Apple Cinnamon Ricotta Friands {gluten-free}

Apple Cinnamon Ricotta Friands are deliciously soft and light, filled with lemony ricotta and caramelised cinnamon apples.

If you have met a financier (the cake kind not the money kind) then you have met a friand, albeit in a different shape and from another country. Financiers hail from France and are so-called due to their rectangular shape which was thought to resemble gold ingots. They are made with sugar, ground almonds, a kiss of flour and foamy egg whites, giving a lovely light and moist sponge. The friand is made in exactly the same way, except in an Australian kitchen and baked in oval shaped tins rather than rectangles. So that’s basically why I chose to made friands instead of financiers – that’s the tin I have.

Because the recipe uses so little flour it is no effort to turn these babies gluten-free without losing anything from the original recipe. The flour is just there to bulk out the ground almonds rather than any grand alchemy taking place. I think that’s the easiest way of creating gluten-free bakes, by adapting recipes which don’t rely on flour.

Apple Cinnamon Ricotta Friands {gluten-free}

I have tried mixing my own gluten-free flours and experimented with different blends of sorghum flour, potato starch, rice flour and millet flour among others. However, sometimes it’s just easier to reach for the bag of ready-made stuff. When you’re using so little flour anyway like in this recipe the difference is negligible. For this purpose I am more than happy to use Dove’s gluten-free flour blend, it’s reliable and the benefit is that you don’t need to order any out of the way ingredients from Amazon as it’s more than likely that your local supermarket stocks it.

These friands are amped up from the usual recipe by dropping in a teaspoonful of lemony sweetened ricotta into the finished batter then garnishing the top with cinnamon spiked buttery apple pieces just before they go into the oven. I think I got the idea of including the ricotta in a food magazine years ago and haven’t been able to resist adding a dollop to my recipe every time since. The creamy ricotta pairs perfectly with the buttery apple topping, making this a very simple bake but one that feels luxurious, delicate and of course good for your gluten-free friends.

Apple Cinnamon Ricotta Friands {gluten-free}

Apple Cinnamon Ricotta Friands {gluten-free}

Soft and light friands, filled with ricotta and caramelised apples.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time55 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: British
Servings: 12
Calories: 377kcal


  • 3 apples diced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon icing sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • squeeze of lemon juice
  • 160 g ricotta
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 250 g icing sugar
  • 160 g ground almonds
  • 100 g gluten-free flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 200 g butter melted
  • 180 g egg whites about 6


  • Pre-heat the oven to 170°C and butter a 12 hole friand tin.
  • Melt the 2 tablespoons butter then add the icing sugar, cinnamon, salt and lemon juice and then tip in the apple pieces.
  • Fry for about 5 minutes, then remove from heat just before the apples turn soft and leave to cool.
  • In a small bowl mix the ricotta with the vanilla, lemon zest and 1 tablespoon icing sugar until smooth and set aside.
  • In a separate bowl mix the ground almonds with the flour, the rest of the icing sugar, ½ teaspoon cinnamon and salt together
  • Then in another bowl the whisk egg whites a little until light and foamy.
  • Fold the egg whites into the almonds along with the melted butter.
  • Divide the batter between the friand moulds, then top with a spoonful of ricotta mixture. Finally add a few apples to the top of each one.
  • Bake for 25 minutes. Leave to cool in the tins for 10 minutes then turn out and finish cooling on a wire rack.
  • Dust with icing sugar.


Calories: 377kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 48mg | Sodium: 270mg | Potassium: 91mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 27g | Vitamin A: 560IU | Vitamin C: 2.1mg | Calcium: 72mg | Iron: 0.9mg


I love this heavy duty KitchenCraft MasterClass Non-Stick 12-Hole Friand Tin, Grey, 35.5 x 26.5 cm, it turns out my friands beautifully and is the one I use all the time in my kitchen.

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