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Traditional French buche de noel Christmas cake with almond cream filling. | ethnicspoon.com
4.67 from 3 votes

Buche Noel Recipe

A traditional French Christmas dessert with a soft sponge cake rolled with cream filling and decorated like a "Yule Log".  This very festive dessert is one of my favorites and so fun to make.  

Course Dessert
Cuisine French
Keyword baking, Christmas dessert, scratch recipe, sponge cake
Prep Time 2 hours
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 45 minutes
Servings: Change to adjust-> 12 servings
Calories 464 kcal


Almond cream filling:

Chocolate frosting:



  1. For the filling: In a small bowl whisk the eggs and the sugar. Slowly add the flour until the mixture is unified.
  2. On medium heat, bring the milk and butter to a gentle boil. Slowly whisk in the warm milk into the egg mixture. Do this slowly so as not to cook the eggs. When mixture is well blended return to the saucepan and slowly add the marzipan, stirring constantly. Add the butter, and both extracts. Remove from heat and stir about 2 more minutes. Place in a bowl and refrigerate for about 3 hours.
  3. For the frosting: In a small saucepan on medium heat bring cream to a gentle boil. Add the butter. When butter is melted, slowly begin to add the chocolate about ¼ at a time.
  4. Stir constantly until chocolate is thoroughly melted. Place in a small bowl and refrigerate for up to 2 hours.
  5. For the cake: Preheat over to 350F.
  6. Line a jelly roll pan with parchment paper and rub with butter.
  7. Separate the eggs and set the whites aside.
  8. In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar and flour. Add the salt and almond extract and melted butter(at room temperature).
  9. Place the whites in a large bowl and using an electric mixer beat the whites until they form stiff peaks. Slowly, using a spatula, mix in the egg yolk mixture.
  10. Spread batter on parchment paper and bake for about 20 minutes.
  11. Remove from oven and wait about 5 minutes.
  12. Invert onto a lightly floured kitchen towel.
  13. Gently pull parchment off cake and allow to cool slightly (about 10 minutes).
  14. Using a wide spatula, spread almond filling all over the cake.
  15. Starting at the bottom, carefully roll up and place seam side down on a large serving platter.
  16. To make branches, slice off about ½" from either end of the cake and "glue" to cake using the chocolate frosting.
  17. Using another spatula spread chocolate frosting over the rolled cake, trying to achieve texture (like a log). If the texture appears a bit too smooth, use the tines of a fork to create texture.

Recipe Notes

  • Make the filling first because it has the longest cooling time.
  • Next, tackle the frosting. Don't worry if it's too thick. It makes for a prettier appearance.
  • You can use Marzipan to make mushrooms and other decorations.
Nutrition Facts
Buche Noel Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 464 Calories from Fat 270
% Daily Value*
Fat 30g46%
Saturated Fat 15g94%
Cholesterol 166mg55%
Sodium 102mg4%
Potassium 220mg6%
Carbohydrates 40g13%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 27g30%
Protein 7g14%
Vitamin A 750IU15%
Vitamin C 0.1mg0%
Calcium 67mg7%
Iron 2.4mg13%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.