Buche de Noel


Prep time45 minutes


The Buche de Noel

This is a perennial crowd-pleaser.

I have made this almost every year since I was about 7 years old, working with my mother. It is not hard if you follow all the steps, and it never fails to please.

It is assembled from three other recipes on this site: Genoise Butter Cake, Hazelnut Buttercream, and Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

Note that the prep time listed here is for this final assembly step. Eachother step has its own prep time. Expect to spend about 2 to 3 hours from start to finish, with some time in between for the cake to cool before filling it.  


As soon as the Genoise Butter Cake is removed from the pan, dust it with powdered sugar, trim the crusts along the short sides, and roll it in an impeccably clean linen towel. as it cools, it will hold this shape.

Unroll the cake and fill it with the Hazelnut Buttercream.  Roll it up again and chill it if you have the time.

Frost the rolled cake with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting. Use a spatula to evoke bark.

Chill then dust with powdered sugar for a windblown snow effect.

Garnish with cherries, and holly leaves if you have them.

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Bûche de Noel - Notes from the gallery

John, Awesome recipe few notes from thee gallery.

  1. "impeccably clean" -- really ... needs a footnote - to "herself"
  2. We've done several "variations" on our traditional Bûche over the years including.... filling with ricotta-abased filling, filling with Nutella(TM) based - filling (harder than it sounds) and that one time we filled it with slugs and a live ferret (it didn't work. don't try it)
  3. If you're good with a bag and decorating tip, first... frost a base-coat with an offset spatula and then use a #21 star tip in long lateral strokes of varying length (not drop-stars). This will ensure a truly realistic "bark"
  4. In the presentation, it is critical to allow the children to snip the greenery from the Christmas tree. This seals the tradition.

you're right!

1. Quite so, with all due respect, and then some! 2. You're right. The ferret was a mistake. I plan to try again with a mongoose after the bandages are removed. 3. Indeed. If you are not so talented, just do the best you can. Realistic "bark" has its place, of course... 4. Yes, but never ever mingle the children with the ferret/mongoose/meerkat or really any rodent at all. Young children especially boys) should never be combined with rodents. Please do not ask for details, just accept what should be a self-evident fact: mingling boys and rodents near the holidays, well, no good can come of that. 'nuff said.