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Easily one of my top 10 favorite pastries, these humble-looking little crepe dough tumblers are very tricky to make right. Here is how they make it at Len˘tre.
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The batter is poured in the prepared cannelÚs forms using a piston funnel, leaving 1 cm/ 0.4'' free space to the top.

Bake 30 minutes in a oven preheated to 200░C. The cannelÚs raise like beer foam in the oven, then subside. Halfway through baking, the pastry chef takes the tray out and turns it round to ensure even cooking.

The cannelÚs are ready when the top is deep brown, almost black. Unmold the piping hot cannelÚs using gloves.

Chef Smitt was pretty satisfied with his cannelÚs as he handed them to us. I confirm his verdict - very tasty indeed!

Using the right cannelÚs molds is critical. I have rubber cannelÚs molds which are quite nice to work with, but for the real thing you'll need to invest in the fluted tin-lined copper molds they use at Len˘tre. They are easy enough to find in Paris cookware shops, but cost at least Ç7 a piece. Quite an investment!

More details about Len˘tre pastry classes in A Pastry Class at Len˘tre in Paris.


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If you do this recipe at home please let me know how it worked for you by submitting a comment or send me a picture if you can. Thanks!


  • #1
  • Comment by Liz Z.
I found a recipe in French cooking magazine that didn't use beeswax but
instead had you generously butter the molds and then put a layer of
granulated sugar into them (like buttering and flouring a cake pan,
only using more butter). This gave a lovely caramelized crust to the
finished cannelÚs.
  • #2
  • Answered by fx
You are right Liz, most people nowadays don't use beeswax to
make cannelÚs, even in Gironde professional bakers use a special oil
coating spray for their molds. But using the wax is apparently the
traditional way and it's so intriguing! If you are using copper molds,
the beeswax will cover better the inside and make a crispier crust with a unique golden color.If
you use butter and sugar in copper molds, your sugar will caramelize
and you might not be able to turn the cannelÚ out. It will just
  • #3
  • Comment by Melissa
Wow ... how often do you come 'up here' to Paris? Are you taking every pastry course they offer? I LOVE canneles. I use Pierre's recipe, but will bookmark Le Notre's version and give it a try. They
are a little finicky though. What did your chef say about the rising
out of the molds, do you pierce them or just leave them alone?Thanks.....Melissa
  • #4
  • Answered by fx
Thank you Melissa! I certainly don't come up there often enough. So far I've only been twice at Len˘tre. Next time it'll be either for the macarons or a full meal - the famed 'Menu Bistrot'.

Our cannelÚs did indeed rise during the class at Len˘tre, but as long as the dough doesn't fall off you just leave them and they'll fall back.

What sort of cannelÚ mold do you have?
  • #5
  • Comment by Melissa
Hi,I bought the tinned. I decided to be 'cheap' and to be honest
they have worked just fine. I just have problems with them rising up
and not sinking back down. I bought them at MORA, which I notice you
are a fan. I also bought some of the bees wax at G. Detou and I didn't
like the flavor, I just butter like Pierre says to do.I enjoy your blog!Best!Melissa
  • #6
  • Answered by fx
Melissa, I think if you don't foam at all the egg mixture your
cannelÚ will not rise so much. Foaming introduces tiny air bubbles into
the batter - you don't want that. Pierre HermÚ recommends piercing the
bubble with a knife if it still happens. Send me a picture of your cannelÚ if you can!
  • #7
  • Comment by maryse nelson
Have been surfing the internet trying to find an 18 canneles mold.  Where can I get one reasonably priced.
  • #8
  • Comment by Alan LEWIS
I've just discovered Caneles Lemoine and they are the best I've tasted so far. Thank you for your article...and now to try myself. Question...must one use the bees wax in the rubber/silicone moulds?
  • #9
  • Comment by ariun
Alan, scroll up to the earlier comments-- there are alternatives mentioned.
  • #10
  • Answered by fx
Not really and in fact you won't get that crispy caramelized waxy crust with silicon moulds. The copper really heats up during baking and used in conjunction with the beeswax, it makes that trademark crust while keeping the contents moist.
  • #11
  • Comment by michelle
I followed the above receipe and made one batch yesterday whe I had a small high school reunion, and the Canneles tasted so good that my high school classmates couldn't believe it.  I first tested canneles was 10 years ago and I have been searching for the receipe for a long long time, I am glad i found this website.I have enough batter to make 8 more tonight and I will try to bake them till they are dark brown (I have mental issue with dark dark brown food) so tend to take the tray out of oven when they are just brown (no where near black).
  • #12
  • Answered by fx
Michelle I am so glad the cannelÚs worked for you and helped make your high school reunion a success! If you have some batter left you should not be afraid to try and increase the browning, even for just one cannelÚ. You might be surprised at how dark they can turn and still be good. The darker, the more flavor in the crust. What sort of molds did you use?
  • #13
  • Comment by Steve
I have a question about the recipe which may be quite obvious...but just to make sure:  After letting the lemon zest, vanilla pod and seeds, and apricot kernels infuse in the boiled milk for an hour, is the milk then strained to remove these ingredients?  I notice in the picture of the completed batter small dark specks on the surface, which I assume are vanilla seeds, so I'm a little confused.Thanks,Steve
  • #14
  • Answered by fx
Steve, you always - always - remove the vanilla pod after infusing. But you split it lenghtwise and scrape the inside before doing so. It is a hallmark of quality CannelÚ to see the vanilla seeds which falled down at the cannelÚ's bottom. The zest and apricot kernels stays inside.
  • #15
  • Comment by Nate
I've been trying to make a decent cannele and I am on my fifth or sixt batch with less than good results.  I finally decided to search in some French based web sites and I found yours. I am going to try your recipe as it seems to be a)closest to a true cannele (from what I've seen in US sites) and b) extremely well detailed in instructions.I'll report results in a day or two.
  • #16
  • Answered by fx
Nate, thanks for visiting and I hope your cannelÚ work. Once I spoke to a French baker in Paris and he told me that when he started baking them, they too had to throw to the bin a couple batches. They are just tricky to bake!
  • #17
  • Comment by Steve
OK, I've started experimenting with cannelÚs.  I bought aluminum molds, made in France, as a cost compromise between the copper/tin and the silicone molds.  I've tried coating the molds with beeswax, and butter/sugar, and found that while cannelÚs made in the butter/sugar-coated molds were quite good, the ones in the beeswax-coated molds had a shinier, smoother, crispier outside.I've experimented with two recipes: one fairly identical to Chef Smitt's provided above, and a second made with two whole eggs plus two egg yolks.  With both recipes I have had the same problem as Melissa--the cannelÚs rise up, but don't sink back down into their molds.  The ones made from Smitt's recipe rose far less out of the mold than the ones with more egg white, which expanded 80% out of the mold and never returned. In neither case did the batter or eggs get air whipped into them.  I'm going to try turning down the heat and see what happens.  But any other suggestions would be welcome.By the way, although the cannelÚs made with more egg white looked like misshapen muffins with a little crown on top, they were quite tasty.Thanks,Steve
  • #18
  • Answered by fx
Steve, you are on your way to become the Middle West cannelÚ king! I didn't do many cannelÚ myself and can only say that even professional French bakers have to experiment quite a bit before turning out sellable products. Where did you find the edible beeswax?
  • #19
  • Comment by Rosa Tamepo
I have just ordered some copper moulds from a very good Cookshop we have here in Auckland N.Z. They will arrive from France in April, they are hugely expensive however I am determined to try and make these little cakes?  I don't think I can obtain edible beeswax here in N.Z. so will have to revert to butter/sugar. The comments have been most interesting and enlightening. I hope my caneles work!!!.
  • #20
  • Answered by fx
Rosa I wish you the best of luck with your cannelÚs. Most people actually do not use the beeswax nowadays. I recommend that you substitute your intented butter and sugar with clarified butter and oil, or it will certainly burn in contact with the copper moulds and become bitter.  If they don't work at first, just keep trying and you'll succeed. Good work!
  • #21
  • Comment by name Rosa
Thank you for your reply I will use the clarified butter and oil you recommend. Can you tell me though what sort of oil (sorry to be so dumb) I will also let you know how they turn out once my moulds arrive. Again my thanks.
  • #22
  • Comment by Steve
Hi Francois,Thanks for your reply.  Amazingly enough, I found beeswax the first place I looked--the local food co-op in Ann Arbor.  It's produced by a local beekeeper, I believe.  The experimentation continues...Steve
  • #23
  • Answered by fx
Rosa for the oil I'd use something that is both heat-resistant and neutral tasting such as grapeseed oil. Good luck!
  • #24
  • Answered by fx
Steve, are you sure this beeswax is edible? We have beeswax all over the place here but as far as I can tell they add some chemicals to make it burn better - made for candles, not people!
  • #25
  • Comment by ophe
Hi! Well I tasted them in Paris in Bordeaux also but I did not see them in St Emilion, but I'll have to say I did not really like it.Well, maybe I have special tastes, I also did not like their many chesses made form chevre, which I eat goat cheese all the time, but  I just could not stand the strong smell of their aged chevre. So why am I on this site looking for the recette? Well my boyfriend is Bordelais and loves these little pastries. So I've made them alone to practice, with my boyfriend with his mom, and I'd have to say that rubber cannelÚs molds are ok but probably it's best to get the copper ones, the end product is totally different. And you are right they're best just a few minutes out of the oven when they are still warm inside yet crisp outside. Thanks for the recipe.
  • #26
  • Answered by fx
Ophe, you are really a girlfriend from heaven to go trough the difficulty of making proper cannelÚ at home if you don't even care for them! Good luck!
  • #27
  • Comment by Rosa NZ
My Canelle moulds have finally arrived from France, the Cook shop rang me yesterday and I will collect them tomorrow. I am busting to try these delightful little cakes. I almost needed to take a mortage out on the house to pay for them they were so costly however they will be treated like gold. I will follow your instructions to the letter and hopefully will really impress my family and friends. (I only bought six moulds that was about my financial limit). Cheers and thanks the instructions are very clear and helpful.   
  • #28
  • Answered by fx
Rosa, congratulations on your new cannelÚ mold! You can pass them on to your eldest daughter as you estate. Good luck and try to use the beeswax (edible please) if you find it!
I enjoyed reading your recipe and all of the comments!  Here is a possible answer to all of the "Beeswax"/Sugar-Butter questions.... I do use "culinary grade" beewax, available over the internet.  I melt 1 ounce of beeswax in a double boiler (Bain-Marie)once melted, I add 1 cup of SAFFLOWER oil. (Safflower oil is VERY heat stable and nearly flavorless)You may need to reheat the mix if the wax seizes....whisk until is homogenious.  let cool to room temp.(Keep left over mix in a covered jar at room temprature to use for your next batch!  Brush it into "seasoned" copper molds, invert over a grate on a sheet pan, then into a medium oven for 5 minutes.  Out of the oven, let them cool, then they go into the FREEZER for at least 1 hour before you fill them with COLD Canele batter!  Yes, I am a Chef!  Graduate from Le Cordon Bleu, Paris, former Chef Instructor at the California Culinary Academy, and now own my own Gourmet shop near Carmel, California.....and I sell Canneles in my bakery!!  I love your website! David
  • #30
  • Answered by fx
David, thanks for dropping in and for your hands-on, meticulous details on this most tricky topic. I am eating honeycomb these days and there is much wax in it, might be an alternat supply source for those who can't find it on the Internet. Cheers and hope to see you back here!
Very interesting comments. Thanks for sharing all those details. I've been reading over the cannele thread at egullet and Paula Wolfert mentions a problem that occurs called "white asses". My impression is that she is describing the condition of your cannele in the bottom pic.

You can find links to this thread on my web page.

  • FX's answer→ Thanks for your link Gaetano.

I always look for inspiration (and a challenge!) around this time of year and these pastries have got to be it.  Excellent post and accompanying photos.  Now all I need it get up the nerve to make these!
  • FX's answer→ Rowena, first get the copper molds and edible beeswax, the rest will follow!

  • #35
  • Comment by clark
What size mold do you recommend? Matfer Bougeat sells three varieties: 1 3/8" diameter x 1 3/8" height,   1 3/4" x 1 3/4", or 2 3/16" x 2 "

thanks for the article
We made these last night in my pastry class (I'm attending LeNotre in Houston). My chef-instructor used an entirely different recipe and process! No bitter almonds, no beeswax. He froze the molds before filling them with the batter - and let them cool completely before unmolding! Interesting how two very different processes can yield such similar results. Our canneles were just right - nice and crispy on the outside, soft and moist on the inside. Yummy~!
  • #37
  • Comment by Pierson
Hi, I was recently introduced to the cannelÚs world after learning how wonderful they taste.  I just finished my third attempt last night, but still have some troubles with the excessive rising. (I use copper molds, as I was determined to get it right. Beeswax was also used.) I tried lowering the temperature(from 200C to about 180C)setting on the oven, but that only delayed the rising by a few minutes.  I read online somewhere that just taking out the molds and letting it chill would stop the rising(which can be as much as 2/3 of the body), so I did, but then end up repeating the same task over and over.  The whole baking process took me about 3 hours(including the intermittent chill-time), with countless chill breaks, and I end up with under-colored and somewhat "flat"(not the porous airy structure inside) cannelÚs.  Any tips for my little situation? Many thanks!
  • #38
  • Comment by Malia
I have a problem with unmolding my canelle from the copper/tin mold. It would always be stuck at the junction of the crown with the vertical flutings.  I coated the molds with beeswax/oil mixture and freeze my mold for 1 hour before pouring in the cold batter.  I ended up prying my little cakes out of the mold in 2-3 pieces.  They tasted great - crunchy on the outside and custardy inside.  If only they could be served (unmolded) in one piece.  Any suggestions?
  • #39
  • Comment by Joanna
Dear FX:
I actually tried this recipe this past saturday.I did not change anything but followed it exactly as describe (except that I bought aluminium molds). The recipe is PERFECT because the cakes were perfect. Even though the cakes might look like they rose too much (like a muffin), as soon as I turned them to unmold I made each cake "sit" on the "muffin" bubble and this deflated it. Also, the unmolding was exceptionally easy.
Again, many thanks for sharing the recipe.
  • #40
  • Comment by Ida
I'm trying to make cannelÚs, I have the right molds, tried butter and sugar and beeswax and different recipes.
But I can't manage to get them out of the molds. Can you please tell me what I can try more to get them out?
And I was wondering if you can tell me what the bitter almonds/apricot stones are for? What do they do to the batter?
  • #41
  • Comment by John L
I'm so excited to find this recipe/site.  I used to make these when I interned at Boule in NYC years ago.  I remember burning myself a few times in the beginning working with the wax and hot molds but the end result was so beautifully delicious that I didn't care.   I've been thinking about them for a long time and recently while packing for a move I found my recipe from Boule.  I'm going to buy the molds and wax to make them at home.  It's such a delicious dessert, especially with a creme anglaise.   I've missed them so much!  The recipe I have includes Almond Flour not bitter almond and Armagnac.  Thanks for the beautiful pictures they bring back some great memories baking with William Yosses who is now the Executive Pastry Chef at The White House.
  • #42
  • Comment by Merrit
I was wondering do you cook for 15 mins then turn or is it after 30 minutes you turn and cook for another 30 minutes. Also Im using silicon molds should I butter those or is it pointless as someone said they do not allow for a very crusty crunchy crust?
  • #43
  • Comment by linessa
hey, i wanted to ask if it's possible to substitute sugar instead of using beeswax to get the crispy layer?
  • #44
  • Comment by Kate
I bought aluminum canele molds. Is there much difference in baking with these compared to the ones that have copper on the outside?  I can't wait to make these next weekend for a Family Christmas Tea gathering!
  • FX's answer→ Kate I am not sure but the copper molds sure look nicer!

  • #46
  • Comment by Helen FitzGerald
I don't know that anyone is actively engaged in this website anymore, but I still love it.

So... on the Canneles.
Over the holidays, I did a bunch of experiments. Sorry - only with copper molds.
1. I tried this recipe vs. Paula Wolfert's (since she also recommended copper molds). I looked at Dori Greenspan's and Jacques Pepin's versions for thoughts. (Let me know if you need the book references.)

I tried both this recipe and Paula's (if I ma be familiar) in a) molds frozen first b) white oil vs. pure bees' was and c) convection oven vs. regular oven (I'm cooking at home at do not have a professional oven though I do check the actual temperature), d) the recipe itself, e) the "looks black" when cooked thing.

a) Contrary to (above) Chef David's comments, I found frozen chilling made no difference and that's fortunate because it's a bother for a lot of molds. Note: It's winter and my house is ~60F.
b) Also per Chef David, I found not much effort difference on using pure bees' wax vs. a combination of saffron oil and wax.  Either your oil mixture must be warm or your molds and wax must be warm.  For the actual canneles, the oil mixture mold coating cooks too hot and I don't care for the burnt charcoal taste. I found the bees' wax only coasting much more delicate and more controlled on baking and coloring. A note on using only bees' wax: the molds must be warmish; bees' wax melting point is 143F and  flash point is 203F - so be careful.
c) The convection oven seemed to cook too hot and too fast. My boring old regular oven worked better, though the baking takes longer.
d) On the recipes themselves, I personally liked this one better, though the lemon zest came through too much. The batter is too delicate; I'd skip it in future. I liked the almond kick. The Wolfert version is eggy and dull and burned much too much. Also it had no rise/poof. I didn't have problem with the rising - not sure on others issues.
I do think the biggest challenge is coming up with an American "version" of French T55 flour. I used a 50/50 mix of Anson Mills Colonial Flour and White Lily Flour.
e) After getting several batches that were black, I didn't care for the taste. A hour in a conventional 400F oven with bees' wax was bit too short, but more too my taste. I thought some slight undercooking might solve the "only good when just out" problem in reheating.  If anyone responds I'll let you know - I have few ideas on increasing the evenness of cooking with individual molds.

Cheers and Merry Holidays 2015.
  • FX's answer→ Well there is someone - good old me! Hope the cannelÚ turned out good!

  • #48
  • Comment by Helen FitzGerald
Additional comment:
Brush the bees' wax into the mold to distribute it evenly; don't just pour it.  Then pour the excess into the next warm mold, brush it, etc.  You will notice when the molds get to cold as the wax will instantly congeal. About medium is right - not to hot so it doesn't stick and not too cold where it congeals instantly.
  • FX's answer→ Thanks, very useful tip indeed

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