Christmas cake (bûche de Noël) recipe

Merry, Merry Christmas
By Helena Saadeh
December 03, 2019



  • Cooking spray
  • 6 large eggs, separated
  • 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 c. granulated sugar, divided
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • Powdered sugar, for sprinkling


  • 1 c. heavy cream
  • 1/2 c. powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch kosher salt


  • 1/2 c. (1 stick) butter softened
  • 2 c. powdered sugar, plus more for garnish
  • 1/4 c. cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp. heavy cream
  • Pinch of salt
  • garnish (chocolate curls, fruits, rosemary springs...)



Preheat oven to 350°. Line a jelly roll pan with parchment paper and grease with cooking spray. In a medium bowl mix together flour, cocoa powder, and salt. 

In a large bowl beat egg yolks until thick. Slowly add ½ cup sugar and beat until pale then beat in flour mixture. 

In another large bowl beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Add remaining ¼ cup sugar a little at a time and continue to beat until stiff peaks form. Gently fold egg whites into batter in two batches.

Pour batter into prepared pan and spread into an even layer. Bake until top springs back when lightly pressed, 12 minutes. 

Dust a clean kitchen towel with powdered sugar and invert warm cake onto towel. Peel off the parchment paper. 

Starting at the short end, use the towel to tightly roll the cake into a log. Let cool completely. 


Make the filling: In a large bowl beat together heavy cream, powdered sugar, pure vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt, until stiff peaks form. Refrigerate until ready to use. 

When the cake is cool, unroll and spread filling evenly over cake. Roll cake back into a log, this time without a towel. Place seam side down on a baking sheet and refrigerate until well chilled, 1 hour. 


Make the frosting: In a large bowl beat butter until smooth. Add powdered sugar and cocoa powder and beat until no lumps remain then beat in vanilla, heavy cream, and salt. 

When ready to serve, trim ends and frost cake with chocolate buttercream. Dust lightly with powdered sugar and top with garnish.