This paper presents an optimized design method for the magnetic circuit of brushless doubly fed machines (BDFMs). The BDFM is an attractive electrical machine, particularly for wind power applications, as a replacement for doubly fed slip-ring generators. This study shows that the conventional design methods for the BDFM stator and rotor back iron can be modified, leading to a lighter and smaller machine. The proposed design concepts are supported by analytical methods, and their practicality is verified using two-dimensional finite-element modeling and analysis. Two BDFMs with frame sizes D180 and D400 are considered in this study.