Black and Blueberry Friands

Image of friands on a cake plateWe’ve got lots of berries ripening in the garden – fat, juicy blackberries, late raspberries and blueberries on a bush given to us by friends visiting from the United States. The blueberry is still young so doesn’t have a lot of fruit on it yet. Rather than have the handful of berries vanish into a crumble (it’s too hot for crumbles anyway) I decided to make friands.

The berries added to these moist, almondy little cakes give you a sharp, fruity burst when you bite into them. Friands work equally well with a cup of tea or, served with fresh berries and a dab of crème fraîche, as a dessert.

You can ring the changes on the ingredients, substituting raspberries for the blueberries and blackberries, and swapping the ground almonds for hazelnuts. Apart from all that, what gives friands their unique taste is the beurre noisette, the nut butter, which tastes (well, duh) nutty.

Traditionally the cakes are oval-shaped but as few of us have special friand tins, small bun tins work perfectly well. They are very quick and easy to make and although they’re best eaten on the day they’re made, they freeze well.

Black and Blueberry Friands

Image of friands, baked


150g butter

50g plain flour

150g icing sugar

100g ground almonds

3 egg whites

Zest of 1 lemon

100g blueberries and blackberries

Image of blackberries and blueberries


Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6. Lightly butter a 12-hole bun tin.

Melt the butter in a small pan over a moderate heat until it is a deep, golden nut-brown but watch it carefully so it doesn’t burn. Set aside to cool slightly.

Mix the flour, sugar and ground almonds in a large bowl and stir through the lemon zest. Beat the eggs whites until they’re soft and fluffy but not standing in peaks. If your blackberries are the big domestic ones, cut them into halves.

Stir the egg whites gently into the dry mix then pour in the nut butter and mix it in thoroughly, but without knocking all the air out. Spoon into the bun tins and drop a few pieces of fruit into each puddle of batter.

Image of fruit and batter in tin

Bake for 10-20 minutes (friand tins are deeper so may take longer) until just golden. Allow to cool slightly before gently removing the cakes onto a cooling rack.

6 thoughts on “Black and Blueberry Friands

  1. These look lovely!
    I’ve been travelling through Ontario these last 3 weeks and have seen lots of Blueberry Stalls by the roadside in rural areas.
    These are selling not just the blueberries themselves, but a selection of baked goods too. Blueberry tarts, muffins, scones etc. – and jars of jam, everything home made.

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