Lemon Drizzle Friands

1 May 2013

Post image for Lemon Drizzle Friands

It has been roughly seven years since I made the bold decision to quit my job in Australia, electing to become unemployed and to take a chance at life on the other side of the world. At the time, it was one of the toughest decisions I had to make, not least because I couldn’t imagine how I could move for all of the personal possessions my twenty-something self had acquired.

I have never been one to travel lightly, so the idea of packing my life into one suitcase with a limit of 20 kg was going to be unlikely. I made my move from the land Down Under to the land of milk and honey with a half container full of cookbooks and treasured kitchen paraphernalia, all amassed during my years as a poor student and, later, a poor graduate with a ridiculously high student loan. What little spare income I had was inevitably spent at Wheel & Barrow on high-priced tableware, The Essential Ingredient for French-imported pots and pans, or even Country Road for their classy teatowels. I couldn’t imagine a future without my kitchenalia and I was prepared to pay whatever the cost to have them accompany me to my new homeland.

Upon arrival in Switzerland, the removalists unpacked all of my boxes and queried if I had forgotten to pack the rest of the apartment. Even I couldn’t believe how a lone single woman like myself had accumulated kitchen accoutrements that would be excessive for a family of six. It was ridiculous that I had even shipped my eight-seater dining table. With chairs. And with a complete dining set for eight!!


My friends might recall my “living room sale” (as opposed to a garage sale) where I was attempting to reduce my belongings (to save on shipping costs) but with the secret intention of re-purchasing later. A dear friend came to the rescue by buying up almost everything I had. But then the poor thing had to deal with my shameless self when I crawled over to her place the following day to claim back a few items which I thought I could part with (e.g. my first mixing bowl) and which made me realise that I was not very good at de-cluttering.

When it came the time to re-purchase some of these items, I made the unfortunate discovery that nearly everything was triple the cost in Switzerland, that muffin tins on this side of the world were a different size, and that some baking tins were just simply irreplaceable.

The friand tin was one such example. A friand is a French term for a little cake eaten with the fingers. In France, there is no particular mould for a friand, something which I discovered the hard way when I went in search of one. Even the near-over-flowing shelves of the gourmet destination kitchenware store in Paris, E. Dehillerin, didn’t have the friand tin which I was beginning to regret parting with. The mere elusiveness of this friand tin suddenly made me want one desperately, even if I hadn’t baked a friand in nearly a decade.

After seeing the recipe below in a recent edition of Delicious magazine, I sent a despondent email to my good friend, Shez, who promptly went to the stores and, before the week was over, there in my mailbox was a shiny, new friand tin all the way from Australia. I am so grateful to my friends who understand my foodie obsessions 😉

This particular friand tin seems to be only popular (and available) in Australia, a rather curious fact which I hope someone can explain to me. It has 6 or 12 oval-shaped holes with a flower embossed at the bottom of each. When I was living in Australia, friands were commonly sold in many cafés and they were something I often baked when friends came round for a study session.


The recipe for friands in Australia is quite similar to that for a financier in France, namely that the batter is made from beaten egg whites and contains ground almonds. These little cakes are usually quite sweet and moist and are more substantial than your usual muffins.

And given the large amount of egg whites required to make friands, this recipe is a great way to use up any egg whites you might have stashed away in the freezer. After reading many years ago about Nigella Lawson’s recommendation to freeze unused egg whites – a tip which has been most welcome for someone who makes custard quite often – my freezer has since been overtaken by little freezer bags, waiting for their moment to be turned into meringues or pavlovas. But these friands are a welcome alternative.

{Egg whites are best frozen, two or three to a small bag, for quick thawing}

{Egg whites are best frozen, two or three to a small bag, for quick thawing}

The recipe below comes from Katie Quinn Davies. Not only is she a fabulous food photographer and food stylist, but she also has a knack for some pretty good recipes. Whilst my husband may have rolled his eyes with the addition of yet another baking tin to my bulging collection, he later declared these Lemon Friands to be the best lemon cake he had ever eaten. A big compliment from a man who rarely gives compliments. Many thanks to you, Shez! (P.S. I still owe you!!)

Lemon Drizzle Friands
Recipe adapted from Katie Quinn Davies, Delicious Magazine (Australian edition), February 2013, page 80
Makes 12
{To view this recipe in a printer-friendly version, please click here.}











Cook’s Notes

If you do not have a friand tin, you could, of course, use a normal muffin tin.

{ 71 comments… read them below or add one }

Joost 1 May 2013 at 3:23 pm

Wow, these look good! Think I’ll give these a go this weekend! I obviously need one of those tins now 😉


eat, little bird 1 May 2013 at 3:47 pm

Ha ha :-) I would be curious to know if you can find these tins where you live. I don’t think you need to restrict their use to just friands – I used to make muffins in these tins. Or perhaps I was trying to justify owning them 😉


Sharon 29 May 2013 at 2:59 pm

Silicone friand moulds can be bought in England – but they don’t have the flower embossment :-(


Gwen Surell 1 May 2013 at 3:41 pm

I can taste them half way around the world, and now I am craving one! I have a wonderful recipe for steamed lemon pudding with lemon glaze that acquired from a B&B in Scotland that loosely resembles this, but is baked in a casserole as one cake. I think I will need to break out that recipe this weekend and let me tastebuds thank me!


eat, little bird 1 May 2013 at 3:51 pm

Ooh lemon pudding sounds delicious!! And old-fashioned recipes are always so lovely to have. If you do get around to making it, please post some photos on Facebook. I’m curious about this Scottish recipe!


Jo Blogs Jo Bakes 1 May 2013 at 3:52 pm

Thanh – do you have a new lens or something as these photos look even more spectacular than usual! I just want to reach out and grasp myself a friand right now, they look “real” as in, I really could lift one off the screen and sink my teeth in! What a stunning post :D. I love the recipe as well as the sentiment – you know my life is similar to yours in the starting over somewhere (relatively) far away. And I totally get your kitchenalia obsession and inability to part with even lesser used items ;). The tin is especially beautiful with the flower in the base. Sigh, so much beauty everywhere… 😀


eat, little bird 1 May 2013 at 6:16 pm

Hi Jodie,
Oh you’re so sweet :-) With a little one constantly attached to me at the moment, it’s been a bit tricky finding a decent amount of time where I can focus on blogging, and these photos were all taken while he was napping one day. Needless to say, I hurried about my work and only managed a few snaps of the final product, so I’m happy to read your comments! :-)

I think any collector would find it difficult to part with their belongings and, for me, if something was worth paying for in the first place, it’s worth paying extra to move it around with you … or it should be 😉 Seven years on, I still have about 90% of what I shipped over from Australia. But I parted with the giant dining table a few years ago – thank goodness!


Hannah 1 May 2013 at 4:40 pm

These look fabulous Thanh! I’m now on a mission to find that beautiful tin or something similar here in France, there must be one in some small corner!


eat, little bird 1 May 2013 at 10:42 pm

Hi Hannah,
I’m guessing the tin originated from France so it must exist somewhere! Please let me know if you do find something similar. Each time we are in France, I am always on the lookout for a friand tin, although I can probably call off that search now :-)


Mark & Shell 1 May 2013 at 5:43 pm

Your blog is so well done. The photography, layout, copy, and design is stunning yet simple. My wife and I enjoy it very much. Your talents are great.
Thank you,
Mark & Shell


eat, little bird 1 May 2013 at 10:46 pm

Hello Mark and Shell,
Thank you so much for your lovely words! It means a lot to me when readers like yourselves leave such encouraging comments. It is always nice to know that the time and effort I put into this blog is appreciated by someone :-) I hope you will both continue to enjoy your visits to my blog.


Laura@bakinginpyjamas 1 May 2013 at 8:24 pm

That baking tin is sweet, I love the little flower it has embedded into it. I’ll have to keep an eye out for one somewhere. I love lemon and these look perfect for spring, lovely and light.


eat, little bird 1 May 2013 at 10:48 pm

Please do keep a lookout for this friand tin! As I’ve mentioned above, I’m sure you could use it for cakes other than friands. In fact, I happen to think they make a great alternative to your usual muffin tin :-)


Louise Sutton 1 May 2013 at 9:18 pm

MMKM Thanh I. Love anything lemon – and I think I need to make these soon! Better buy myself a friand tray. ❤


eat, little bird 1 May 2013 at 10:49 pm

Hi Louise!
Ah well at least you will be able to easily find one near you :-) Hope you have been well!


Luchair 1 May 2013 at 9:44 pm

What a lovely tin! And the friands look just gorgeous.


eat, little bird 1 May 2013 at 10:50 pm

Thanks, Luchair! Now that I have my hands on a friand tin again, I’m definitely not letting this one go 😉


Rushi 2 May 2013 at 11:34 am

Thanh, I know for a fact that I’ll be searching for a friand tin in France too and failing that I’m going to worry hubby to take a trip to Australia just so I can get one 😀 I think I have a terrible kitchenalia obsession too, well I had to leave most my collection with my mom when I moved here and I’m still bringing back pieces. Hubby wasn’t too happy when I suggested we ship all the stuff, lol.

Anyway these lemon drizzle friands look perfect, I must make ’em over the weekend. They’re the perfect springtime/summertime treet :)


eat, little bird 15 May 2013 at 10:01 am

Good luck in your hunt for this friand tin … I hope you will find something similar in France. If you have a kitchenalia obsession, my guess is that you won’t stop until you find it 😉 Enjoy this recipe!


Paula 2 May 2013 at 11:40 am

Nice to read you again!!

I have to move (only… 10 kilometres!), and the idea terrifies me!! So imagine having to take everything overseas, and not counting the sentimental. Sounds hard even if you tell funny 😛

I understand you so much, sometimes our needs are fads, but we can’t help it!! I go to my parents house to spend ten days, and I miss my muffin pan, my mixer, my spatulas… God!!

I’ve never seen that mold in stores, only by web, and well, a financiers pan could work, but… not the same, I guess!! jajajaja

I love Katie Qunn, but Thanh, you have nothing to envy, have you seen what photos?? I love them!! I enjoy financiers, so I should try these (with a financier of muffin pan, please!).


eat, little bird 15 May 2013 at 10:05 am

Hi Paula,

So lovely to hear from you! You are always so sweet :-) A few years ago, we moved to another apartment in the same building, and even that short move terrified me! I spent days just packing the kitchen in order to move it upstairs! I also miss my kitchen a bit when we are away on holidays … but I think that’s good sign because it means that my purchases have been worthwhile 😉

I hope you will enjoy this recipe. I can assure you that they will taste just as great in a financier or muffin pan :-)


Anna 2 May 2013 at 10:37 pm

These look so delcious. I am going to make them this weekend.
Lovely story too. It’s so hard not to get too attached to ‘stuff’.
An occasional living room sale or overseas move is just the ticket.
Makes you realise just how little you really need :)


eat, little bird 15 May 2013 at 10:10 am

Very true! I don’t think I “need” most of what I have in my kitchen and I am always reminding myself that it is a luxury to have anything more than a good knife and a wooden spoon. But once I start cooking without all of my gadgets, I do miss them :-)


Jennifer (Delicieux) 3 May 2013 at 8:41 am

Those friands look absolutely gorgeous Thanh, I particularly love that photo with the cup of tea. The lighting is beautiful!

If you ever need any cake tins, or Alannah Hill items ;), I’m more than happy to be another Australian source of supplies for you. 😀


eat, little bird 15 May 2013 at 10:22 am

Oh thanks, Jennifer! That’s very sweet of you :-) Speaking of Alannah Hill, I must check out her latest items … I could do with some new clothes! :-)


thelittleloaf 3 May 2013 at 10:07 am

What a gorgeous variation on a classic lemon drizzle! I adore friands and Katie’s recipes are always fab so I know these would be a winner.


eat, little bird 15 May 2013 at 11:12 am

These are perhaps one of the best friand recipes I’ve tried, but I could be biased because I happen to love anything with lemon. And yes, another winner of a recipe from Katie!


The Food Sage 5 May 2013 at 10:42 am

Love your kitchenalia tale! I much prefer friands to muffins – the latter are hugely over-rated, if you ask me. Never made a friand in my life … but you have such an inspirational way about (naughty) you! Tempted to go buy me a friand tin. The words ‘lemon’ and ‘drizzle’ were made to be said together … wouldn’t you agree?!


eat, little bird 15 May 2013 at 11:13 am

At least you won’t have to look too hard to find a friand tin near you :-) Now that I’ve been reunited with the friand, I think my muffin tin might retire for a bit 😉


Not Only Sugar 6 May 2013 at 11:25 am

oh you muffins is so lovely..


VINITA THAPA 10 May 2013 at 2:11 pm

now I know what to bake this weekend. Don’t think I will be able to find a friand tray here in Delhi, but shall try! Thanks to you and your blog I went ahead and purchased ‘ Tea with Bea’. I am so thankful that you mentioned this book in your blog!! All her recipes are so so good and easy!! thank you so much!!!


eat, little bird 15 May 2013 at 9:54 am

I will be curious to know if you are able to find a friand pan in Delhi. And lucky you to have “Tea with Bea”! It’s still on my wish-list … Please let me know which recipes you have tried and can recommend :-)


Kay 17 May 2013 at 8:20 am

I had no idea there was a specail tray for friands. I am gona try and find it in Mumbai!!! These look delicious and so cute!!!


eat, little bird 22 May 2013 at 9:22 pm

Fingers crossed you will find this friand tin in Mumbai … it will be worth the search :-)


Jody 20 May 2013 at 12:01 pm

Hello – a new fan here, very excited to see that you are an Aussie in Switzerland, as I am one too! We arrived here in January. I may need to pick your brain some time about where to buy certain ingredients. :)


eat, little bird 22 May 2013 at 9:12 pm

Hoi Jody! How lovely to hear from another Aussie :-) You are more than welcome to ask me if you need help finding anything here in Switzerland. Luckily for you, the increase in expats in recent years has meant that there is more variety available now compared to just a few years ago. Only last week did I discover clotted cream in Zurich!


Anita Menon 11 June 2013 at 11:58 am

Beautiful lemon cakes. Drool!

Hope you and your baby are doing well.


eat, little bird 21 June 2013 at 12:08 pm

Thanks, Anita :-) Hope you are your family are well also!


Markella 14 June 2013 at 11:42 am

Why? Oh why do you do this to me? I have no more room for bake ware – even in my huge pantry.

But I have copied the pic of the Friand tin and it is on its merry e-mail way to my Sister in law in Australia. They will be visiting in July and I now know that I NEED a Friand tin.


eat, little bird 21 June 2013 at 1:56 pm

LOL!! I do hope they will bring you a friand tin … what could be a better gift for a great baker like you? :-)


Meenakshi 19 June 2013 at 3:33 pm

Thanks for sharing your story about friands! Didn’t know they were called that. I have a mould which has a similar flower at the bottom, but it is bigger and deeper, so the cakes do not come out as dainty as these friands! I have been wanting to try David Lebovitz’s financier recipe for a while, and I must try this one along with it. I am loving everything lemon at the moment, so these are on my list! Hope you are enjoying motherhood :)


eat, little bird 21 June 2013 at 1:59 pm

These friands are essentially financiers but in a different shape. Now that you have mentioned David Lebovitz’s recipe, I’m also interested in trying it! I am really enjoying being a mother, although it has meant very little time in front of the computer … I’m still trying to find the right balance but hopefully you will see some more posts soon!


Debra McCristal 23 June 2013 at 10:42 am

These were just the excuse I needed to buy the friand tin have just made them they smell divine the only problem I have is they rose quite a bit so don’t sit very well on the cake stand any idea what I did wrong?


eat, little bird 23 June 2013 at 12:59 pm

Hi Debra,
I’m not too sure why they may have rose too much. Does your friand tin also have a flower embossed at the bottom? This may prevent the friands from sitting flat on a cake stand. I wonder if you may have beaten the egg whites too much, causing the batter to rise more than expected? It’s just a guess but I hope they still tasted delicious.


Debra McCristal 25 June 2013 at 2:00 am

Yes it’s the same tin but if I put them flower side down they sit fine. Next time I will try not beating egg whites as much and they were absolutely delish thanks for a great blog


Amy G 5 July 2013 at 3:09 pm

These look delish but I think I’ll stick to a normal muffin tin for now. There might be divorce on the cards if I buy any more at the moment, the kitchen is already massively overflowing ha ha


eat, little bird 6 July 2013 at 11:18 am

Oh I hear you! Any kitchen purchase I make these days is filled with trepidation. But I think my husband finally understands 😉


sula 11 August 2013 at 4:51 pm

I am searching for a good cupcake recipe, could I use this? Would it work for cupcakes


eat, little bird 11 August 2013 at 6:11 pm

You could certainly make this recipe using a cupcake or muffin tin (just remember to adjust the baking time accordingly) but the texture of a friand is quite different to your normal cupcake.


Erin 25 August 2013 at 12:35 pm

These look amazing! I love your writing style as well, what a great story – I’ve just discovered this blog and I am bookmarking it to come back to regularly!!

Where did your friend source the friand tin from? I’m in Australia and my baking obsession is only just kicking into gear so I’m always keen to add to my assortment of kitchen tools!


eat, little bird 25 August 2013 at 3:40 pm

Oh thank you! I hope you will enjoy your visits here :-)

I’m not too sure where my friend bought the friand tin but they are widely available in Australia, such as at kitchenware stores like House and in the major department stores. My original tin only had 6 holes but apparently they are hard to find now as the 12-hole tins are more popular.

Lucky you to be at a stage where you are starting your baking collection. I recall those days fondly where every new purchase felt like Christmas. These days, I have to refrain from buying anything because my kitchen is just overflowing!


mondomulia 3 September 2013 at 4:56 pm

Only last week I made financiers to use up egg whites!
I wish I had this cute tin with the flower shape at the bottom!!
Next time I will definitely try your recipe! :)


Ingka 12 October 2013 at 3:21 am

Hi… I have lots ig egg whites after baking thousands layer cake which used 40 egg yolks.
I have the same tin. Definitely will do it today. Thanks for the recipe….


eat, little bird 13 October 2013 at 10:18 pm

40 egg yolks! Wow! I see lots of pavlovas, meringues and friands in your future 😉 I hope you will enjoy this recipe.


Ingka 14 October 2013 at 12:30 am

Hahaha…yep. So far I only managed to make your friands and macarons. I still have about
30ish egg whites to go. Thanks for the recipe, my kids loved it.


eat, little bird 14 October 2013 at 11:31 am

Oh macarons are also a great way to use up egg whites. I’ve only attempted them once or twice … but Ladurée make much better macarons than I do so I am happy to buy them 😉 And I’m happy to hear that your kids loved these friands.


Ingka 14 October 2013 at 11:36 am

Where do you live? We don’t have Laduree here in Perth. But I tasted once in Spore. I must say I can’t taste the difference….cheap or expensive macarons. :)


eat, little bird 14 October 2013 at 11:42 am

I live in Zurich. Ladurée opened a store here a few years ago and I believe the macarons are flown in daily from Paris. Their salted caramel macarons are my absolute favourite. I’m also not sure if one can taste much difference between a cheap or expensive macaron. Maybe there is a difference but, for me, much depends on freshness and the filling. The local pâtisserie, Sprüngli, also sells macarons which are called Luxemburgeli and they are very delicious too :-)


Ingka 14 October 2013 at 11:46 am

Yes…they are just sweet and everything fresh is always the best. But what can I say… I love them :) I heard about Sprüngli. Well if I travel to Luxemberg, I will sure try those. It is very nice to meet you and share the passion of baking and cooking.


Nkem 13 November 2013 at 1:34 pm

If i do t try this recipe soon I think I might have a heart attack! It looks so delicious. In fact I am hotting footing it to the stores TODAY for some almonds! Thank you! Will let you know how it goes. I found this recipe through Caroline Smith’s post on The Patterned Plate! I love you guys and you inspired immensely over time (although you may not have know it) :-)


eat, little bird 17 November 2013 at 4:59 pm

Hi Nkem!
I hope you will get to try this recipe soon. It’s such a beautiful recipe, as are most of the recipes from Katie Quinn Davies.

And I’m happy to hear that you found my blog through Caroline. She’s been a wonderful friend to me and she has also been a frequent source of inspiration for me as well :-)


Nkem 24 November 2013 at 9:28 am

Hi Thanh! I did it! Made Lemon drizzle friands! I woke up at 4.45am today just to make them! I couldn’t wait any longer! Thank you! Thank you! The recipe is amazing! Will email you pics!


Anna's Kitchen Table 12 February 2014 at 1:26 pm

I now have a friand tin (a basic silicone one for starters!) Don’t know how it will perform, but I’m hopeful.
I really need to try these today, can’t believe I have no eggs in the house! :( xx


eat, little bird 12 February 2014 at 3:00 pm

Yay! So glad you finally got your hands on a friand tin. I’m sure the silicone ones will be fine, but do let me know how they turn out. Hope you will enjoy this recipe – it’s been a favourite of many so far! xx


Penny 24 April 2014 at 7:54 am

Yummy! These friands were absolutely delicious. My three year old and I polished the first two off while they were still warm! The other ten were iced and enjoyed over the next few days. I found them to be a delicious treat with Botrytis for dessert – a great end to the day. Now whenever I spell citrus, I think of them. I will definitely be using this recipe again.


Eat, Little Bird 24 April 2014 at 11:09 pm

I’m so happy to hear that you and your little one enjoyed this recipe :-) I’ve been trying lots of different friand recipes now that I have a friand pan again, but I think these Lemon Drizzle Friands remain my favourite. I hope to post more friand recipes soon though!


Mandy Spenceley 31 May 2014 at 3:35 pm

I’ve been looking for a friand tin for many years in the uk – and finally found a gorgeous heavy duty non stick one last Saturday in Steamer Trading. Excited is an understatement, they’d only been in the store for 1 week and even the staff didn’t know what it was for. Just researching which recipe to bake first, love your blog x


Eat, Little Bird 6 June 2014 at 5:28 pm

Oh what a lovely surprise it must have been to find a friand tin in the UK! Happy baking and I hope you will enjoy this recipe :-)


catherine 17 September 2014 at 1:35 am

I bought a friand pan this week in Dunedin New Zealand… They are found in many cafe etc here.. I was eating them thinking they were made of almond flour only, so would be within the paleo diet!!


Evelin Ooi 5 July 2015 at 12:56 pm

Hi I could help but I must let you know that I bought a friand pan from Melbourne Australia. I bought it home and do not know how to use it until I read your article.

I will make use of the friand pan to try our your recipe. Wish me luck! ; )


Eat, Little Bird 11 July 2015 at 5:47 pm

Good luck! You won’t regret this purchase I hope to post more recipes for friands soon.


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