make some slight adjustments to get them just right.
two financiers on a marble surface with more cakes in the background

How to Store

Financiers are best enjoyed fresh, but you can store any leftovers in an airtight container. They should keep for 2 or 3 days. You can gently rewarm them in the microwave or a low temperature oven if you like.

Can Financiers Be Frozen?

Yes, you can freeze financiers. After they’ve cooled completely, place them in an airtight, freezer-safe container or storage bag. For added protection, you can first wrap each cake in plastic wrap. Properly stored, they can be stored in the freezer up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature. If you prefer them warm, reheat them briefly in the microwave or oven.

a raspberry-topped financier on a marble countertop with more financiers in the background


Yield 24 cakes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Additional Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes

Packed with the nutty goodness of almond flour and the rich, caramelized flavor of brown butter, financeirs are as delightful to eat as they are simple to make!

financiers on a wire rack


  • 14 tablespoons (198g) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (100g) almond flour
  • 6 large egg whites
  • 2/3 cup (80g) all-purpose flour
  • your favorite toppings, such as fruit, chocolate, and almonds


  1. Place the butter in a medium saucepan or skillet. Heat over medium heat, stirring frequently. Once the butter melts and begins to foam, continue to cook until brown specks start to form on the bottom of the pan. The butter will slowly stop foaming and will have a nutty aroma. Set aside.
  2. Combine the sugar and almond flour in a saucepan. Stir in the egg whites. Place over medium-low heat, and stir constantly until the mixture is lighter in color, thin, and hot (about 4 to 5 minutes).
  3. Remove from the heat. Stir in the all-purpose flour, and then gradually stir in the browned butter.
  4. Transfer the batter to a heatproof bowl, and place a piece of plastic wrap directly on top of the batter. Chill for an hour or up to overnight.
  5. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Grease 24 mini muffin cups. 
  6. Divide the batter among the muffin cups, filling each almost to the top. (A #40 scoop works well.) Place any toppings you're using on top of each cake, and press them down gently. Bake for 10 to 13 minutes, or until golden and springy.
  7. Cool in the pan for about 10 minutes. Then remove the cakes from the pan and place on a wire rack to cool completely.


Store in an airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days or in the freezer up to 3 months.

Recipe adapted from Dorie Greenspan.

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    5 Comments on “Financiers”

  1. I love Financiers. This is the only recipe I’ve seen where you heat the sugar, flour and egg whites. Can you talk about the reasoning? Maybe it’s to dissolve the granulated sugar. I’ve seen recipes that use powdered sugar, which mixes and dissolves well.

    • Sure, Rebecca! Heating the mixture of sugar, almond flour, and egg whites in this financier recipe helps dissolve the sugar for a smooth texture, stabilizes the egg whites to enhance the cake’s structure, and intensifies the almond flavor. This helps achieve the silky consistency and rich taste characteristic of classic financiers, ensuring they bake with a fine crumb and rise beautifully.

  2. Do you have to use almond flour? Or does it help with a nutty flavor?

    • Hi, Lori! The almond flour definitely contributes to the flavor. I understand that you might need to substitute, whether due to allergies or personal preference. A great alternative is to use an equal amount of hazelnut or pistachio flour for a similar nutty flavor and texture. If nuts are an issue, oat flour could also work, though it will change the flavor profile. Using all-purpose flour in place of the almond flour will make the financiers less moist and the texture will be more like a typical sponge cake rather than the dense, buttery texture typical of financiers made with nut flours. Keep in mind that different flours will likely absorb moisture differently, so you might need to adjust the amount slightly to get them just right. If you try a substitution, I’d love to hear how it turns out for you!

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