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.