CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to France Magazines today CLICK HERE

Recipe: financiers

PUBLISHED: 16:39 24 August 2016 | UPDATED: 16:44 24 August 2016

Financier recipe © Takoyaki / Thinkstock

Financier recipe © Takoyaki / Thinkstock


This delicate almond cake is a favourite with French bakers and now you can make your own with this simple recipe and expert tips

The history of the financier

A version of the financier has existed since the Middle Ages, when it was known as the visitandine, after the order of nuns in Nancy and Lorraine who prepared a small round cake with egg whites, butter and almond. The visitandine fell out of fashion after the Renaissance, however, at the end of the 19th century the pâtissier Lasne, who set up shop next to the Bourse, the Paris stock exchange, resurrected the recipe. To please his banking clients, he changed the shape to that of an ingot and renamed the golden cake ‘financier’.

Tips for the perfect financier

The almonds should be ground very finely and sifted to give the cake a delicate crumb; some pastry chefs toast the almond powder to give a deeper flavour.

Icing sugar adds to the melt-in-the-mouth texture.

The butter may be melted, browned and sieved for a nuttier taste, or clarified to create a crisp exterior on the cake and extend its shelf life, though it’s generally agreed that financiers taste best the day they are made.

Some recipes call for beaten egg whites, but in the authentic version they are only lightly whisked with a fork, to stop the surface of the cake from cracking.



• 130g/1 ⁄2 cup plus 1tsp unsalted butter

• 120g (1 cup) whole blanched or ground almonds

• 110g/1 cup plus 1tbsp icing sugar

• 30g/1 ⁄4 cup flour

• 3 egg whites


1. Preheat the oven to 150°C/300°F/ gas mark 2.

2. Melt the butter in a small saucepan, watching it closely, until a white foam rises to the surface and the clear part turns golden. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

3. If using whole almonds, grind them to a fine powder in a blender. Spread the ground almonds on to a baking sheet and toast in the oven for about ten minutes, or until pale golden, stirring occasionally. Remove from the oven to cool slightly and turn up the heat to 190°C/375°F/gas mark 5.

4. Sift the icing sugar, flour and almonds into a mixing bowl. Lightly whisk the egg whites to break them up, and add to the dry ingredients. Pour the butter into the bowl through a fine strainer. Stir to combine the ingredients well.

5. Fill financier or cupcake moulds to two-thirds and bake for 12 minutes, until the cakes have coloured lightly. Serve warm if possible.

Like this? Try our other French recipes


Fondant au chocolat

Tarte au citron

Classic French desserts

Article by France Magazine France Magazine

More from Language and Culture

Thursday, November 15, 2018

France has historically been on the leading edge of eco-friendly projects and regulations. While many argue that much more needs to be done to meet environmental goals in France and globally, here are 11 ways that French government, companies and people are striving to be green.

Read more
Wednesday, November 14, 2018

What’s in a name? A lot, it turns out. Find out the fascinating stories behind the names of these places in France featuring dragons, gods and Sardinian kings.

Read more
Thursday, November 1, 2018

Michel and Alain Roux have unveiled the menu at their new French-inspired riverside brasserie, Roux at Skindles

Read more
Friday, September 21, 2018

As a floating restaurant opens in Paris, we take a look at some of the city’s alternative dining experiences, involving famous rail carriages, secret doorways and eating in total darkness.

Read more
Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Kate Mosse was a guest speaker at the Cheltenham Literature Festival in October 2018 and spoke about finding inspiration for her latest book – and beginning of a new series of novels set in France – The Burning Chambers.

Read more
Culture and attractions
Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Agnès Poirier’s latest book explores the history of Paris 1940–1950 and the influential people that lived through the time. The French writer spoke about her book this year at the Cheltenham Literature Festival.

Read more
Friday, November 30, 2018

Gather the family and see how many of these animals you can name in French

Read more
Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Want to take your French language skills further? These tips will have you chatting and joking away with the locals in no time!

Read more
Learning French
Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Pigs, processions and high prices - why truffle season is a serious business in France

Read more
Monday, October 1, 2018

If you’re looking for a great wine to take home to impress your guests, you can now discover the best bottles in your neighbourhood at the touch of a button

Read more
Subscribe for

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

France Forum

Questions about France? Visit our free France forum to get help and advice from thousands of other Francophiles and expats. Topics include: property, tax, law, travelling, pets, education, healthcare and much more.

Join the forum

Most Read

Join us on social media

France magazine
Living France magazine
French Property News magazine

Enter our competitions

Win books, DVDs, travel and even holidays in France in our great competitions! Take a look at our latest competitions…

Enter now