Master A French Classic – Canelés


I can’t tell you how much I love discovering new sources of French inspiration.

A little while back, I came across a lovely blog – {French} Countryside Companion. The creator, Shannon, and her family share their time between the United States and – you guessed it – the French countryside.

Shannon strikes me as an incredibly creative woman. Not only is she a chocolatière and a pâtissière who is currently writing a cookbook, but she and her hubby are also renovating their French home.

I really look forward to her blog and Instagram posts. (Seriously friends, if you do nothing else, make sure you take a look at Shannon’s Instagram account. It’s full of dreamy shots and thoughtful captions.) Everything has a relaxed French vibe that I absolutely adore. 

Mastering Classics – Canelés

So when Shannon shared her recipe for canelés recently, I knew I had to try them. I fell in love with canelés when we visited Bordeaux – the city where they were believed to be originally created – a few years ago.

Canelés have an interesting flavour profile and they deliver both crunch and sweet chewiness in one delicious little cake. They basically have a whole lot going on, and because of this, I’d assumed they’d be difficult to make. It turns out that I was wrong. While they do require patience, they are actually relatively simple to make. Canelés make a big impression for the relatively small amount of effort required.

You can find Shannon’s canelé recipe here.

From memory, this is only the second time that I’ve shared a Master A French Classic recipe that I haven’t modified in some way to make it my own. The other was the recipe for madeleines. I find it interesting that I don’t feel the need to put my stamp on baked goods. It’s probably got something to do with the fact that I don’t cook them that often and if the recipe works for me first go, then there really isn’t any need for me to muck around with it!

A Slight Variation

That said, I did make one very tiny variation to the recipe. Despite trying three separate stores, I couldn’t track down any bees wax to line my canelé moulds with. So after a little bit of Google research, I decided that lining the moulds with butter alone would work just fine. And it did. The custardy batter seemingly fried in the butter which created a deliciously caramelised and crunchy canelé.


And while I’m on the topic of moulds, I have to confess that I didn’t use traditional copper moulds for my canelés. I wanted to, but for some reason they cost a fortune here in Australia. I decided against silicone moulds, and went for a canelé pan that allowed me to make nine canelés at once. Shannon’s recipe makes way more than nine canelés, so I’m planning to treat myself to a few individual moulds the next time I’m in France.

Have you ever made canelés? Do you have any tips for baking the perfect canelé? If so, please feel free to hare them in the comments section below.

And until next time – au revoir.

About Janelle

I believe that everyone can bring French elegance and inspiration to their life, no matter where they happen to live in the world. They only need to learn a secret or two to be on their way. When you join the Distant Francophile community, you’ll have access to the secrets that allow you to bring the best of the French lifestyle into your everyday life. I’m talking about things like style advice, recipes and book reviews. And you’ll also receive regular doses of French inspiration, as well as travel and packing tips galore.

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7 thoughts on “Master A French Classic – Canelés

  • Jean | Delightful Repast

    Janelle, canales are next on my list of French bakes. I’m still in the process of selecting a pan–the expensive copper moulds are out of the question–then I’ll develop the recipe. I plan to skip the beeswax. Just made (and posted) nonnettes for the first time.

    • Janelle Post author

      Thanks Jean. I can tell you that my canelés didn’t seem to suffer from either my choice of pan or my decision to go without the beeswax. And I have to say, those Nonnettes look spectacular!!

  • Nicole Ress

    Janelle , I made Canelés recently as you know and I also buttered the moulds and the result was fabulous . It’s wonderful finding one’s flow in the kitchen baking and as you are practising using your french cooking vocabulary I look forward to sharing la recette en français
    Bon appétit Nicole

    • Janelle Post author

      Thank you so much for giving me all those cooking vocabulary words Nicole. With those to help me, I think I might be ready to cook a recipe written in French. Looking forward to catching up when you return from France – I hope the tours go well.

  • Judith Noack

    I’m heading to Paris in September. Can you recommend somewhere to purchase caneles molds? I love to bake so this suits me perfectly.

  • Taste of France

    I haven’t made canelés myself but my kid did in school. I am quite sure they used butter, not beeswax. A mold is a perfect souvenir. I bought madeleine molds early in my stint in Europe, figuring I would do my two years and go home, not knowing it would grow to nearly 20.
    I suggest trying a soufflé! Three out of three recent houseguests have made soufflés (I am good at delegating) and they all turned out perfect. And a friend told me her dad used to make soufflés for dinner parties–high impact, lots of oohs, not that hard.