|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 27g||35%|
|Saturated Fat 16g||80%|
|Total Carbohydrate 39g||14%|
|Dietary Fiber 2g||6%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
This chocolate bûche de Noël recipe showcases a light-as-air, vanilla genoise cake rolled into a cylinder with a rich homemade chocolate buttercream frosting.
The origin of the Christmas Yule log cake can be traced back to the Middle Ages, when simple cakes were created to mimic logs that were traditionally burned during the solstice and then later on Christmas Eve, with the advent of Christianity. The bûche de Noël was cleverly created in the late 1800s by Parisian pastry chefs, who embellished the Yule log tradition with elaborate decorations. The new, gastronomic tradition caught on in spectacular fashion, and the Christmas dessert is now celebrated worldwide.
- For the Sponge Cake:
- 4 large eggs (room temperature)
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup cake flour
- For the Chocolate Buttercream:
- 7 large egg whites
- 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
- 6 ounces unsweetened chocolate (melted and cooled)
- 1/2 teaspoon instant espresso powder
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter (softened)
- Powdered sugar and/or cocoa powder (optional)
Note: while there are multiple steps to this recipe, this Yule log recipe is broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for baking.
Make the Cake
Gather the ingredients.
Preheat the oven to 400 F.
Grease a 10 x 15-inch rimmed baking sheet or jelly roll pan and line it with parchment paper.
Grease the parchment or spray it with cooking spray. Set the pan aside.
Beat the eggs in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment until thick and foamy, about 5 minutes.
Add the sugar, vanilla extract, and salt to the eggs and continue beating for 2 minutes.
Carefully fold the flour, 2 to 3 tablespoons at a time, into the eggs. Once the flour is incorporated, stop mixing. Do not overmix or the cake will be tough.
Gently spread the batter into the prepared pan. There will be peaks in the batter; gently smooth them with a spatula, but do not press the batter down.
Bake the cake until the top springs back when gently pressed and the edges pull away from the pan, about 10 minutes.
Invert the baked cake onto a clean, dry kitchen towel and peel off the parchment paper.
Let stand for 3 minutes and then lightly score the length of one short side of the cake, leaving a 1-inch border, taking care not to cut through the cake.
Fold the scored end of the cake in toward the center and then gently continue to roll the cake, wrapped in the towel.
Transfer to a rack, seam-side down and cool completely in the towel.
While the cake cools, make the buttercream.
Make the Chocolate Buttercream
In a clean, dry mixing bowl with a whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on high speed until soft peaks form. Set aside.
In a small saucepan, bring the sugar and 2/3 cup water to a boil.
Allow sugar-water mixture to boil until it has reduced to a thickened syrup consistency.
Begin beating the egg whites on high speed again, and with the motor running, slowly pour the hot sugar syrup into the eggs in a steady stream.
Pour the melted chocolate, espresso powder, and vanilla extract into the egg whites and continue beating until the meringue has cooled completely, about 5 minutes.
Add the softened butter to the meringue, 2 tablespoons at a time, while beating on high speed until all of the butter is incorporated.
If the buttercream becomes runny during this process, refrigerate the meringue until it has chilled through.
Continue the process of beating the butter into the meringue.
Assemble the Chocolate Yule Log
Unroll the cake and set aside the towel.
Evenly spread 2 cups (or your desired amount) of the chocolate buttercream on the inside of the cake, spreading in the direction of its natural curve, leaving a 1-inch border around the edges.
Gently roll it back into a log.
Trim the rough ends of the roll. Then cut off about 1/4 of one end of the cake roll on the diagonal. Reattach it to the center of the cake with some buttercream to resemble a "branch" protruding from the Yule log.
Spread the remaining buttercream over the bûche de Noël to cover it. Gently drag a butter knife or a small offset spatula through the frosting to give the appearance of rough tree bark.
Add a Père Noël figure and meringue mushrooms to complete the festive look.
Chill the cake before serving it to allow the buttercream to set. Before serving, dust with powdered sugar and/or cocoa powder, if you like. Refrigerate any leftovers.
Serve and enjoy.
- Be sure to roll the sponge cake in the clean towel after removing it from the oven. The cake will be malleable at this point and won't crack when shaping. Once cooled, it will crack.
- Here's a gluten-free version of the bûche de Noël.