How to Make Traditional French Canelés

Like most classic French desserts, the canelé goes back a long way.

Legend has it that the little cakes, flavored with rum and vanilla, originated in the Bordeaux region of France around the 18th century. They were allegedly such a specialty that those who knew how to make them formed a guild of canauliers, or canelé chefs. Now, though they can be found in just about every pastry shop in France (especially around the holidays at Christmas markets), canelés are still a specialty rarely found outside France.


But if you’re jonesing for that crunchy crust with a soft, doughy inside, you should be thrilled to learn that all in all, they’re not that difficult to make. Once you’ve invested in some canelé molds, the rest is sugar, butter, flour. Some recipes even throw in a bit of Grand Marnier for a hint of orange. This visually stunning video includes instructions for how to make canelé, amounts of each ingredient, and helpful images for the cooking process.

And who knows? This could be the next big dessert craze to hit the U.S., and you’ll get to say, “Bah ouais, I’ve been making canelés since forever.”