Buche de Noel

This traditional French cake resembles the Yule logs of long ago.

Yield: serves 8 to 10


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 eggs, seperated
  • 3/4 cup sugar, divided
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoon powdered sugar
  • Garnish: fresh mint and fresh cranberries
  • Chocolate Frosting:
  • 3 3/4 cups sifted powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup baking cocoa
  • 6 tablespoons milk
  • 6 tablespoons butter, softened


  1. Combine flour, baking powder and salt; set aside. Beat egg whites with an electric mixer at high speed until foamy. Gradually add 1/4 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until stiff peaks form and sugar dissolves, about 2 to 4 minutes; set aside.
  2. Beat egg yolks in a large mixing bowl with an electrix mixer at high speed, gradually adding 1/2 cup sugar; beat 5 minutes, or until thick and pale. Add water and vanilla extract; beat well. Add flour mixture; beat just until blended. Fold in about 1/3 of egg white mixture. Gently fold in remaining egg white mixture.
  3. Grease bottom and sides of a 15"x10" jelly-roll pan. Line with wax paper; grease and flour. Spread batter evenly into pan. Bake at 375° for 10 minutes, or until springs back when lightly touched. Sift powdered sugar in a 15"x10" rectangle on a cloth. When cake is done, immediately loosen from sides of pan; turn out onto cloth. Peel off wax paper. Starting at narrow end, roll up cake and cloth together; cool completely on a wire rack, seam side down.
  4. Unroll cake and remove towel. Spread half Chocolate Frosting onto cake; carefully reroll. Cut a 1-inch-thick diagonal slice from one end of cake roll. Place cake roll on a serving plate, seam side down. Position slice against side of cake roll to assemble knot; use frosting to "glue" in place. Spread remaining frosting over cake and knot. If frosting is soft, chill cake before serving. Garnish with fresh mint and fresh cranberries.
  5. Chocolate Frosting:
    In a large bowl, combine powdered sugar and cocoa. Add milk and butter to sugar mixture; beat with an electric mixer at medium speed until smooth.
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