Buche de Noel – also known as Yule Log – is a traditional French Christmas Dessert. You can find a lot of different recipes out there, but all have one thing in common: the result is a rolled cake that resembles a tree log. The traditional decoration of a Yule Log – Buche de Noel is powdered sugar to look like snow and meringue mushrooms. Here is one great recipe that uses an airy chocolate cake, delicious cream cheese filling and a wonderful chocolate cream cheese frosting.
Christmas Dessert: Yule Log – Chocolate and Almond Buche de Noel
Yule Log Ingredients:
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cornstarch
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
4 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
½ cup butter, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/3 cup almond slices
4 ½ cups powdered sugar
½ teaspoon almond extract (optional)
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
Yule Log Directions:
- First to make your yule log, you need to preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Next, prepare a 15x10x1-inch pan by greasing it and lining it with waxed paper, which you also need to grease generously.
- In a bowl, combine cornstarch, flour and cocoa powder. Then use a fine-mesh sieve and stir these ingredients through it into a medium bowl. Add baking soda and salt.
- Take a mixing bowl and beat the eggs, yolks and vanilla using an electric mixer for about 5 minutes on high, until you get a thick mixture with a color of a lemon. Little by little add the granulated sugar continuing to beat the mixture on high for 2-3 minutes, until all the sugar is almost dissolved. Set the electric mixer aside and take a rubber spatula, which should be a large one. Sprinkle one third of the flour mixture over the egg mixture and fold in the flour mixture as gently as you can. Continue with the next one third flour mixture as before, and fold it in, just until its combined. Finish in the same manner with the remaining flour mixture.
- Slowly pour the batter in the baking pan and spread it evenly. Bake the cake for about 12 minutes or until it springs back when touched. Take care to not over-bake it, since it needs to keep its elasticity so you can roll it later. While the cake is baking, prepare a clean towel by spreading it out and sprinkling generously powdered sugar on it.
- When the cake is baked, remove it from the oven and let it cool in the pan on a wire rack for 2-3 minutes. Now, use a small knife to loosen the edges if necessary and turn the cake out onto the towel. Remove the waxed paper with care.
- Now it’s crucial to act fast, but with care. Don’t let the cake get cold or you won’t be able to roll it. So, while it’s still warm, start from a short side of the cake and roll it up together with the towel into a spiral. Let the cake with the towel cool on a wire rack. Watch this video to learn how to roll a cake. Click here to watch the video.
- While the cake is cooling, move on to prepare the filling/frosting. To do that, simply take a large bowl and use an electric beater on medium to beat the cream cheese, add the butter and the vanilla fluffy. Little by little add the powdered sugar. Take another bowl and pour in half of the cream cheese mixture; this will be the filling. Add the cocoa powder to the remaining cream cheese mixture and beat it in; this will be the frosting.
- Once the cake has cooled down, carefully unroll it and remove the towel. Spread the white cream cheese frosting on the cake but leave about 1 inch of the edges without filling. Now roll up the cake slowly, starting from a short side. Have a serving platter ready and place the cake with the seam side down, on it. Put the cake into a refrigerator for half an hour. Take the cake out and cut off a 3-inch slice from one end of the cake, diagonally. This part will be a branch on your Buche de Noel. Place this small piece where you want the branch to be.
- The last step is the decoration. To do that, frost the cake entire with the chocolate cream cheese frosting. You can choose to leave one or all ends of the cake unfrosted, so the white filling shows. Chill if necessary and use a fork or toothpick to create a pattern on the frosting that will make your cake look more like a tree log. Keep it in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve.
- If you like, you can sprinkle powdered sugar before serving, decorate with mushrooms made with meringue or marshmallows or just use chocolate sprinkles.
The main thing to keep in mind making this beautiful Christmas Dessert is to roll the cake while it’s still warm and to not bake it too long. You can make numberless variations to the filling by adding other ingredients in place of the almond slices, like berries, chocolate pieces, or other nuts, flavor it with almond extract or espresso powder or add cocoa powder to make it chocolaty; or you can just use a completely different filling based on whipped cream or chestnut filling. You can be sure that this Christmas Dessert will be a highlight to your Christmas Menu, not only because of its taste, but also because of its unique look.
For more Christmas desserts and holiday cakes, take a look at our dessert archives.