Bûche de Noёl Recipe

In high school, my friend Shannon and I collaborated on a project about Christmas traditions in Quebec for French class. We thought bringing baked goods might enhance the presentation (and perhaps earn a few bonus marks). So we learned how to make a traditional French dessert – Bûche de Noёl, or Yule Log. This cake symbolized the Yule Log that once burned in European hearths during the Christmas season.

There are a variety of ways to garnish and fill this cake. Since those high school days, I’ve continued to make this recipe at Christmas. It’s a fun tradition to keep, especially since I’ve married into a family with French heritage.


  • 1 pkg angel food cake mix
  • 1 tbsp grated orange peel
  • ¼ tsp yellow food colour
  • Confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 pkg vanilla pudding/pie-filling mix (or use recipe below)
  • 1 tbsp instant coffee
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • Chocolate frosting


  • Early in the Day: Preheat oven to 375 F. Line bottom of two jelly-roll pans (approx. 15.5” x 10. 5”) with waxed paper.
  • Prepare cake mix as label directs but add orange peel and food colour with flour mixture and divide batter in half, spread evenly in jelly-roll pans. Bake 10-12 minutes or until top springs back when lightly touched.
  • Meanwhile, dust two towels with confectioners’ sugar. Invert cakes into towels as soon as they are baked; carefully and quickly peel off waxed paper; cut crisp edges from cakes. From narrow end of each cake, gently roll cake and towel together; rest seam-side down on rack to cool.
  • Pudding Mix: In medium saucepan over medium heat, heat pudding mix, milk and instant coffee to boiling, stirring constantly. Cool, stirring occasionally.
  • Alternative Pudding: Instead of using pudding mix above, do the following – Combine 2 tbsp sugar, 1 tbsp cornstarch, 1/8 tsp salt, 1 tbsp instant coffee in a saucepan. Gradually stir in 1 Cup of 2% milk. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Reduce heat; cook and stir 2 minutes longer. Remove from heat. Stir a small amount of hot filling into 1 slightly beaten egg yolk. Return all to the pan, stirring constantly. Bring to a gently boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in 1½ tsp of butter and ½ tsp of vanilla. Cool, stirring occasionally.
  • In medium bowl, whip cream and sugar until stiff peaks form. Fold pudding into whipped cream. Unroll jelly rolls and spread mixture over surface; reroll. Frost with chocolate icing (homemade or prepared) and garnish.
  • Keep Refrigerated. Makes 16 servings.

Bon Appétit!

Cherie Gagnon– Cherie

Do you have any favorite recipes that are linked to your family’s country of origin?


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18 responses to “Bûche de Noёl Recipe”

  1. Susan Mires (@susanmires) says :

    Cherie, I’ve never had one of these. How about Sara and I come visit and you make one for us?!

  2. Susan Hollaway says :

    It looks delish….and an accident waiting to happen if I attempted it. I’ve never made a cake where you had to roll it like that. There’s a reason the dog is constantly under my feet in the kitchen. She “knows” that I….uh, drop and spill things.

  3. Sara Meisinger says :

    I was thinking this looks pretty easy, but I’m with Susie and would rather try yours…When do you want us to show up?

  4. Jeanie Berg says :

    I make pumpkin roll all the time and I have learned the secret to rolling it succusfully is making sure you line the pan……I prefer to use parchment paper sprayed with Pam….that way I know it will not be sticking to the pan! I’ve had that happen to me plenty of times too before I got smart!! 🙂 Recipe sounds delish and I will try it!!

  5. Jeanie Berg says :

    Oh yes, I love the idea of the coffee flavored pudding filling…..Ahhhhh! Bring it on….

  6. Ian says :

    Oh, wow. I’m heading over with Susie and Sara. Best make 2, Cherie.

    • Grant Gagnon says :

      Ian I’ll share with you. I’m hoping she makes one this year, but 2 would even be better. I’ll let everyone know how it turned out, and if no one shows up to share with me I’ll have to eat the whole log myself.

      • Ian says :

        Grant, yes, then we’d probably best go for a run once digested to burn off the calories. I’ve got a hunch you might get to have all to yourself. Enjoy.

  7. Shannon says :

    I’m pretty sure we got an ‘A’ on that yule log!

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