Can Can Cannele’

Well our son, James can but we’ll see about the rest of us. You can, sometimes, find these in very upscale bakeries but I’ve never found them to come anything close to the refined little eggy confections James makes. I first witnessed him make these for a Personal Chef dinner he did for twelve. It was for a birthday and the “Birthday Girl” wanted Orange and Blue as her signature colors. James made Cannele’ as party favors. Wrapped them all in bundles of four in Orange cellophane pockets with blue ribbon.  Stacked up made great reception piece as well as centerpiece. His favorite friend, Kim L. took her favor home savoring the pleasure it would give her with the next morning’s coffee. Got up only to find her husband ate them all. Not to worry…James made her more. He likes her that much.

Mine were excellent, but still not as exquisite as James’. Perhaps it’s when you make something yourself versus when someone makes it for you.  Naaahhh…James still does it better. I tip my hat to you, my son.

Author: William Sonoma revisions by James R. Kirkley, IV

A canelé is a small French pastry with a soft and tender custard center and a dark, thick caramelized crust.

Serves: 4



2 cups, milk
2 tablespoons, vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
3 cups, sifted confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon, dark rum (Because Nun’s know how to party!)
4 tablespoons, unsalted butter (1/2 stick) – melted
1 cup, sifted all purpose flour


  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, warm milk and vanilla
  2. Bring just to a boil, the immediately remove from heat.
  3. Cover and let cool for 20 minutes
  4. Strain milk into a small bowl
  5. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs and yolks
  6. Whisk in confectioners’ sugar
  7. Add rum, butter, flour and milk and whisk until smooth
  8. Cover and refrigerate at least 24 hours or up to 4 days
  9. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  10. Generously brush wells of Cannele’ molds with butter and place on baking sheet
  11. Whisk batter until completely smooth
  12. Fill each prepared well three-fourths full of batter
  13. Bake until Cannele’ are dark brown and puffed, 30/35 minutes
  14. Immediately invert mold into a wire rack
  15. Allow molds and baking sheets to cool completely, then repeat with batter.

First made by French nuns in the early 14th century, these small, sweet cakes take their name from the molds in which they are baked (Cannele’ mean “fluted.”)


Leave a Reply