cannele with orange zest and grand marnier

Cannele are little bites of heaven. An egg custard that’s baked at a high temperature so it’s caramelized on the outside and soft-sweet on the inside. Think creme brulee, or toasted marshmallows, or burt caramel sauce. Cannele yield from Bordeaux, France, where legend has it that the recipe is from local monks who baked the cannele in little copper molds lined with bees wax. To make cannele at home you need neither bees wax nor expensive copper molds, but you do need a silicone cannele mold, which can be a little tricky to come across outside of France. But, thanks to the miracle of the internet, you don’t have to go to Bordeaux, just go to

We started making Cannele early on at Canto 6, and they spread like wildfire. People love these little jewels and they quickly became one of our signature pastries. At Canto 6, we did a traditional version with rum and vanilla, but at home, I like to mix it up with the flavor of orange zest and grand marnier. To make the traditional version, just omit the orange zest and replace the grand marnier with dark rum.

The cannele batter is easy to make, but cannele have an unfortunate tendency to climb out of their molds as they bake and puff unattractively. Just make sure you follow the instructions for heating and cooling and this shouldn’t happen. They still taste good if they puff, they’re just not as pretty. Cannele are best enjoyed the day you make them. If you have left overs, toast them in a 200 degree oven for 10 minutes before serving to crisp the outside.

For the Cannele

  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 cup/100g granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup/60g all purpose flour
  • 1 cup/240g whole milk
  • 2 tbsp/30g unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp/10g grand marnier
  • 1 tbsp/10g vanilla extract
  • the finely grated zest of half an orange

In a heavy bottomed sauce pan, combine the butter and milk and heat until the butter is melted. Set aside and allow to cool to room temperature. Meanwhile, whisk together the egg, yolk, and sugar. Mix in the flour. When the milk is cool, whisk in the milk, grand marnier, vanilla, and orange zest. Allow the batter to sit at room temperature for 1 hour, and then refrigerate overnight.

The next day, pull the batter out of the fridge and allow it to come to room temperature (1 hour or so). Whisk well. Pour the batter into the cannele molds. Leave 1/4 inch of space at the top of each mold. Bake at 425 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes (the cannele will look very dark.) Cool 30 minutes in the mold and then flip the cannele out.

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  2. Great work keep it coming

    I bought the copper forms at Dehilleran in Paris this summer – THEN ate one at Laduree and hated it… ??? I had loved so many eaten in North America – guess I don’t have a sophisticated palate for the traditional one??? Or something.
    I did buy beeswax for the traditional recipe that I have not made yet. Will my molds work find with your recipe, or must I do something to protect them before putting the batter in them?

  4. Really wow. I would think Laduree would do a pretty freaking good cannele, though I never ate them in Paris, only Bordeaux.
    I honestly don’t have much experience with the copper molds. When I worked at Clear Flour, we had a set that the owner brought back from Paris, and they worked just fine without bees wax or greasing. I do find though that well-worn molds work better than new molds – silicone or copper they develop a sort of greasy coating the more you use them, which seems to be a good thing for the cannele.
    Cannele can be a real pain in the butt though, so don’t be discouraged if it takes a couple of tries. We definitely struggled in the beginning at Canto 6 – we found that letting the butter milk mixture come just to a boil and then return to room temperature was key, along with a night spent in the fridge.
    let me know how it goes! Sounds like you brought back some nice stuff from France…I’m jealous! xo

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