Pear and Almond Financier Cake


This cake was born out of necessity, in my rental villa and kitchen in Formentera, during a rainy afternoon that kept us away from the beach.


After I made the Fig Semifreddo I was left with seven egg whites to use up, so I drew inspiration from these coconut financiers and baked a cake using a similar recipe.

A financier is light and moist, similar to sponge cake, and usually contains almond flour and brown butter (beurre noisette), as well as egg whites, flour, and icing sugar. Traditionally they are baked in small rectangular molds, similar in size to petits fours. In Formentera I didn’t have small baking stamps so I used a round tart pan instead. To make the recipe more interesting I topped the cake with thin pear slices.


It’s a sweet and soft cake, to eat in the afternoon with a cup of tea or coffee.


Recipe adapted from Hint of Vanilla.

  • 100g ground almonds
  • 230g icing sugar
  • 100g plain flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 7 egg whites
  • 160g brown butter, cooled to room temperature
  • 2 pears, cut into thin slices



Preheat the oven to 180°C. In a large bowl, sift flour and sugar over the ground almonds. Add the baking powder. Add the egg whites one at a time and mix until just combined (do not overwork the mixture).

Slowly whisk in the butter until thoroughly incorporated.To make brown butter simply melt the butter over medium heat until it foams; it should have a toasty-brown colour and nutty aroma.

Pour the mixture into a greased cake tin. Place the pear slices on the surface of the cake.


Bake until the cake is baked through all the way at its centre, for around about 30-35 minutes. Let the cake cool in the tin before removing it.


You can use the same recipe to make small cakes or muffins, just remember that the baking time would be shorter (15-20′) so keep an eye on the oven!


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