12 Days of Holiday Treats: Hazelnut Chocolate Financiers

Scroll to the bottom of the post to get ALL the “12 Days” recipes from 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022!

Welcome to Day 10 of

The Twelve Days of Holiday Treats!

Once again, this year, from December 1st-12th I’ll post a new holiday treat recipe every day – inspiration for your holiday entertaining!

The recipes I’m sharing are small-er batch – each recipe makes 1-dozen or a few more smaller-sized treats that are simple to prepare and that use everyday ingredients and equipment so hopefully you’ll be able to whip up any of these on a whim. Check out the treats from 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022 at the bottom of this post too for more inspiration!

Today’s treat – Hazelnut Chocolate Financiers – is simple to make, tasty to eat, and impressive to look at (those domes!). Best of all they don’t take very long to make so you can whip these up at short notice. Perfect for the holiday season!

What is a financier?

Essentially it’s a small tea cake made with almond meal and only a small quantity of all-purpose flour. A financier is a little more substantial than a madeleine. Because they only contain a little bit of flour, they are easy to make gluten-free.

Why are they called “financiers”?

Financiers are a popular after-school (or anytime!) snack in France, typically small rectangular-shaped tea cakes made with almond flour. A version of them was originally baked in an oval shape by nuns of the Order of the Visitation and the cakes were called visitandines.

A clever baker working in Paris’s financial district in the 19th century saw how these cakes could be easily eaten on the go, and thought this would appeal to his busy banker clientele. He shaped the cakes like gold bars and named them financiers as a nod to both his clientele and the surrounding district.

They now come in various shapes, including rectangles and ovals. For individual cakes, I always use a mini muffin pan because they work well to give you a good crunchy exterior/ fluffy interior ratio.

Are financiers gluten-free?

Typically financiers are made with almond flour and a little all-purpose (plain) flour. Here, we’re using ground hazelnuts (see the recipe if you can’t get a hold of hazelnut “flour” for tips on how to make your own) and a couple of tablespoons of all-purpose flour but you can easily substitute a gluten-free all-purpose blend. The hazelnut flour makes the cakes a little more “substantial” in terms of a tighter crumb than when you use almond flour as you can see in the pic below – but they still have the signature crispy edges (my fave!).

So yeah, they’re a versatile little treat  – easy to make and easy to make gluten-free. Perfect for entertaining over the holidays!

Yield: 12

Hazelnut Chocolate Financiers

Hazelnut Chocolate Financiers

Easy financiers made with hazelnut flour and cocoa powder for a rich tea cake that you can whip up with short notice!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 14 minutes
Total Time 24 minutes


  • 1/4 cup (57 g/ 4 tablespoons) salted butter
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1/4 cup (50 g) granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup (30g) hazelnut flour


    1. Preheat oven to 400˚F. Lightly grease a 12-cavity mini muffin
    2. Melt the butter (either in a small pot on the stovetop over medium
      heat or in the microwave for about 1 minutes). Set aside to cool.
    3. Beat the egg whites until frothy with electric beaters (1-2 minutes on high).
    4. Whisk the sugar, flour, cocoa powder and hazelnut flour.
    5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and use a rubber spatula to
      gently fold until the dry ingredients are just combined.
    6. Add the cooled, melted butter to the batter and use a rubber
      spatula to gently mix until the butter is completely incorporated.
    7. Divide the batter between the muffin tins. You can do this with a 1 tablespoon cookie scoop or a small spoon. You’ll want to fill each mold so it’s nearly full.
    8. Bake for 12-14 minutes or until the centre is slightly puffed and
      the edges are golden and slightly crispy and coming away from the pan. There may be cracks in the tops.
    9. Remove the financiers from the muffin pans immediately (run a small, sharp knife around the edges of the financiers) and allow to cool on wire cooling racks.


To skin hazelnuts to grind to make hazelnut flour:

  1. Preheat the oven to 300˚F (150˚C). Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
  2. Spread hazelnuts on the prepared baking tray. Roast the hazelnuts for 15 minutes. You’ll see the skins starting to come away from the nuts
  3. Remove the hazelnuts from the oven and immediately place them on a clean tea towel. Let them sit for a few minutes to cool slightly, then wrap them up tightly and rub a hand back and forth against the tea towel to loosen the skins. You might have to do this a few times before most of the skins have detached themselves, so keep peeking inside the tea towel to check. It’s okay if some of the skins remain as long as you have removed most of them.
  4. Use a spice or coffee grinder to make the "flour"

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did you make this recipe?

please leave a comment or review on the blog or share a photo and tag me on Instagram @eatlivtravwrite !

What about you – have you ever tasted a financier?

Come back tomorrow for Day 11 of the 12 Days of Holiday Treats and in the meantime…

Baking up a storm this holiday season?

Buy bulk nuts, snack mixes, dried fruits, candies & sweets by the pound at Nuts.com!
(this is an affiliate link, but I genuinely use Nuts.com products and love them. Highly recommended if you are in the US/ Canada where they currently ship)


Please note: I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. This means that if you click over and purchase something, I will receive a very small percentage of the purchase price (at no extra cost to you). Thank you in advance!


Check out 2022’s 12 Days of Holiday Treats:

Day 1: Chocolate Peppermint Creme Cups

Day 2: Chocolate-Dipped Wafer Cookies

Day 3: Gingerbread madeleines

Day 4: Funfetti Cookies

Day 5: Chocolate Sugar Cookies

Day 6: Coffee Financiers

Day 7: No-Bake Strawbery Cheesecake Cups

Day 8: Holiday Joys

Day 9: Holiday Spice Marmalade

Day 10: Soft Molasses Cookies

Day 11: Coconut Roughs

Day 12: Holiday Lights Jam Sandwich Cookies

Check out 2021’s 12 Days of Holiday Treats:

Day 1: Speculoos financiers

Day 2: Chocolate Dipped Orange Sugar Cookies

Day 3: Madeleines à la Clémentine

Day 4: Chocolate Hazelnut Thumbprint Cookies

Day 5: Sunbutter and Jam Chocolate Cups

Day 6: Hot Chocolate and Marshmallow Cookies

Day 7: Linzer Cookies

Day 8: Chocolate-Hazelnut Sandwich Cookies

Day 9: Choc-Mint Thumbprint Cookies

Day 10: Pailles (Puff Pastry and Jam Cookies)

Day 11: Strawberry Santa Hats

Day 12: Mulled Wine Jam

Check out 2020’s 12 Days of Holiday Treats:

Day 1: Rice Krispie Wreaths

Day 2: Cranberry Cheesecake Bars

Day 3: Peppermint Bark

Day 4: Orangettes

Day 5: Rocky Road Chocolate Crackle Slice

Day 6: Candy Cane Sugar Cookies

Day 7: Orange Pim’s

Day 8: Mendiants

Day 9: Chewy Chocolate Mint Crackle Cookies

Day 10: Apricot, Coconut and Cranberry “truffles”

Day 11: Chocolate, Cherry and Almond Brownies

Day 12: Peppermint Hot Chocolate

Check out 2019’s 12 Days of Holiday Cookies:

Day 1: Easy Three Ingredient Shortbread

Day 2: Jam Drops

Day 3: Chocolate Caramel Slice

Day 4: Melting Moments

Day 5: White Christmas

Day 6: Langues de Chat

Day 7: Chocolate Coconut Slice

Day 8: Cornflake Biscuits

Day 9: Rocky Road

Day 10: Honey Joys

Day 11: Rum Ball Truffles

Day 12: Giant Florentine Cookie (to share)


Buy my books! In the French kitchen with kids and French Food for Everyone: le goûter  (after school snacks), le dîner (dinner) and le petit-déjeuner (breakfast) are out now! Click here for details and how to order!

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