Canelés, sometimes spelled as cannelés, are sticky, sweet rum cakes from the French region Bordeaux. That’s why they’re also sometimes referred to as cannelés bordelais. These little custard cakes are truly divine and a rare treat to find in the States.
Canelé | Cannelés
I had the opportunity to visit the Bordeaux region during my last trip to France. My best friend’s mother-in-law lives in that area, so we decided to take a weekend trip to visit her.
On the way to her house, I asked my friend to stop at a patisserie so that I could pick up something as a gift for the hostess. Instead, my friend encouraged me to stop at this tiny shop that sold some of the best canelés (a Bordeaux specialty) she had ever eaten.
I had of course heard of canelés, or cannelés (depending on how you spell it), having been to France before, but I had never come across them in Paris.
It turns out that canelés were even better than I imagined them to be; they were just as addictive as my friend described them to be!
During this weekend visit, my friend’s mother-in-law invited some of her own friends to join us for lunch one day. One of these friends was a sweet woman who shared her recipe for cannelés bordelais.
I told her about my blog and how I had fallen in love with these little rum cakes during my stay, and she kindly emailed me the recipe for this iconic Bordeaux dessert.
And what a recipe…these are divine!
Now, normally, I’m not thrilled with the idea of purchasing specialty pans like the one needed for these, but you must have a canelé pan to make true canelés.
Some people use a copper canelé mold, as it’s very iconic and traditional to do such. I honestly love the silicone mold for three reasons:
- They’re easy to store (they are flexible and easily bend/fold)
- They’re easy to clean – just pop the pan in the dishwasher
- They’re easy to get the canelés out of the pan – you just pop them right out
It was brought to my attention that some canelé recipes call for beeswax as a way of coating the canelé molds, but you really don’t need that.
And while buying a specialty pan might not typically be the most practical thing, I’m sure you will be getting much use out of your pan as these canelés are scrumptious.
Canelés are made with a generous dose of rum, then the batter is left to rest overnight where the rum flavor can develop even further.
The key to making canelés the addictive treat they are is the baking method.
You see, canelés have this unique quality where they have a sticky, caramelized-looking exterior and soft, custard-y interior. In order to achieve this perfect texture contrast, you have to bake the canelés at different temperatures for various durations.
Not everyone knows how to make a great canelé, and that’s why I was so grateful and excited to receive this authentic canéle recipe from my new French friend. I hope you guys enjoy these just as much as I do!
A Bordeaux dessert specialty made up of rum-flavored, sticky little cakes.
- 500 ml milk 2 cups + 2 tbsp
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 2 whole eggs
- 1 egg yolk
- 125 g all-purpose flour 1 cup
- 225 g granulated sugar 1 cup + 2 tbsp
- 150 ml rum 1/2 cup + 2tbsp
Combine the milk and vanilla extract; temporarily set aside.
To a large bowl, add the eggs and egg yolk, then whisk until the yolks are broken up. Pour in the milk and vanilla mixture, then whisk again until combined.
Add the all-purpose flour and sugar, whisking until smooth and lump-free.
Add the rum and whisk again to combine. Refrigerate the batter for at least 12 hours, or overnight if possible.
The next day, preheat the oven to 440°F. If using a silicone canelé pan, place the pan on a wire, oven-safe rack (this will make transferring the pan to the oven easier). Give the batter a whisk, then use a small ladle to fill the molds with enough batter to almost reach the top of the molds.
Bake the canelés at 440°F for 20 minutes. Then reduce the heat to 300°F and bake for another 30 minutes. Finally, increase the heat to 430°F and bake for 5 minutes.
Remove the pan from the oven and let the canelés cool in the pan for 30 minutes. Gently pop the canelés out of their molds and serve.
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