Canneles de Bordeaux (Secret Recipe) (2024)

Tonight, I had my first taste of Cannelés de Bordeaux. I have lived in France for two years, and visited there several times since. I visited Bordeaux for the 1986 Jumping de Bordeaux with a friend. But I did not try the cannelés – they did not have the internet back then, or I might have known!

Here is a description and recipe from The Food Network:
These extraordinary little confections are a specialty of Bordeaux, where nuns were said to have created them more than 200 years ago using the flour they salvaged from the holds of sailing ships anchored in the Port de la Lune. I like to call them “portable creme brulee” because they contrast a crunchy caramelized exterior with a moist, custardy center. This recipe is a bit particular. You really need authentic copper cannele molds and you really do need to coat them with beeswax (which you can find at some health-food store and farmer’s markets). The wax makes the unmolding easier, and – most important ? gives the canneles their distinctive, crunchy crust. Make sure you let the batter rest for the full twelve hours. The best way to eat these is with a cup of strong coffee. You can also serve them as a dessert, cut in half and drizzled with caramel sauce.

3 cups milk
1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and scraped
7 1/2 ounces (3 tablespoons plus 3/4 cup) unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup pastry flour
1 extra-large egg yolk
2 extra-large eggs
3 tablespoons dark rum
3 ounces beeswax, finely chopped (about 1/3 cup)

In a small saucepan, combine the milk, vanilla bean, and its scrapings. Bring the milk to the scalding point over medium high heat, then remove the pan from the heat and add the 3 tablespoons of butter. Set aside to cool to lukewarm.

In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar and flour. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the egg yolk, eggs and rum. Whisk the egg mixture into the sugar and flour mixture, then whisk in the lukewarm milk mixture. Strain into a container; cover and refrigerate for at least 12 hours.

To prepare molds for baking, melt the beeswax in a saucepan over low heat. Add the remaining 3/4 cup butter to the melted wax and stir until the butter is melted. Remove the mixture from the heat and, using a narrow pastry brush, carefully coat the inside of 18 (2 by 1-inch) canneles molds. (Dedicate this brush to canneles making because the wax will get into the brush.) If the wax mixture starts to set up or thicken, return it to the heat for a moment until it thins.

Remove the batter from the refrigerator for at least 1 hour before baking it.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Place the waxed canneles molds on a heavy baking sheet with a rim to prevent any wax and butter that melts from the molds from dripping onto the bottom of your oven and creating a fire hazard. Fill the molds 3/4 full with the batter, whisking the batter frequently and well to ensure that the sugar and flour remain evenly distributed.

Bake for about 50 minutes, or until the surface of the canneles is dark brown. Remove from the oven, being very careful not to spill any of the hot wax on yourself. (It is wise to keep children and pets out of the kitchen during this part of the process.) Using tongs or an old towel, pick up each mold and tap it upside down to remove the canneles. If it doesn’t come out after a few taps, using a paring knife to loosen it from the sides. And…viola! Serve warm from the oven.

Here are a couple of other recipes:

From Tartelette’s Blog

Chocolate, Ginger, and Cardamom Cannelés

Tutorial with great pictures

Let me add that this is one of those delicacies that challenge far better self-taught cooks than myself. You need to find beeswax, for example, to line the tins. You also need special copper molds. I found a couple of sources:

Individual Copper Molds – and Williams-Sonoma – expensive, too expensive. An alternative is the Nordic Mini Bundt Pan. They make 12, I think. I actually got one for Christmas, but traded it in for other stuff.

Silicone Cannele Pans are available from and No need for beeswax or butter, but less authentic results. But the advantage is that you get molds for 6 to 8 for a fraction of the cost of the copper molds.


(drum roll, please)

You can just buy them from Trader Joes’!!!!! Yep – they are selling boxes of 6 frozen Canneles de Bordeaux for under $4. Beeswax and all! You just pop them in the microwave for 10 to 20 seconds, and voila! France on your plate. Now, I thought they could use a bit more rum, but that can be remedied.

I can’t wait to serve them at a dinner party. Maybe one or two on a plate accompanied by poached pears, vanilla ice cream, and that lovely Pear Cinnamon Caramel Sauce from the King’s Cupboard. Doesn’t that sound divine?

Oh, I just found packages of two Cherry Clafoutis at Trader Joe’s! (11/15/08).

Canneles de Bordeaux (Secret Recipe) (2024)


Why are canelés so expensive? ›

Like aromatic bread, time is an ingredient in properly preparing the canelé, especially their copper molds. To my knowledge, France is the only place in the world you can specially order them, and they're expensive.

Why use beeswax in canelé? ›

Beeswax? Beeswax, according to Paula Wolfert's cannelé recipe in her cookbook 'The Slow Mediterranean Kitchen' is one of the secrets to creating that glossy, dark crust. Melted, combined with safflower oil and brushed in a very fine film onto metal cannelé molds, the 'white oil' helps in the caramelization process.

Why are my canelés mushrooming? ›

The internet warns us that overly aerated batter will cause the canelé to puff up, mushrooming as they bake. Recipes will tell you to avoid whisking completely.

What is a substitute for beeswax in canelé? ›

Can I substitute beeswax with any other ingredient when baking canelé? Yes, you can substitute beeswax with butter or a combination of butter and vegetable oil. This will help achieve a similar texture and caramelization without using beeswax.

What does canelé mean in French? ›

fluted. une colonne cannelée a fluted column.

Do you have to use beeswax for canelés? ›

TL;DR: You can bake fantastic canneles without expensive copper molds or beeswax. The best option for those wishing to bake canneles on a budget is to use a carbon steel pan with floured baking spray.

What is the white oil for Caneles? ›

To make "white oil": Place 1 ounce round of bee's wax in a 1 pint glass measuring cup; melt in a microwave; while still warm, gradually stir in enough safflower oil to make a whitened mixture, light enough to coat the back of a spoon); cool to room temperature; store in the glass container at room temperature.

Do canelé need to be refrigerated? ›

How should I store my canelés? Leave them at room temperature, in the box provided, on the day of delivery. If not consumed on this day, move them to an airtight container and store them in the fridge. Let the canelés come to room temperature before eating again.

What is a substitute for rum in canelé? ›

Canele without rum (alcohol)

You can replace the rum in the recipe with another liquid such as milk or another flavor.

How do you know when canelé is done? ›

Keep an eye on them in the last 10 minutes of the bake time; these can quickly go from perfect to burned. Using gloves, check each canelé to see if it's done by turning it out onto a cooling rack above a layer of tin foil on the counter. If the canelé is uniformly dark all over, it's finished.

What is the traditional size of a canelé? ›

Traditional ⌀ 55 mm

Perfect for all food lovers, those ⌀ 55mm cannelé are traditional size.

What is better than beeswax? ›

There you have it, when comparing wax, soy wax is arguably better than beeswax due to cost, aesthetics, oil retention, vegan friendly and eco friendly properties. However on sweetness, and burn temperature, beeswax wins out.

Can I use Vaseline instead of beeswax? ›

Overall, one can't choose between Beeswax and Vaseline, as they offer similar benefits to our skin. Both the ingredients are essential for lip care as they help in providing moisturised and plump lips. Chapped lips usually take about 2-3 weeks to heal.

Can I use honey instead of beeswax? ›

If you prefer not to use beeswax or you just don't have it on hand, you can still make an awesome lip balm or gloss! Coconut oil, shea butter, honey, and castor oil can all be used in various proportions to make a solid, hydrating lip gloss.

Are silicone canelé molds better than copper? ›

My final conclusion was that the Canelés did not taste any better with the copper molds but the texture was much better. The combination of the bee's wax and copper mold together produced that wonderful crispy exterior that was superior to the silicone molds.

What does canelé taste like? ›

These little morsels are nothing like anything else I've ever tried. Rich, moist, custardy interior is sealed into a thin, crispy, caramelized shell. As you bite into them, there is a distinct crackling sound; then your teeth sink into soft, sweet, and custardy goodness.

How long does Canale last? ›

A canelé is best enjoyed on the day it is made. That is when you get the best contrast between the crisp, caramalised crust and soft middle. However, some people find this texture too crispy and prefer to wait a day until the canelé is more soft. They will last for 5 days in the fridge.

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