September 20, 2017
Photo by Ren Fuller
Author Notes

I'm so excited to share this recipe from my upcoming book, The Fearless Baker (out October 24th). If you’ve ever had a canelé—the incredibly decadent French sweet featuring a deeply caramelized outer crust and a soft, custardy center—you’ve undoubtedly wished they could be ever-present in your life. While the batter is easy to make, canelés are traditionally a bit complicated. Traditional methods require copper molds that are coated in an edible beeswax. It’s enough specialized stuff to turn me off, and I’m nearly addicted to these beauties. So I figured there had to be another way! Full disclosure: you still need a special mold to pull these off, but I’ve formulated my recipe to be made in easy, breezy (did I mention inexpensive and easy to clean?!) silicone, with nothing but a little soft butter to aid the process (yum).

Featured in: How to Make French Canelés (It's Simple). —Erin Jeanne McDowell

  • Makes makes about 16 canelés – precise yield may vary base on the size of your molds
  • 2 cups (484 g) whole milk
  • 1/4 cup (60 g) heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons (28 g) unsalted butter
  • 1 1/4 cups (248 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups (150 g) all purpose flour
  • 2 large (113 g) eggs
  • 2 large (54 g) egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons dark rum
  • 1 tablespoon (15 g) vanilla extract
  • softened unsalted butter, as needed for greasing the mold
In This Recipe
  1. The day before you want to make the canelés, combine the milk, cream, butter, and 1/4 cup (50 g) of the sugar in a medium saucepan and bring it to a simmer over medium heat.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large heatproof bowl, whisk together the remaining 1 cup (198 g) sugar and the flour to combine. When the milk is about to simmer, add the eggs, yolks, rum, and vanilla to the bowl (with the sugar/flour mixture) and whisk to combine.
  3. Pour the hot milk mixture into the bowl in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly until the batter is smooth; take care not to incorporate too much air.
  4. Strain the batter into a storage container, cover tightly, and refrigerate overnight or for up to 24 hours.
  5. The next day, set the batter out to warm to room temperature for 1 hour—you can work with it in batches if necessary. (I only have one mold with 8 cavities, so I make two batches.)
  6. Preheat the oven to 450° F with the oven rack in the center. Rub the cavities of a silicone canelé mold generously with soft butter. Place the mold on a baking sheet and transfer to the oven for 3-4 minutes. Meanwhile, transfer the batter to a container with a spout, such as a large liquid measure.
  7. When the mold (on the baking sheet) is hot, pour the batter into the molds, filling each three-quarters full (my mold has 8 cavities that each hold 1/3 cup (about 75 g) batter. If your molds are larger/smaller you may need more/less). Immediately return the mold and baking sheet to the oven and bake until the canelés puff up and begin to brown, 30-32 minutes. (Resist the urge to open the oven door during baking other than the following steps—the pastries are more likely to bake properly with a consistent oven temperature!)
  8. Reduce the oven temperature to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and bake the canelés for 30-32 minutes more; the surface should be very golden.
  9. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and use a small offset spatula to loosen each pastry gently from the mold and flip it over inside the mold (this will help brown the pastries evenly all over). Return the canelés to the oven and bake until the tops are deeply golden, 12-15 minutes more.
  10. Let the canelés cool completely in the mold before unmolding and serving.

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I always have three kinds of hot sauce in my purse. I have a soft spot for making people their favorite dessert, especially if it's wrapped in a pastry crust. My newest cookbook, The Book on Pie, is out on November 10th, 2020.