Canelés De Bordeaux - French Rum and Vanilla Cakes

Canelés de Bordeaux, also know as cannelé Bordelais, are magical French bakery confections, little fluted cakes with a rich rum and vanilla interior enclosed by a thin caramelised shell. This brilliant recipe was developed a long ago by an anonymous Bordeaux cook, whose innovation has been subjected to 300 years of refinements.

You’ll Need:

  • 1/2 liter milk
  • 2 whole eggs, plus
  • 2 egg yolks, beaten
  • 1/2vanilla beans or 1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 -4 tablespoons rum
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • butter, for greasing
  • sugar, for sprinkling


  1. The day before: boil the milk with the vanilla and butter.
  2. Take off the heat, allow to cool VERY slightly.
  3. Mix the flour and sugar together, then add the eggs and egg yolks, pour this mixture in the hot milk.
  4. Gently mix in order to obtain a fluid and smooth mixture, like a pancake batter, let it cool, then add the rum.
  5. Place it in the refrigerator for 24 hours to 48 hours maximum.
  6. When you are ready to bake the caneles: preheat the oven to 250C/495°F.
  7. Butter the moulds liberally and then sprinkle some sugar in to the moulds.
  8. Pour the batter in to the buttered and sugared caneles moulds, they should be 3/4 full - NO more.
  9. Place the moulds on a baking sheet, and cook on high for 5 minutes, then lower the temperature to 175C/350F and continue cooking for 1 hour at least. (It depends on your oven, it can take up to 1 and a quarter hours!) The tops will have a brown crust when they are ready, and they should still be moist inside.
  10. Carefully unmould them whilst they are still hot. Allow them to cool.
  11. Serve with tea or coffee for breakfast, or with a glass of wine or cognac in the late afternoon or evening.