Canelé flavoured with Seville Orange, Seedlip Spice 94, and Orange Brandy.

canele with seelip

Canele flavoured with Seville Orange, Orange Brandy and Seedlip’s Spice 94

Who ever thought of cooking sweet batter in small fluted moulds at a very high temperature ?  Luckily for us they did and today these deliciously sweet bites are enjoying the limelight.  

 Canelé are reputedly tricky to make; the batter is the easy part – the cooking of canelé is what makes it tricky. The art is in cooking the sweet batter of the canelé for a short burst in a  fiercely hot oven. The heat boils the batter trapping the air in pockets as the batter sets. Once cooked the insides are aerated and creamy soft in texture. The outside of the canelé is caramelised forming a dark, crisp shell.

For me the best thing about the Canelé is that they lend themselves to being creative with the flavour. Traditionally these scrumptious little morsels are flavoured with vanilla and rum – here I have flavoured them with the zest of Seville orange, orange brandy (ordinary brandy or dark rum will do). A splash of Seedlip Spice 94 darkens the mood adding a ‘je ne sais quoi’, to the flavour. Try spicing them up, use different liquors or even strong coffee instead of the brandy.

Canelé make delicious small treats to eat with coffee. They also make wonderful gifts. Their disadvantage is that they don’t keep well, they need eating within 24 hours of making. Also their making can’t be hurried; the batter really does need to rest for a minimum of 12 hours, so you do need to plan a bit in advance.


Canelé flavoured with Seville Orange, Seedlip Spice 94 and Orange Brandy



Makes 16 x 50ml copper canelés moulds

500ml full cream gold top milk

100g butter, diced *

250g caster sugar

2 medium eggs plus 2 yolks

Finely grated zest 1 Seville orange

100g plain flour

1 tablespoon orange brandy (ordinary brandy or dark rum will do)

1 tablespoon Seedlip Spice 94*

50g butter for brushing the moulds


* most recipes call for unsalted butter which is the traditional French ingredient, however I usually use a good quality salted butter.

* You can use the zest of a small sweet orange and substitute the brandy for white rum.

* If you don’t have Seedlip spice 94 (it’s worth buying bottle as its delicious) then add 2 cardamom pods and 5 cloves to the milk and strain the warm milk into the batter).



Make the Batter 12-24 hours in advance of cooking.

Put the milk into a pan add the diced butter. Heat the milk gently until the butter is melted. Increase the heat and bring it to scalding point and then remove from the heat and allow it to cool slightly while you weigh up the remaining ingredients.

In a large mixing bowl whisk together the eggs, egg yolks and the sugar until pale and creamy. Add the grated Seville orange zest and whisk to combine.

Tip in the flour and whisk to mix well and then whisk in the orange brandy and the Seedlip spice 94.

Pour in about a third of the warm milk, stirring to combine. Add the remaining milk whisking as you go.

Cover the bowl with cling film or a tightly fitting lid and refrigerate for a minimum of 12 hours and up to 24 hours. Stirring the batter from time to time to mix, as the butter rises to the top forming a slightly more solid layer.

canele and canele moulds

Invert the tins and tap sharply to release the canele

To make the Canelé:

Heat the oven to 240c/gas 9 (I am testing recipes for those of you who have only lower oven settings – send me a message and I will contact you when this is posted), place a flat baking tray in the oven as it heats.

Melt 50g butter in a small pan over a low heat.

Stir the resting batter well and pour 500ml into a clean jug.

Make sure your canelé moulds are very clean and dry and warm then through in a plate warmer. Brush evenly with butter when they are warm and just before filling and cooking.

Fill the canelé moulds  to  just over ¾ full with batter. Remove the hot oven tray from the oven, place on a heat proof surface and then place the filled moulds onto it. return the full tray to the oven. Set your timer for 7 minutes.  After 7 minutes reduce the temperature to 170c/gas 3 and set your timer again for 22 minutes.

If you have a clear glass door this is what you should see: at the 7 minute mark in the hot oven the batter should be nudging its way above the rim of the mould, the batter will be animated and the edges becoming lightly golden brown (do not open the oven at any stage.  If you cant see inside your oven and are unsure of its temperature control then test the timings with one canelé before committing to the rest).

At the 22 minute mark the batter will have sunk back to its original position, the canelé will be very dark golden and only the butter will be bubbling on top of the canelé.

Once cooked remove the moulds from the oven. Wearing oven gloves invert the moulds in turn giving them a sharp tap on the baking tray – this should loosen the canelé and they will slide from their tins. Remove to a cooling tray and let the outsides crisp as they cool. The insides will be set, aeriated and moist.

Cooking using silicone canelé moulds: If using the oven temperatures indicated above the preparation of the moulds and the cooking is exactly the same,  but leave the canelé to cool in the silicone moulds for about an hour before turning them out. If you remove them to soon the insides of the canelé will be too wet. The advantage of using silicone moulds is that they are easy to clean and the product never gets stuck!  I found that the texture of the canelé was a bit coarser that those made in traditional copper moulds.

Best eaten once cool and within 24 hours.

canele with oranges

Crisp caramelised outsides and soft, creamy centres

Cooking instructions for canelé made in 70ml silicone moulds and at lower oven temperatures:

If your highest oven temperature is 200c don’t despair you can still get excellent results.

Follow the recipe above to the filling of the mould instructions.

Brush the insides of your moulds with melted butter and then place the moulds into the deepfreeze while the oven reaches the correct temperature (200c/gas 6).

Turn the oven on to 200c/gas 6 and place a baking tray in the oven to heat.

Once the correct oven temperature is reached, remove the moulds from the freezer and ¾ fill with batter as indicated in the main recipe. Remove the hot baking tray, place the moulds on it and return to the oven. Immediately reduce the oven temperature to 190c/gas 5. Cook for 35 minutes and then reduce the temperature to 170c/gas 3, cooking the Canelé for a further 20-25 minutes. They should be very dark brown.

Remove from the oven. Remove canelé from copper moulds to a cooling tray (as above). Those cooked in silicone moulds should be left for about an hour before being removed to a cooling wire.

Happy Cooking

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