The beautiful buche de Noël, or yule log cake, is a traditional dessert served around the holidays in France, Switzerland, Belgium and many other French colonies. It’s sure to wow your guests once frosted and topped with red and green decorations, and though it’s often seen as an intimidating feat, it’s not too difficult once you get started!
The cake is essentially a Swiss roll frosted on both the inside and outside. Often, you’ll see it made with a yellow sponge cake and chocolate buttercream, but our version consists of chocolate and more chocolate. If you want to get technical, you can make your decorations from meringue or marzipan, but we topped ours with faux berries and twigs from a craft store – and of course, removed them before digging in.
We made our cake in the Wolf oven and mixed up the frosting in our favorite KitchenAid, and everything was done in no time! So go ahead, give it a try, and let your cake be the talk of the next holiday party.
• 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
• 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
• 1/8 teaspoon salt
• 6 egg whites
• 6 egg yolks
• 3/4 cup white sugar
• confectioners sugar for dusting
• 2 cups heavy cream
• 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
• 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 375ºF and line a 10×15 inch jellyroll pan with parchment paper.
2. In a stand mixer, whip cream, 1/2 cup confectioners sugar, 1/2 cup cocoa, and 1 teaspoon vanilla until thick and stiff. Refrigerate.
3. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat egg yolks with 1/2 cup sugar until thick and pale. Blend in 1/3 cup cocoa, 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla, and salt.
4. In large glass bowl, using clean beaters, whip egg whites to soft peaks. Slowly add 1/4 cup sugar, and beat until whites form stiff peaks. Immediately fold the yolk mixture into the whites. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared jellyroll pan.
5. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the cake springs back when lightly touched. Dust a clean dishtowel with confectioners’ sugar.
6. Run a knife around the edge of the pan, and turn the warm cake out onto the towel. Remove and discard parchment paper. Starting at the short edge of the cake, roll the cake up with the towel. Cool for at least 30 minutes.
7. Unroll the cake, and spread the filling to within 1 inch of the edge. Roll the cake up with the filling inside. Place seam side down onto a serving plate. Cut off one end of the cake and place on one side (optional). Frost the outside of the cake.
8. Use the tines of the fork to texture the icing, and decorate as desired. Refrigerate until ready to serve, and dust with confectioners sugar before serving.