Canneles Bordelais Recipe

Canneles Bordelais Recipe Recipe

Cannelés Bordelais are French miniature sweets from Bordeaux. The batter is very similar to crêpe batter; butter is melted in warm milk, then eggs, rum (I used Cointreau liqueur), vanilla, citrus zest and flour. The two most difficult steps are to be patient about letting the batter rest and to bake the cannelés at the right temperature or they can deflate rapidly.

The traditional baking method requires a special fluted copper mold, greased with beeswax (I used butter) for a golden outer crust and easy unmolding. I use silicone molds, which are not quite authentic but the results are just as delicious. After baking, the tiny desserts will have a thick, caramelized crust and a tender custard center. The contrast is very nice, and they're wonderful right out of the oven.

Canneles Recipe with Picture


Yields: 34 canneles

1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon orange zest
8 teaspoons Cointreau liqueur (or dark rum)
½ vanilla bean
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole milk
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
6 tablespoons superfine sugar (or granulated sugar)


The day before...

In a deep saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons butter into 1 cup of milk over very low heat. Remove from the heat as soon as the butter is melted. Let the milk cool completely.

Using a handheld mixer, whisk the egg and egg yolk with the sugar until foamy.

Using a paring knife, scrape and gather all the grains of the vanilla bean. Add the grains of vanilla to the eggs.

Place the flour in a mixing bowl. Form a well in the center of the bowl. Pour in the egg mixture,  milk mixture, Cointreau and orange zest. Mix until the batter is smooth. Do NOT over-mix.

Let the cannelé batter rest overnight. Be patient; this step is important.

The next day.

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Place the silicone cannelé mold on a baking pan in the oven. Brush each cavity with butter. Flip the cannelé mold to remove any excess butter. Place the silicone mold back in the oven for 2-3 minutes. Fill each cavity with the custard. 

Bake for 25 minutes (up to 30 minutes) at 375°F. Carefully unmold the cannelés by flipping the mold.

The outside should be golden and crispy and the inside very soft.

Bon appétit!


The key to good cannelé batter is good quality yellow butter.

The longer you let the batter rest the better. It will still be good after 2-3 days in the refrigerator.

After scraping the grains of vanilla, don't discard the remaining vanilla bean. Just place it in a jar and cover it with regular granulated sugar. Let it sit for a few weeks and you'll have a nice, fragrant vanilla sugar.

If you don't have any vanilla bean, you can substitute 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract.

Published By: Jacqueline Pham on July 29, 2010.


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