Christmas fruit and spice friands

These fruit and spice friands are a delightful treat for a Christmas Day brunch or breakfast. Topped with juicy fresh cherries and sweet spiced syrup, it's the perfect way to start a festive day.

  • 10 mins preparation
  • 20 mins cooking
  • Makes 12
  • Print


  • 1 1/2 cup icing sugar
  • 1/3 cup plain flour
  • 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 cup currants
  • 1 1/2 cup ground almonds
  • 6 egg whites
  • 3 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
  • 200 gram butter, melted
  • 200 gram crème fraîche
  • 300 gram fresh cherries
Spice syrup
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 2 teaspoon mixed spice
  • 1/2 cup water


  • 1
    Preheat oven to 230°C. Line a 12-hole muffin pan with paper cases.
  • 2
    Sift icing sugar, flour and spices into a large bowl. Stir in currants and ground almonds; make a well in the centre. Add egg whites, zest and butter; stir with a metal spoon until combined. Spoon mixture into paper cases.
  • 3
    Bake friands for 5 minutes. Reduce oven to 200°C; bake for a further 12 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave friands in the muffin pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool.
  • 4
    Meanwhile, make Spice syrup (see below).
  • 5
    Top friands with crème fraîche and cherries; drizzle with syrup.
Spice syrup
  • 6
    Split vanilla bean lengthways; scrape out seeds. Place vanilla bean and seeds in a medium saucepan with sugar and mixed spice; stir to combine. Add the water; cook, stirring, over low heat for 2 minutes or until sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil. Boil, uncovered, without stirring, for 5 minutes or until syrup thickens slightly. Remove from heat.


• For a gluten-free version, you could use gluten-free plain flour. • You could serve with any summer berry instead of the cherries, if preferred. • Friands can be made up to 2 days ahead; keep them stored in an airtight container at room temperature.