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Bûche de Noël: yule log

Christmas desserts



  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • 2/3 cups of sugar, divided
  • 2 tablespoons of water
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup of ground almonds
  • 1/2 cup of sifted cake flour
  • 3 tablespoons of cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cream of tartar
  • Dash of salt
  • 2-3 tablespoons of confectioners’ sugar
  • Chocolate buttercream frosting
  • 1/2 cup of chopped pistachios (optional)


1. Preheat your oven to 375°F/190C.

2. Grease the bottom and sides of a 15 x 10 inch jellyroll pan; line with wax paper, and grease and flour the wax paper. Set aside.

3. Beat the egg yolks in a large mixing bowl until thick and pale. Gradually add 1/3 cup sugar, beating well.

4. Add the water and vanilla and then fold in the ground almonds.

5. Gradually fold in the cake flour and cocoa (if you don’t want a chocolate yule log, do not add the cocoa). Set the mixture aside.

6. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until foamy and then add the cream of tartar and salt and beat together until soft peaks form.

7. Add the remaining 1/3 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until stiff peaks form. Then gently fold into the egg yolk mixture you made in steps 2-4.

8. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan and bake for 10 minutes or until top springs back when touched. While the cake is baking, sift the confectioners’ sugar into a 15 x 10 inch rectangle on a cloth towel.

9. When the cake is done, immediately loosen from the sides of pan and turn out onto the sugared towel and peel off the wax paper.

10.Starting at the narrow end, roll up the cake and towel together and leave to cool completely on a wire rack, seam side down.

Christmas dessert

Bûche de Noëls come in all different forms…

11. Unroll the cake and remove the towel. Spread the cake with half of the chocolate buttercream frosting (soft toffee/caramel or a fruit preserve is an alternative) and then carefully reroll. Cover and chill for 15-30 minutes in the refrigerator.

12. Once chilled, removed from the fridge and cut a 1 inch thick diagonal slice from 1 end of the cake roll.

13. Place the cake roll on a serving plate, seam side down. Position the diagonal piece of cake you cut in step 12 against the side of the cake roll so that it resembles the knot of a tree log.

14. Spread the remaining chocolate buttercream frosting over the cake. Score the frosting with the tines of a fork or a cake comb to resemble tree bark. Then decorate your log. You can garnish it with pistachios if you want it to look like it’s covered in moss. Meringue in the shape of mushrooms is another popular addition. Storebrought or homemade holly and other festive icing shapes can give it a great holiday touch. Another great option is to skip the buttercream frosting and cover with chocolate shavings instead, using a light spread of caramel of fruite preserve to hold them in place (see image above). Or you can sprinkle it with snowflake shaped sprinkles. There really is no limit to how creative you can get!

Store the Bûche de Noël in the refrigerator.

See more Christmas Dessert Recipes

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