cannelés – a sweet speciality from south west france

by Sharon Santoni

[blank]A couple of lovely readers have asked me about these tiny copper moulds,  that I found in the fair yesterday. They are quite old and were purpose made to bake the delicious Cannelés![blank]

[blank]Before I go onto the recipe, your opinion please.  I bought a few of these, for me and for the store, but I can’t decide whether to clean them all.  Of course they are clean inside, but do you prefer the tarnished patina look or do find the sheen of polished copper irresistible?! Thank you![blank]

[blank]These little cakes are a speciality of South West France, Bordeaux in particular, and for many people they represent a summer pleasure, enjoyed while on holiday.
They have a slightly thick and caramelised crust but inside they are moist
Ingredients to make about 12 cannelés[blank]
– 1/2 litre (2 cups) milk
– 25 g butter (2 oz)
– 2 egg yolks
– 1 whole egg
– 250 g (1+1/4 cups) sugar
– 125 g flour (1 cup)
– 1teaspoon vanilla essence, or the grains of a whole vanilla pod in the milk
– 60 ml (1/4 cup) rum
Boil the milk (with the vanilla grains if you are using a pod) add the butter and leave to cool.
In a large bowl beat the egg yolks, the whole egg and the sugar.    Add the flour, mix well then little by little add the milk.  Add the rum, and the vanilla essence if using it.  The mixture should have the consistency of pancake batter.  Leave overnight in a bowl in the fridge.
Fill the moulds to 3/4 level.   Cook for 15 minutes at 450°F (250°C), then drop to 355°F (180°C) and cook for an hour.[blank]
[blank]Instead of making this size cannelés, you can also make mini versions which only need about 40 minutes to cook.

Turn them out while they are still hot and – if you have the will power! –  leave to cool before eating.[blank]

[blank] bon appétit mes amis![blank]


Kris Vogelsang June 18, 2012 - 7:11 pm

Sounds absolutely delish! As for tarnished vs. shiny…I like tarnished. To me it makes them looked well used and well loved, but that's just my thought.
Kris of Cricket Acres Studio

Anonymous June 18, 2012 - 7:23 pm

Golly I want to make some of them! They look soo
good! Leave the molds alone!! They look wonderful just the way they are.
Have a good one.
Darlene North

Lorrie June 18, 2012 - 7:56 pm

These look delectable, and a perfect accompaniment to a cup of tea.

I'd leave the molds as they are. I like them tarnished, and if someone likes them shiny, she can polish them up herself.

Our French Inspired Home June 18, 2012 - 8:02 pm

Being a lover of copper; I like copper outside to have a patina, and copper used inside to be polished. Look at it like silverware, I wouldnt eat with tarnished fork. I also want that copper to shimmer and shine when displayed in the kitchen.

Priscilla June 18, 2012 - 8:16 pm

There is no other sweet in France to compare. These are the epitome of flavor and texture – perfection! I am so fortunate to have a bakery here in Portland, that produces very fine examples. I have been told that sometimes the inside is thinly coated with bee's wax and that gives them that indescribable crust. I only know I love them, above even chocolate – and that's saying a lot for me.

Faux Pas Farm Gal June 18, 2012 - 8:26 pm

Yum!! And I love the molds the way they are!

French Heart June 18, 2012 - 8:48 pm

Those are my absolute fave desert. Love the photos! Re the charming molds–depends on the context whether I'd want them tarnished or shined… my preference is more likely the later 😉

Katie @ Yankee and Peach June 18, 2012 - 8:49 pm

If you intend use them for display only, I would say leave them tarnished. But if you intend to cook with them or use in the kitchen, shine those beauties up! Thank you for the recipe – it's now added to my summer "to-do" sweets list!

laurie June 18, 2012 - 9:19 pm

this looks and sound delicious,

Jennifer June 18, 2012 - 9:33 pm

I want to eat one right now!
I think I like the molds tarnished.

Barbara Lilian June 18, 2012 - 9:52 pm

If I were you, just a good wash in hot soapy water to use for the special recipe you give, But if they are for display… well a little bit of elbow grease ( a tippicle English expression !!)a good clean for a nice shiney display.

Mrs. Sutton June 18, 2012 - 10:49 pm

Mmmmm – these look absolutely delicious! I'm going to go against the grain here though. Normally, I love a bit of tarnish and beaten up history, but in this case, I think that they look super when they're polished up.
Whichever you choose, they are highly covetable in either state – a truly wonderful find!
Paula x

@tweatcyn June 18, 2012 - 10:56 pm

I'm dying to try one with a cup of earl gray tea. When I finally make it to Paris, I intend to try them. As for the molds, Patina rules my friend.

Shoreham Cottage Gifts June 18, 2012 - 11:31 pm

Those pictures and description just made my mouth water! shame I cannot just reach into the screen and get one. We are going to Paris this Summer so will try to look out for them 🙂

Pat June 19, 2012 - 1:52 am

Both boys put these onthe list for France. Me too!

Kris June 19, 2012 - 2:11 am

I think, I would like to see some of the molds shiny and some tarnished mixed together. This recipe looks divine! I am already trying to figure out how I can work these sweets into my low sodium diet! HA Y~U~M~M~Y!

Anonymous June 19, 2012 - 3:25 am

Thanks for the recipe – especially since I wasn't happy with my shop-bought ones over here.

For the moulds: I'd prefer them 'old and tarnished looking'.
Yet I had to face the huge puzzlement of a salesperson selling me a huuuge silver pot which was – shelf-lived – 'blinded' and I yelled out in horror, when she was about to polish it for me since I decided to buy it.
It took a few funny and disbelieving moments before she rehearsed/confirmed back to me "means: you won't buy it when I dare to polish it, will you?"
Right – and to get/offer the polished look to a customer 'after checking' with them – much easier!
In our case the polished version would have been way to 'glary' in our otherwise more 'museum-style' home.


It's now a lovely pot holding a dry-flower-bouquet in our lounge-room and doubles as a, hmm, 'sparkling-wine-cooler' when in need. It's always amusement, when we tend to forget about it to the last minute and then one of us is sent to organise it with the sentence of "oh, please chuck the 'vegies' out, Dear" and just puts the flowers next to grab the pot, wipe it over, fill with ice and look at the puzzled guests 😉

Betsy June 19, 2012 - 3:35 am

thank you for the recipe, I hope mine turn out as tasty looking as the ones you have pictured.
I love polished copper, I was wondering if cleaning copper helps make the cooking of the product better or cook more evenly?

Pamela RG June 19, 2012 - 5:24 am

Yummy! Those canneles looks so moist and delicious! Those canneles will be perfect with a cup of tea in an outdoor garden.

kabayoz June 19, 2012 - 7:43 am

It will be very hard not to dunk one or two of those canales in a hot cup of coffee. I like my copper pots and molds polished. Lots of work but don't mind it.

vicki archer June 19, 2012 - 10:12 am

These are seriously my weakness Sharon… I love the moulds a little tarnished… but I love what's inside more!! xv

Anonymous June 19, 2012 - 10:34 am

I love the patina and the lucky one who buys them in your store has the chance to polish them or not.The recipe sounds quite easy I shall try it, however I do not have copper moulds (my are glass)
Love from the extra hot Hungarian Plain Dorka

The Moerks June 19, 2012 - 11:58 am

Sharon, they look divine. I have no idea about the moulds, polished look cleaner and like new, but the older ones look like they have a story to tell.

Sarah June 19, 2012 - 12:00 pm

Definitely polished up for me. I don't like the sad old neglected look of the grubby black patina.

stadtgarten June 19, 2012 - 12:53 pm

Thank you so much for this recipe! I love Cannelès!

Aunty Belle June 19, 2012 - 1:54 pm

This comment has been removed by the author.

Aunty Belle June 19, 2012 - 1:56 pm

Copper is lovely either way–polished or left with patina–enjoy these treasures– j'adore copper– my pinterest has a Copper Crave board!

But if one does not have these moulds, what size dish/ ramekin should we use to make the canneles?

pamblings June 19, 2012 - 5:25 pm

i would leave them tarnished and let the purchaser decide…my personal style is less shiny/new as i prefer the aged patina…if one was going to actually use, would they not lose their copper shine eventually? thank you also for the recipe (with US conversion…!) i have two dozen organic farm eggs just waiting to make something delicious and lovely…now i've found my baking project for the week! thank you for your blog…its absolutely beautiful and a treat to open every day! pm

BRASWELL June 19, 2012 - 5:43 pm

Leave them tarnished, gets my vote. Fabulous

Janet June 19, 2012 - 6:15 pm

They look beautiful as they are, I would leave the patina alone.
Your canneles (high on the yum factor) reminds me of Baba Au Rums. Only Baba Au Rums is a yeast dough instead of a cake and soaked in a warm rum syrup. Equally up there on the yum factor.

Irina June 20, 2012 - 3:50 am

I like shiny copper and would polish them. The recipe sounds yummy. Thank you for sharing!

Anonymous June 20, 2012 - 5:45 am

Sharon, what an AWESOME site. Thank you for the time you have put into it. I have a quick question, I'm looking for curtain ideas for a new home and have seen both table cloth jaquard and bed linens from france,that are a very hot/dark wine/purple color. Is this a new direction or is it a traditional splash of color used with white/linen colors? Thank you again for you site!!!!!

Mouse June 20, 2012 - 10:13 am

I would also say polish them, they would be more aesthetically pleasing and would look good on a shelf in the kitchen with other pots and pans…

and the cakes look so delicious I am tempted to buy the moulds myself!
How very clever are the French?

Outside Looking In June 20, 2012 - 4:17 pm

YUM, YUM, YUM! Leave the patina–it's beautiful!

Sandra June 20, 2012 - 10:03 pm

After being not able to read blogs (examine time for teachers, mothers and children) I sat down and this was the best post for the week. Love it even at past eleven at night I feel like trying out your recipe. Our winter holiday start on Friday 22 June 2012. I will then give it a go.
Lots of love from a cold South Africa

Anonymous July 11, 2012 - 8:22 am

Hi there – have just stumbled upon your blog whilst looking for a recipe for these 🙂 Looking forward to browsing after i post this comment! Just wondering what the dimensions are of the tins you use, and what you clasify as a 'mini' tin for the 40 min baking…
thank you so much, look forward to following you in the future

Sherry November 23, 2014 - 6:01 am

I like the “antique” look! If they are clean and ready to use inside, why not keep them the way they are. Hope that helps.
From B.C. Canada, Sherry

JOHAN BEYTELL June 23, 2015 - 12:45 pm

Where can I buy these molds here in South Africa.
Thank you


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