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Buche de Noel


This fanciful "Yule log" is a classic French holiday dessert.

  • Servings: 12

Source: Martha Stewart Living, December/January 1993



  1. Make chocolate genoise and mousse, ganache icing, and meringue mushrooms.

  2. To assemble cake, carefully unroll genoise on the back side of a baking sheet (discard the plastic wrap and waxed paper, but keep the towel). Spread chocolate mousse evenly on cake to within 1 to 2 inches of one long end. Reroll cake, starting from other long end, using towel to help roll it. Cover with plastic wrap; chill until firm, about 1 hour.

  3. Place cake, seam side down, on a serving platter; tuck parchment around it to keep platter clean while decorating.

  4. Whip ganache at medium speed until it has the consistency of soft butter. Cut two wedges off ends of cake at a 45-degree angle; set aside. Ice log with a thin layer of ganache. Attach wedges on diagonally opposite sides of log. Spread ganache all over log, using a small spatula to form barklike ridges. Chill until ganache is firm, about 30 minutes.

  5. In the top of a double boiler or in a heatproof bowl set over simmering water, melt chocolate until smooth. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Spread melted chocolate 1/8 inch thick over parchment. Refrigerate until cold, 10 to 15 minutes. Roll paper back and forth until chocolate splinters; sprinkle over cake. Chill cake until ready to serve.

  6. When ready to serve, arrange meringue mushrooms around and on cake, and dust lightly with confectioners' sugar.

Reviews Add a comment

  • belinda4021yah
    24 DEC, 2015
    First, I am a cook, not a baker, so this was new territory for me. I do not have any special tools used for baking, including the offset spatula. But, I did it! It took me hours, but the presentation for Christmas Eve dessert was just beautiful. I did it over three days, in chunks of time. You would need about 8 hours total time, if you are a beginner like me. This is a hit and not overly sweet, as the store bought Yule logs tend to be. I may or may not make it again - depending if I have time.
  • SMR
    31 DEC, 2013
    The genoise cake for this recipe did not turn out very well. The cake did not roll, and cracked so it was unusable for making a buche de noel. Though I followed the instructions exactly, this did not come out as I had hoped and needed to make another roll cake using a different recipe 90 minutes before needing to leave the house with a finished buche de noel for a holiday party. Luckily, the rest of the parts of the buche were ready to go. Usually Martha's recipes don't fail, but this one did :(
  • genp71gmailco
    25 DEC, 2012
    I did the yellow cake instead of genoise so it wouldn't be too chocolaty. Also instead of the choc mouse I did the choc hazelnut mouse filling and it was a big hit. The decorations came out so pretty and I sprinkled cocoa powder after ganache so it look like tree bark...
  • KookieNB
    24 DEC, 2010
    My genoise did not rise properly. I did not over fold and my eggs were room temp so not sure what went wrong. Still edible but the cake was very skinny.
  • cocomom
    7 DEC, 2009
    can this be made ahead and frozen?
  • carolincmay
    27 DEC, 2007
    This took quite a long time to make, because I added so many decorations, but it was definitely worth it. Almost everybody who tasted it requested it for their next party. It's fun to make, and so delicious!
  • cynsation
    22 DEC, 2007
    I made this for several Christmas eve's desert course. It was always a big hit. Using the chocolate ganache icing makes it beautiful.