Simply Lebanese

Buche De Noel (Yule Log)

Buche De Noel
  • Prep Time
    30 mins.
  • Cook Time
    18 mins.
  • Serving
    10
A traditional French Christmas dessert, Buche De Noel is a cake enjoyed all over the world during the holidays. A chocolate cake roll is filled with a whipped filling, and topped with a chocolate ganache, this cake is irresistible and presents so beautifully.
Buche De Noel

Buche De Noel is the French name for a cake shaped as a log. This delicious cake is traditionally enjoyed in not just France, but other European countries such as Belgium, Switzerland, and even throughout the Middle-east like in Lebanon and Syria. It is a very popular dessert enjoyed during the holidays, but especially during Christmas.

How to make a Yule Log

A Yule Log is typically made in a large shallow baking sheet, rolled into a swiss roll type of cake with a filling and then iced on the outside. There are many different combinations of this cake with yellow cake and chocolate buttercream being the most common one. I have eaten the chocolate cake version of the Buche De Noel in Lebanon quite a few times and since I am more of a chocolate person anyways, I chose to go the chocolate route.

Buche De Noel

The cake is a sponge cake made by dividing the egg whites from the egg yolks. The egg whites are whipped until fluffy and soft peaks form, giving the cake a light and airy texture. Once the cake has baked, it is almost immediately flipped onto a light kitchen towel or parchment paper that has been dusted with cocoa powder or powdered sugar. The cake needs to be rolled while it is still warm to prevent cracking and to create the shape that it will hold later. Once it has cooled, it is unrolled and frosted with the filling and then rerolled before topped with the frosting or ganache.

For the filling, a whipped cream or frosting is typically used in this cake roll. I chose to go with the lighter whipped cream. I combined the homemade whipped cream with a hazelnut spread (I used Nutella), for an easy but, delicious combination. Chocolate ganache is usually what the Buche De Noel is topped with, so I made some using pure chocolate and warmed heavy cream. Once the ganache cooled, I topped the cake roll with it and used a mini icing knife to create lines to resemble a log.

How to decorate a Buche De Noel

What distinguishes a Buche De Noel from any other cake roll, is the way the cake is cut and decorated to look like a log. A 3 to 4-inch piece of the cake is cut diagonally and placed on the side of the roll to resemble a branch on a log. Lines can be made on the outside of the cake using a fork or icing knife to give the cake lines like a log.  

Powdered sugar is often dusted on the outside of the cake to give a “snowy” effect. Some other very popular garnishes for the cake are sugared cranberries and rosemary and meringue mushrooms. I decided to keep it very simple for you guys to emulate, with just the chocolate ganache, and a nice dusting of powdered sugar!

STEP 1

Preheat the oven to 350F. Prepare a 12×17 rectangular baking pan by lining it with parchment paper and spraying it with a non-stick spray.

Buche De Noel

STEP 2

Separate the eggs whites and egg yolks into two separate large bowls. 

Using a hand or stand mixer, whisk the egg whites for a couple of minutes until they begin to stiffen. Add a ½ cup of the white granulated sugar and whisk for two more minutes until soft peaks have formed.

Buche De Noel

STEP 3

Whisk the egg yolks and remaining ¼ cup sugar for a few minutes until pale yellow. 

Add the vegetable oil and vanilla extract and whisk together.

Buche De Noel

STEP 4

Combine the egg whites and egg yolk mixture together.

STEP 5

In a small bowl, combine the dry ingredients (cocoa powder, flour, salt, and baking powder) and add them to the wet ingredients.

Buche De Noel

Fold together until just fully combined. Try not to overmix to avoid deflating the egg whites.

Buche De Noel

STEP 6

Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan. Bake for 18 minutes until the cake springs back when touched.

STEP 7

Lay a light kitchen towel on your counter. Using a mesh sieve, dust the kitchen towel with a couple of tablespoons of cocoa powder to prevent sticking. While the cake is still warm, flip it onto the kitchen towel and remove the parchment paper.

Buche De Noel

STEP 8

Use the towel to tightly roll the cake into a log. Set aside to let cool.

STEP 9

In a large bowl, add the heavy cream and powdered sugar. Using a hand or stand mixer with a whisk attachment, whisk the cream on medium-high speed for about 2 minutes until stiff peaks form. Add the hazelnut spread and whisk until fully combined.

STEP 10

In a small bowl, break up the chocolate. Heat up the ½ cup of heavy cream until almost boiling. Add it over the chocolate and let it sit for a couple of minutes. Once the chocolate has started melting, mix until thickened. Set aside to cool before topping the cake with it.

STEP 11

Once the cake has cooled, unroll and spread an even layer of the hazelnut whipped cream all over. Roll the cake back into a log and place seam side down on a cutting board.

Using a large knife, slice diagonally a 3-4-inch piece of the cake and place of the side of the cake (to form a branch).

Buche De Noel

STEP 12

Once the ganache a fully cooled and thickened, spread all over the top of the cake. Form lines to make it look like a log.

Buche De Noel

Decorate however you please, including meringue mushrooms, cranberries, rosemary or, keep it simple like I did with some powdered sugar. Enjoy!

Buche De Noel
Buche De Noel

Buche De Noel (Yule Log)

A traditional French Christmas dessert, Buche De Noel is a cake enjoyed all over the world during the holidays. A chocolate cake roll is filled with a whipped filling, and topped with a chocolate ganache, this cake is irresistible and presents so beautifully.
4.75 from 8 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: French
Keyword: Buche De Noel, dessert, french toast, Swiss Roll, Yule Log
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Total Time: 48 minutes
Servings: 10 Slices
Calories: 423kcal
Author: Iman

Ingredients

Cake

  • 6 Eggs (Divided)
  • ¾ cup White Granulated Sugar
  • ¼ cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • 1 cup All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 tsp. Baking Powder
  • ½ tsp. Salt
  • 2 tb. Vegetable Oil (or any neutral oil)
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract

Filling

  • cups Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 2 tb. Powdered Sugar
  • 2 tb. Hazelnut Spread (Nutella)

Ganache Topping

  • 4 oz. Chocolate
  • ½ cup Heavy Whipping Cream

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350F. Prepare a 12x17 rectangular baking pan by lining it with parchment paper and spraying it with a non-stick spray.
  • Separate the eggs whites and egg yolks into two separate large bowls. Using a hand or stand mixer, whisk the egg whites for a couple of minutes until they begin to stiffen. Add a ½ cup of the white granulated sugar and whisk for two more minutes until soft peaks have formed.
  • Whisk the egg yolks and remaining ¼ cup sugar for a few minutes until pale yellow. Add the vegetable oil and vanilla extract and whisk together.
  • Combine the egg whites and egg yolk mixture together.
  • In a small bowl, combine the dry ingredients (cocoa powder, flour, salt, and baking powder) and add them to the wet ingredients. Fold together until just fully combined. Try not to overmix to avoid deflating the egg whites.
  • Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan. Bake for 18 minutes until the cake springs back when touched.
  • Lay a light kitchen towel on your counter. Using a mesh sieve, dust the kitchen towel with a couple of tablespoons of cocoa powder to prevent sticking. While the cake is still warm, flip it onto the kitchen towel and remove the parchment paper.
  • Use the towel to tightly roll the cake into a log. Set aside to let cool.
  • In a large bowl, add the heavy cream and powdered sugar. Using a hand or stand mixer with a whisk attachment, whisk the cream on medium-high speed for about 2 minutes until stiff peaks form. Add the hazelnut spread and whisk until fully combined
  • In a small bowl, break up the chocolate. Heat up the ½ cup of heavy cream until almost boiling. Add it over the chocolate and let it sit for a couple of minutes. Once the chocolate has started melting, mix until thickened. Set aside to cool before topping the cake with it.
  • Once the cake has cooled, unroll and spread an even layer of the hazelnut whipped cream all over. Roll the cake back into a log and place seam side down on a cutting board. Using a large knife, slice diagonally a 3-4-inch piece of the cake and place of the side of the cake (to form a branch).
  • Once the ganache a fully cooled and thickened, spread all over the top of the cake. Form lines to make it look like a log. Decorate however you please, including meringue mushrooms, cranberries, rosemary or, keep it simple like I did with some powdered sugar. Enjoy!

Nutrition

Calories: 423kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 18g | Cholesterol: 163mg | Sodium: 207mg | Potassium: 163mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 26g | Vitamin A: 842IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 85mg | Iron: 2mg

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