Buche de Noel


I’ve been making this recipe for years.  My recipe comes from one of my old Family Circle cookbooks, so old the pages are yellowing from use. Such a classic dessert to present at the holiday table.  It truly looks much harder to make than it really is.  However, there are alot of steps.  The adorable meringue mushrooms add to the ‘wow’ factor.

I’ve added some of my product recommendations below as well.  I can’t say enough about using a good jelly roll pan and silpat baking mats!


1 cup flour

1/4 cup cocoa powder

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

3 eggs

1 cup sugar

1/3 cup water

1 tsp vanilla

confectioners sugar

chopped pistachio nuts

Coffee cream filling (recipe follows)

Chocolate butter frosting (recipe follows)

Mushroom merigues (recipe follows)

Preheat oven to 375F. Grease a 15x10x1″ jelly roll pan, line with wax paper, grease.  Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Set aside. Beat eggs at high speed until thick and creamy.  Beat in granulated sugar, 1 tbsp at a time, beating all the time until mixture is very thick.  Stir in the water and vanilla. Fold in the flour mixture. Spread batter evenly onto pan. Bake 12 minutes, or until center springs back when lightly touched. Loosen around the edges and invert onto a clean towel dusted with powdered sugar. Peel off the wax paper. Starting at a long side, roll up cake, jelly roll fashion. Wrap in towel and cool completely.

Make the coffee cream filling: Combine 1 cup heavy cream, 1 tbsp instant coffee powder and 1/2 cup confectioners sugar, beat until stiff with mixer at medium.

Unroll cake carefully, spread with coffee cream filling, reroll. Place on serving platter. Cut a 1/2″ thick slice from one end of cake roll, reroll tightly to form a “knot” on a log. Position in place with toothpicks if needed.  Frost cake with chocolate butter frosting, leaving the ends open and unfrosted.  Run the tines of a fork the length of the cake and around the knot to resemble bark (see picture). Sprinkle ends of roll with pistachio nuts.  Chill until ready to serve. Decorate with mushroom meringues just before serving

Chocolate butter frosting. Melt 1/2 stick butter and 2 squares unsweetened chocolate in small saucepan. Cool slightly. Add 2 cups confectioner sugar, 1/4 cup milk and 1/2 tsp vanilla.  Beat until frosting is smooth.

Mushroom Meringues

2 egg whites

1/8 tsp cream of tartar

1/2 tsp almond extract

2/3 cup sugar

1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate morsals

Preheat oven to 250F. Grease two large cookie sheets and flour lightly. Beat egg whites, cream of tartar and almond extract until foamy and double in volume, with mixer at high speed. Sprinkle in sugar, 1 tbsp at a time, beating until sugar dissolves completely and meringue stands in firm peaks when beaters are lifted. Attach a #10 plain tip to a pastry bag. Fill with meringue. To make mushroom caps, press out meringue in 1 1/2″ rounds. Smooth with a knife if needed but do not press down.  To make stems, hold pastry bag upright, press our meringue while gently pulling straight up on bag for about 1 1/2 “.  Bake 30 minutes or until firm, but not brown. Let stand several minutes on cookie sheets. Loosen carefully with a small knife and transfer to wire rack to cool completely. Melt chocolate in cup placed in a small skillet of hot water. Working carefully, make a small hollow in underside of each cap with the tip of a wooden spoon handle.  Fill hollow with small amount of melted chocolate, then gently press a stem into the hollow. Let stand until chocolate is firm.  Store in a tightly covered container in a dry place.