Healthy Cranberry Friands

I discovered Friands while visiting Australia with my two sons and I’ll never forget how we found this sweet, wonderful treat. Imagine a glorious, sunny day in Sydney, with barely a cloud in the sky. We were forewarned that Australian weather can turn in a flash like an angry teenager.  And what do you know, our sunny walk through the renowned Sydney Royal Botanic Garden quickly turned into a sopping wet adventure!

Healthy Cranberry FriandsOur kids were tree climbing and exploring the gardens when some fast-changing clouds convinced us to start moving along. Never without a hundred questions, my boys were inquiring about the difference between a drizzle and a sprinkle. Literally the moment we started dissecting the two forms of rain, the sky opened up into torrential downpour. With our adrenaline pumping, we ran towards the exit gates, dodging windblown umbrellas while nearly missing fast-growing puddles. We were absolutely drenched from head-to-toe.

Healthy Cranberry Friands

Luckily, we found a nearby bakery where we scampered in for dry shelter. And it was there that we discovered these delicious small french cakes called Friands.

Healthy Cranberry Friands

A Friand in french actually means dainty or a gourmet who delights in delicate tastes.  They are light and moist and usually made with almond flour, crushed almonds, or nuts.  I took my Friand inspiration from British Chef Yotam Ottolenghi’s cookbook, Plenty More, which is divine. Feel free to adjust the recipe a bit by alternating nuts or berries to meet your tastes.

The trickiest part of this recipe is folding in the egg whites.  Do it in three parts and try to mix gently. Just enough to incorporate.

I have found that using a scooper is great for dropping in even proportions and enables you to get even cooking times.

Healthy Cranberry Friands

This muffin tin may look beat up and well used and because it probably was. I bought this vintage piece on ebay!

Here’s a tip: Prep the bottom of muffin pans with small cut-outs of parchment paper, then spray the tins with non-stick spray for easy removal after baking.

Healthy Cranberry Friands

Also, presentation is key! I try to make sure that every single muffin shows a hint of cranberries on top, making each cake unique and aesthetically pleasing. Can we say – YUM?!?

Healthy Cranberry Friands

So, if you’re having friends over for breakfast or brunch, this delicious delicacy is perfect.  As for me, my family weekends are usually filled with soccer games that take us to various parts of Southern California, making these cranberry babies the perfect treat to feed sweaty, hungry kids after a long, tough game!   Healthy Cranberry Friands

Recipe Adaptation: Plenty More, Yotam Ottolenghi

Photos by: Maria Hedrick Photography

Breakfast Cranberry Friands

By TheSweetNerd  ,

June 2, 2016

  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 25 mins


1/2 cup, plus 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter, melted

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

6 1/2 Tablespoons almonds

6 1/2 Tablespoons pistachios, plus 1 teaspoon chopped for garnish

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 cup sugar

1 lemon, grated zest

1 Tablespoon mashed banana

3 egg whites

1 cup frozen cranberries, tossed in 2 teaspoons of ap flou

dash of salt

Lemon Glaze

3 1/2 Tablespoon lemon juice

1 2/3 cups confectioners sugar


1Prep: Preheat oven to 400F and prep muffin pans with nonstick spray and line with parchment rounds at the bottom of each muffin tin. This well help prevent sticking to the bottom.

2Food Processor: combine nuts, flour, cinnamon, and all except 2 Tablespoons of sugar and pulse until it is a bread crumb like texture. Tip this mixture into a bowl, and add melted butter, zest, and banana. Stir to combine and use this as your base.

3Mixer: (whisk attachment) Whisk the egg whites with dash of salt and the remaining 2 Tablespoons of sugar until the whites form a soft peak.

4Fold: Gently fold 1/3rd egg white mixture into the nut/banana base mixture. Once incorporated, fold another 1/3rd whites along with the cranberries into the base. Then, fold the last 1/3rd whites into the base.

5Pour the batter into the muffin tins about two-thirds up the side of the muffin mold.

6Bake for 20-25 minutes or until center of friand comes out clean.

7Unmold: Run a sharp knife around edge and while still slightly warm, tip out of the muffin tin.

8Glaze: Once friands are cooled completely, whisk together lemon juice and confectioners sugar in a small bowl. Adjust consistency if needed. To thin, add more lemon juice or to thicken, add more powdered sugar. Drizzle liberally and top with chopped pistachios.

Adapted from Plenty More, Yotam Ottolenghi


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