Gourmet RecipesLa Bûche de Noël

La Bûche de Noël, a memorable and classic French dessert for Christmas feasts.

“Celebrate Christmas with a memorable and classic French dessert!”


Difficulty rating: Moderate

Serves (Yield): 8

Preparation time: 40 minutes 
Cooking time: 10 minutes

Special equipment: Pastry tray 30/35cm, sugar thermometer, electric whisking machine



For the sponge biscuit

  • 4 egg whites
  • 60g caster sugar
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 60g plain flour
  • 14g melted butter

For the butter cream

  • 70g caster sugar
  • 50g water
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 240g butter (room temperature)
  • 30g dark rum or Cointreau
  • 200g candied chestnuts, roughly chopped (plus a few whole ones for decoration)

For the soaking syrup

  • 75ml stock syrup (half sugar, half water, bring to the boil)
  • 25ml dark rum



For the sponge biscuit

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Whip the egg whites gradually adding the sugar until they reach soft peaks.
  3. Whisk in quickly the egg yolks, and then fold in the flour followed by the melted butter.
  4. Line your pastry tray with silicone paper, pour on the mixture and spread out on the tray to 1cm thickness.
  5. Cook in the preheated oven for 10 minutes, until a light golden colour is reached and it springs back to the touch (*1).
  6. Remove from the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack before filling.

For the butter cream

  1. In a small saucepan cook the sugar and water to 121°C.
  2. Whilst this is cooking, whisk the yolks to a light ribbon stage, pour over the sugar syrup when it has reached temperature and whisk until it has cooled to around 35°C.
  3. On a slow speed gradually add the soft, room-temperature butter and whisk on full speed for 3 minutes (*2).
  4. At this stage you can add the Cointreau and the orange zest.

To build the Bûche

  1. Mix the stock syrup and Cointreau together, then, using a pastry brush, soak the sponge evenly with it.
  2. Spread a third of the butter cream over the soaked sponge, then roll the sponge into a tight roll 30cm long; start by folding over the top edge towards you by about 1cm then use this to roll the log up making sure that it is tight all the way through.
  3. Be sure to place the join on the underside of the log so that it doesn’t unroll! Wrap the log in the silicone paper and use it to tighten the log.
  4. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.
  5. Unwrap the Bûche and place it on a dish, evenly spread over the remaining butter cream and using a fork, mark the cream to give the impression of a log.
  6. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

To serve

  1. Slice the Bûche into 8 pieces using a hot knife, place a slice on each plate and serve with vanilla cream or surrounded by a chocolate sauce.
  2. Decorate with some chocolate flakes.


Chef’s notes (*)

*1 Do not overcook the sponge as it will be dry and difficult to roll.

*2 At this stage you could add any flavour of your choice i.e. coffee, lemon, or you can leave it plain.



You could change the rum for Cointreau and grated orange zest.