Laura the Gastronaut > Holiday Cooking > Buche de Noel

Yule Log Cake

12 Days of Christmas Series

December 25, 2020 | Updated: January 5, 2023 | Laura

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Buche de Noel Recipe

Welcome to my 12 days of Christmas Foods!

Each day I make a different Christmas recipe. I'll share which recipe I used, a little history about the recipe, the steps involved in making it, and, of course, delicious pictures.

On the 12 Days of Christmas Foods, I made:
✽ Day 1: Gingerbread
✽ Day 2: Aged Eggnog
✽ Day 3: Roasted Chestnuts
✽ Day 4: Christmas Fudge
✽ Day 5: Mincemeat Pie
✽ Day 6: Chocolate-covered Pretzels
✽ Day 7: Fruitcake
✽ Day 8: Figgy Pudding
✽ Day 9: Gingerbread Cookies
✽ Day 10: Mulled Wine
✽ Day 11: Christmas Sugar Cookies
✽ Day 12: Buche de Noel

Merry Christmas!! We made it to Christmas Day, and I thought the perfect way to celebrate would be to make a Bûche De Noël or Yule Log Cake. This was my first time making one of these magnificent cakes.

I saw them make it on The Great Britian Bakeoff, and I've been intrigued ever since then. Well this is the year I made it happen, and I'm so happy with the end result! I used the recipe by Stella Parks on Serious Eats.

The History of Buche de Noel (Yule Log Cakes)

The Yule Log dates all the way back to Europe’s Iron Age. Europeans all gathered together to celebrate the winter solstice. It was a huge celebration where everybody was celebrating the end of short days.

In order to rid the air of the prior year’s events, they would burn logs decorated with pinecones, ivy, and holly and sprinkled with wine, salt, or holy water. Many believed the log must be burned for three days straight for good luck. The burnt logs were treasured believing they held medicinal benefits and would keep evil away.

As traditional hearths disappeared, the tradition of bringing large logs into your home did too. However, they would still bring in smaller logs as a decorative reminder. Eventually, most agreed that it would be more fun to make an edible log instead.

Christians continued the yule log tradition. They often would bake cakes on the floors of their fireplaces. It’s thought that the first Yule Log cake was baked in the early 1600s. Yule log cakes were commonly found on medieval tables decorated with marzipan and meringue.

These cakes really hit it off in the 19th century, and the decorations just become more and more elaborate!

You can find my sources and read more about yule logs on History and Frenchly.

Yule Log Recipe

Yule Log Cake Recipe

I got this yule log recipe from Stella Parks on Serious Eats. It sure was a process.

First, I made the toasted sugar and pistachio paste for the buttercream. After making the buttercream, I made the cake. After making the cake, I made the ganache for the icing.

Christmas Buche de Noel

I can hardly believe that this actually turned out. The recipe is so detailed and walks you through each step which made it so much easier. Sure, I couldn't have gotten one or two more swirls in my cake, but it tasted excellent. And the meringue mushrooms are so cute!

This may have to become a new holiday tradition. It's a show-stopper for sure!

Yule Log Meringue Mushrooms

Hope you all have a wonderful day. Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year!

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Category: Holiday Cooking
Keywords: buche de noel recipe, yule log recipe, christmas yule log, history of the yule log cake, 12 days of christmas baking, yule log cake recipe

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More 12 Days of Christmas Foods:

Roasted Chestnuts (roasting chestnuts was so much fun, and they are so delicious)
Mincemeat Pie (mincemeat pie smells so good and tastes just like Christmas)
Christmas Sugar Cookies (it's just not Christmas if there isn't a Santa-shaped sugar cookie laying around)
→ Check out all of my holiday cooking adventures!

Bon appétit!

December 25, 2020 by Laura Ehlers

*This Buche de Noel blog post may contain some Amazon affiliate links. These link to products that I personally use and recommend. If you purchase anything using my links, it will not cost you anything. It will though give some financial support which helps me keep this blog running. Thank you for reading my blogs and your continued support.