French edible gifts: les cannelés

Canneles - French edible gifts recipe (watermark)

Cannelés are divine French treats flavoured with vanilla and rhum. However I have to admit I am not a cannelés purist as I skip the rhum part in our household for the children’s sake :-) Cannelés are historically from the Bordeaux area but they are so popular you will find them in most French patisserie. They are crusty on the outside and gooey inside … well let me say once you have tried them there is no going back…

Cannelés are such unique treats that in the 1985 was born a “Brotherhood of the Canelé of Bordeaux” (Confrerie du Canelé du Bordeaux – the brotherhood members spell “canelé” with only one “n”).  This mysterious brotherhood holds and promotes the secrets of the perfect canelés. The genuine canelés are made in the historic copper moulds. These moulds can reach a higher temperature which facilitates the creation of a durable caramelised crusty outside for the canelés. However from experience I can guarantee that you can still reach amazing results with silicone moulds.

For the little story, cannelés are apparently nothing less than by-products from Bordeaux wine production. Traditionally egg whites were used when producing wine. The egg yolks were then given to the Sisters, who were using them to make little cakes… well cannelés… combining them with the amazing new products coming from the port (vanilla and rhum).

As the “Canelés Brotherhood” would attest, cannelés are best enjoyed on the day they are baked.

You can enjoy them for breakfast, as snacks for goûter or tea time and they will make amazing edible gifts for family, friends teachers, colleagues at Christmas or whenever you fancy really… I am sure you can find a great excuse to bake some :-)

Canneles - French edible gifts recipe


  1. - 50 centilitres milk
  2. - ½ vanilla pod, sliced opened
  3. - 50 grams butter
  4. - 100 grams flour
  5. - 200g sugar
  6. - 2 eggs
  7. - 2 egg yolks
  8. - 1 to 3 tablespoons rhum (optional – I skip this for the children)
  2. Pour the milk in a saucepan, add half the vanilla pod and butter and bring to a boil.
  3. Meanwhile combine the flour and sugar then add the eggs and the egg yolks.
  4. Pour the boiling milk over the flour and combine until you get a crêpes consistency batter (pretty fluid).
  5. Allow to cool down, add the rhum (optional) and store in the fridge overnight (ideally for 24 to 48 hours).
  6. ON D-DAY
  7. Take your batter out of the fridge so as it gently goes back to room temperature.
  8. Pre-heat the oven to 220⁰C (this recipe is designed for silicone moulds).
  9. Butter your moulds and pour the batter up to 3/4 th of the height. Cook for 20mn at 220⁰C for silicone moulds and then 40mn at 180⁰C (30mn for mini-canneles).
  10. Unmould them gently whilst they are still hot. Allow to cool.

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