How to make Canelé de Bordeaux cakes

Written by on May 26, 2019 in Desserts

Golden coloured, rum flavoured, Canele cakes of Bordeaux

The origins of the little French cakes known as canelés remains a mystery, but one of the most plausible theories is that they were invented by the nuns of the L’Annonciade monastery in Sainte-Eulalie, in Bordeaux.

When basking them, some people use a silicone mold. But I always recommend using traditional copper molds. Granted, copper is expensive and sometimes hard to find. In that case, then you should get them at a good baker and not attempt to make them yourself. And beeswax on silicone is not going to solve much either as some people claim. In fact, I don’t think you need beeswax at all. Butter, copper and high heat for the right amount of time is all you need to achieve the ultimate crust. Here’s how to make canelé de Bordeaux cakes at home…

Ingredients for making 12 Canelés

500ml milk
40g butter (plus extra, for brushing the molds)
Vanilla pod, split down the middle and seeds scraped out
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
100g all-purpose flour
200g sugar
Fat pinch fleur de sel
65ml dark rum

Don’t forget to use copper canelé molds


Simmer milk, butter, vanilla pod and seeds for three minutes.

Set aside to cool, and in a small bowl, gently stir the eggs and egg yolks with a fork. Don’t whisk, as you don’t want any air in the mixture!

In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar and salt. Add the eggs and cooled milk mixture to the flour and stir gently, breaking up the biggest lumps with the back of a spoon. Once again, don’t stir too much we want to avoid too much air in the batter.

Stir in the rum and gently continue to break up the tiny lumps. At this point, your batter should not be smooth.

Strain the batter into a clean bowl and stir out the remaining tiny lumps.

Now your batter should be smooth.

Place a lid on the bowl or cover tightly with cling film and leave to rest for at least 24 hours and up to three days.

When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 225°C. Brush the inside of your copper molds with melted butter and place on a baking sheet covered with aluminium foil.

Remove the batter from the fridge, give it a gentle stir and pour it into the molds, almost to the top.

Bake the canelés at this temperature for 20 minutes. This will give them that perfect caramelly exterior.  Then, reduce the heat to 190°C and bake for an 45-50 minutes.

Check the canelés halfway through the cooking time. If the tops are too dark (dark brown is great, black is not), cover with foil.

Once done, unmold, place on a rack and let them cool completely before eating which is best done on the day they’re made.

Paola Westbeek is a food, wine and travel journalist. For more of her recipes, visit, and her YouTube channel, LaDouceVieFood

Related Articles

How to make chocolate fondant cake

This gooey-centred chocolate pudding is irresistible! It’s not known exactly who invented it or when though french chef Michel Bras claims to be the creator. But, whoever it was, we should all be thankful for this mellow, melt-in-your mouth classic. Here’s how to make chocolate fondant cake at home… Ingredients for 4 2 oz bittersweet […]

Continue Reading

How to make Paris-Brest cake

How to make Paris-Brest cake

Written by on October 24, 2019 in Desserts

The Paris-Brest cake was invented in 1910, by pastry chef Louis Durand of Patisserie Durand in Maisons-Laffitte. It was inspired by the famous cycle ride between Paris and Brest in Brittany. The round elements represent the wheel of a bike. The cake is made from choux pastry, filled with praline cream and garnished with flaked […]

Continue Reading

Easy recipe for Millefeuille with strawberries

The origins of the famous millefuille (which can also be spelled mille-feuille) cake aren’t known though a cake that was somewhat similar was said to have been first made in the 17th century. It wasn’t the millefeuille as we know it today, that took years of perfecting by various chefs including the famous King of […]

Continue Reading

Recipe for Tarte Reine-Claude

Recipe for Tarte Reine-Claude

Written by on August 23, 2019 in Desserts

Queen Claude’s tart is a classic French dessert and definitely fit for royalty! It’s really easy to make and utterly delicious. The tart is made with plums known as Reine-Claude (greengage). The plums are named after Claude of France (1499-1524), the wife of Francis 1. If you love sweet, fruity tarts – you’ll love this […]

Continue Reading

Easy recipe for Chocolate Soufflé

Easy recipe for Chocolate Soufflé

Written by on February 25, 2019 in Desserts

A light, airy and utterly scrumptious dessert. Most people think it’s a tricky recipe but it’s not really that difficult when you know how. The soufflé as we know it is said to have originated in France in the 18th century when it was apparently created as a dish for the mistress of Louis XV, […]

Continue Reading


If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

Subscribe via RSS Feed

Comments are closed.