Cannelés of Bordeaux - A kitchen tested recipe that delivers a very good version

Cannelés of Bordeaux - A kitchen tested recipe that delivers a very good version

Anyone who has been to Bordeaux is familiar with this signature sweet. It almost defies description: a rich popover dough with a custardy interior, coated in a dark, thin, crispy caramel. It is love at first bite and the souvenir shops know this. They sell the molds. But buyer beware…insiders swear that the authentic versions can only be achieved by copper forms.

If you are buying the pastries in situ, get them early. They tend to lose that crunchy exterior as the day gets long. If you would like to try them at home, here’s a kitchen tested recipe that delivers a very good version. 


  • ½ liter or 2 1/8 c milk
  • 2 eggs, plus 2 yolks
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 3-4 T of top quality dark rum (Goslings)
  • 1 c flour
  • 1 c light brown sugar
  • 2 T butter
  • (extra butter and white sugar for molds)

1. The day prior to making, bring milk and butter to simmer. Remove from heat. Add vanilla. Let cool slightly.

2. Mix flour and brown sugar together. Add eggs and yolks. Pour this mixture into the milk mixture. Mix gently to achieve a pancake-like batter. Let cool. Add rum. Refrigerate 24 hours.

3. Melt some butter and use a pastry brush to coat the inside of the cannelé molds. Chill in the refrigerator and repeat. The second time, coat the inside of the mold with white sugar. Tap out excess. Chill again.

4. Remove batter from refrigerator and mix well. Preheat oven to 250C/495F.

4. Fill molds no more than 3/4’s full and bake in a 250C/495F oven for five minutes, then reduce heat to 175C/350F for an hour. The tops should have a brown crust. Some ovens may require an extra 15 minutes.

5. Unmold while hot. Cool. Serve with tea, coffee, Cognac, Armagnac or Calvados.

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Lisa Airey

Lisa M. Airey, FWS, CWE has thirteen years of experience selling wine at the wholesale level and in training both sales force and wait staff. She sat on the Board of Directors for the Society of Wine Educators from 1998-2004 and co-chaired the committee which launched their Certified Specialist of Wine program and authored and edited the first CSW Study Guide. She served as Education Director of the SWE before assuming the same role for WSG. She oversees all WSG educational programming.

Lisa was knighted by the French government (Order Mérite Agricole) for her contribution to French agriculture, namely the development of the French Wine Scholar Program. She is an Accredited International Bordeaux Tutor through the CIVB, a Certified Burgundy Instructor through the BIVB and a Certified Rhône Educator through Inter-Rhône. Lisa graduated from Georgetown University’s School of Language and Linguistics, Magna Cum Laude.

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