Brown Butter Lemon Friand Cake

by | Sep 25, 2012 | 17 comments

This cake was a thought. An idea that took flight and landed in a white pie plate. It came about slowly with a lick here and a taste there. A haphazard yet thoughtful marriage of ingredients. My ode to autumn. A bid to hold on to the season that has passed. The sin of brown butter. The warmth of nutmeg. The scent of citrus amidst that of woody bark.

Brown Butter Lemon Friand Cake - Cook Republic


I absolutely adore friands. Almond meal heavy, they are cakey in a glorious way with a super moist crumb that is dense yet light and melts in your mouth. There is neigh a friand I can go past at my weekly farmer’s market bread stall. The citrus ones are my favourite. Beautiful golden crumb topped with candied rind of lemon or grapefruit and brushed with a citrus glaze.


My friand cake is inspired by that citrus friand. It has lots of fresh lemon zest and plenty of extra nuttiness from the browning of butter. Although it doesn’t have a citrus jam glaze, you could always brush the warm cake with slightly heated jam. I bet it would be divine. The cake can be dressed up with fresh berries and dusted with a kiss of icing sugar for a chic dessert. Best had warm from the oven, unadorned with the smell of nutmeg filling every inch of your being. The way I like it.


The chill seems to have returned today scaring Spring away and I for once, am loving it with a cup of brewed plunger coffee. This cake can be baked as 12 individual friands in muffin cases or a friand tin. Reduce baking time by 5 minutes and you should be good to go.

Brown Butter Lemon Friand Cake - Cook Republic


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A simple cake with a friand base, this almost tart like afternoon treat is golden and moreish due to the brown butter, lemon and nutmeg.
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Author: Sneh
Course // Baking, Cake
Cuisine // Vegetarian
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 8


  • 180 g unsalted butter
  • 1 1/4 cups (125 g) almond meal
  • 1/2 cup (75 g) plain flour
  • 1 1/2 cups (170 g) icing sugar
  • 6 egg whites
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon ground nutmeg
  • pinch of salt
  • finely grated zest of 1 large lemon


  • Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F). Brush a 24cm pie plate or quiche dish with melted butter.
  • In a saucepan, melt butter on medium-low heat. Continue to cook for about 5 minutes until butter starts to brown. Add the vanilla extract and salt. Mix. Remove from heat and cool completely.
  • Place almond meal in a large bowl. Add flour and icing sugar. Add the lemon zest and stir to combine.
  • In a separate clean dry bowl whisk together the egg whites until frothy. Add the egg whites to the flour mixture. Add the butter mixture and mix well with a wooden or silicone spoon.
  • Spoon the batter in the prepared baking plate. Sprinkle with nutmeg. Bake for 25 minutes until golden and cooked through when tested with a skewer. Remove and cool completely before slicing and serving.
Did you make my recipe?I'd love to hear how you went! Tag me on Instagram @cookrepublic


Find More Recipes By CategoryBaking Cake Fruit



I love creating easy, vibrant, fresh, everyday recipes and taking gorgeous photos of the food I cook. I have been blogging for 15 years and I have also written a book with over 100 new recipes. If you make a recipe from the blog, Tag @cookrepublic on Instagram. I would love to see!


  1. Rosa

    A great cake! What gorgeous flavors. Simply irresistible.

    Nice props and clicks!



  2. jas

    wow, this sounds like my kind of cake. Certainly going to try this next time I'm in a friand kind of mood plus whilst it's still spring as I too am enjoying the glorious change in seasons.

  3. marla

    Not sure I have ever had a friand cake. Sounds delicious ~ love that you baked it in the pie plate too!

  4. Martyna @ Wholesome Cook

    Nice and simple!
    Now you may not believe this, but as I was driving the kids to school past a kerbside rubbish collection pile of junk, I stopped and announced: "hang on, I just saw something. I'll be back". Then I proceeded to lug 3 stumps of wood, similar to yours, into the boot. 🙂

  5. Jen @ Savory Simple

    What a gorgeous cake! Anything with brown butter wins my heart....

  6. Sara (Belly Rumbles)

    A lovely looking cake and a lovely idea for those of us that don't have friand tins.

  7. chinmayie @ love food eat

    OMG! You had me with that last photo... It just looks perfect.

  8. Colette

    You're killin' me here!
    I wish I could reach into my monitor and grab a slice.

  9. Laura (Tutti Dolci)

    Gorgeous cake and beautiful photos!

  10. Charul @ Tadka Masala

    Whatay cake and what pictures .. Yumm!!

  11. Anna

    Stunning pie texture! I must bake it immediately!

  12. Julia

    Beautiful photos! Love lemon - would have to try this recipe.

  13. Kiran @

    I've been seeing brown butter in everyone's recipes off late. This cake looks heavenly for afternoon teas 🙂

  14. Nic@diningwithastud

    Gorgeously simple but so delicious 😀

  15. Kankana

    With lemon and no frosting. That's totally my kinda cake. LOVE the first photo. Gorgeous styling Sneh!

  16. Petina

    What a fabulous way to use up egg whites.
    Could you please confirm it is a Tablespoon of Vanilla ... just seemed a lot and thought I should check.

    • Sneh

      yes it is. It makes the cake really delicious! x (If you are using powder or prefer a milder flavour, go with 1 teaspoon) x


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