Almond florentines are a delightful combination of flaked almonds, caramelized sugar, and a hint of fragrant citrus peels, artfully crafted into thin, golden-brown discs dipped in chocolate. They have rich, nutty flavour, and offer a delicious contrast of textures and a perfect balance of sweetness.
Florentines are super easy and quick to make, without any fancy equipment and minimal baking time. These crisp, chewy and extremely satisfying cookies will have you hooked from the first bite!
If you never had florentines before, they are like a cross between cookie and a candy. Similar to lace cookies, florentines are thin and crunchy, and are typically made from nuts, butter, sugar and other ingredients. The other ingredients vary depending on the recipe.
Florentine almond cookies are very elegant and indulgent, and make a great addition to any afternoon tea. Because their ingredients include nuts, fragrant citrus and candied fruits, they are perfect for gifting around Christmas time and just like my Cranberry Biscotti or Gingerbread Macarons, will make lovely addition to festive cookie boxes.
Most almond florentines cookies recipes out there require only a handful of ingredients. Different versions call for different nuts or fruits, and you can easily swap them for your favourite variety.
Below you will find the list of florentine ingredients and some substitutions suggestions where possible.
- Flaked almonds - The key ingredient and one of the main flavours of this recipe. Flaked almonds are just blanched almonds that have been thinly sliced. You will find them in most grocery stores in the baking aisle or nuts section. Skin on flaked almonds can also be used.
- Pistachios - Optional ingredient. I like adding pistachio nuts for an extra flavour and more crunchy texture. You can skip them, in which case use more flaked almonds, or use any other nuts like chopped hazelnuts, walnuts or pecans.
- Candied citrus peel - Candied orange and lemon peels are beautiful and festive, and when used in baking, they transform into sweet, bright and fragrant bursts of flavour. You can buy ready made citrus peels or make your own (check out my Zesty Lemon Cake recipe for easy instructions on how to make your own). You can also use glacé cherries or sultanas instead.
- Vegan butter - I'm using unsalted vegan butter, to keep this easy florentine recipe vegan. You can use salted or unsalted butter, vegan or dairy-based.
- Flour - Very small amount of plain flour (all purpose flour) to help bind the ingredients. Swap for gluten free flour for gluten free florentines.
- Sugar - Personally, I think brown sugars suit florentines better, due to their extra buttery and caramel notes. I like light muscovado sugar or soft light brown sugar, but demerara, turbinado or caster sugar will also work.
- Golden syrup - To help the ingredients stick together. You can also use rice malt syrup, which just like golden syrup is vegan. Alternatively, use honey instead (although it won't be vegan).
- Chocolate - Dark chocolate florentines are most popular, but feel free to swap it for milk chocolate or white chocolate (vegan if necessary).
Scroll to the bottom of this post for the recipe card and the full list of the ingredients.
You can bake florentine cookies using lined baking sheets or in a silicone cupcake cases. Baking them directly on the baking tray will produce bigger, thinner and crispier florentines.
If you use silicone cases, the cookies will be smaller, thicker and a bit more chewy. Personally, I like them crispy and thin, but you can choose to bake them whichever way you like.
In a medium saucepan set over medium heat, melt the butter, sugar and golden syrup.
Add the flour and stir well until you have smooth, thick and glossy batter.
Fold in the sliced almonds, pistachios and citrus peels and mix to combine.
Scoop out the mixture, then roll it into small balls using your hands. Place on the lined baking sheet.
Use the back of the spoon to gently press the cookie mixture into flatter disks.
Bake for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and reshape, gently nudging them with knife or cutter.
💭Tip: To ensure the cookies are neat and uniform in shape, use plain cookie cutter. As soon as you take them out of the oven, use the cutter to push the edges of the biscuit into neat, round shape, while the mixture is still hot.
Allow the florentines to cool for 5-10 minutes or until they are firm enough to lift to wire rack to cool completely.
Dip the bottom of each florentine cookie in melted chocolate and spread the chocolate using palette knife in an even layer. Place cookies face down back on the baking sheet or a cooling rack to set.
Baking florentines in silicone cups
Below you will find the instructions on how to make this almond florentines recipe in silicone cupcake cases instead of directly on the baking sheet:
Scoop roughly about ⅔ tablespoon of the mixture and place in each silicone case. Bake for 8-10 minutes.
Remove from the oven and allow the cookies to cool in cases for 5-10 minutes.
Remove florentines from the silicone cases and place on a wire rack to cool completely.
Dip the bottom of each almond florentine in melted dark chocolate and place back on wire rack, chocolate sides facing upwards.
The beauty of this easy almond florentines recipe is that you can very easily create your own version with your favourite ingredients. Here are few suggestions:
- Different fruit - Florentines can be made with any type of dried or candied fruit. Glacé cherries are very common, but I actually prefer mixed citrus peel instead. But you can also use sultanas, dried apricots, cranberries or candied ginger.
- Nuts - Try adding your favourite nuts for some extra variety and flavour. Pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts or cashews will make great additions. You can also keep it simple and use only almonds, without any extra nuts.
- Citrus zest - Add some finely grated orange or lemon zest for an extra burst of citrus flavour.
- Non-vegan florentines - If you are not worry about your florentine cookies not being vegan, you can add couple of tablespoons of double cream (heavy cream) to the butter, sugar and golden syrup mixture. This will create a more mellow, chewier and softer florentines.
- Gluten free almond florentines - Use gluten free flour for gluten free version of this recipe. Some recipes skip the flour all together from the ingredients.
- Chocolate - Why not try them with milk or white chocolate instead of dark chocolate? Just make sure it's vegan, if necessary.
You don't need anything fancy when it comes to making these florentine biscuits. Here's a list of few items that will help you with this recipe:
- Medium saucepan.
- Measuring spoon - Not necessary, but using measuring tablespoon (which is different to large spoon or dessert spoon) will help you achieve the uniform size of these almond florentines.
- Baking sheet or silicone cupcake/ muffin cases - You can bake florentines on baking tray lined with parchment paper (or silicone baking mat), or you can scoop the cookie mixture into silicone cupcake cases. If baking them directly on the baking tray, leave plenty of room between each cookie, as they will spread a lot during baking. Space them about 10cm (4 inches) apart, and bake in batches.
- Round cookie cutter - Not necessary, but handy for shaping the cookies into neat rounds.
- Heatproof bowl - For melting the chocolate. Chocolate can be melted in a microwave or in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water.
Store these easy vegan florentines in an airtight container in the fridge or at room temperature for up to 2 weeks. Ideally, you want to store them in a single layer inside of the container. But if stacking the cookies, place a layer of baking paper (or wax paper) between them.
You can also freeze them for up to 3 months. To freeze, wrap the cookies in a double layer of clingfilm, making sure the layers are separated with baking parchment, and wrap again with aluminium foil. Thaw them in the fridge overnight.
- Chop the additional ingredients into smaller pieces. If you decide to use any additional nuts or dried fruits, chop them into smaller pieces. Smaller pieces will stick together much better and will not cause these cookies to fall apart.
- Use measuring tablespoon for scooping the mixture. This way they all will be similar in size.
- Space them out. These cookies do spread a lot while baking, so leave plenty of space between each cookie. Bake them in batches of 5-6 cookies per baking sheet (depending on the size of your baking sheet).
- If you want your almond florentines to look super neat and uniform, use the round cookie cutter or spatula on florentines and press them into rounds as soon as they come out of the oven. Alternatively, you can use silicone cupcake cases or greased paper liners to bake them in.
- Do not lift baked florentines too soon from baking tray, as they will be too fragile. Allow them to cool for 5 - 10 minutes, or until they are firm enough to lift into a wire rack.
Frequently asked questions
Despite the common belief, florenties do not come from Florence in Italy. The cookies were more likely invented in France, and named after the gold coins of Florence that were the standard currency in Europe for centuries.
Absolutely. The below recipe should yield about 18-20 cookies, but it can be easily doubled. You can also halve this recipe for a smaller batch of florentines.
The cookies will be very soft when they first come out of the oven, and will harden as they cool. If they are still on the softer side after they cooled down, you probably didn't bake them for long enough (they will still be delicious!). For crispier cookie, you want them to be deeper golden brown in colour.
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- medium saucepan
- baking paper or silicone baking mat
- baking sheets
- measuring tablespoon optional
- round cookie cutter optional
- 50 g vegan butter, unsalted
- 50 g light brown or light muscovado sugar
- 40 g golden syrup
- 30 g plain flour
- 75 g flaked almonds
- 50 g pistachio nuts chopped
- 50 g mixed citrus peel
- 150 g dark chocolate melted
- Heat the oven. Preheat the oven to 160°C (320°F). Line two baking sheets with baking parchment or silicone baking mat and set aside.You can also bake almond florentines in individual silicone cupcake cases or silicone muffin pan.
- Make the caramel sauce. In a medium saucepan over a low heat, melt the butter, sugar and golden syrup, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and whisk in the flour. Stir well, until you have smooth, thick and shiny mixture.50 g vegan butter, unsalted, 50 g light brown or light muscovado sugar, 40 g golden syrup, 30 g plain flour
- Add nuts and fruit. Add the flaked almonds, chopped pistachios and citrus peels into the caramel sauce, and stir until well combined.75 g flaked almonds, 50 g pistachio nuts, 50 g mixed citrus peel
- Scoop and shape. Scoop out a tablespoonful of the mixture and place on the prepared baking sheet (or scoop directly into silicone cupcake cases), leaving about 10cm (4 inches) of space between each. Flatten each cookie with a back of the spoon into roughly 5cm (2-inch) discs.
- Bake and cool. Bake the florentines for 10 minutes, or until deeper golden brown in colour. Remove from the oven and reshape, gently nudging them with knife or cookie cutter, while the mixture is still hot. Allow them to cool for 5 minutes, or until they are firm enough to transfer to a wire rack. Place on a cooling rack and cool completely. If you prefer softer and chewier cookie, bake them for about 6-8 minutes.
- Dip in chocolate and allow to set. Dip the bottom of each cookie in melted dark chocolate and use palette knife to spread the chocolate in an even layer, covering the bottom of each florentine cookie.Place again on the baking sheet, face down (chocolate side up). Allow the chocolate to set. Enjoy!150 g dark chocolate
Please note that all my recipes are developed and tested in metric grams. I recommend that you use digital scales for a more accurate results. I have provided a conversion to US customary in the recipe but please note that I haven’t tested using this method.
- If you decide to use any additional ingredients like different nuts or fruits, chop them into smaller pieces. This way they will stick together much better and will stop cookies from falling apart.
- Use measuring tablespoon for scooping the cookie mixture. This will make them similar in size.
- Leave plenty of space between each cookie on the baking sheet. Florentines do spread a lot while baking, so make sure to leave about 10cm (4 inches) between each cookie. Bake in batches of 5-6 cookies, depending on the size of your baking sheet.
- Use large round cookie cutter to shape the florentines as soon as they come out of the oven. Gently nudge the edges with cutter and press them into rounds while the mixture is still hot.
- Do not lift the florentines too soon from the baking tray, as they will be very fragile. Remove from the oven and let them cool for 5 minutes, or until they are firm enough to lift onto wire rack.
This recipe was originally published in November 2016. It has been updated with new photos, video, revised recipe and tips in January 2023.