Buche de Noel

Buche de noel is one of the favorite French desserts for Christmas in France, Belgium and other French countries. Available in a variety of flavor combinations, it is a cake roll consisting of genoise sponge cake and filling. If you browse the window of patisseries during the Christmas season, you will be sure to see a beautifully decorated Bûche de Noël with holly leaves, mushrooms, and Santa Clause.

The cake can be chocolate, vanilla or even grand marnier. Butter cream or icing is used for the filling and the outside is often piped to look like the bark of a tree.

Buche de Noel Recipe


  • 5 eggs, separated
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 3.5 tbsp unsweetened dutched cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • Put egg whites and yolks in separate large bowls. Beat the yolks and sugar with an electric mixer. Add cocoa and flour a little at a time .

  • Separately beat the egg whites into soft peaks. Fold in the yolk and flour mixture a little at a time.

  • Pour batter into a 15 x10 inch jelly roll pan lined with wax paper and then greased and floured.

    Bake for 15 minutes at 350F.

    Remove cake from pan and roll up in a kitchen towel to cool.


  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
  • ½ cup unsweetened dutched cocoa powder
  • 4 tbsp heavy cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Sift together the sugar and cocoa. Cream the butter and then add the dry ingredients in the mixer on low speed. Then add in the vanilla and cream. Beat for several minutes at medium speed until the consistency is smooth and spreadable.


  • Unroll cake and spread several thin layers of butter cream all over top of cake. Roll up carefully and spread butter cream on outside. Use a fork to make it look like bark.

    Alternatively, you could fill the cake with whip cream and use the butter cream just for the outside.

    Want to try making a few more French desserts? Try madeleines or macarons.

    French Vocabulary

    French desserts Les desserts français
    Cake Le gâteau
    Christmas log Bûche de Noël
    Eggs Les oeufs

    Sugar Le sucre
    Cocoa powder La poudre de cacao
    Unsalted butter Le beurre non salé
    Confectioners sugar Le sucre confiseurs
    Vanilla La vanille

    I adore chocolate cake. J’adore le gâteau au chocolat.

    Christmas eve La veille de Noël.

    Father Christmas Le Père Noël

    French pastry La pâtisserie française

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