Gilded Chocolate Cakelets


  • Prep Time35 mins
  • Total Time1 hr 10 mins
  • Makes12 small cakes
*PLUS cooling time
Gilded Chocolate Cakelets

Produced by Chantal Braganza and Sun Ngo; Photography by Maya Visnyei; Food Styling by Eshun Mott; Prop Styling by Catherine Doherty

The cool shiver of mint added to the chocolate feels practically made for wintertime. It’s like sunshine glinting off a snowbank. These fudgy treats are ideal partners with an espresso as an afternoon pick-me-up or to end the night. 


  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

  • 1 ½ cups (300 g) granulated sugar, divided

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil

  • 113 g semi-sweet chocolate, chopped

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 1/2 tsp instant espresso powder

  • 3 large eggs

  • 1 ½ tsp vanilla

  • 1 ½ cups (190 g) all-purpose flour

  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder


  • 1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar

  • 1/8 tsp salt

  • 1/2 cup water


  • 85 g semi-sweet chocolate, chopped

  • 2 tbsp 35% cream

  • 1/8 tsp liquid candy cane flavouring or peppermint extract


  • 1 tsp copper or rose gold pearl dust

  • 1/8 tsp vodka


  • Position rack in centre of oven, then preheat to 350F. Spray twelve 2-in. canelé moulds with baking spray or brush with melted butter. Set aside on a baking sheet.

  • Cake: Melt butter with 1/2 cup sugar (100 g), oil, 113 g chocolate, 1 tsp salt and espresso powder in a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium. Cook, stirring often, until smooth and liquid. Set aside.

  • Whisk 1 cup sugar (200 g) with eggs in a medium bowl until light and thickened, about 1 min. Whisk in vanilla.

  • Stir chocolate mixture constantly while slowly pouring in egg mixture in a thin, steady stream. Scatter flour and cocoa powder overtop, then fold to combine. Do not overmix. Divide batter among prepared moulds.

  • Bake until cakes are well-risen and puffed, tops are shiny and cakes are springy to the touch, about 25 min. Transfer sheet to a cooling rack for 3 min (the cakes will contract).

  • With tongs or an oven mitt, flip moulds upside down. Let cakes stand in moulds for 10 min, then remove moulds and transfer cakes to rack. Set rack over baking sheet.

  • Glaze: Combine 1/2 cup sugar with 1/8 tsp salt and water in a small saucepan. Boil over high for 1 min. While cakes are still warm, lightly brush with glaze. Let cool completely.

  • Ganache: Microwave 85 g chocolate in a medium microwave-safe bowl on high for 1 min, then let stand for 4 min. Stir in candy cane flavouring until smooth. When cakes are cool and glaze has hardened, dip tops of cakes into ganache. Let stand on rack or refrigerate until chocolate is firm.

  • Decoration: Mix pearl dust in a small bowl, then stir in vodka to make a paint-like consistency. (Add more pearl dust or vodka as needed.) Using a small clean brush or your fingertip, start from bottom of cakes and brush upward to achieve the desired gilded look. Return cakes to rack and allow to dry completely, 5 to 6 min. (Cakes should be dry before packing or serving.) Cakes will keep covered at room temperature up to 1 week.

Kitchen tip

Don’t have canelé moulds? A tray version is a handy option, as they can be used for muffins and other baked treats. ChefMade and Anna Olsen Kitchen make great (and affordable) ones.

This recipe is part of a series of dazzling holiday pastries created for Chatelaine by Tara O'Brady.

Assorted cookies on a pink background with the words in white "Find more Christmas cookie recipes"